Sunday, 24 June 2018

designing a card...


Have had a rocky month but am back creating and doodling and meeting a challenge for a craft group I'm part of - PopFizzPaper Crafty Club via Patreon. It's run by an exceptional paper crafter called Dani. I love her YouTube tutorial videos - simple, straightforward, quality work which is full of colour. I like how she comes across - important for me as some of the more exuberant and flashy YouTubers can seem a little disconnected from reality. A lot of social media is illusion, which can be fun, but for me it's worth connecting with someone who presents a more real persona.





The challenge was to create a rainbow themed card. I decided on a greetings card that said 'rainbow angel you add colour to my world'...yes, a little cheesy. I had an image in mind of a daft looking angel with cherubic wings (angelic L-driver?) and wanted to use a shaker-rosette that Dani shows how to make.


Printed Dani's paint&salt rainbow downloadable and made a rosette with small backing card. Measured the depth and cut a small band of card to prevent any shaker beads from escaping through the spaces.



There's nothing worse when you drop the only bit of clear acetate you have onto glue and have to improvise. Found a really old stash (1988) of gel samples and choose a very pale pink to make the window. A circle of card hides the joins.


By now I knew exactly what I wanted to create - a dorky angel with an oversized askew halo and tiny wonky wings. Drew the figure and attached moveable wings to the back. After placing onto the rosette/halo I added a loose rainbow of sticky gems.




FInished off the card with the message written inside in an arty font. It celebrates all those of us who share and spread a little colour in the world - I reckon we're Rainbow Angels...

Watch the video of the finished card: 



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

a little poetry...

mini artbook May'15

I also write but haven't written much in the last year. Today I remembered something and words fell into place. I'm not a poet but this is more poetry than prose...

You have no idea of the land within me
A slight move of my hand to you
Is my huge self covering vast swathes of hill and flatland
Lakes rivers forests
Are all moved by my presence
Leaves shiver 
Waves build
Clouds skit across undulating skies
When my self casts her eye

And when I close my eyes
Night falls as the sun blinks out
But before you I've hardly moved
I remain inactive
Perceived imobile
In my mind and heart I know 
I've travelled the world


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

watercolour paper, alcohol blender and Polychromos...


Sketchbooks aren't the cheapest when you're going for decent quality paper. And I'd recently purchased The Langton (10x7ins) by Daler Rowney which cost just under a tenner. I'd gone for the rough version instead of the smoother and that turned out to be a mistake. 



I really didn't like the texture although I could see how it would be good for watercolour paints. Tried drawing a bumblebee but just had to give up. It was more than my simply not persevering, it was that the paper didn't suit my use of colour pencils. Back to the art shop! This paper won't go to waste though as I can dig out my watercolours.

The alcohol blender marker worked a treat. It created a smoother blending of the Polychromos pencils than water does with the Albrecht Durer pencils. Both pencils are by Faber-Castell. 


At this stage I stopped working on the Langton paper and went back to my sketchbook (Winsor & Newton Heavyweight) and instead began working on a swimming turtle. During the eye drawings I posted on Instagram last month I acquired a lot of turtle-loving followers - it was in my head (the power of social media). I used the blender after the first couple layers of Polychromos pencil and applied more pencil.


I had thought about making the background more abstract but instead went with an impression of sea. I had sourced a photographic image to work from online and I think the photographer may have used a flash which lit up the underside of the turtle...cross looking turtle



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.



Wednesday, 9 May 2018

UNIQUE


There's an art&design shop situated in the University of Ulster's Belfast campus called UNIQUE, a means of connecting the public with the Belfast School of Art student body, recent graduates and alumni. Works of art and fine craft can be viewed and purchased there plus the space is also used for events. 



As an alumni member I was included in an email shot for an upcoming event called Secret Card Exhibition. I was posted a card, heavy watercolour paper, understanding that if it were sold the proceeds would go to support UNIQUE. Everyone's cards are exhibited together, the signatures unseen on the card back...so if you took a chance to purchase something you liked you might well end up with a card drawn or painted by an established or upcoming NI artist.

I've no problem donating a little artwork to help support current art students. Putting something back (I hope it sells).

at the rear of the art college building, with St.Anne's on the LHS

So, because it''s a secret exhibition, I can't post an image of what I submitted. However, if you do call in to have a look and you follow what I doodle then you'll probably spot it...

'Ulster University’s Secret Postcard exhibition will be open to the public from 5.30pm on Thursday 17th May at the Belfast campus on York Street.'




Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Days 22-30 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


By day 26 I was beginning to slow down - sometimes completing a challenge reaches a peak and it can be difficult to finish. I posted the squirrel drawing late in the day to Instagram and pushed myself to start the cheetah eye.



After watching a few Youtube videos by artists who use coloured pencil I picked up some tips:
  • The Strathmore artist pad is a good choice for coping with layers of pencil. My local art shop didn't stock it but I had a chat with an artist who works there and who uses pencil as her medium - she recommended using watercolour paper. I chose The Langton by Daler Rowney - the rough version over the light.

  • I also picked up a Winsor & Newton Brushmarker blender normally used with alcohol markers but I noticed that some coloured pencil artists use it to help blend layers together before adding more layers of pencil.

I'm sticking with my sketchbook to finish this challenge but am keen to try out the Langton and brushmarker on a future drawing.

Final 9 drawings: 


octopus

lemur

turtle

mouse

squirrel

cheetah

giraffe

baboon

llama


Plus a robin's eye promised to a friend:



It was important to get that surprised look that lemurs have and I liked working from the photograph of the mouse which shows the reflection of a barn in its eye. That's it for this month!



May is around the corner and I'll be having a break from art challenges. Looking forward to trying out more coloured pencil techniques.



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit



All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Days 15-21 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


Past the halfway mark of this challenge and there are some eyes I'm enjoying drawing more than others. It all depends upon the photograph I source. If it's clear with good definition then drawing it is easier. I found it difficult to find a good Yellow Tang photograph and I think my drawing reflects that

Here's the next 7 eyes:


pig

rabbit

jaguar

rooster

yellow tang

crocodile


orangtutan

The orang-utan is my fav drawing to date...

From the prompts to come I'm really looking forward to drawing the octopus eye and the giraffe eye. As the ring-tailed lemur is my all-time fav animal I'll enjoy that prompt too. 

The quality of my photographs isn't great - my iphone battery blew inside my mobile corrupting it so it's unusable. I'm now using a back-up iphone. A neat little photography/video camera is on the shopping list.

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Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit


All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Days 8-14 Eye Doodle Challenge / Sea Lemon


Wow, this is such an interesting challenge! I have gazed into the depths of eyes (via photographs) of creatures I would never have thought to draw. What I'm feeling is similar to having watched re-runs of David Attenborough's Blue Planet, and awe at our world's diversity. Some eyes belong to predators, some to prey, and some to those whose only predator is human (read that last sentence again with Sir David's voice). 

Next 7 eyes from my sketchbook:
snake

elephant


whale

fly

crow

dog

 
hornbill



The prompt for day 12 turns out to be COW instead of CROW which is quite funny.

I'm finding the paper in my sketchbook (Winsor & Newton 170gsm/80lb) not up to my layering of pencil - towards the end of each drawing the paper seems to become fragile, though I may be over-burnishing. Have been looking into alternatives and the Strathmore range seems good.



Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit

All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.