On my desk this week #1

On any given week I'm usually working on a bunch of different art projects - some that I finish, most that I don't, many that go on for weeks or months, some that are self-directed and others that are directly work-related with deadlines. Since this blog is brand-new I haven't yet figured out the best way to share all of this with you, so I'm going to try a "week in review" type of post - a mishmash of my various art-making adventures from the previous week. Here we go!

Yesterday I finished writing a review of Spectrum Noir Artliners for my Art is Fun website. The company had sent me several complimentary sets of their new Artliners so that I could try them out, so I used them to doodle the mandalas above. In my hand I'm holding the pink 03 Artliner from their "Bright" set.

I enjoyed using the Artliners for doodling, but since I don't usually create artwork with just pens, I wanted to see how well the Artliners worked with other media. For the top right mandala, I drew the outline with pencil, then traced over the outline with a brown 03 Spectrum Noir Artliner pen, then colored it in with Copic Sketch Markers, Sharpie Glitter Pens and Sakura Gelly Roll Pens. I loved that the ink from the Artliners didn't smudge or smear when colored over with alcohol markers, paint pens or gel pens. If you're interested in learning more you can check out my full review of Spectrum Noir Artliners over on Art is Fun.

Valentine's Day Coloring

A few days before Valentine's Day I started coloring a page from my Power of Love Coloring Book:

I wanted to try something I hadn't tried before: covering the black lines as much as possible, so the finished result doesn't look like a coloring page. As much as I've really enjoyed creating coloring books these past few years, I'm ready for a change of pace - creating art that's totally colorful without any (or many) black lines.

I colored in the heart with Sharpies and Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight Pens, and added some subtle shading with Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils. Then I started coloring in the details surrounding the heart with Sharpies, and used Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight Pens to cover over the black lines.

I wasn't sure what color to use for the background. I considered black, because black usually makes an image "pop", but I decided I wanted this artwork to be really colorful, so I decided to use a neon green Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight Pen for the background.

A word about doubt

When I was about halfway through coloring the background with neon green, I felt rather uncertain about whether it was the right choice for the background. I even wondered whether I had chosen the right colors in general. I questioned whether I should abandon the coloring page and start something new. But then I reminded myself that I go through this almost every time I make art! Doubt almost always seeps in at some point during the art-making process (even for professional artists like me). Experience has taught me that almost all art goes through an "awkward stage" where it looks nothing like what you envisioned and you're practically embarassed to show it to anyone. It's taken me awhile to realize that that's totally natural and if you can plow through that feeling of awkward uncertainty, the artwork usually ends up looking just fine, or even better than you had imagined!

Above you can see a close-up of how well the Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight Pens cover over those black lines! I'm so happy with the opacity of those gel pens!

Above you can see that I'm nearly finished coloring in the background with the bright green Sakura Gelly Roll Pen. Coloring in the background has used up a lot of ink so I'm happy that the pen has lasted this long, and it looks like there's enough ink left to finish the page! Woohoo!

I didn't finish the heart coloring page in time for Valentine's Day, but I'll continue coloring it and I'll post a pic of it when I'm done. In addition to coloring over the black lines, I've been adding lots of extra details, so this page is taking forever to finish. Although it probably doesn't look like it, I reckon I've spent about 4-5 hours on this page so far! The thing about art is that everything always takes longer than you think it will - at least that's usually the case for me!

I recently learned how to make animated GIFs so for Valentine's Day I animated the sloth coloring page above (another one from my Power of Love Coloring Book). I love how it turned out and hope it makes you smile!

That sums up this week... I'll see you again soon!