Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Diva Challenge #347 and other stuff...

Diva Challenge #347
String Theory: Traced Objects

lipstick, jar lid, USB stick and an ink bottle

I love this kind of string challenge. I managed to catch Laura's YouTube video on Sunday night so I got a jump start and set up the string. The next morning I grabbed a handful of tools and headed down to the cafe for a little drawing session.
I went back-to-basics on this one. Black ink, white tile, conjuring up my top 20 faves in my head and letting the zen take me on little journey. I started off by thinking about where I might want to leave white space and at the very last minute, decided to add a border. I used a fountain pen so the blacker areas aren't so solid, but I really love how this came out.

duo tangle: Huggins & Phicops
Trainwreck Sketchbook

In my attempt to make friends with Phicops last week, I played a little bit with it here in my trainwreck sketchbook. I had set up the watercolor backgrounds a while back and the colors here seemed a good fit for some organic exploration. I've been using a Pentel Stylo pen and Staedler Triplus Fineliners in this book as the watercolor grounds were done with a cheap Daiso set of tube paints. They're chalky and will clog up Microns and fountain pens. I actually love the muted colors they produce when mixed. Both pens are water soluble so I dripped water on the linework and let it do its thing. I love that effect. I don't know if this is finished yet. I pondered doing some highlight and it just didn't seem right.

Trainwreck sketchbook
fun floral motifs



Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Diva Challenge #346 and other stuff...

Diva Challenge #346
Duo-Tangle: Phicops & Huggins

Yaaaay! The Diva is back and to start a new year of new challenges, Laura gave quite a challenge. Very Yin/Yang because Phicops is one of those patterns I've managed to avoid, whereas I can't get enough Huggins.
It's taking me a while to make friends with Phicops and I'm still not quite there yet. I had many ideas going on and frustratingly pursued several clumsy attempts at it in my sketchbook and finally started this first tile as more of a warm up, casually executed on a 4" x 4" scrap of card stock I rescued from the recycle bin at work.

Duotangle #2
Cosmic Garden

I like how this one turned out. I knew these two patterns would be a nice fit in the Cosmic Garden series, even though I thought I was done with that. I guess not. 
I spent some time looking at Phicops from the Diva's archive challenges and there were some real beauties. I was inspired to play some more with it in my Trainwreck journal. I'll share that next week.

Other stuff:
During the Diva's holiday hiatus, I challenged myself with daily drawings inspired by many different sources. I've mentioned that I do spend waaay too much time noodling around the internet and watching YouTube videos. One of my creative goals is to strive for more balance. I tend to bombard myself with images and ideas and then step back and see what sticks. From time to time I'll share the stuff that sticks.
During my recent organizing binge, I found an old, large, spiral bound sketchbook and re-purposed the remaining pages into a smaller hand-made sketchbook using a watercolor practice sheet for the cover. I call this the sketchbook of "Everything Else", inspired by an Alphonso Dunn video where he talks about looking at student sketchbooks of one polished/pretty/finished page after another and asking "Where's everything else?"
The paper is not conducive to any wet media including many of my ink pens so I decided to use it for colored pencils...mostly.
 I was breaking in the cheap Daiso watercolor set and practicing layering.

One of my early sources of inspiration, long before I ever heard of Zentangle is "They Draw and Cook". It's a collection of illustrated recipes curated by artists Salli Swindell and her brother Nate Padivick. I follow Salli on Instagram and I love her whimsical and seemingly simplistic style. It's the antithesis of mine. I tend to get caught up in too much realistic (and labor intensive) detail whenever I draw "real life" and though I enjoy that and get a lot of satisfaction from it when I have the time, one of my creative goals this year is to achieve a simpler balance to that.

Playing with my Prismacolor pencils sallistyle

9 x 12 ZIA
mixed media

I was doing some cleaning and organizing of my art closet last week and found this work-in-progress ZIA I had forgotten about under a stack of watercolor pads. The line work was done on the water-colored background, so I spent the rest of the day finishing it with the shading, highlight and colored pencil. I can't remember when I started this, but I was clearly influenced and inspired by the work of Sharla Hicks. I love her organics.

A few pages from finishing the Trainwreck journal
dip pen and ink

Aimee takes a break to let me draw
She's usually trying to sit on top of whatever I'm doing
It's always a bit precarious when the pen and ink are out

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A New Year and a few drawin's

Trainwreck Journal
"In 2018, I will..."

Happy New Year everybody!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and I want to thank everyone who found their way here over the last month and left such lovely comments.'s what I've been up to this past week...

Little Pieces of Art
Texture study
I love this Lemur!!!
BFK Rives Illustration paper
Platinum Preppy EF nib fountain pen

Little pieces of Art
Texture study
Platinum Plaisir fountain pen

Setting up the last few pages of my Trainwreck Journal
Daiso watercolor set
$1.50 for a set of 12 tubes!

I'll be making another one of these ASAP. It was the best $3.00 I've ever spent. Paper and paint both came from Daiso and the time I spent developing my mad bookbinding skilz...well...I hafta say I love it! The best thing about the Trainwreck is that ended up best illustrating my 2017 word of the year:

I drew this on New Year's Eve 2016. It was a prompt from the Facebook group, Tangled and Journaled, Too! It took me most of the year to get here and that's ok;-)
The Trainwreck is a mess of half-baked ideas and meanderings, fits and starts and some serious fun. It's been my best creative tool.

Trainwreck journal
dip pen & blue ink 
texture study-tree bark

Sharpie and a Pentel Stylo

Dip Pen with Winsor Newton Violet ink
white gelly roll pen

trying out some different inks

Texture and value study

"I likes dis here color. It matches my eyes"

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

More daily drawin's and inspiration...

My Trainwreck Journal
I was watching this.

I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely holiday season. I, for one, am glad it's almost over. For my last post of 2017 I'm pleased to say I stuck to my guns and managed to draw something every day for my personal 21 day challenge. I didn't always complete a piece in a day because I usually have more than one thing going on at a time. I worked on this piece above over a couple of days, inspired by the Buntstiften YouTube channel: Watching her draw and listening to the music is mesmerizing. She's the master of elegant and sweeping curves.
I also thought I'd wrap this year up with some links to my favorite sources of inspiration. I spend waaaay too much time watching YouTube videos, but I like to think it's paid off;-)
Dutch artist and illustrator Koosje Koene does a weekly "Draw Tip Tuesday". That's what started my whole "Inktober" plan. I've been watching these for a couple of years now. Love, love, love them;-)
These 4x6 pen and ink drawings are done on BFK Rives illustration paper. Normally I use the very inexpensive Strathmore Skills pads but I was inspired by a "Paper Haul" video by mixed media illustrator Kendyll Hillegas. She does the most amazing food illustrations (among other things).
These illustrations were inspired by Alphonso Dunn's Inktober video. His videos were my greatest discovery this year.

Backlit Gingko leaves
from a photo found on Pinterest

Texture Study
from a Pinterest photo

more texture study
from this Alphonso Dunn video

9x12 watercolor experimentation

I found a whole stash of these sheets I'd stowed underneath a pile of paper pads and forgot about. Sometimes I'll cut them into tiles or ATC's for Travelling Tangles or more often, I just cut them down into 4x6 sheets and use them for  playing around with my dip pen and inks:

various stages of completion

into this

Look what Santa brought me!

I became totally obsessed with pen and ink while watching The Diva's Inktober videos. She used a different bottle of ink for each of the 31 videos. I also became obsessed with fountain pen drawing and joined two Facebook groups Fountain Pen Sketchers and  Artist's Journal Workshop to amp up my drawing game.

Throwback Travels
Santa Fe, New Mexico
September 2001
from a photograph

I spent a lot of time on this one. I need to work on my value scale.


Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Some Daily Drawing Practice

4" x 6"
dip pen and various inks

So began my first week of daily drawing after last weeks post, not in any particular order, inspired by this video  and this video by Alphonso Dunn. Not everything is "finished" and some are just exercises. Here's a link to his series of Basics and Fundamentals if you're interested in exploring pen and ink drawing.
This first one started out as an exercise. I was practicing a wet on wet technique I came across on another one of my favorite YouTube channels, Studio Jess. She calls it Cosmic Moons

before pen and ink


Perhaps a Throwback travels series?
Continuous line drawing...sort of

A page from my Trainwreck Journal
Frost Flower, Printemps and Rumpus

Shading and Hatching practice

Just noodling around

I usually have something like this going on all the time, for when I feel like drawing but don't have the bandwidth to start something.

"Why, oh why you draw so much and ignore me???"

Thanks so much for stopping by! Let me know if you have any questions about what I shared today. I tried to keep the chatter to a minimum;-)
As ever, your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Diva Challenge #345 and other drawin's

Diva Challenge #345
Happy Holidays

This is the last Diva Challenge of the year and Laura posed two options: a Zendala or something holiday inspired. I was in a bit of a quandary as I don't have any zendala tiles and I'm a bit of a holiday theme curmudgeon when it comes to Zentangle.
I went rogue because I really wanted to finish this one up with my eco-print Cosmic Garden series.
I was inspired by Joey's use of a snowflake string for her challenge this week and though I didn't follow her challenge guidelines at all, I think it's as close as I'm gonna get to anything holiday. I'm using Phroz or Fasset (can't remember which is which) on the snowflake.
I would like wish all of you a joyous holiday season and thank you for all of the inspiring feedback you've given me.
For the next 3 weeks, I've issued myself a little challenge inspired by this video from my favorite You Tube art teacher Alphonso Dunn. He's got two videos of 7 simple tips for drawing everyday. I'll post some things  on Instagram, michelewynne9 as well as here. I suspect most of you are directed here by the Diva's linky so if you want to see what I'm doing for the next 3 weeks you can use the email thingy at the bottom of the sidebar to be notified when I post.
Here are a few things I've been working on:

Little Pieces of Art series
Tree Frog
pen and ink

The idea is to draw some thing every day, from drills and texture practice to abstract to finished illustrations.

More tree frogs
I love them

In my handmade journal
Simple Pleasures Cafe

I started this over a week ago and though I bit off more than I could chew in terms of complexity I was determined to finish it today.

Gifts in progress

These resulted from several water color practice sheets I had laying around. I cut them down into 4 x 6 pieces. When I want to noodle around with my dip pen I'll grab one of these cards and do what comes organically. I've had them sitting in a box for months. Yesterday I had the brilliant idea to cut them all down to 2" squares and now I'm going to laminate them and glue magnets to the back and distribute them as stocking stuffers to the baristas at Simple Pleasures.

"Trainwreck Sketchbook"
one side shaded


Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me 😍

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Diva Challenge #344 and sketchbooks

"Use my Tangle" Monday
featuring After-glo by Carole Ohl
additionally: Aquafleur, Bunzo and Sandswirl

Eco-print tile start

I was happy to see Afterglo turn up on this weeks challenge. It's one of those patterns I thoroughly enjoyed when it first came on my radar awhile ago and then I forgot about it. It's a great fit for my Cosmic Garden series too. 
Laura noted that Vonnie, a member of the Zentangle community recently passed away. Vonnie was an active member of one of my swap groups as well as in the Diva's chat room when Laura was live streaming videos of the challenges. This is for Vonnie.

Here are a few things I did in my DIY art journal this past week;

A trip to Japan Town to Maido my favorite pen store
 and Daiso for a haul of cheap art supplies

This store is Bananas!

Butternut Squash Soup

The kitchen has been sadly inactive of late. In an attempt to get myself motivated for my annual Christmas cookie baking marathon, I spent a day cleaning, re-organizing and cooking.

Simple Pleasures Cafe

Noodling around and feeling the Zen

Aimee sunnin' herself

Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!