Art supplies and other distractions

I am in a kind of software update purgatory today. I haven’t used my desktop machine for a few days,  so pushing the power switch was never going to be pretty. Software updates are like buses – they all seem to arrive at once; maybe it’s some sort of quantum thing.

Still – while the updates are installing I have a good excuse to play with some new art supplies.

Earlier in the week I was mashing up marker pens with coloured pencils. I thought it might be fun to bring some blendable,  alcohol-based markers into my experimenting, too. I haven’t used blendable marker pens before, so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in and comparing the effects.

Back soon -most likely covered in ink stains! Happy weekend all 🙂


Happy scribbling

I treated myself to some scribble time. I blocked out some flat colour in an A5 sketchbook first of all, using marker pens. Then I used coloured pencils to add in some light and shade, as well as some variation to the colours. I did this part pretty roughly – I want all those lovely, messy pencil marks to be visible, as they’ll give some nice textures. 

Once scanned this will be the background of a scene; I plan to draw and scan other elements separately before bringing them together to create a digital composition. More on this to follow 🙂

All change!

Starting today, I’ll be trying out a new posting schedule. I’m aiming to bring in some different types of post, as well as making more of those I especially enjoy. My hope is to make the site as interesting, useful and other good stuff as I can – whilst also allowing myself some extra time for study, projects and play 😀

To those of you who have been following along with me – thank you all so much…your support is truly appreciated. Hello and welcome to new friends, too 🙂

Today’s image belongs to a category I’m calling my Doodle Book – these posts will be given over to doodles which help me capture ideas for further development.

For me, this type of playful, free doodling is so important – I try not to worry too much about accurate rendering, and focus on the ‘feel’ of the piece. Sometimes I’ll move straight on to a more finished illustration – and sometimes I leave it to simmer on a low heat!  Either way, the doodle process is a really useful exercise for me. 

Happy new week lovely people 🙂


Another pencil texture to test today. This one is more binary than yesterday’s – the marks are more defined and repetitive.

Testing the texture using a quickly snapped photo of my sketchbook page, I made today’s quick fishy doodle. I quite like the effect in the background, and I reckon this one will be great when blended into areas of foliage 🙂

Graphite Therapy

There is something wonderfully therapeutic about making marks on a page. A simple pencil, applied to a page, provides a hypnotic pastime.

I used a sketchbook page and sat happily making marks for another digital texture. I took some snaps along the way, to show the different kinds of marks I made to build up the layers.

To test the texture  I made a quick image in a sketchbook app, using just the photo to apply the texture. I like the general effect this gives, so I’ll go ahead and make a high-resolution scan. The scanned image – after some digital tweaking – will give a much more nuanced effect when used to apply texture to a high res illustration. 

Making textures like this one is a great way to make digital artworks more organic and personal to you. They can be used singly or in combination to build up unique textures in your art.

Most importantly, though – this is loads of fun 🙂

Making marks

This week I plan to work on creating some textures to use in my digital images and modelling projects. I’ll be using a variety of techniques to make these.

Some will be made using traditional media, then scanned and edited digitally for optimising. I will draw others in a digital sketchbook app –  though these too will go through some further processing before I add them to my collection of textures.

Along the way I’ll be testing them out with some quick digital doodles. This will give me a feel for how well the textures work before I start optimising them for more creative uses 🙂

I quite like the results in this quick test, though I think I’ll scale the texture down some before using it in earnest.