Wednesday 15 May 2013


Kristin's Tutorial Tryouts this week was Denthe's geometric approach to painting abstracts.  The red and black version above, using fine point pens, was my second effort.  I decided I liked the idea of a very restricted number of colours for this technique and I always love using just red and black on white.  This was my favourite of the three I attempted.

For my first attempt I wanted to see what the technique involved so I didn't stray too far from Denthe's layout and use of birds - though the birds and design are my own.  I made two mistakes here - firstly I used A4 paper in a sketchbook with absorbent paper.

Then, because things are rather difficult at the moment, I decided to save time by using coloured pens instead of paints.  Big mistake, not helped by the fact that some of the pens started to run out before I had finished, as you can see from the streaky mess.  I was quite pleased with the result of the design, but didn't feel it was 'my own', which is why I went on to the black and red version.

Using a bit of sense for the black and red one, I drew a 4" square.  Instead of geometric shapes I drew random curvy shapes and small circles..  Filling in the colours is a little like doing a jig-saw or a puzzle, making sure colours always butt on to a different colour.  The result makes me think of circus faces.

For the fishy shapes I used more colour, again within a 4" square.  I used kiddies sparkly gel pens, and you can see some of the sparkle in the top half - we actually had a couple of hours of sunshine yesterday that highlighted the sparkles.  I quite like this one, though you will probably notice the non-deliberate mistake in colouring.  Ten points for you if you do.

I do like drawing black outlines around my shapes, though I was always told in art classes that 'people and things do not have black lines around them in real life'.  So I thought I would see what happened on this little sketch if I outlined the fish more clearly.  It loses a lot of the abstract nature, but I like it.

This is an enjoyable technique that can be adapted to anyone's style.  It is interesting trying to get the right balance of drawings, geometric shapes, 'in-between spaces' and colour, and I enjoyed the tutorial.  

My thanks to Denthe for her generosity in sharing, and to Kristin for using the tutorial this week.
Do check out Denthe's tutorial, 
and the great paintings by other artists on Kristin's Tutorial Try-outs.


  1. I love your take on Denthe's technique. The limited colors are a great idea. It's fun to find the faces in your drawing!

  2. This is really interesting. It's great that you explore your mistakes too and what you learn from them. I remember teachers getting annoyed when we painted black lines around figures too. Boring old wotsits! I say what does it matter if it looks good and I love your black and red faces and the little fish. x Julie Ann.

  3. Nope. Can't see the mistake. Oh blimey - that's another one I'm late on. Haven't done last weeks yet. Will have a play tonight :)

    I love these - you're two fishes look in love in the second one where you've outlined them. Like they are getting married and have an audience.

    1. It's funny you saying about the fish looking as if they are in love because they were the first two drawn and I was drawing just what you said! Perhaps the starfish is the parson. And talking of the starfish, that is where the mistake in colouring occurred, and I cheated when I was drawing the black outlines to make it look right.

  4. I really enjoy seeing all the different designs people come up with. These are all different but I like all three. Very interesting those circus-faces. Not easy to do if you're limited to 3 colours.

  5. I always love the way you share all of your steps and thoughts - it really gives great insights (and helpful tips)!

    The red white and black one is so totally "Jez" - I love it!

    (I am also really impressed that you were able to keep it straight (colors not touching) with only 3 colors!)


  6. Jez I love how you interpreted Denthe tutorial and made it your very own with the red!! Excellent. I tried and abandoned it not liking how it turned out... I will limit my pallet more and try again!! You inspired me!

    And I love black lines I don't care what anyone lines are me, on my art, one my eyes!

    Hugs Giggles

  7. I love these exquisite paintings, great compositions!

  8. Great take on the theme! Valerie

  9. Lovely!!! I'm glad you did black outlines. :D Lovely!

  10. Awesome! I love how much energy these paintings have. :)

  11. I totally love the restricted colours, I see circus faces. I saw two fishes in love as well. I like the outlining. It is much harder than it seems to get a good result I think.


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