Novelty Pen 6 – Twinkly Pen

Next up in my Novelty Pen series is this Atyou Spica twinkly pen I got in a Scrawlr Box ages ago.

Swatching was simple, smooth and easy.

As long as you colour in the same direction it doesn’t look too bad and it doesn’t tear up the paper. You can draw over it with inking pens. If you use it as an outline pen it doesn’t smear under alcohol-based or water-based markers. And it’s not opaque enough to cover pencil lines.

I did my monsters. A cute little stack of them this time. I really enjoyed doing these guys.

And this pen works great for doodling too.

The glittery effect isn’t as vivid as you might expect, but there is a definite glitter there. If you can taken decent photos of it, which I can’t.

Novelty Pen 5 – Stacker Crayons

This entry in the Novelty Pen series is something I’m sure we all had as kids. Stackable crayons!

You have lots of little sections of crayon that you stack together with whatever one you want to use at the top.

These ones are nice and creamy, with a decent amount of pigment too.

I tried blending them, and layering them. Both work okay.

Then I tested which of my inking pens would work over and under the crayon.

I drew out a small test monster, coloured it in rainbow stripes, and outlined it with Sharpie.

I really loved the rainbow look, and decided my bigger piece needed to be rainbow too. For inspiration I used a Shape Challenge shape.

I turned it into a robot of some description and coloured it in with the crayons.

I did a big chunk of the outlining…

…but wanted my thinner Sharpie for some pieces and that wasn’t to hand, so I finished the piece off a little later.

It’s a rainbow sprinkling robot 🙂

Novelty Pen 4 – Erasable Bears

I’ve had these cute little bear pens for a while now, and I can’t remember where I got them from. But they’re labelled as “erasable” so I had to add them to my Novelty Pens series.

Swatching proved successful. The pens were juicy and pleasant to draw with, and they erased pretty easily. You are left with a minor line, but it does erase.

I sketched out a small monster, and then used the eraser to remove some excess bits. You can see by the left eye that this doesn’t leave an overly clear result though.

But I continued anyway. I drew out a bigger monster, with a smaller little buddy so I could use the blue pen too.

And then after testing the pens under water-based markers and under alcohol-based markers, I coloured them in.

I’m sure the main purpose of these pens is not for drawing, but I’m an artist, so there you go. I’ve put them in my writing pens tub, even though I don’t do all that much writing by hand these days.

Novelty Pen 3 – Giant Scented Highlighters

Next up in my Novelty Pen series….

My sister got me these giant scented highlighters a while ago.  “Normal” highlight for scale.

2020-07-03 11.14.08

The clip on the pink one isn’t meant to be like that.  I knocked it while it was in my bag and it’s just flimsy.

The pink one smells like a floral cleaning spray and the green one is like a fruity cleaning spray.  And the nibs are nice and chunky.

2020-07-03 11.14.31

First up, swatching.

2020-07-03 11.10.13

Including testing them over various inking pens, and a little monster test.

Time for some art.  I started with the bigger monster.  Even though I know better and knew it would look all textured and weird.  But it’s still cute.

2020-07-03 11.10.37

I did a bit of experimenting, and as usual, these pens work better with lettering and doodle stuff.

2020-07-03 11.11.14

Shape Challenges

I haven’t shown you all my shape challenges recently. They’ve cropped up in a few blog posts, but it’s time for a round up.

This one was just me messing around with markers I think.

I’m not sure why, but this one screamed to be a bit different. I really like how it turned out. Look at that rainbow gradient.

I combined two shapes, and a three marker challenge, for this one.

Here’s another watercolour one. With more rainbows. Obviously.

This sparkly bird creature was for a Colour Collective challenge.

This very weird fish thing was from my Synesthesia blog.

This one wasn’t really the sort of shape I usually save to do, but for some reason I saw a gerbil/guinea pig style monster. And I went a little overboard with the rainbows.

I love that guy so much I’m selling prints and stickers of him on my store.

This one was from my “Sharpie” Challenge.

This one was for a blog where I used Crayola Super Tips, that I haven’t actually written yet.

These two are both for a series that I also haven’t written yet.

This one is from a series that I actually have written and scheduled. In fact, the series started a coupla weeks ago.

This guy was created when I decided to use a screenshot of a make up palette as a colour palette.

And this lovely lady was from the September Scrawlr Box.

I love these shape challenges. They’re posted on the Studio Tea Break twitter channel twice a week. I enjoy seeing what people do with them, but I rarely post mine in a timely fashion. I tend to save them up for inspiration when I did ideas. As you can see.

Novelty Pen 2 – Two Line Pen

Next up in my Novelty Pen series is the two line pen.

This is another one found through a random gif on social media.  You can buy it in multiple colour combinations, but I only bought one to begin with.  These pens have two tiny nibs, and draw two lines at the same time.

It’s a lot like when you’d hold two pens together as a kid and draw two lines.

2020-01-30 13.19.24

It creates a very cool effect.  And that effect changes ever so slightly depending on the positions that you hold the nibs.  You do have to be careful that both nibs touch the paper though.  It can be very easy to tilt the pen by accident, and trying to go back and fix it is nigh on impossible.

I did a lot of doodling with this one, because I couldn’t get over how trippy it was.  Very very cool.

2020-01-30 13.20.32

But, like I note here, I don’t think this pen’s beauty lies in drawing.

2020-01-30 13.20.48

Not that it stopped me doing more pretty patterns with it.

2020-01-30 13.21.08

I did a half-hearted lettering piece…

2020-01-30 13.20.58

…and then ordered more of the pens.

2020-05-29 18.31.25

They’re so pretty!

2020-05-29 18.38.08

I realise that without being really close up, the effect just looks kinda blurry.  So here’s a close up.

2020-05-29 18.38.17

And here’s a “proper” lettering piece.

2020-06-23 17.14.31

Scribble Into Art

It’s time for another ongoing challenge update. This time it’s the monthly Scribble Into Art challenge.

These ones are fun. I love seeing what other people do with them – I’m fascinated by what people see in the scribble.

I usually turn these into monsters.

February turned into a dog turtle monster, using the Colour Collective for that week (blog incoming).

In March I made an ice cream turtle unicorn monster thing.

In April I combined the scribble with the Colours of the Month and went digital.

May was another combination with Colours of the Month.

June is another Colours of the Month, but one that hasn’t been blogged yet.

July was an as-yet-unblogged Colour Collective, and a bit of a drawing style experiment.

But near the end of September I realised that I hadn’t done August’s scribble OR September’s scribble yet. Instead of worrying too much about it – because I worry about everything – I decided to wait until October’s scribble came out, combine the three, and use them as a base for a Zentangle piece.

Luckily, October had two scribbles, which gave me one for each quadrant.

I uploaded them into Design Space…

…And converted them into draw lines. This evened out the difference in thickness in the uploads. I don’t mind the double lines too much – it’s easily resolved.

I moved them into position so that they overlapped a little.

And then I used the draw function to draw it out onto 12 x 12” cardstock. I planned on a piece using only black ink, so I opted for a pale purple piece of light cardstock.

I had fun working on this. I enjoy doing zentangle style stuff, and the Scribbles Into Art make perfect bases.

Novelty Pen 1 – Outline Pen

I love stationery.  I have a vast collection, and I’m always collecting more.  I’ll see random videos online and think “ooo, I need to have that”.  Amongst that collection there are lots of weird one-off pens.  So I figured I’d do a series of using those novelty pens.  Note: these have been done over the space of a couple of years, so some of the dates in the images will seem a little far away.

First up is the outline pen.  You’ve probably seen gifs of this online somewhere.

It has a felt tip nib, and it’s a lot like a paint pen in that you have to shake it and then pump the nib to prime it.  When you draw with it, the ink that comes out is silver and it has a coloured halo effect.  You can get it with other colours, and even in whole sets,  but I stuck to just this one for now.

First up – monster doodles.  And random doodles.

2020-01-20 12.01.33

Note – the coloured halo bleeds through the page.  A lot.

2020-01-20 12.01.49

With these doodles I discovered that when you just sketch with the pen, you don’t really see much of the halo effect.  At least, not the way that I drew it.  So I tried some other methods.

2020-01-20 12.04.49

I quite like the stippled effect, so for my main piece I decided to do a stippled monster, with a patterned background.  With no colouring, I tried to add as more detail to the monster.

2020-01-20 12.41.07

I’m not the most consistent person anyway, but it’s hard to maintain much consistency with this pen.  Sometimes it has a thinner halo, sometimes thicker.  I’m sure there’s a knack to it, but I couldn’t figure it out.

It’s a bit of a messy effect, but kinda cool too.

2020-01-20 12.56.26



Figure Fridays

I think we’re overdue a check in with Figure Fridays.

This project was originally intended to be a year-long challenge, but I haven’t really done that many of them, and I enjoy them, so I might extend the challenge to next year too. With a concerted effort to do it more often.

I realised that since I do most of my art digitally at the moment it probably made more sense to do the figure sketches digitally too.

I didn’t have the tablet nearby when I decided to actually pay attention to my reminder in June.

But I went back to digital in September. I followed a tutorial for this one…

…And continued using that technique for this page.

I liked one of them so much I saved it to use as a base for a character, which eventually turned into the witch I drew with my birth date palette for my 13 Days of Cricut Halloween series.

Make Up Palette as a Palette

One of the people I follow on Instagram is YouTuber SimplyNailogical. As well as posting about her Holo Taco polish range, her occasional attempts at nail art, her cats, her tea, her oats, her boyfriend Ben etc etc, she sometimes shows what packages she gets in the mail from other YouTubers and such.

Way back in August she showed this gorgeous make up palette from Elf Cosmetics, and because I’m me, I instantly saw a rainbow colour palette to use for art.

I used a Shape Challenge as inspiration…

…And ended up with this fluffy beast.

I’m so happy with it. I had lots of fun using different brushes and tools (and pre-loaded backgrounds) on the app that I use to draw – which is Ibis X, if you’re curious.