Sunday, 14 August 2016

More digital silliness

Maybe silliness isn't the right word, but calling it art seems kind of weird.

I have a few different... let's call them autodrawing apps for lack of a better term... on my phone and tablet. On my phone I'll use them if I'm waiting for something and don't feel like checking twitter or playing a game (ah, modern life). On my tablet it's sometimes distraction when I have a headache, sometimes wanting something to do with my hands, and sometimes just being too lazy to find something to do.

I don't, I should make clear, use them for meditation or trying to clear and/or focus my brain. I know some people have luck with that, but my thought processes just don't work that way. For me, it's just idle fun.

The odd thing, though, is that I often find myself somewhat drawn into the art aspect of it without realising it. For example, I have two kaleidoscope-type apps; one of which aimed at adults and the other just at entertaining kids. I get artsy with both of them, sometimes without meaning to. I guess some things are just ingrained within us somehow.

Anyway, here are a few of my latest down-time "art" offerings. Of these, Magic Fluids (the one that looks sort of like an aurora borealis) is the only app that I've actually paid for the upgraded version because I find it fascinating. The shot you're seeing here is from the free version, though.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Trapped in pen & ink and watercolour crayon

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is trapped.

A warning for all of my stick-figure friends: if you go for a walk on a Moebius strip, it will NEVER END...

And yeah, as usual the scanner did away with the wash, for the most part. I'm used to it.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Radio in watercolour crayons and pen & ink

I get tired of my cheap scanner ignoring watercolours, so I did a phone scan for this one instead. Sorry about my shadow.

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is vintage.

This doodle is based on an actual radio that I own. It's up in my old bedroom right now, in fact. It used to belong to my grandmother, who gave it to me when I was a young woman developing an interest in antiques.

This thing is the real deal, folks. Bakelite, art deco styling, vacuum tubes... and it still works, even. It was bought, apparently, specifically to listen to a boxing match. It still blows me away that people would gather to listen to boxing on the radio. Heck, I have enough trouble listening to hockey on the radio, and that at least has more to it than two people hitting each other.

Erm... not a fan of boxing, if you couldn't tell.

I know that if I ever wanted to sell grandma's radio it wouldn't be difficult. There's a pretty big market for vacuum tubes and things like that in the custom amp builders area. It would break my heart to see a pristine survivor like this in scattered parts, though, so if I ever do decide to get rid of it I'm hoping that there's a radio enthusiast or museum out there that might find it as cool as I do.

Just as an aside, I honestly don't know what possessed me to go pen & ink on a shaky wrist day. Just think of the squiggles as artistic license, if you like. They weren't, but whatever works for you.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Poppy in watercolour crayon and pen & ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is nostalgia. This is a very quick and not entirely accurate sketch of an Iceland (or Icelandic, as I grew up with) Poppy (Papaver nudicale).

My cheap scanner has, as usual, decided to make up its own mind about the colours, so just imagine that the background is blue and the leaves and stem are green rather than vaguely yellow.


Iceland poppies make me pretty nostalgic because they're one of the first things that I can remember planting with my mother. They generally become self-seeding and almost weedy around the yard, but they're so cheerful in early spring that I can't help but just let them be. Dad's yard needs a bit of a seed boost at the moment, I think, because after all these years from the initial planting there's only a few plants here and there that are still seeding themselves.

I wrote a poem about them a long time ago, which you can read here if you're into that sort of thing. I'm definitely ok with it if you're not into flower poems, though...

Friday, 29 April 2016

Smoke in watercolour

This is old, which I don't usually do, but I like it. That's unusual, since I'm not much of a painter.

Sunday, 24 April 2016


I'm not doing Illustration Friday this week (the prompt is Prince: I know what most people have posted, and I don't do portraits. I'm also not in the mood to put a twist on it).

In lieu of that, here's a fairly bad cat doodle (done in multicoloured pencil, no less) that has been completely warped over by digital filters.

Sometimes it fun to just be silly instead of worrying about getting results. I need to remind myself of that too frequently.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Leafy in various watercolour pencils and pen & ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is wood.

I don't really know what this is meant to be, to be honest. I was just doodling on paper that was completely inappropriate for watercolour, as you can see from the crinkles.

That's ok with me, since I don't know what it is anyway... did I mention that?

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lack of wisdom in graphite

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is wisdom, and this is a quick soft-pencil sketch of my wisdom teeth. They were coming in at such a bad angle that they were removed before they even erupted (sounds like the mouth is a volcano when you put it that way. Thanks, dentists), including the one that they had to chisel in two because it was stubborn.

And why am I drawing my teeth?

Well, because I didn't want to go all abstract thought today. Plus, they were there.

I'm not kidding. I'm visiting my Dad, and all my old teeth (and my brother's as well) are here. My mother kept them all. Why?

Damned if I know. Seems kind of weird to me, but then I've never been a mother.

I have left out one thing on the teeth, if anyone's interested. All four of my wisdom teeth have a distinct greenish brown band around the roots. That comes from teenage use of tetracycline for acne, which I don't think they do much of now because (oddly enough) it discolours growing teeth. If anyone out there is actually curious (and if so, why?), I could post a photograph. I won't do that unless you ask, though.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Dragon in conte crayons

This week's Illustration Friday was dragon. This was from a number of years ago when we had an explosion of meadow hawks. They don't care where they sit when they're posturing. There you go. My hand dragon.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Village Tree in watercolour crayon

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is village.

A tree can be a village of sorts, can't it?

As usual with watercolour and my cheap scanner, I've had to fudge this a bit to get most of it to come through. Also as usual, sometimes I play with silly filters afterwards just for fun. Below, behold this doodle in...


Actually, I kind of like it. Maybe I should "draw" in neon more often.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Disco duck?

I was drawing a picture of a Hooded Merganser. Then I decided that I wanted to play instead, so I got out one of my multicoloured pencils (this time, the red-blue-yellow one). So instead of a largely black and white duck, mine's... special, I guess.

I know that I'm a five-year-old when it comes to these things, but I really do like the surprise of self-mixing colours. I can't say that I'd ever do anything serious with "magic" pencils, but they're sure fun to mess around with.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

On the Half-skull in "Magic" pencil

This week's Illustration Friday  prompt is orbit. My take is orbit as in eye socket, obviously.

The skull is very loosely based on an ancient Roman skull excavated in London. There's a story about it an other artifacts here, and it's worth a read.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Just a couple of doodles

 This was just a bit of play with the Wacom Bamboo Paper app on my tablet. So far not bad, but I have another app that I like a bit better (I'll upload something form it at some point or other). Still, can't complain much about something that I got for free.

I still don't think I'll get rid of paper since texture is such a big part of things for me, but for casual doodling digital can be handy.

As I'm learning.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Spin in... pixels, I guess.

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is spin. This? Well, to be honest it's from a drawing app that's supposed to be for kids but is endlessly entertaining for my personal inner five-year-old. We all need a little doodle time, I figure.

I'll throw in a couple of bonus spins below; believe me, there were plenty more from that particular session. I just didn't want to overdo it.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Island in Koh-I-Noor "Magic" pencil

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is tropical.

The scanner didn't like this one at all and I had to do a lot of playing to get the colour to show, so sorry if it looks completely digital now. It's not. It's a Koh-I-Noor Magic pencil. Here's the link.

Yes, I got some Magic pencils because at heart I'm still a five-year-old who gets a bit of a thrill at the random colour mix you get from drawing with a multicolour leaded pencil. The Original pencil, for example, is red, blue, and yellow, so you get... almost anything,really. This particular pencil is the one that they call Tropical.

I thought it was appropriate.
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