My first non-mandala coloring page!?

Truthfully, I started this piece last month and didn’t work on it again until today. I did about 80% of it in a single sitting today while my wife and daughter simultaneously napped.

I actually meant to include this in my post about dangle doodles as a header image and introduction to the whole concept, but then I finished the sketchbook I did all my other dangles in! I really wanted to share that sketchbook ASAP, so a sacrifice was made.

At least I did eventually finish it. I’ve started to let myself abandon projects if they no longer “spark joy” despite my perfectionism and completionism. I debated just scrapping this one, but seeing it completed really makes me glad I didn’t!

My Portfolio and Folders page is an index of all my public Google Drive folders filled with art, including all of my free coloring pages. You can find this one in the Traditional Art Coloring Pages folder.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you in the next post!

Dangle Doodles!

I checked out the book “The Art of Drawing Dangles: Creating Decorative Letters and Art with Charms” by Olivia A. Kneibler from my local public library and it has changed my life! How did I live 26 years without the magic of drawing dangles?

I’m a sucker for all methods of doodling and pattern drawing, which is why mandala is such a recurring theme for me. Dangles are right up my artistic alley. So after copying down many patterns in the book for reference, and of course practice, I decided to create my own original artworks using the dangle method:

In the future I would love to create real, tangible, 3D dangles! My partner pointed out to me that wind chimes are in fact dangles and that just made me all the more excited about the idea!

I actually have another post set to come out as early as later today, so I will see you all again very soon. Have a wonderful day!

Yet another sketchbook filled! That makes 4 this year!

Stickers courtesy of The Dollar Tree. I would love to credit the original artist but unfortunately they don’t so I have no idea who painted these lovely cacti!

These images are just a small sample of my favorite pages from this sketchbook.

The comic strips are collaborations with my partner, Jasper Rae. She did half the panels and I did the other half! It was a drawing game we came up with, one person draws a panel of a comic and then the other draws the next but with no communication or context other than the panel itself! It is based on other drawing games we’ve played and probably already existed in this same form before we thought of it, but nonetheless it is loads of fun and I highly recommend it!

I started this sketchbook all the way back in November of 2019, right after filling up the first sketchbook I ever filled from cover to cover! Most of it was actually filled in the last few months though, as part of my Art Supply No Buy side project of trying to finish up as many of my partially filled sketchbooks as possible. I “restarted” this sketchbook back in March, so it took only 4 months to fill the remaining 2/3 of the sketchbook!

While I won’t put a ton of pressure on myself to do so, I think it would be amazing if I actually managed to fill all of my semi-filled sketchbooks before the end of this year. I do own some blank ones still, so I won’t count those, but to just finally use the rest of all the ones I abandoned would be excellent. I hope to never abandon sketchbooks in such a way in the future, I plan on making much better purchasing decisions from now on!

I’ve got a couple things cooking in my drafts. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted (relatively, given how I used to go months between posts) I’ve just been rather busy lately! Thankfully it’s not because of procrastinating anymore, I’ve come to really enjoy writing and I look forward to making these posts.

I sincerely hope you are all doing well. Thanks again for all the support! See you in the next post, whenever that may be!

Adventures in Red and Blue

[All photo credit goes to my partner this time around! It was much more frustrating than I expected to take photos of my tiny travel sketchbook. She really made this post possible, I was ready to give up! Thanks, love!]

This is just a small sample of the doodles I’ve made with my red/blue color palette. I would show more, but I need to figure out how to get decent photos!

These red and blue Sakura Pigma Micron PN pens were some of the last supplies I bought before I decided to do an Art Supply No Buy, I bought them right before Birdie was born because I was anxious and I thought it would cheer me up. I didn’t start really using them until this year though!

I had read about limiting one’s color palette and how useful it can be, and I’m really glad I tried it out for myself. The rumors are true, it’s fantastic! I struggle a lot with decision fatigue and this solves that problem. I don’t like working in just black and white all the time, so this gives me that color I crave while still not overwhelming my brain!

Deciding what elements of the drawing to make which color is exciting for me. Since most of the things I draw are not actually blue and red in real life it’s so interesting to see how different it looks when I cut down the colors to just two. I love how I can add emphasis and contrast using this method.

When it comes to doing art on the go I think a very limited palette is the best choice for me and I will continue with this method in the future. I would like to try experimenting with cyan, yellow, and magenta next time! Those are my 3 favorite colors, and they’re a famous trio!

That’s all for now, see you in the next one!

Paper plate mandala doodle!

I went to my first in-person NA meeting since the start of the pandemic today, and once the meeting actually started I realized I was missing something very important: doodling supplies.

Luckily I had a fresh clean paper plate in front of me, all I needed was some ink. So I asked my sponsor to borrow a pen and with that I was all set!

Personally I find it much easier to focus on listening when my hands are busy drawing, especially something like a mandala or other abstract doodles. Otherwise I get too caught up in my own head to pay attention to what’s being said!

It’s nothing too impressive visually but I wanted to share anyway, as it’s the first drawing I’ve done in a while. I guess lately I’ve been having trouble drawing in sketchbooks and I’ve found a lot more enjoyment from drawing on random objects. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for when my No Buy ends.

Maybe it’s time for me to move on from being primarily a “sketchbook artist.” But I set a serious goal for important reasons so I’m not going to stop my No Buy now just because of this realization. I think I will always keep sketchbooks even if they aren’t my primary thing, and this year will be over before I know it.

Well that’s all for now, see you in the next post! Happy doodling 🙂

A few pages from the sketchbook I just finished

Again, I’d love to post full tours (or at the very least, more google drive folders!) of all my completed sketchbooks but I just lack the energy to devote to something like that right now.

So in the meantime, here are some highlights from that sketchbook I just completed tonight. That one was definitely more of a messy sketchbook, there were countless terrible doodles, but I thought these pages turned out a little better than the rest.

6th sketchbook complete!!

2/3 sketchbooks filled towards my New Year’s resolution! Just one more to go! I hope to finish up even more than 3 as I have quite a few half-finished books in my cabinet.

I recently decided I must take a new approach to my art making: I must create with only the experience of creating in mind. I must create for the sake of my own satisfaction and not get caught up in the aesthetics of others.

Obviously I’ll still have a plan of what I want to create most of the time, but I must accept and even expect for plans to change as I go along. Some of my favorite features in my favorite drawings have come from mistakes!

This new approach is why I was able to fill this 30 page sketchbook in only 3 months. I started it on December 8th and finished it this evening of March 2nd. Otherwise I would have found myself frozen by my debilitating perfectionism and afraid to make anything others might deem “ugly.” Sometimes ugly art is the most fun to create!

I actually bought this sketchbook at The Dollar Tree! I knew I didn’t need any more sketchbooks but I hadn’t started my No Buy yet and just couldn’t resist trying it out. I was actually thoroughly impressed! I have had more expensive sketchbooks of lower quality. Not that it was anything super fancy, but it certainly got the job done. I enjoyed the texture of the paper and it took to all of my supplies much better than I would have expected.

Don’t let YouTube sketchbook tours fool you, most artists do not create only finished pieces. Most of us doodle and explore, making mistakes and messes. Some people keep sketchbooks that are only for finished pieces while simultaneously keeping a private sketchbook for scribbles.

On to the next one! Happy doodling 🙂

Hospital Doodles!

I’m happy to report that I was able to get a few doodles in during the hospital stay before our daughter was born!

Birdie was born very healthy via a semi-emergency cesarean. I was induced but failed to progress for 24 hours after my water broke, and then she was having some heart rate dips. Turns out she had the cord triple wrapped around her neck! We are very lucky that things turned out as they did, even though the whole situation was very stressful… Not to mention uncomfortable. My spinal failed so I had to go under for the surgery but luckily I was still able to meet her not long after. C-section recovery is no joke, I have never been in so much pain in my life. Luckily now I am more or less all healed up, though I do have nerve damage on my lower tummy.

She’s almost 2 months old now and doing very well so far. She is getting progressively wigglier as she trains to start walking and crawling! I can’t wait until the day she can grasp a crayon…

I actually came here to write a different post, but I realized I hadn’t updated you all on the baby situation! So here’s that. Stay tuned for another post hopefully quite soon!

An art challenge that did not go as planned- a successful failure!

Armed with my new monogrammed lidded mug and fresh home-made poppyseed bread, I made a feeble attempt at filling 9 pieces of marker paper in 24 hours or less.

I only accomplished one piece in 5 hours, most of that time spent researching references or procrastinating, and now I’m mentally exhausted!

I’ve had this idea floating around in my head lately- “wouldn’t it be fun to try to fill an entire sketchbook in a day?” And since I haven’t touched this Strathmore marker paper pad in over a year, I asked my partner if she’d like to partake in a silly challenge with me.

There were 18 sheets left in the paper pad, which I divided into 9 sheets for each of us. I thought that if we really gave it our all we could definitely get this done in 9 hours or less… Oh how naive I was! Sure, it’s only been 5 hours since we started, but I can tell for certain there is no way we will successfully fill all 18 sheets in the next 19 hours.

For starters my partner and I are both perfectionists. Part of the point of this challenge was to overcome our perfectionism, but to the surprise of absolutely no one: that’s easier said than done. Second of all, we both have ADHD! That part speaks for itself. It’s probably hard for anyone to dedicate a whole day to one activity, but it’s especially so with ADHD in the mix. And lastly… Making art takes so much mental energy!! I was hoping we would really let loose and just do some really bad doodles… and my partner was attempting to do just that… She still ended up calling it a day after two sheets full of thumbnail sketches. I got totally sucked into wanting to make something that looked good, so in the same amount of time I only accomplished one piece. At the very least my partner got down several different ideas!

Despite all of that, I’m so happy we decided to take on this silly challenge! It got us to draw, it got us to start using up materials that have just been collecting dust, and it got our creativity flowing. We probably won’t fill up all 18 sheets in 24 hours, but even then the challenge still accomplished exactly what I hoped it would!! A very successful “failure” from my perspective.

I went into this challenge with very low expectations, knowing full well that this exact scenario might occur. I accepted the possibility of failure in advance and gave it my all anyway, and in doing so I was able to do more than I probably would have today otherwise.

It’s better to quit 15 minutes into the race than to never pass the starting line in the first place! Trophies for participation might be unnecessary, but I find that participation and the experience that comes with it is it’s own reward.

We will still try to fill up this paper pad as quickly as we can, perhaps modifying it to another “fill one page or more a day” challenge like we’ve done in the past. Definitely more manageable and a lot less pressure!!! Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to succeed at a sketchbook-in-a-day challenge, but I’m content with today not being that day.

Waiting room doodles!

Since I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I’ve been having loads of doctor’s appointments. At this point it’s a weekly occurrence, so that means lots of time spent waiting in the waiting room, and then waiting in the office between being triaged and actually seeing the doctor. The best way to pass the time is to whip out my tiny sketcher and just doodle the minutes away!