Monday, November 21, 2022

Ink & Colored Pencils

I decided to give the Peace quilt a rest last week, partly because the next step of squaring up will be tricky, if doing it on the first one is any indication, and partly because I had some very good luck with a Zentangle from a new series and felt motivated to continue with a colored pencil online class I hadn't looked at for way too long. So long in fact that my password to get into Sketchbook Skool no longer worked after they did a revamp of the site awhile ago. Let's start with the Zentangle, this one a different approach using "reticular" (the blob shapes) rather than a "string" as a guide and working in a circular format. This particular "fragment" that goes into the "reticular" is called MRTH (mirth) and boy do I like it! In fact, I think I would have been perfectly happy to stop right here.

But I continued on filling each reticular, the outer ones getting those extensions that look like stamens. Just using a black micron pen. You can see I penciled in the steps on the facing page for future reference. Again, I could have stopped right here and been happy. However, if you know anything about Zentangles, you probably know that the final step is shading and often brings the piece to life.

I wish I hadn't proceeded with the shading. I didn't like how they showed the graphite along the curves. It didn't work on my mirths which I think were smaller than theirs. And then they added white chalk pencil for highlights. Perhaps if I had been using an off-white tile like they were, the white chalk pencil would have made more sense as a highlight. I just didn't like what happened during this whole shading process. But I still love this Zentangle as a whole.

As for the colored pencil class, one of the advantages is that you can go at your own pace and when you come back to class, it takes you right to the session where you left off. But as I said, they have revamped their website and my class had been set back to as if I'd never started it. The last thing I remember doing is diligently sorting through all my colored pencils to put them in order and swatch them - see this post from July 2019. I quickly went through the first lessons to review, and I think some of them I'd done are no longer being shown or were re-shot. Good thing I took notes.

So here's where I started up again - experimenting with different types of layering and blending. I really enjoyed doing each one, finding it relaxing to slowly lay down the color and build it up in different ways. It showed pretty graphically which of the techniques worked best for me. Then there were short sessions with two different teachers, one showing how he does his initial sketch with black colored pencil rather than a graphite pencil or pen, something I'd not considered, then building up the color, and the other showing how she does her initial sketch in a light color of pencil that kind of goes with what other colors will be laid down as the sketch progresses, again, something I'd not considered. Examples of each are at the bottom of the page shown above.

Inktense before and after H2O activation

Then there was a session on using watercolor pencils and I got a chance to actually do some sketching with my Inktense colored pencils. I've experimented a bit with transferring them onto fabric but that's about it. It was really fun to sketch that chicken from the catalog cover, all dull, then see the colors come alive when touched by a wet brush. Next I need to try out the blending of different colors of regular colored pencils as demonstrated on a leave drawing, and also swatch those Inktense pencils and experiment with blending different colors of them to get new colors. Gotta say, I enjoy being a student.

Hard to believe Thanksgiving celebrations are this week, November scooting by so fast. I'll be staying close to home, and may even see a little snow over the next few days, but it won't last as they predict a warming trend into the weekend (40's!!!). May you have safe travel, if travel you do, and may you enjoy any family get-togethers that come your way.  And if you can eke out a little time to yourself, I hope you spend it creatively!


Anonymous said...

You've been so busy with sketching & Zentangle'ing! There certainly are so many interesting terms & techniques, I understand your enthusiasm to get back into the online class. And your quilt will be waiting when you're ready to tackle that squaring up task! Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving! Jan in WY

The Idaho Beauty said...

It was peaceful indeed, Jan, and I spent some time continuing the videos in my on-line class! I hope you enjoyed all that company that was coming your way. :-)

The Inside Stori said...

Your drawings are always so inspiring…….it’s obvious the care you take and the talent you have!!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks Mary! The more I work at it, the better I get. A lot like quilting!