More Creativity

The days have been blurring a bit, not helped by the persistent trapped nerve pain in my leg and lower back – but going into one of my branch libraries has given me a bit more exercise as a change in routine and does seem to have helped with the worst of it.

In the meantime I’ve been continuing to draw and play around with software so there’s at least something constructive going on.

I also finally managed to solo complete a legendary list sector in Destiny2 to retrieve the Four Horsemen exotic before the option disappears with the new season later today. There may have been some quiet swearing involved.

Right, back to work…

Art Therapy

I’m still exhausted from the last few days, and still seem to have a nagging pain thats either muscular or a trapped nerve. On the plus side I’ve been feeling a bit more creative, so I have some things to show for the day.

I had a bit of a double-whammy in the delivery of some replacement grey, black, and sepia ink pens in the morning; and then my digging out my venerable graphics tablet this afternoon.

The sketchbook image above is freehand line art drawn this evening while Lady M played some Assassins Creed. The other two are Photoshop enhancements of some pieces I doodled last year. I’ve cleaned up and added to them over the course of the afternoon.

And thats what I’ve done to settle myself a little after the events of the last couple of days.

Lady M is still recovering but seems brighter this evening, and has been answering good wishes and enquiries through the day.

Centering Through Art

It’s no mystery to long-time readers and people who know me that I use art to centre and calm myself. All the things that happen around me flow through my pens to evoke patterns and flows. Sometimes there are creatures and more figurative elements, and sometimes it is a lot more abstract.

The last week or so in ink

A common theme is one of disparate elements flowing into and through each other. There are knots and reflections, sinuous morphology and interlocking pieces. Tension and worry tends to result in spikes, while calmer emotions bring curves and loops.

In a very real sense, a whole page of my sketchpad will reflect the ebbs and flows of my mind and emotions across a period of time.

Some of these pieces get thrown away when done on scrap paper or consigned to collections that rarely see air. Others I’m actually quite happy with, especially if there’s something innovative or new that has emerged in terms of technique or detail. These are details from this week or so’s decompression work

Doodles and Sketchpads

I finally got round to updating this year’s Inktober gallery under the Art pages, and after a few days rest the drawing bug has returned, so some of the more coherent doodles will continue to appear here

This one has been gradually growing in my new sketchbook, mixing block structures with finer lines reminiscent of magnetic force lines. I hadn’t had any image in mind when I started, and the larger fragmenting piece only developed into something resembling a heart when I saw the resemblance and wanted to fill the page.

The finer lines started as more practice at the style, again with the intention of just filling the page, until it felt like any more would spoil it somehow.

There wasn’t any conscious design element to this, but I’ll be interested to hear what it says or suggests to people.

Halfway through Inktober already?

I’m taking part in Inktober again this year, so my Instagram and Facebook accounts have been peppered with different styles of doodles and sketches the last couple of weeks.

Unlike last year, I’m actually following the official prompts – forcing a little discipline and lateral thinking in my interpretations rather than just letting the pen go mad as I usually do.

I’m also not just working in black ink. I’ve been introducing coloured inks as well on some of them – mostly for contrast, but occasionally as an integral part of the picture. I’m trying new things.

Some of it I’m very happy with, and some of it I can take or leave. The latter category are ones that I’ll likely come back to at a later date if I haven’t immediately done so.

I think I’ll talk about a couple at a time, at least around my thought processes – if only because it then gives me something to focus on in my posts here.

The first one – poisonous – was done while on the train down to see Lady S on one of my Mondays off. I’m trying to do each picture on the actual day rather than get bogged down in overthinking in the planning process.

I knew I didn’t want to go with snakes (venomous) or bottles of poison as it seemed too obvious. Then I thought about bullying, which is a personal bugbear that I try to always challenge, and remembered the concept of poison pen letters – largely supplanted by cyber-bullying these days.

Despite the train’s motion as I sped between Waterloo and Portsmouth, I whipped a fountain pen and typically unpleasant missive into shape on the page of the notebook in my pocket and away we started on Inktober.

The second image – tranquil – was easier to conceptualise but felt more of a change from my usual hyper-detailed grotesques. A clearing in a wood, with a fairy ring if mushrooms seemed just the ticket, with a nod to my usual fantasy leanings.

While it isn’t as clean a set of lines as my usual style, I quite like the light and dark balance and sense of perspective in this one. It’s definitely a step away from my comfort zone, which feels somewhat ironic given the subject.

Other options I considered included a lake, a mountain view, and an open book.

More posts to follow; watch this space

Sketches and Stuff

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This is a doodle in one of my notebooks

I doodle pretty much all the time, which has led some to query whether it is actually doodling or conscious art. My general attitude is: something I’ve started as a few random lines which has then warped and weaved into something else is a doodle. This picture is a good example of that, no matter how complex it may seem.

It has started as a few lines which I’ve then embellished and augmented, and yes I will agree that it is complicated and dense with detail. This is mostly because something here and there will suggest a shape and I will then go with it.

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A doodle that grew into something else

Then I get doodles that become something else, something more like a coherent piece. This usually happens when I’ve moved on to other things and then come back. There’s not usually any motivation other than to keep filling the page, but I’m usually starting to think about composition, even if what comes out is a poor reflection.

I still don’t usually have any great plan, but you might not necessarily know that if you come to the piece unexpectedly, and I’ll usually have writing around it because that’s what I’ve either started with, or I’m trying to carry on something from an adjacent page.

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So, this might be deliberate

Then there are the more conscious attempts at making pictures. They’ll still usually start with some random lines or swirls, but it will be recognisable as a discrete object, character or monster. There will have been some design thought process in there somewhere, usually…

I used to do group portraits to illustrate the adventurers in our Dungeons and Dragons games, way back when. This evening Lady P asked if I would do one for her favourite character over in her gaming group and I’ve agreed.

Should be equal parts fun and frustration I think as my doodles meet my perfectionism. Just keep listening for the muttering.