Flourishing Fun

It’s been a while since I posted. The last post I made was about the Loveleigh Loops flourishing class that I took online. I am starting the Style Study Boot Camp this week because I wanted to finish the flourishing class first before I dive into the Style Study Boot Camp.

I’ve found a couple of calligraphy challenges on Instagram.  There’s #flourishit and the theme for February is names. There’s also #loveleighlettersfeb with the interesting word list.

What I like about these challenges is that I learn new words, names. Aside from that, when I go through the tags, I get to see various examples of how people do calligraphy, flourishing included. It’s not always easy when you’re doing self-study. And I must admit that I am not as brave about doing flourishes, which is exactly why I took their course.

Here are some examples of the names I wrote for the #flourishit challenge:

For some reason, I thought that writing the X names were more fun. Maybe it’s because I don’t usually write names that start with this letter.

For #loveleighlettersfeb, I found these words interesting:

I have been focusing on my lettering and calligraphy this time because I’ve found online classes that I like and enjoy. I miss painting but we’ll see. Maybe I could sneak in a painting or two in the coming days. But for now, I am just glad for the chance to learn more as I practice daily. My Instagram stories has some behind the scenes or stuff that don’t get posted on the main feed.

Got an interesting name or word? Feel free to comment below and maybe I’ll pick it as calligraphy practice prompt. 🙂

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Learning how to do flourishes

 

I’ve been an on and off student of calligraphy since around 2012.  I haven’t been very disciplined about it. Sometimes I have a regular practice, sometimes I don’t. This year I wanted to give it more time again. Thankfully I learned about Loveleigh Loops. Last month, they held a free online webinar for analyzing and developing a calligraphy style.  They had a great way of breaking down concepts and that encouraged me to look for their facebook group. They do monthly themed challenges on Instagram too so that is a great way to get some calligraphy practice.

The free online class is Simple to Spectacular. One week’s worth of learning about flourishes and today’s class focused on descenders.  Our exercise is to flourish descenders so I thought I’d try with some uncommonly used words.

I wrote a whole bunch more in my notebook and posted other words in the facebook group. The nice thing about their class is that they conduct live videos where people could ask things and they could do demos as response to the participants.

I love the way they break down the things we need to look for, the things we need to do.  There are worksheets given per day and they are very useful for practice. Even if you don’t have a printer, you could follow the worksheets in a lined notebook for practice.

One of the things I like about their class is that they use actual output by participants as examples so I could relate with the common mistakes and points to improve on. I have heard about thinking of ovals before but I think the way that they point out places where to put flourishes, how to balance the shape of the word/piece, etc are very helpful to me so I am finally beginning to understand a little bit each day that I join the class.

Flourishing in calligraphy is quite a challenge for me. It’s like a new way of seeing shapes of letters and how they relate with each other is even more of a tricky thing to balance. It will take a whole lot of practice and I am glad that I am learning techniques for it.

I feel lucky that I was able to sign up for this class. I think this is just an introductory class but I think for now that it is enough for me to start this flourishing journey and add character to how I do my calligraphy and lettering.

Why I use fountain pens

Fountain pens are lovely writing tools. Once you start using and loving one, you can’t help but get more. It’s been a while since I first started using one and the pens have been  with me for years, some getting more used than others. For quite a while I was mainly using Pilot Metropolitan pens and Lamy Safari pens. But in the last year or so, I’ve discovered cheap but reliable enough pens from China, the Jinhao Shark and Lanbitou 3059. Also Wing Sung pens.

What I love about fountain pens:

  • Once you get a pen you like, you can use it for life – well, until it lives up to the wear and tear.
  • People are not very familiar with using fountain pens so there’s less possibility of them borrowing a pen from you and that lessens the chances of losing your pen. Maybe fountain pens can look intimidating to some and that could be something to your advantage.
  • Fountain pens look amazing. I might be a stationery addict and so they appeal to me a lot. I sometimes get into a writing mood as I stare at the pens. They do brighten up my day.  I also have serious looking pens and I think they can bring a more serious work mood.
  • There are plenty of ink colors to choose to fill up your pen with. Some inks have wonderful sheen, shimmer and shading. They make your writing look like they have additional character. Honestly, the sheen and shimmer can make my day happier even if it’s just for a while.
  • You could get a reliable writing tool. The more you use it, the more you get to know the pen’s quirks and which inks work best with it. You could predict how reliable it could be with your paper stash. It may take a while to get the best pen, ink and paper combo but once you get that, you’d definitely have a wonderful writing experience.

I already have a preference for fine and extra fine nibs but somehow I am currently learning to enjoy my medium nib pens. The ink properties look more obvious when I use medium and broad nibs but because I am a fast scribbler when it comes to my thoughts, extra fine and fine nibs work best for me.

Online there are many fountain pen groups and reviews.  If you are curious about them, you could do a quick search for fountain pens and I am pretty sure there’d be a lot of reviews. I like reading the Serial Doodler‘s reviews as well as Mountain of Ink reviews.

Maybe next time I post about a pen or two I could do writing samples as well. We shall see. 🙂

New year, new blog post and some administrivia

It’s now January 23, and this is just my first blog post of the year.

I have decided recently that I will try harder to write one blog post per week. Wednesday nights might be the initial schedule I’d target because I need something to spice up my mid-week and maybe my blog post can spice up your week too. 🙂

I have thought of some possible topics to write about in the coming days:

Category 1: Materials review

This might be just notes on the things that I currently have in rotation/regular use. Feel free to ask in case you have specific materials you’d want me to write about first.

  • Fountain pens
  • Watercolors
  • Brush pens
  • Inks
  • Pencils
  • Papers (for artwork)
  • Stationery
  • Notebooks
  • Sketchbook flipthrough

Category 2: Planning/Journaling

Chances are I’d definitely share some flipthroughs on social media and will probably talk about them in greater detail on the corresponding blog post.

  • How I am planning
  • How I am tracking habits/activities
  • Some thoughts on journaling practice (maybe!)
  • Hobonichi Weeks Mega flipthrough – might be a thing I’d do at the end of each month (or the beginning of the new month)

Category 3: Artworks

  • Works in Progress (WIPs)
  • Finished artworks

Category 4: Social

Let me talk about people inspire me, as well as events and such.

  • Inspiring artists
  • Artist friends
  • Art tambay
  • Pop-up/Bazaar/Events
  • Fandoms/Shows/Stories that inspire me to create

Category 5: Books/Workshops/Classes

I am trying to add to my knowledge so I plan to be more actively on the lookout for classes, books, workshops, etc.

  • Observations from classes/workshops attended
  • Book reviews

That seems to be a lot, right? Well, I do have the rest of the year to talk about it. I’ve been worried about what to write about last year that I didn’t really post anything much. Now that I made a list, I think that it’s less scary and more structured. I hope this would help me not panic when it comes to writing a blog post. I said to myself that I will learn to find my voice this year and I hope that blogging will help me.

 

 

Clair Colors has Ko-fi!

I am trying to create more content and it would be great if you could help me out by buying me a Ko-fi! Ko-fi is a way for people to support artists that they believe in. Some artists offer some kind of reward in exchange for the Ko-fi their supporters would give them.

You could check out my Ko-fi page via ko-fi.com/claircolors! I haven’t advertised that page much because I have been so scared of putting myself out there.  It’s just that I realized recently that if I don’t put myself out there, I will not find opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Recently, a couple of supporters have supported me through Ko-fi and I am excited to work on the brush script pieces that they have requested.  I am committed to giving an artwork in exchange for getting me Ko-fi. If you have been wondering how to get something written prettily for you, I hope you could consider supporting me via Ko-fi and we could coordinate over email or DMs about it.

I like Ko-fi because I could also support my fellow artists when I have some money to spare. At the same time, I could leave them a note as well, to encourage them aside from giving them financial support.

Ko-fi has a Ko-fi Gold feature but I have yet to think about it because it looks similar to how Patreon works. For now, I am sticking to regular Ko-fi.

Hope you could drop by my Ko-fi page one of these days!

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If you love what I create and want to support me in this creative endeavor, I would appreciate it a lot. 💓 You could help me out in a tangible way through my Ko-fi page: https://ko-fi.com/R5R69TW7 I know I have lots to improve on and I am working on it. Being on this creative journey is no easy feat as I go through highs and lows. For those who have been following this Instagram since its early days, a special thank you goes to you all. I've started as mainly calligraphy and lettering focused and i have shifted efforts since then. Thank you for staying. For those who are just recent followers of this Instagram, thank you as well. I have been working with my artist block at this time but you are here and enjoying the content I create. Thank you. #doodles

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Seung Gil Lee fan art

If you follow me on social media, you’d know that I am a fan of the anime “Yuri on Ice.”  It’s a figure skating anime with the main character named Yuuri Katsuki, a Japanese figure skater with anxiety and the show features his growth as an athlete.

But I am not here to talk about Yuuri Katsuki. I am here to show that I like one of the side characters, Seung Gil Lee.  He is a Korean figure skater and there’s so little known about him.  He was shown as an aloof type of character, not friendly at all.  Even in the episode where Yuuri was looking for hugs, Seung Gil was shown as not happy about it at all.  He was also shown as someone not social with his fellow figure skaters.  In the short while he was featured, I can’t help but feel that he is character who has plenty of potential, but the timing wasn’t right.

I’ve been looking at some Korean models and pop idols to use as reference for him when I try to paint him.   His hair reminds me of Jumin Han’s (Mystic Messenger).  Here are some relatively recent attempts at watercolor painting him.

Seung Gil is a rather grumpy looking character, but I take it as his portrayal of being a driven and serious at figure skating.  He likes being calculating when it comes to the sport and he will do anything to excel at it.

I do like painting flowers too so I could not resist painting him in chibi form with lots of flowers, specifically bachelor’s button flowers – a type of flower during the Come Floral With Us challenge this July.

Maybe I painted him too soft and relaxed in this one but hey, the character does deserve a break from his serious side too. 😉  Some people did say that there’s no such thing as “too soft Seung Gil” because we do love him a lot.  I think it’s how I do watercolor that makes every character I like as soft, too.

Speaking of Seung Gil, there’s a zine dedicated to him called Mujigae.  If you are also a fan of Seung Gil Lee, I hope you would buy a copy because many artists in there are doing such great work in creating artworks focused on him.  For a side character that was barely featured, I am so happy to see that there are other people who love him too. I can only wish that someday he’d get a bit more air time in the movie or, hopefully, a second season of the anime.

Playing with Patterns

I’ve been having an art block and I am trying to find ways to remain creative while I feel stumped. One of the things that I’ve done before was to play with patterns. I didn’t do that during an artblock but the repetitive nature of patterns might help me deal with whatever is blocking me.

It’s not easy working with an art block but it’s a skill necessary for those who want to be full-time artists and need to finish works.  It’s such a challenge.

But for now I can breathe because the patterns are simple and repetitive. I don’t have to think too hard. Patterns just need to be done over and over.

It is easy to pass time when you’re doing repeating patterns. You could also modify these patterns to create new variations and you have new patterns before you know it.

 

 

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Some patterns #patterns #doodles

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Working with art block

What is art block?

For me, it’s the lack of inspiration to draw something. It’s been like this for a couple of months now and it’s ridiculously sad. I still post online but that’s because I’ve seen some challenges on Instagram which I found interesting.  But really, the lack of inspiration and motivation is frustrating. It feels like I am lagging behind when it comes to progress. Like I lack progress.

So here are a couple of things that I am trying out these days as I work (not fight) with an art block:

1. Joining online challenges

Some people post prompts or challenges every once in a while. One of them is the #comefloralwithus challenge which was a prompt by a few Instagram artists including (and not just limited to) craftedbydq, as well as escoda_brushes

I also tried to make my own version of original characters by other artists in the #drawthisinyourstyle challenge.

So the nice thing about prompts is that you don’t need to think about them because they’re given to you. In the case of comefloralwithus, the prompts are flowers so I basically had to look for flowers as references. I mean, yes, I had to think of which references to use and I thought about the process too. But at least I had been guided by the prompt list.

As for the drawthisinyourstyle challenge, it was a matter of translating another artist’s work in my own style, based on how I tend to draw.

2. Playing with shapes

I haven’t been doing this a lot lately but I do plan to continue this. Drawing using basic shapes is essential. You could come up with many things if you just let yourself have fun and not think about the output too much. Maybe something like zen doodles but not necessarily. It could be any kind of shape that you’re just used to drawing and let it flow.

Here’s a free Skillshare lesson I found about doodling and it has basic shapes and lines in its early lessons. The videos are super short and informative. I am not yet done with this class but I hope to proceed with it and practice it in the coming days. I hope I won’t be too shy to share my output based on this class.

How do you work with an art block? I would so love to hear from you and learn from you.

Clematis, Again

There’s nothing like trying to paint another attempt at the same subject. Sometimes I get better, sometimes I get worse. This one has better details, I think. I tried to be more patient with the sketching phase and also the fact that it’s a white flower made it a bit hard for me too.

The photo showed greyish shadows so I was so afraid that I would have made the shadows too dark. I think it turned out ok-ish.

Do you paint white flowers too? What are your tips and tricks to painting white flowers successfully? I am ever so afraid of white flowers for the reason that I am bad at sketching and that I feel like I would make white flowers look really bad. I have a long way to go, honestly, but I am practicing and at this point, it’s what counts.

Materials used: Fabriano watercolor paper 200gsm, Holbein, Daniel Smith and Van Gogh watercolors, Escoda Reserva round brush #6.

Clematis

Joined the #comefloralwithus challenge on Instagram. The flower is clematis.  I used a photo by saavedraeightes as a reference for this one. It seems that it is not common in the tropics so I guess there’s a smaller chance for me to see this flower in real life.

For today, I used pencils along with watercolor. The pencils are mainly to outline instead of using ink.

Today I used my Limelight sketchbook for this. I still don’t have the hang of using it. I don’t know if I ever will but here’s hoping that I would because there’s still plenty of pages to go. If ever, maybe I will try to sketch more instead of using it with watercolor since I don’t feel like it suits how I paint or I just can’t understand how to work with the paper. 😦