Splashing about with ink…

As I draw digitally most of the time, I like to break out and make a bit of a mess every now and then.  Last week I got inky, tried out some new water soluble pastels, and mixed in some water colour and pencil to make some original art work badges…

Mixing up media that you may not think will work together is fun. Grab some paper, don’t worry about the outcome. Just go for it!

For these images I used: acrylic inks; water based inks; water soluble pastels, water colour, pencil, a dip pen, a brush pen,  and water colour pencils.

My badges are for sale here.

New Stuff…

I’m busy working on a new project that will be revealed soon…ish. Well, not soon. Sometime.  In the meantime, I’ve made a few new things, had some things made, and drawn lots of silly things.

You can keep up with all my nonsense on Twitter or Instagram…this sort of thing:

I’ve had lovely teatowels screen printed:

And made a couple of illustrations for Inkology.co.uk

….click on the link to read fun kids poems by Dom Conlon.

Animals in Jumpers…Free Colouring Sheet to Download

This week I’ve been drawing animals in jumpers…

…using pen, coloured pencil and watercolour pencil.  I thought they would make fun brooches..

jumperbadges

I’m going to use the images for prints and cards and a few other things. The brooches are available on my Etsy shop, BearsGetCrafty.  Also, as they I enjoyed colouring them in so much, I thought I’d share the fun… Click here to download the colouring sheet.

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Printing on fabric with your inkjet printer.

Printing on fabric with your inkjet printer! I saw a tutorial for this on Pinterest. I was slightly dubious and concerned I would end up with a printer full of tangled inky threads, but I tried it anyway…

The fabric I used was cotton and fairly thin. It worked beautifully and I covered some notebooks. I’ll be experimenting with coarser fabrics as well.

I used images from my sketchbook which I scanned and arranged in photoshop, but you could draw your artwork at A4 and then simply scan and print.

Now I’m thinking about all the other things I can use this technique for…watch this space.

 

The one I forgot to post on Christmas Eve…

xmas tree1

This is my “Merry Christmas!” post turned into a “Hope you had a Merry Christmas” post.

When I drew this illustration I was busy wondering what the story behind it was. Then I was lucky enough to have it included in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators advent calendar.  (Click on the link to view all the other wonderful illustrations in the calendar.)  As well as a splendid Christmas picture everyday from a different SCWBI illustrator, writers were able to create a micro story to go with each image  (You can read these on the #W&PAdvent hastag on Twitter.)   …and so… I got a few stories to to go with my drawing. 🙂

Thanks to Pippa Wilson, Jake Hayes, Janey Robinson and KM Lockwood.

https://twitter.com/hellopipski/status/677843230373883905

I’m growing rather fond of these animals…I also drew them decorating their tree:

treedressing

I wonder what they will get up to next?

rabcarrolling

You can find out about the marvellous SCWBI here.

Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful, prosperous and much drier New Year.

Love Jools X

drunk

 

 

 

 

Making My Own Textures for Photoshop (contains Bears)

brown

A Sad Bear

I recently bought a graphics tablet and have been busy teaching myself to use it and improve my photoshop skills (which are quite basic).  Here are some early attempts:

dancing rabbits

Some Happy Rabbits

I felt these needed some texture. I’ve used downloaded textures on pictures before, but wanted to create a retro printed look.  See a few examples of work that inspires me here.

I decided to try making my own textures. The easy bit was messing about with ink.. I rollered printing ink onto a smooth surface, then placed paper on top and rubbed hard. I also rollered ink directly onto different textured papers.

Then I scanned the results (after drying them, don’t scan wet inky or painty paper. It makes a mess of your scanner. Not that I’ve ever done that. No).

And, of course, you can make textures any way you like: paint, lino printing or scan or photograph fabric, paper etc.

Now the complicated bit (because I didn’t know how to do it).  Thank you @Daz_Woodcock on Twitter for a suggestion which made me think: “Oh! I know what to do!”  It was the making my black inky lovely textures into whichever colour I wanted to use in my picture that I thought was difficult. It’s really very simple indeed:

  1. Open your texture file in photoshopopen texture file
  2. Add a fill layer over the texture and choose the colour you want to useselect colour for texture
  3. Adjust the blending option to ‘screen’colourfill screen
  4. Flatten
  5. Select all and copy.flatten texture & select

Don’t forget to close this file without saving when you’ve finished with it!

The next bit is about inserting this into your picture. You’ll probably want to start your drawing as a separate file before you do the texture thing above.  If you’re not interested in this bit you may still like to scroll down to the bottom to see my finished piece of art.

I start with a new file whatever size I want. I create a layer over the background to draw on.  Something like this:draw bears

When I’ve finished the line drawing, I create a new layer above the background and under the line drawing layer. I paste my texture onto this, then resize it using Free Transform.add texture under drawing

Obviously, I don’t want green bears. Well, not this time. So I’m going to add another layer of texture in brown. It’s a different texture to the green one, but I used the same method to make it.

This time I made a new layer between the green layer and the line drawing..paste 2nd texture

..and again used Free Transform to resize and move it.free transform 2nd texture

I removed the excess brown by selecting and cutting the parts I didn’t want, then tidied it up using the eraser. This can be done as neatly or as roughly as you like. The effect I want is to have the brown colour not exactly under the line drawing.add detail

I then add a lot more line detail and drew in the noses and eyes. The shadows were added by selecting an area and using a 50% transparent fill with a darker brown.add nose and eyes

That is a very much simplified version of  my bear picture. In the one below I used more layers, messed about with different blending options and layer transparency and drew in more detail.  Obviously as I’m a beginner at this there is a lot I don’t know and there are other ways of doing things. (Tips always welcome.)

Here’s one I made earlierblue bear 1

 

 

Tree – an art book

I made this today. It’s an origami book based on a Turkish Map Fold. It’s about 7cm by 7cm. It needs a little work on the cover, but it’s almost how I imagined it.  The poem is by Dom Conlon.  You can read it and other of his poems here.  I’ve had the idea for making a little book around a poem for a while.. the form came from this lovely blog: Green Chair Press.  I’ll write more about the method another time. Here are the photos:

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