Wednesday, 10 July 2019

lettering with BITE


This week I've been attending an online Crafty Camp, a bit like US summer camps except this one is for adults! It's hosted by Dani Manning from PopFizzPaper - you can find her on YouTube and on Instagram and on Patreon - I'll add links at the bottom of the page.

A guest tutor called Brittany Luiz showed us how to do different types of blended lettering using watercolour markers. So as the crafty club I'm part of is celebrating Hallowe'en in July I thought of how to put my new skills into creating a scary image - lettering with BITE!


Between two parallel lines draw your chosen word - eek is a favourite of mine. Erase any unwanted lines. It also helps if you can use a soft eraser or putty eraser to take some of the graphite off the page. You're left with a faint pencil which can be fully erased after colouring.


The watercolour markers I had in my stash were Winsor & Newton in gamboge hue and cadmium red hue which suited this project. If you need help with how to write 'nice' lettering there are plenty of videos by Dani and Brittany that you can follow. I used Dani's style of faux lettering. Let the colour dry for a few minutes before erasing the faint pencil lines.


Here I applied what I learnt from Brittany's tutorial, tinting the top of the letters with red watercolour marker and blending that with the yellow. I found I needed to clean off my marker tip on a piece of spare paper.


Using an extra fine black Sharpie I added lines and dots of shading to the very top of each letter, added googly eyes along the body of the letters and monster teeth along the horizontal bars. And that's it - the letters could be fussy-cut out to add as a die cut onto a pocket letter or used as the inside of a Halloween card. 


I am still a student when it comes to lettering but I do like this type of shading - it feels very painterly which suits me as I'm a visual artist/crafter. Have a go...maybe try bluey-greens with mermaid accents or ice blues with snowflakes.

Dani Manning/PopFizzPaper:

Brittany Luiz:

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Sunday, 10 February 2019

pages from sketchbook...

I've usually got a sketchbook on the go but sometimes there are gaps of weeks or months between drawing in it. Now and again watching a video of an artist or reading a blog will get me started and after watching Joy San's video 'Filling Up a Sketchbook Page | A Scene' I used her technique.


With a black fineliner I worked freehand - the face in the background on the left hand page above isn't to my liking but it is left alone, not erased. This is part of how I draw freehand, mistakes are tolerated. 



After the first three double pages I found myself being pulled into creating some sort of scene which tells a story and the haphazard grouping of images is lost. This is probably a natural process and I know, if I 'get stuck' working in my sketchbook, I can always revert to Joy's technique. 




None of the double page scenes are sketched first with pencil, they retain the freedom of freestyle. I have no idea what the final images will look like, it's all about letting the pen go for a walk and what emerges inspires how the images finish up.




After the last spread I again felt the need to fill the space with unrelated figures - my character Bloowabbit pops up in all the fill-the-space pages.



I liked how this figure sat on the blank pages so I left it as it was.

Drawing so much imaginary stuff got me thinking of the realistic animal eyes I'd drawn last year for a prompt challenge by Sea Lemon - sometimes I need to prove to myself I can do this - and I googled some photographs to draw from. Interesting faces. The important thing is to keep drawing whatever the style..


Time for a new sketchbook...



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Sunday, 30 December 2018

end of year doodle...

After getting some drawing pens as a Christmas gift I really wanted to pick them up and draw something. When in doubt, doodle...


Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (Indian ink), Jansroad pigment liners, Paperchase rainbow gel pens and white Gelly Roll gel pen...and I finished with Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils.




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Monday, 24 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - Christmas Eve

looking down to a snowy garden 2010

We have no snow yet and it's Christmas Eve. For some that's sad but for others it's a blessing. I like to look out onto it but wouldn't fancy having to travel in it. For nostalgic moments, a few photos from a few winters back...

 snow on my street 2010

 Here's a short video of a drone over snowy Belfast from Christmas 2017...

Belfast Snow Drone | Christmas Music - Bozo Media


Shadow in the snowy yard 2010

Dean Martin - Let it Snow!Kyle Wolfreys

Frank sinatra - Let it snowPaul Sarmasag

Let It Snow! Ella FitzgeraldNuova Canaria


Happy Christmas 
and may 2019 bring you
good fortune, good health
and your heart's desire xx

ice on the inside of my window 2010



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Sunday, 23 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - dinner with pals

2011 doodle

Was invited round to a pal's house for dinner yesterday evening. It's lovely when someone cooks for you and I am always so appreciative when that happens to me. Shepherd's pie, wonderful comfort food, with the addition of mustard and smoked cheese to the mashed potato topping. Peas and carrots in the minced lamb pie and a side dish of cabbage. Simple enough fare but yet so good.


the snout of a happy whippet

And to follow some homemade sherry trifle with black cherries, lychees and pear. We even had a cheese platter all the way from Fivemiletown. This is life...good food, good company, good craic. And a short blog...





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Saturday, 22 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - doodling


I had been working on repainting a doll for a friend but it was an unmitigated disaster. Acrylic paint doesn't adhere well onto cheap plastic and I hadn't invested in any suitable sealants...I winged it on the cheapy cheapy. It was the first time trying to repaint a fashion doll and I will have another go. As they say (whoever they are) 'practice makes perfect'...a lot of practice lies ahead.


So...a Happy Mail parcel arrived from my penpal with goodies galore including 4 Paperchase rainbow gel pens. And as I haven't doodled in a while I thought these pens would help fill a blog day. I set myself the challenge of only using the rainbow pens with a black drawing pen and a white gel pen (which ran out and I used a white correction pen instead). 







No great works of art, just doodles. I like the hanging baubles, it was fun to do. The snow scene in the moonlight and the Christmas elf are ok - as doodles they're acceptable. And I have never been shy of sharing work that isn't perfection. It's the mistakes that help create newer better work. These little doodles may well spur me on to drawing again.

Thanks for the pens Marleen !!



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Friday, 21 December 2018

12 days to Christmas - funfairs and xmas market

Cathedral Gardens - outside the art college UU

Belfast City Council seemed to have pulled out all the stops to make the city centre into a series of mini funfairs. Perhaps it's to help the negativity attached to the main street being split into two separate halves (now kinda sorted) because of the fire at Bank Buildings.There's also the annual International Christmas market at the City Hall. At the eleventh hour I stopped by the latter to have a nosey (It ends on Saturday 22nd). 
Castle Place


Continental Market at City Hall

The market has stalls which offer some specialist goods like German sausage, French pastry tarts or Russian Christmas decorations. And there are some Northern Irish products too. But it's mostly much of the same as the last few years. I feel the Continental Market vibe has been mostly played out.

It is good to see people out and about though and there's a definite festive air. The Russian stall seemed a little empty but a Turkish hand painted ceramics stall was still overflowing with vibrant coloured bowls in many sizes.




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