I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 27 March 2015

Putting Pen to Paper

Hello all!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I've something a little different today... I'm taking a deep breath and sharing some of my first experiments with dipping pen and ink drawings.

It's all very doodly at the moment - the start of a journey - and a long journey, I suspect, since I know daily practice is the key to developing new skills, and it's a good month and a half since I last managed to put pen to paper!  Must do better at carving out a few minutes each day despite busy rehearsal schedules.

So, here are some spring flower tags that came about as a result of my first playtime...


These were done way back in February (you can see the ivy's only just starting to get eaten - it's pretty much completely gone now, very sad).



The nib on the dipping pen I got is very fine so that you get a really delicate line.

I thought I'd try out some meadow grasses, since they're my favourite things amongst my stamps, and somehow that led to flowers (not botanically accurate, I hasten to add - just figments of my imagination!).











I used Distress Stains and Gelatos to add my colour.  That sheen on the red flowers is all Gelato!

With the pink flowers the colour came first and I added pen work afterwards.











For the golden ones, the pen work mostly came first and then the colour.

I tried to keep things loose and fluid - no colouring inside the lines here - in a deliberate attempt not to freeze up by trying to get things "right".











And it's all on watercolour paper tags (by Prima), so you get a lovely softness in the colours to balance the fine, scratchy lines.












I even tried out some green drawing ink for some of the stems and leaves - rather like that!

I've got quite a few drawing inks for messing around with in Mixed Media work, but I usually forget they're there.











Hopefully using them for this will move them nearer the front of my brain, and I'll remember to reach for them when I'm playing with other mediums too.









I was just experimenting, so I could have left off once I'd done the drawing and colouring, but I thought I'd be kinder to my first poor efforts.  So I added some background stamping, some spatter and hints of Treasure Gold, doodled some frames around the edges of the tags and mounted them on cardboard packaging (an Amazon envelope, if memory serves).




I dyed some crinkle ribbons to create co-ordinating toppings.









Got to have some words of course.  My own writing... eek!










I also added some Idea-ology Muse Tokens, attached with rusty wire, naturally.



And while we're on the pen and ink, here are just a few doodlings from my "pen and ink journal" - the place where I'm supposed to be doing at least something daily, though these are again from back in February.  I'm hoping that by sharing the intention of daily work here, I'll maybe actually put it into practice (like when you tell people your resolutions to try to encourage yourself to actually do them!).

It was hard to break the virgin beauty of the page, so I started with words - my comfort zone - "The tiniest steps in mark making," and a command: "Begin...", then literally some mark-making - cross-hatch work to stop the page being so bare.  Then I set off again with the meadow grasses, and a slightly fantastical woodland dwelling.


Trees, of course... (these were inspired by the ones outside my window at a song weekend I went on - which is how come I know when all this arrived on the pages).


This tree happened as a bit of an accident - too much ink on the nib blotting onto the paper, so I turned the nib over and used the back to start spreading it into a tree shape.  As so often with accidents, I think this might be my favourite little sketch.


And faces...  I've doodled faces like this in the margins of scripts for years, always in pencil though (and only while discussions turned to fight/dance considerations so that my attention wasn't required!).  Feels a lot more committed in ink...


So, just the tiniest steps in putting pen to paper, and it's bizarre how much scarier this feels than most of what I share on here. And even more scary because I'll be out of internet reach for much of the weekend, so I won't even know what you're making of it all.



But if I'm sticking to Words and Pictures as a record of this journey, then here is where they need to be.

Now all I have to do is convince my fingers to hit the Publish button!!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.



The very first step towards success in any occupation is to become interested in it.
William Osler

The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.
Lee Iacocca

He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom.
James Huneker

I'd like to enter my floral tags into the Spring Blooms challenge at the Inspiration Journal, sponsored by the Inspiration Emporium
And as another entry in the Anything Goes theme at A Sprinkle of Imagination

61 comments:

Shirley Chillman said...

Very very arty Alison the doodling looks like so much fun, great tags x

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

Helen said...

oh wow, is there no end to your talents?!! this looks like it will be another great passion of yours. BTW I think your computer must already be on BST as it says you're going to publish this post in 5 minutes time, which is very clever of you!! Have a great weekend.

Sue C said...

Fabulous Alison ! Love the tags, the watercolour effect is wonderful ! Your doodles are gorgeous too ! Sue C x

Fliss said...

These are all absolutely beautiful Alison and love all your doodling too, so effective.
Sorry about your ivy as well and I wonder what's been chomping on it as we have loads and it never gets eaten!
Fliss xx

Amanda said...

Looks great to me, the freedom you've drawn with is beautiful! Can't wait to see more of your drawings.
Love
Amanda x

die amelie said...

Two beautiful tags, Alison!
Love the sketchy feel to them! xx

Hettie said...

Wow Alison. These are great. Loving those tags and those trees are just divine.
Well done you.
Hugs
Xx

Meggymay said...

These all look fantastic to me, the watercolour effects and dripped inks look wonderful.
Yvonne xx

Anneke said...

I am speechles . This is gorgeous. You are very creative.
I just kept on looking. You can be very proud of yourself.
Very inspiring. Thanks for showing Anneke

Ruth said...

Wow Alison, such talent...intrigued by the pen and ink drawings and whether you have different coloured inks? Love the colours of your inky tree and your first 2 tags are so beautiful, as Sue said such lovely watercolour effects. Ruth x

sally said...

Looks like you are going to have plenty of nice comments to read when you return! These are delightful - you make them look so effortlessly easy :-)

Sally

Jennie Atkinson said...

Wonderful Alison - such an amazing watercolour effect. I know it is very difficult to get your hand drawing on a pristine white page - stamping is quite different! so well done! the tags and drawings are all wonderful. Keep going and show us more!!! Jennie x

Redanne said...

Both tags are beautiful, I like your writing, love your sketchy flowers, especially the red ones! Another string to your bow! Hope you have a good weekend. Anne xx

butterfly said...

All the ink in the journal pages is one colour - altered in shade according to whether you blot it or let it dry. I do have various colours, but even on the flower tags I used only the sepia and a green one with the pen. The rest of the colour is either watery Gelatos or Distress Stains applied with a brush.
xx

Vintagehandmade said...

OMG, Alison, your both tags are fantastic! So artistics! I love everything - the colors, the background, the border and most of all I like the simplicity there! Your sketches are beyond the reality! Love your art work!
Branka xxx

Marci said...

Very brave of you. I love these! Detailed and delicate. I like your handwriting, too. I would be very happy with myself if I drew these. Hope you keep going.

Astrid Maclean said...

Absolutely no need to be shy about these ones, so glad you shared them!!! I love them to pieces, they are wonderfully free flow and loose. I adore the colour out side the line style even though I am notoriously bad at it. The fantasy land scape looks wonderful too. You must keep going!! Oh and I love the addition of the stamping etc on the tags, - true mixed media style, fabulous!!

Dagmar said...

I much say in german:
Für diese tollen Werke fehlen mir einfach die richtigen Worte :-)
Ich lebe diese aquarellierten Blumen auf unten Tags - das macht es so leicht und luftig - einfach traumhaft schön!!!! Experiment gelungen !!!!!
Deine Zeichnungen sund fantastisch - Gesichter kann ich ar nicht und deine sind spitze! Genial finde ich auch den Baum!!!
Danke für diese fantastischen Arbeiten und Anregungen. Ganz liebe Grüße, Dagmar

barbarayaya62 said...

Two wonderful tags, soft and very spring! Love Gelatos, watercolors effects are beautiful! BArbarayaya

Clare Lloyd said...

Gorgeous tags Alison. As u say perfect for spring.

Deborah said...

Is there anything arty you *can't do* , Alison? :-) Love your delicate flower tags and it's great to see inside your sketchbook. Don't be afraid to show us more.

brenda said...

Awesome post Alison, your drawings are all great and those tags are just beautiful.

Have a lovely weekend.

B x

Deborah Wainwright said...

Love your tags Alison they look so effective with ink. Looking forward to seeing go more xx

Ana K. said...

Your experiments look awesome...not surprised your work is always amazing, no matter which techniques you are using! I love the colours and fine inks lines on tags...looks so soft and beautiful...fantastic spring creations! What should I say about your doodled drawings...I am speechless, you are very talented and I hope you will keep doing, because I want to see more!
Have a nice weekend!

chrissies said...

'The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.' Thanks for this quote Alison very apt for me at the moment :)

Just love this style of artwork and you seem to be doing very well without a lot of practice--well done

Love Chrissie xx

massofhair said...

You are a natural at anything craft wise you play with. Not surprised at your pen and ink skills Alison, you are a true inspiration to us all. Both tags are sensational and your doodles are just beautiful. So glad you shared! :-) xxx

craftytrog said...

Great results Alison, love those trees and flowers! xxx

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Gosh the tags are so beautiful and I love to have a look in your ink drawing journal!
I am really glad to be allowed to accompany you at this exciting journey!
You are so talented... great! LOOKS AMAZING all this Alison!
♥♥♥
Susi

Lys Scrap said...

No, there's no end to your talents... I love the result of this "begin" injonction! These tags are so full of life I love them!

Neet said...

I am loving your tags and your sketches are superb. Also must comment on the curly wire at the top - it makes for a lovely finish. But then all your work is finished beautifully.
Hugs, Neet (ps Linky now up on AT) xx

Inky and Quirky said...

Wow,where to start! Your tags are just so elegant and beautiful,you've inspired me to try this now,what inks are you using Alison? Your drawings are wonderful too,please show us more! I'm passionate about people not being afraid to draw,it's such a wonderful outlet ;)
Have a fab weekend
Big hugs
Donna xxx

sam21ski said...

Fabulous xx

Nan G said...

Well now, dear butterfly, where else do your talents lie?! Doodles! Pen n ink no less! Fab u lous ness for sure! The tags are astoundingly beautiful in their simplicity! I'm building 3D and you're doodling, what an amazing crafty world we live in, isn't it?! Hugs

Georgie C said...

These are so beautiful and one of my favourite kinds of art! I love watercolour, pen and ink art work and the loose, free style and what you've created is just magnificent. I love them xx

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

The tags are beautiful & I love your doodlings.

Sandy said...

You are so dang talented Alison! Your pen and ink doodles are wonderful! And your tags? They are beautifully made - really gorgeous.
I was hoping your package would be there by now. I guess I will see if I can track it down.
Sandy xx

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

What a great freestyle art Alison...love the tags: of course :-). But now I also know that you draw pretty good!!!
A wonderful blogpost....
Thanks for your kind comments too....Enjoy your Sunday and your creativity.
Alie :-)

Julia Aston said...

Oh, these are just wonderful Alison! your flowers are so lovely and fluid - and I love the pages in your journal - can you show us a photo of your supplies??? - I'm not exactly sure what you are referring to when you say dipping pen...

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Alison, if these tags are your first attempts then you will become an inking star in no time at all! Absolutely gorgeous, love how the soft watercolour flowers compliment the delicate lines created by your pen. And your sketch book is wonderful, I love how you have explained your process and your thoughts and feelings as you made your marks. Please keep it up, the beginning is magical, can't wait to see where your talent takes you!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Two wonderful tags with great spring feeling. Also love your drawings.

Pamellia Johnson said...

Stunning Alison! Love the wonderful watercolouring and the black pen highlights are such a great detail! Gorgeous! hugs :)

Shari Trumbull said...

Oh WOW, Alison! These are two beautiful tags--more than just doodlings to me! The colors you've used to treat these blooms are fantastic--Gosh, I need to get some gelatos! :) I just love how you get me wanting to try new things, Alison :) I used to have an ink & pen set myself and found I was just too heavy handed (it's my darn man-hands!) and I gave it up. The beginnings of your ink & pen art journal pages are amazing! If only I could 'doodle' like that :)
OH--what ate the ivy? :) I hope it comes back! :) Happy Weekend to you Alison!! XOXO-Shari

Coco said...

Ooh... Alison... you will never cease to surprise and impress me, I just ADORE both tags and all your drawings using dipping pens and your face and nature doodlings, everything is sooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous, love love the two tags coloured with gelatos and stains you have imagined, they are just FABULOUS!! Thanks for this new sample of your wonderful art and all the pics, so beautiful, hope you are having a great week-end! Hugs, Coco xxx

Jaine Drake said...

Wow how gorgeous. So painterly and vintage looking. I love it all. Thank you for entering our challenge at ASOI.

Mrs.B said...

Love the watercolour tags Alison, so soft and fluid. Brilliant drawings in the pen and ink journal, so glad you shared you work, it will be very interesting to se where this journey take you.
Avril xx

Sue said...

Crikey girl there's no end to your talents. These tags are gorgeous, and I'm always in awe of people that can doodle xx

Heather Maxwell said...

These are very beautiful! It is wonderful what can be accomplished when we allow ourselves to play, isn't it? Lovely work and it is nice to hear your thought process on the endeavor as well. :)

Nikki Acton said...

Wonderful Alison - for early experiments they really are very good. I love the loose feel you have created. Nikki xx

Kay Wallace said...

A whole new art form from you, Alison, and I love it! Fun sometimes just to play because it is fun and for no other reason at all! Love the resulting tags and drawings!

Lynn Price said...

Lovely freehand cards, Alison! Definitely put me in mind of Spring - and love your drawings with the sepia ink and different nibs. Have wanted to try writing with dipped ink, and this is a definite inspiration to do so soon! xxx Lynn

Anita Houston said...

You rock and so do your drawings and inkings! LOVE the trees, love the flowers on these tags, love your lady! So talented!!!

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Well, aren't you annoying... LOL! I mean that in the best way. Not only can you create fabulous interesting art with other people's products, but you can create your own wonderful drawings and doodlings! Those tags!!! So precious! And love the tiny writing on your page so it wouldn't be blank anymore.

Paper Profusion said...

You are mightily artistic Alison - these are very beautiful indeed. Oh ye of little faith!!! You can be immensely proud - stunning work. Nicola x

Lisa H said...

Your tags are so lovely! Looks like you are having fun with your new technique! Thanks for sharing with us at Inspiration Journal. =)

maria's knutselplezier said...

These tags are amazing, I love them very much!! and your designs, are super!! I just love all your work!!

Greetings
Maria

Evelyn Walter said...

Well, I always said - you are an artist! Your drawing is amazing! You are so talented! Love it <3
Wish you a nice week! xxx

Bobbi Smith said...

Absolutely stunning tags, Alison! Your talent amazes me! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Inspiration Emporium!

Dorthe said...

Alison, your drawings and paintings are all just wonderful. Your tags are so beautiful, with the watercolour-look, and the doodled faces, I totally love ,my dear. Also the trees still looking so brown and almost dead, looks like the real ones !!
Thank you for showing , I enjoyed it very much!!
Dorthe, xo

JackieP Neal said...

Alison, your pen & ink work is beautiful and those tags are just divine- so very delicate! xo

Anke said...

Oh Alison I love your tags, absolutely stunning, fantastic work. The watercolour effect is great.

And your drawings are wonderful, you are so talented.

Hugs
Anke

Mary Elizabeth said...

I've spent quite a few moments on this page walking this particular journey with you. I see the trepidation and the excitement of discovery here. We all want people to see the finished products. But I'm so glad to see the beginnings of things in a creative journey. You've planted some wonderful seeds here. I hope you've been able to water them so that those roots do grow deep. Your tags are gorgeous -- your first efforts deserved the loving care you gave them. They remind me of Tim's sentiment that says "life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful." This entry is wonderful. So glad you pushed publish :) -- ME