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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.

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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!

Back to School Illustration by Hannah Robinson

Back to School

It’s currently the start of September, which means it time to go back to school. The summer holidays have flown by and I am sure no one is ready to go back just yet. So to cheer things up a bit, I decided to draw an illustration of a very chaotic classroom.

Ink Illustration by Hannah Robinson
It took a long time to ink in all of the small details.

I first started my work on a piece of thin A3 paper, which wouldn’t be able to cope with paint, sketching the image out. Then I pulled out my light box and copied across the illustration. This gave me the opportunity to change some things around and to fill in any big gaps.

The inking of the illustration probably takes me the longest out of all of the steps. It’s part where one little mistake could be fatal (for the picture’s health and not mine), so you automatically go slower and be more careful. The ‘Back to School’ illustration took longer than usual too, due to the amount of tiny details contained in one picture, such as the pencils and pens.

Watercolour Illustration by Hannah Robinson
I mainly used watercolours to colour the artwork in.

With watercolours, I added some colour. I applied lots of flat washes for the majority of the image, but for the carpet I used a sponge to give it more of a textured look. It was incredibly challenging to get all the colour I wanted, but without painting over anything else that wasn’t supposed to be that colour. As I work with mixed media, I add lots of texture and shadows towards the end usually with coloured pencils.

Back to School Illustration by Hannah Robinson
The best bit was coming up with all the different characters!

For me, my favourite, favourite bit (because I love all of the process) of working on the illustration, was coming up with all of the characters and their stories. I particularly like this one, where the girl was been cutting her own hair. There’s also a teacher who just cannot believe the sight of what he is seeing, along with a little boy who is more than shocked. I actually have a great time coming up with all of these ideas, it’s basically like creating your own story world. Coming up with all of the ideas, reminded me of being in the early years of primary school. Now that I am going into year 10, we have kind of stopped trying to cut our own hair off badly in lesson (well I hope so anyway)!

Back to School Children's Book Illustration
Here is my finished ‘Back to School’ illustration.

After a bit more work by adding pencil, gouache and some markers, it was finished. There’s also a panda hiding somewhere, so I am going to give you all a mission of trying to find him. When I challenged some of my family to find the panda, it took them all quite a while (so good luck)! I also kind of wish that going to school was more like this, but unfortunately they like us to do work, rather than causing absolute chaos.

Painted Bee Rock Animal

Painting Rock Animals

For a while now, I have seen other artists paint ordinary rocks and pebbles, turning them into something magical and I have always really wanted to give it a go. So when I was away on holiday, which you can find out about in my latest blog post, I collected lots of interesting rocks on the beach, with the idea of painting them in mind. I instantly knew I wanted to turn them into rock creatures and animals.

Rocks and pebbles
I collected an assortment of rocks and pebbles to paint.

To turn these pebbles into animals, I used:

  • Rocks and pebbles (obviously)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • A jar of water
  • Paintbrushes (make sure you have quite a few smaller ones)
  • Clear nail varnish

I made sure I collected lots of different pebbles and before painting them I gave them a very good wash. In my opinion some of them lent themselves really well to specific animals.

Painted Ladybird Pebble by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
This little ladybird was a little test, to see if it all worked.

To make sure that this whole thing actually worked with my materials, I did a little trail run, painting a ladybird and thankfully it worked brilliantly! I was inspired to create a ladybird, because when I was younger, I can remember painting a ladybird on a rock at school, so this was a way of recreating it.

Painting rock creatures with acrylic paint
The first layers of acrylic paint.

You will have to excuse my extremely messy palette, but I squeezed a little bit of each colour I may need onto it, minimising the amount of time I would have to spend stopping and getting yet more paint out. So once I was satisfied with my selection of colours, I put down the first layer of paint on one side of the rock. When that was dry (which didn’t take very long at all, because I was working outside on a warm day), I turned the pebble round and painted the other side.

Second Layer of Painting Rock Animals
The animals gradually came to life…

I worked in lots of layers to bring the pebbles to life, helped by the acrylic paint that I was using. As you can tell, the butterfly one is a little different, as it doesn’t have a base coat of paint covering the entire rock. I purposely did this, because I didn’t want to hide how cool and different the rock I had collected was.

Acrylic Paint Rock Animals
Once the paint had dried, I needed to add nail varnish on top.

With a small paint brush, I added those finishing touches, including wings for the very busy bee. It really helped that this selection of pebbles were generally very flat, as it made them a whole lot easier to paint. Although I still had to be very careful painting smaller details and probably pulled a weird concentration face!

Rock Animals by Hannah Robinson
Which one is your favourite?

Nail varnish was layered on top, giving the animals a shine and to also protect the paint from chipping off as easily. I am actually very impressed with how some of them turned out and the most important thing is, it was so much fun to do. I have to say, my favourite one is the bee, let me know which one is your favourite!

Pease Bay Holiday in Scotland

My Holiday Sketchbook

Yesterday I got back from a lovely holiday in Scotland. We stayed about an hour away from Edinburgh and I loved exploring new places! The site we stayed at was literally on the beach, which meant I went there every single day during the whole week. Now if any of you know me well enough, you will be aware of the fact that I would probably take a sketchbook along with me, because imagine an entire week with out drawing, (I know impossible)! So of course I took a sketchbook with me and not one, but two pencil cases!

Summer Holiday Drawing
On the way there, I was drawing in the car!

When we set off along the road, my sketchbook quickly made an appearance. As I have never suffered from travel sickness, I have always loved to draw whilst on journeys. I decided to draw some cars and a caravan making their way to their holiday destinations (well that’s what I can presume). You will also have to excuse all of the wobbly lines in this sketch, because it’s quite hard to draw in a moving car.

Drawing on the Beach
Happily sketching on the beach

As I have already mentioned, I went to the beach at least once a day. We were extremely lucky with the weather, baring in mind that it’s Scotland after all! A few times I took my art essentials with me and enjoyed painting away on the sand. In the North Sea, I did dip my feet in to go paddling on a few occasions, but it was freezing, turning my toes purple, which always happens when they feel the cold!

Mermaid Beach Drawing by Hannah Robinson
A mermaid drawn at the beach!

Here is one of the sketches I drew at the beach, two mermaids (if you include the panda mermaid). Sketching on the beach was basically a constant battle between me and the sand on windier days. When there was a big gust of wind, little sand grains would blow over everything. In fact I still have sand stuck into some of my watercolour half pans now! When the sand blew over the picture I was working on, it just loved to stick to the wet paint, so that was definitely a challenge!

Edinburgh Zoo Panda Drawing Sketch
I was more than excited to meet a panda!

On Tuesday, we went to Edinburgh Zoo and this zoo is home to the UK’s only giant pandas! As you may of guessed, I am obsessed with pandas and before Tuesday, I had never seen one with my very own eyes. When we arrived at the panda enclosure, the panda who was in the outside part of their enclosure was fast asleep with only a part of his face showing. After waiting a bit longer, he eventually turned his head and looked at all of us and then decided to go back to sleep with his back to us all! I took lots of pictures (of course) and decided to recreate one of the pictures when he was looking at us in my sketchbook. We were extremely lucky to see him.

St Abbs Harbour in Scotland
Exploring the local area…

When we weren’t meeting pandas or on the beach, we enjoyed exploring the local area around us. Here is a picture that I took at St Abbs of the harbour. I took quite a lot of photos during the week and I plan to maybe do some acrylic paintings based off some of my favourite holiday photos when I get the chance.

BBQ Food Sketchbook Hannah Robinson Illustrations
I drew some of our tasty food sat in the sunshine!

One day for lunch we had a BBQ outside in the sun! Whilst my very hungry stomach dreamt about all of the tasty food it was soon to be filled with, I sketched the food with lots of colour.

Car Journey Doodle by Hannah Robinson Illustrations
Me and my sisters on the way home (and don’t forget Tasha’s countless cuddly toys)!

The week quickly came to a close and we were soon on our way back home to Lancashire. During the car journey, I doodled me and my sisters, and Natasha’s cuddly toys (which made the situation even more squished)! I hope you enjoyed a brief peek into my holiday sketchbook, because I certainly enjoyed drawing them. Over the coming years, it will be great to look back at the drawings I did whilst I was away on this holiday, because it takes you back to where you created the drawing.