Unused But Now Loved

Sketchbook Gellyroll Pen and Green Uniball Pen

A couple of years ago I took the first ever Sketchbook Skool kourse – ‘Beginning’, when it was still the only SBS kourse. One of my favourite klasses in that kourse was taught by Tommy Kane, who produces some incredible drawings using a pen, watercolour paints and coloured pencils.

He mentioned that his favourite pen was the Uniball Vision, which I discovered is called the Uniball Eye in the UK, so I bought a couple to try out. They give a nice, juicy black line and are waterproof so are great for the way I usually draw, although I tend to favour Micron pens most of the time.

When I bought those Uniball pens I also got a couple in other colours – green and light blue – but I’ve never really used them. They just never seemed quite right for whatever I was drawing.

Later on I bought 3 white Gelly Roll pens, again because of Sketchbook Skool and a discussion there about drawing with white pens on toned/coloured paper. I also saw some of Lisa Congdon’s work on Instagram where she used this particular brand. Again, I didn’t really get along with them. Until very recently.

My most recent patterns have involved me laying down watercolour as a background and using the white Gelly Roll pens to draw a pattern on top and I really like the effect I’m getting with that approach.

This morning I sat down not really knowing what pattern I was going to make but made a green watercolour background and added a white scallop pattern with a Gelly Roll pen. It seemed to need something else so I walked away from it for a couple of minutes and when I sat back down I spotted my green Uniball pen, so I picked it up and added some extra details to my pattern which seemed to work really well.

Uniball Pens

I’ve dug out my light blue and black Uniballs so I can try them out over the next week or so, and while I was out this afternoon I popped into Paperchase and added to my collection with a few more colours.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what effect these pens have on my patterns over the coming days and weeks, and I’m feeling quite excited to have found a new fondness for some of my art kit that’s just been lurking around unused for so long.

Have you got any tools or materials that you’ve not used in a long time that could add an extra dimension to the creative work you’re doing right now?

On the Way to 100 Patterns

Leaf Pattern

At the moment I’m working every day on creating a pattern for the 100 Day Project. Each day I sit down with my pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook and some paints, sometimes a pen and just see what happens.

Multicoloured spot pattern

Sometimes it’s quick and simple.

Bee Pattern

Sometimes I use old drawings as a basis for something new.

Circles Pattern

Other times I might be inspired by something I’ve seen in a Youtube video,

Yellow Circles Pattern

the weather,

Tile Pattern

by things I see when I’m walking around outside,

White Blocks Pattern

or even just the view from my window.

Giant Chevron Pattern

I’m only a 17 days in, so I have no idea what 100 patterns is going to look like but I’m hoping that I can keep creating something new each day.

Confetti Pattern

I’ll keep you updated here and you can see all the patterns I’ve made so far – and all the rest as I post them each day – on Instagram.

More (and more) Patterns

Leaf and flower repeat pattern

This week I decided to make another pattern but rather than re-draw and re-colour things digitally I decided to use my artwork in its original ‘state’.

I made some new drawings in my sketchbook over the weekend and the beginning of this week. Then I learned a bit more about Photoshop and Illustrator, which meant that I could Continue reading

Digital Patterns and Self-Care

Floral surface patterns

This week I’ve been learning how to use Adobe Illustrator to digitise my drawings and create patterns. I’m familiar with a few aspects of Photoshop so that’s helped me to find my way around Illustrator, and it’s been fun to see how some of the flower drawings I made last year using pen and watercolours could be transformed into something quite different.

One thing I haven’t been Continue reading

How Memories and Realisations Can be Sparked by a Single Drawing

Bedside table sketch

Almost every day I draw something in my sketchbook, and if I don’t do that I’ll probably be colouring a drawing in Photoshop or, more recently, carving lino to make a rubber stamp.

I’d always intended to study art, design or photography at university but, although I studied fine art and art history up to A level, I did a degree in Theology and Religious Studies.

I became a school teacher, but I didn’t teach art. Even so, I would use Continue reading