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New Art Supplies!

Very recently, I went to Hobbycraft, which is an amazing shop, selling so many wonderful art and craft supplies! So of course I purchased a few new things and this blog post is all about me trying them out and just experimenting. I don’t know about you, but when I buy any new art material, one of the best parts is testing it out for the first time…

Art Materials at Hobbycraft
The endless selection of different art materials!

When you walk into Hobbycraft, you are plunged into a world of art, which is obviously a good thing. Their art supplies selection is probably the best I’ve ever seen, with shelves lined with so many products that I wish I owned! Really, I could spend hours on end in there, because there is so much choice!

New Art Supplies
My recent art purchases…

After a lot of thinking (and I mean a lot), I decided to buy the art supplies in the picture above. There’s a new bottle of ink, because no one can ever have enough bottles of ink; a Copic Ciao Marker in a really light blue colour; a warm grey BrushMarker; a Hobbycraft sketchbook and finally some pipettes to use with ink.

Today, I thought that I should take trying out new art supplies to the next level; why not? I decided to create a little illustration only with just the new art stuff I brought from Hobbycraft. However, I allowed myself to use a pencil, fine liner and paintbrush that I already own just to make my life a little easier.

Sketch by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Mainly, I used the plan to decide on the colours to use.

Before I jumped straight into the picture, I did a little plan for the illustration. As I was working with very few art supplies, it meant a small selection of colours, so planning seemed like the sensible thing to do. All I did was draw out the picture as a sketch and then annotated which colour should go where. Then it was time to finally test out the new things (the best part)!

The Princess and the Frog Illustration
Pandas can be princesses too!

So this princess and this frog (and panda) are the end product of my little test and I can say I am very happy with my new art supplies! The thing that pleased me the most was the sketchbook. Most sketchbooks can be too expensive for what I use them for. For me, a sketchbook is just a place to experiment, so spending too much money on one is not something that I like to do, but I still need them to be able to take things like watercolour. This sketchbook was really affordable and the quality was very good for the price that I paid for it (which is obviously amazing)! It did everything I needed it to! When I used my brand new markers, it didn’t bleed too much and took a bit of watercolour too.

It was also my first time using the Pitt Pastel pencil, but I actually really like it! Through experimenting, I discovered a really cool technique, which I used for the skin. Basically, on a separate piece of paper, I added water to the pastel with a paintbrush and then this produced a sort of pale, pinkish skin tone colour. It was really similar to using watercolour actually. The colours for my markers are fantastic as well and really nice to use. The Copic Marker is a really good pale blue, which can be really hard to find in a marker sometimes.

Anyway, I could literally go on forever about art supplies, but I think that I should probably stop! I just love experimenting with new mediums and they can really help you develop your art style and discover what you work best with. Hobbycraft is a really cool place to go to if you are looking for something new to try in your illustration work or even any form of art. I would like to say all of these views are my own.

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We Finished Inktober!

I have heard about the art challenge inktober for a few years now, after seeing numerous illustrators I admire complete it most years. Last year I kind of wanted to give it a go, but I wasn’t sure if I would able to keep up it all for an entire month. So obviously I found an excuse, because it was a lot easier. My excuse was that I did not have enough ink supplies to really give it ago, as I did not own any coloured ink and we all know a month with zero colour is impossible for me! However, this year I have started a bit of a coloured ink obsession, so I tried my best…

Witch Illustration by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Day 2 was a witch, one of my favourites!

Guess what? I did it! I survived all 31 days, which just calls for a celebration dance or even a party. Everyday, I managed to post one ink drawing (at least) and completed the challenge over all. What’s even better is: I really enjoyed doing it! I hope you all liked seeing my daily ink drawings and thankfully so far I have received so much lovely feedback, which is super kind of you all.

Owl Illustration by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Another fun one, but this time an owl illustration.

One thing that I have loved about this month is everyone else’s inktober drawings. It’s a great source of inspiration and on a day when you want to give up, it really encourages you to carry on. It’s also really interesting to see how everyone’s work is so different, even though they are working with the same medium.

Dragon and Wizard Illustration
This one was done fairly recently.

Through out the month, I feel like I have improved with the medium ink, but especially with black and white illustrations. You may not see much of a difference, but I have certainly grown more confident as the challenge has progressed, which is of course really encouraging to see. It’s also been nice to take a step back from my usual mixed media work and focus on just one thing and really get to know it and how it works. Another thing which I am sure will be useful for me in the near future, will be now having a better understanding of ink, so I can incorporate it into more of my art when I am using other things like watercolours, pencils and gouache.

Lemur Illustration by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Sometimes I abandoned the spooky theme.

Without a moments hesitation, I definitely want to do inktober again next year. If I do it again, it will be really fun to compare this year’s inktober with it and fingers crossed, there will be some form of improvement for us all to witness. I think that next time I will go for a theme, which will help guide me through the month, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. This year I kind of followed a rough Halloween and autumn theme, but some days (like the day I drew the lemur), I was just feeling really inspired to draw something that did not fit the theme at all!

Halloween Illustration by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
The very last inktober of 2017 (today)!

Quickly, the month seemed to disappear and today I drew and inked drawing number 31. Now that it is all over, I will still be posting regularly across my social media accounts. For November, I have a lot of ideas for some fairly exciting content and for December, let’s just say it will be looking a lot like Christmas, so I hope that you are all ready!

Flowers by Hannah Robinson Illustrations

Painting Gardens

Just because I am a really kind human, I thought that I should give you a very well deserved break from the world of  Inktober. So in this week’s blog post, I am going to be talking about making this illustration which was for my Grandma’s birthday nearly a whole month a go, which I have not had the chance to write yet until now. It contains a lot of flowers, meaning it’s bursting with colour!

Pencil Sketch
Sharing my pencil sketch for once!

I normally don’t share my pencil sketches for my illustrations, because they are never really that good. With a distinct lack of outlines and colour, I feel that mine look a bit bare, so I usually avoid showing them to other people. However sketches are simply a way of getting down your ideas so they can be refined later one. Therefore for me personally, they are a key element of the creative process and shouldn’t be left behind!

Ink Outlines by Hannah Robinson
The hardest bit: Inking…

I really like my illustrations to be bold. This means an outline with a fine liner or some form of ink is normally essential for a large proportion of my work. In this piece, there were loads of teeny tiny flowers to ink carefully. When it comes to this step, I am forced to slow down a lot, but they do say slow and steady wins the race! The lady in the picture is actually an illustrated version of my Grandma who loves gardening and flowers, so a garden environment seemed very fitting.

Watercolour Illustration
Lots of different colours!

I used a combination of watercolours and inks, which meant I got to do a bit of experimenting, which is always fun. As you can probably see, to make sure the grass had a bit more texture than everything else, I used a sponge with different shades of green to create the overall effect. To further develop an art style (well in my case anyway), I always feel like I need to experiment with different things within my art to make sure I can grow as an artist. For example, trying out new mediums is a great one and my favourite. At the moment due to Inktober, I am experimenting with black and white illustrations and some with a more limited colour palette.

Grandma's Garden by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
The finished birthday present!

Ta-da! Here you go, the finished picture which you may have already seen before, but hear it is again. It now lives in my Grandma’s house and she is very happy with it. In fact she has now commissioned me to draw another illustration to go along side it on the wall. I actually have a very clear idea of what it could be, but I am not going to say, because she normally reads these blog posts! Have you noticed the panda yet? Of course there had to be a from of panda in the artwork, but this time the panda is in a very convincing disguise of a garden gnome.

Inktober Winsor and Newton Ink

An Inktober Update!

It is officially day 15 of inktober, which means we are nearly halfway there. So far there has been pumpkins, spiders, pirates, fairies, ink disasters and so much more! I am pretty impressed that I haven’t missed a day (yet) and I am still really enjoying creating lots of cool ink drawings and seeing what everyone else creates.

Mermaid by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
The panda has been making an appearance as usual in all of my inktober illustrations.

Going into inktober, black and white illustrations were my main focus. As I have previously mentioned before, I get sidetracked by colour all of the time and completely forget that limited colour palettes and monochrome work exists. Despite abandoning this type of work normally, when I get into a one tone illustration, I actually really enjoy it and wonder why I don’t do them more often.

Autumn Fairy by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
I have been going for a spooky and autumnal theme this year.

However, because it is obviously Hannah, a bit of colour has to come in somewhere. So as well as going for a Halloween theme, as a perfect excuse to use colour, I have also expanded my boundaries to all things autumn, because this time of the year often looks so pretty. My first coloured inktober was this autumn fairy and I was super happy with her colour palette. (Now, I think I have said the word colour too many times, so let’s move on…)

Pirate by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
This one I stuck to mainly black and white, but added a hint of gold.

One of the hardest things about this art challenge is time. During the week days, like any other teenager I have to go to school and do homework, but I always still have plenty of time to draw. So if I have loads of time to draw, what’s the issue? The problem is that in October, it’s starting to get dark earlier and earlier and as I like to take photos of my artwork in natural daylight, I have to try and get them finished when the sun is still shining. Therefore, I usually do the pencil sketch the previous evening, ink it in the morning and colour/shade it before I go to school and sometimes as soon as I get home too. It also doesn’t help that loads of artists are doing inktober too, which means I can’t help but sometimes get distracted and spend hours looking at everyone’s amazing work!

Inktober Disaster
When a picture is going so well, this is one of the worst things to happen…

Probably the point that nearly finished my bond with inktober was when I had my first ever giant ink disaster. Yes, you are probably thinking “it doesn’t matter,” but in my little world it was fatal (well certainly for the picture). It was going really well and I was pretty pleased with how the panda had actually turned out and the ink outlines, which I find the hardest to do in an illustration, but then I had to go and tip my ink bottle over my work didn’t I! So I had to start it all over again and as you can imagine, it wasn’t very helpful. However, at least it has taught me to be a bit more careful around deadly bottles of ink for now.

Haunted Pumpkin House by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Teeny tiny inktober drawings!

The extremely small pumpkin house was for inktober day 14, so yesterday. For your knowledge, it is smaller than 3 x 3 cm, which you wouldn’t be able to know if the pen wasn’t their for the size comparison in the photo. Later on today, across my social media pages, I will be posting today’s inktober which combines autumn, dogs and cats, so keep a look out for that if you are excited about those three things! I hope you are all enjoying inktober so far, whether you’re participating as well or just enjoying looking at all of the inky drawings.

Hannah Robinson Illustrations Inktober

Autumn Illustrations…

It is actually currently day 9 of Inktober (already, I know), but I thought I should write a little blog post about day 8, which was yesterday. So far I have really been enjoying Inktober and it gives me time to sit down and draw basically whatever I feel like, as long as it includes some form of inky goodness! However, yesterday I did have a slight disaster (which will be included in the next blog post)…

Inktober Ink Outlines
This month so far, I have been very busy with a dip pen in hand!

As you are probably aware, it is autumn and the leaves are falling off the trees (in case you didn’t know) and a really inspiring thing about this season is all of the colours! They are so pretty, all of those lovely oranges and browns, so here is my second autumn related drawing this month so far, which is very good for me, as I have been at least attempting to stick to mainly black and white illustrations. As you can see, the boy has a cool coat with mittens attached with strings, because when I was younger (like 5), I was always super jealous of all of those other kids who had gloves attached to their coats, sometimes life is just too unfair, right?

Winsor and Newton Drawing Ink
The bright colours ink can offer…

One thing that I really really (yes, not just one really) love about ink, is how bright it is! You can literally just dip your paintbrush into the ink and suddenly it is glowing with colour, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. Seriously, just one layer of ink is so bright compared to the watercolours that I am normally use, but still love dearly.

Hannah Robinson Illustrations Ink
The first layer of ink colours complete!

For a minute or two, can I just draw your attention to this palette. I am so happy that I brought it before Inktober and without I would be lost, which I am aware sounds a bit drastic, but you just have to take a second to understand. It is super helpful for mixing colours and diluting the inks, which means I can get the ‘perfect’ colour combinations for absolutely everything.

Autumn Panda by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Let’s take a second to appreciate this panda!

Now let’s move on to the panda! I could not but help myself by giving him a very cute little winter hat, because we wouldn’t want to let him get cold in the chilly October breeze. The fact that he is peeking out from a rather big pile of autumn leaves, just makes the picture look complete. In fact any of my illustrations with a panda absent means that it’s an unfinished picture coming to think about it.

Autumn Inktober Day 8
Inktober day 8!

Here is Inktober Day 8! If you follow me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter, then you may have already seen this, but I always love to see a person’s process and thoughts behind their artwork, because it’s such a personal thing or maybe that’s because I’m a bit nosy?! Any way, thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, which I hope you some what enjoyed. I have quite a few future blog post ideas planned, which I hope you will like.

Winsor and Newton Drawing Inks

Inktober Begins…

I can’t quite believe it, but it is October already! For many artists, October is known as the month of Ink, Inktober. For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, Inktober is a 31 day art challenge, with a few simple rules:

  1. Make a drawing in ink
  2. Post it online
  3. Make sure you hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017
  4. Repeat this everyday throughout October
Dip pen and Ink illustration
I am very excited to join in with Inktober this year!

In 2009, the challenge was started by an artist called Jake Parker, with the intentions of improving his inking skills and to create some good drawing habits. Now artists participate all over the world and I thought this year: ‘why not give it a go? ‘

Last year I really did consider joining in, but I never thought I would be able to keep up with it. However now I have a much more better selection of ink, along with a dip pen set and fine-liners and earlier this year I also completed a 100 Day Project, so no excuses this time!

Ink Palette
I brought myself a new palette especially for the occasion.

Very recently I have been dipping my toes into the world of ink, and so far I have really enjoyed working with the medium. I use them a lot like watercolours, adding water to the inks and mixing them together. Previously to do this I had been using my watercolour palette, but I thought that they deserved their own now, so I brought a sparkly new one!

Ink Vampire
Most of my drawings this month will probably have a Halloween/autumn theme.

Throughout this month, most of my drawings will probably be following an autumn and Halloween theme. Before October came around, I planned for Inktober by writing a list of ideas of what I could draw each day. There is an official prompt list provided, which people can follow as much as they like. Some artists choose to do a theme for the month, but I wanted the freedom to just go off a rough list that I created myself. Although I may not always stick to the list if a burst of imagination or inspiration strikes.

Inktober Vampire
I am trying to challenge myself to do some black and white illustrations.

Using Inktober as the perfect excuse, I am going to at least try to do some drawings in mainly black and white. I am very guilty of normally using lots of colour, because I am just slightly obsessed with rainbows and the magic and life that colour can bring. So as I get very sidetracked by colour, I sometimes forget how fun black and white illustrations can actually be, and it really helps your practice shading and tones too. However, I am not completely ditching colour this month, because I have some really cool coloured inks (which would obviously feel very left out if I abandoned them all together).

Inktober Day 1 by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
My first illustration for Inktober 2017.

So here is my illustration for Inktober day 1, just 30 more days to go! I think that tomorrow’s drawing will include some cats, because you can’t go wrong with them. I am quite a fan of the bats in this one and I don’t often really draw them that often or anything that flies really to think about it. Any way, thank you for reading this week’s blog post. Next week, it will probably be about an ink drawing of some description if you haven’t already guessed!

How to Improve as an Artist

How to Improve as an Artist

It’s no secret that nobody is born a complete master of art. To be an incredible artist, that person has to improve, which can take a really long time. The more time someone spends drawing, the more they improve their basic drawing skills; style and discover what art materials give them their best results. To put this idea of practice makes perfect, I decided to redraw an old drawing, but obviously the new end result wouldn’t be perfect either!

Old artwork by Hannah Robinson
I drew the original illustration in January 2016.

When I drew this family illustration, I was actually really proud of it. Now when I look at it, I begin to see the difference of what a year and eight months of drawing everyday in between makes. The original illustration was completed just using coloured pencils and a basic ink outline. Another huge thing is that the pandas is missing! So with a missing panda from the artwork, it was just a perfect excuse to redraw it.

Ink Outline of Illustration
Even the cats have rosy cheeks!

As you draw more, your techniques change and adapt by themselves over time. Although I still generally outline my art, the way I do it has adjusted. Instead of doing the pencil sketch straight on to the watercolour paper like the original, I sketch it out on a piece of thin paper and then transfer it across to the other paper with a light box. This makes it 100% sure that no pencil lines are left behind and allows me to have more control over what I want it to look like.

Winsor and Newton Watercolours
I think my watercolour palette needs a bit of a clean…

Although I just used coloured pencils last time, I wanted to colour it in how I usually do now, which always starts off with a wash of watercolour. I have had this set of watercolours for nearly two years now and they are by far the favourite thing I own. As you can probably tell, I use them a lot, which leaves me with a very messy palette. However, I am always a bit reluctant to give it a wash, just in case I suddenly need a colour I had previously mixed perfectly.

Winsor and Newton Drawing Ink
I added lots of different patterns to the clothes.

Another thing I wanted to improve was the patterns on the clothing and the clothes themselves in general. So the dad is now completed with a red and blue checked shirt and the mum has a lovey flower top, which is my favourite out of them all.

Family by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Do you think I have improved?

Here is the new and update family illustration! It is amazing to see the difference between the two. When you’re always drawing, sometimes it feels like you are never improving, so it is really rewarding to see the difference of under two years of work. I have gathered that I am far better at drawing cats then I was and hands too. I would really love to see where my art will be in about another years time!