Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peas in a Pod - Dangerous Doodle Drawing Tutorial (Video)


I have been doing a bit of gardening lately.  Well let me correct that slightly,  I have been sitting in a deck chair drawing pretty flowers and vegetables in my sketchbook, while my HUSBAND actually does the gardening.   I like to think of myself as providing the encouragement for the garden, saying important things like 'those tomatoes are so big and shiny', and 'how long will that horse poo take to get properly mixed into the compost heap?'. 

My husband has been experimenting with many different compost ingredients, and today brought home a huge bucket of fish guts from the local fish and chip shop.  The cat was given some as his new year's eve present, and set about dragging the stuff all over the place in case some other cats might come along and grab it off him.  I could just imagine my husband lovingly  placing pieces of fish guts around each vegetable in the garden, and inquired whether this was practical with all the stray cats and dogs that hang around our place.  My husband informed me that he would be digging a very VERY deep hole, burying the smelly treasure, waiting for a week or so, and then digging it up again and using it to feed our hungry plants.

So  I am looking forward to the super vegetables all this 'compost gold' will produce.   I seem to recall some famous story about a giant turnip and all the people needed to pull it out of the ground...that could be us in a few weeks.  I will keep you posted.

I hope that little story explains why I have started drawing peas.  Natural objects really have such beautiful shapes, and when you draw them you really have to appreciate how wonderful they are.  I hope you enjoy my latest drawing tutorial video.  Maybe it will encourage you to get out your gardening gloves as well!


'Peas in a Pod' A Dangerous Doodle Drawing Tutorial Video
by Miraculous Mosquito.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Flower Explosion - Video Drawing Tutorial

Wellington...howling wind, fog, hail, landslides, earthquakes...and that's just in one afternoon!  Ok ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but generally here in Wellington, New Zealand, we just have to ignore the weather and get on with things.

I was born here but I lived in a very hot place for most of my life.  When I returned and began complaining about the cold weather, a friend of mine who lived here all her life said to me 'Well, you're just going to have to toughen up a bit!'.  She said it in a joking way, of course. I am glad she said it, because it's true, there is no point complaining about the weather. Why? Because when spring and summer come around it is all worth putting up with.

Suddenly there is an explosion of flowers, crystal clear blue skies reflecting in the breathtaking beauty of the harbor, and everything turns an amazing shade of emerald green.  The hills are covered in dense forest, similar in texture to large clumps of brocolli. The botanical gardens come alive and burst into colour, like something out of a children's picture book.

Spring has already sprung here and the flowers are now at their best. Now summer is here. I thought I would capture the floral inspiration before they finish, with this latest tutorial.  These blooms are obviously not going to win any prizes for botanical drawing, they are straight out of my imagination.

Have a go at drawing your own flower's lots of fun!  I know the weather where you live may be turning a little chilly, but when you have finished drawing these cheerful flowers, you will feel as warm as a sunny summer's day.

Don't forget to subscribe to my blog and You Tube, send me a video response with your drawing (in the comments below the tutorial video on You Tube), or add your artwork to the 'Dangerous Doodles' group on Flickr,  I can't wait to see your wonderful floral creations!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fancy Lettering Update

I'm making some progress with my fancy lettering videos.  As you can see, they are not meant to be perfectly polished lettering, just a fun design with a few quick curls and frilly bits. 

I was going for the hand-drawn look.  Although I love using the computer to draw and add colour, it can sometimes turn out a bit mass-produced and cold looking.  If you start with one of your own drawings on paper, scan it, and then use the computer to colour it, you can still keep that handmade look whilst enjoying the convenience of not having to get all your paints out and then clean up the mess afterwards (although I do love to get my watercolours out every now and again). 

This is meant to be the sort of lettering that anyone could do fairly quickly, on a card or a poster for example.  In the videos below you will be able to see that I have just drawn a very basic outline of each letter, and then added four elements which tie them all together:

1.  A few curls here and there (no rules...just ad-lib and have some fun with it)

2.  Some quick frills on the left hand side.

3.  Some diagonal hatching , again on the left side (just repeated single lines, quick and easy).

4.  A double-lined border, rather roughly drawn.  Who needs rulers, anyway?!

If you would prefer to see a really fancy, much neater 'Illuminated Letter', you can always look at this one (there is a link to the video there too, if you want to watch me draw it).

Anyway, below are the 'Fun with Typography' videos that I have made so far, all in one convenient place.  They are all very short and sweet.  I hope you have a go at drawing some groovy fonts of your own, it really is fun.  By the way, a small trick...start by drawing the basic letter shape first (like a thin stick) and then draw a thicker outline around that, as if you were drawing a plank of wood, or a letter made out of a balloon.  Hey...why don't you just make your letters look like balloons?  Now there's an idea!

Happy drawing!

The Letter A

The Letter B

The Letter C

The Letter D

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Paisley Power

Do you like Paisleys?  I do!  For some reason I have always found myself attracted to the Paisley design, whether it be on wrapping paper, clothes...I think I once had a very loud Paisley shirt when I was at university (I was such a dag back then...probably now too hehe.)

Oh...sorry...'dag'? That's a bit of kiwi/New Zealand slang for you.  See, you get so much free bonus information here at the MM drawing blog.  It's worth subscribing just so that you can learn these useful little gems of kiwi culture.  The word 'dag' can mean a variety of things, usually 'unfashionable' or 'old fashioned', but it can also mean that a person is funny, or has a good sense of humour.  There is also another meaning, but I will let you Google that one and find out.  I will give you a has something to do with sheep.  When you Google 'dag', you might also find a person called 'Fred Dag'...he's another story altogether LOL.

Anyway back to the point (yes, there was a point to this post, I promise).  I am really addicted to the Paisley design and I love drawing them.  Once you know how to draw that curly teardrop shape, the world is your oyster.  You can really go for it and fill those wonderful shapes with all sorts of patterns and decorations.  They can be as bright and colourful as the one shown in my drawing above, or you can draw them in soft pastels, or perhaps just limit your design to one or two colours, which always looks effective.  

I really enjoyed drawing and editing the latest video tutorial, 'Paisley Power'.  I hope you enjoy it.  Don't forget to let me know what you think either in the comments below or on my youtube channel...and why not have a go at drawing your own paisley, record it, and create a video response to the tutorial video?  I would be so happy if you did:)

Happy drawing!

'Paisley Power' - The Full-Length Tutorial Version

'Pasley Power' - The Speed-Drawing Version

Monday, December 5, 2011

A is for Alphabet

Presenting...the letter A! The first letter in my Typography video series.  My son's name begins with 'A' so he is pretty excited.  The inspiration for this series came from my children, who are learning the alphabet.  Ahhh those were the days! Now if only they could hurry up and learn how to put the letters together so I can introduce them to the idea of sitting back and enjoying a nice long book.  Then, instead of hearing the sound of a whole tub of lego being emptied onto the lounge room floor, I could say:  'Why don't you go and do a bit of quiet reading while mummy does some drawing?'

The rest of the ABC coming soon...go to the playlist to see what I have done so far.  Don't forget to share and subscribe!
Enjoy the video.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fun with Animation.

I really enjoy making my drawing videos, and I have been feeling a bit more experimental lately.  I want  to spice things up a bit.  Yesterday I reached 1000 subscribers (YAY! Thanks, everyone!) and I realised that to keep my subscribers I have to start improving my videos, adding a bit of imagination and entertainment.  Having secretly always wanted to become an animator, I have been playing around with some simple animations using some of my previous drawings.  I am currently working on a stop animation (a very crude one, I guess I have to start somewhere!) and have been playing around with some different animation techniques.  I must admit I cheated a bit and used this cool website called 'LunaPic' for the animated GIFs above, but ooooooooooh, it is so much fun!  Give it a try if you have the chance.  I just took the design from my last drawing video and did a bit of experimenting.  Enjoy!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Flower of Hearts - A Dangerous Doodle Drawing Tutorial.

I just finishing drawing, recording and editing the latest in the Dangerous Doodle Tutorial series. The black and white version above is the original, and the others below...well, I just couldn't resist having a play around with this happy little flower in Photoshop.  Let me know what you think, I always love reading your comments.  Don't forget to subscribe...exciting stuff arriving soon!


Almost 1000 You Tube Subscribers...WOW!

Thanks very much to everyone who has subscribed to the Miraculous Mosquito You Tube Channel.  There are almost 1000 subscribers!  That's exciting!  I have also been working on a few different videos which are almost ready to publish, so if you haven't already subscribed, now would be a good time to.  Every time someone subscribes, You Tube emails me and lets me know, and I usually go and check out their channel as well.  It's always a nice morning when I open my inbox and out jump a whole lot of new subscribers!

Thanks also for all the great comments and feedback on the videos, it is always encouraging and gives me the motivation to do more drawing and recording.  A video takes a while to edit and upload, but it is always worth it when I get all those nice comments and I can see that you have enjoyed what I made. I can't wait to click on that 'upload' button, and wait impatiently for it to finish.  It is also nice to hear from other people who like drawing, painting and creating.  I always rush to get all my other jobs done around the house etc, because when I have finished, I reward myself by working at my favourite job...the world of Miraculous Mosquito!  It is so exciting to share my art with all of you, and be inspired by all the amazing things that you make too.  I hope you continue to join me and enjoy my creations, and spread the word about my blog and channel.  You can also catch me at a few other different places, such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook (Links on the left sidebar).

Stay tuned, more exciting things coming soon!
Thanks again,
Luv From...

PS:  Does anyone have any ideas about what I should do to celebrate if I reach 1000 subscribers?  Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dangerous Doodle - 'Awesome Overlap'

Another Dangerous Doodle to inspire you!  Let your imagination run wild with this tutorial.  This pattern could be used to create all sorts of textures - scales, fungus, weird sea plant life, you name it!  The best part is the little shine created by leaving a gap in the shading.  Watch the video below to find out how to draw it in detail. 

Don't forget to add your drawings to the 'Dangerous Doodles Flickr Group'.  Don't worry if you are a beginner, either, because everyone in the group is very encouraging, and there are always lots of constructive comments.  Have a go at the challenges, too...they are always great fun.

By the way, thanks for all the suggestions for new Dangerous Doodles.  I'm keeping a list of ideas for when I draw my next batch.  If you enjoyed this tutorial, check out the others in the tutorial section of the blog.

Have fun, and let me know in the comments below what you think.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Three Little Trees For Someone Special - New Demo Video.

'Three Little Trees' design on a printable card.
Emails are nice and all, but don't you just love to get something in the snail mail once in a while?  I don't mean the sort of mail that starts with 'You owe us...', but one that is sealed in a fancy envelope, with beautiful handwriting on the front, addressed with your actual name, not just 'To the householder'. 

You open the envelope carefully, slide out a card with a happy image on the front which makes you smile, open it up, and read a message from someone you know.

Even though I am addicted to checking my email like most people, I still always find myself attracted to the card stand at the stationary shop, especially those sparkly ones with glitter on them, they are my favourite.

I love stationary in general and everything that goes with it...notebooks, writing paper, cards, envelopes...I remember receiving gifts of writing paper sets with matching envelopes, and never using them because they were just too beautiful to write on...did you do that too?

I have designed quite a few stationary related items which are available as printables in my shop.  One day I would like to offer them as physical items already printed and made for customers, but for now printables are more practical for me, living all the way down here in New Zealand it is a bit pricy for postage charges.  Printables are great, because people can print it out on the paper that they prefer, and can usethe design as many times as they like, and you don't have to pay for postage!  If you are anything like me, you perhaps wait till the last minute as you are ready to walk out the door to go and visit someone, that you wanted to give them a thank you card.  Perhaps it is a holiday and all the shops are closed...not to worry, just print off a card, fold, glue, write, seal, and Bob's your uncle!
Making the 'Three Little Trees' printable card is a pretty simple process, but I thought it would be fun to make a little video showing how to make it, and what it looks like at the end.  I also included a very teeny tiny surprise...make sure you watch the whole thing to see it!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dangerous Doodle Spotlight - 'River of Lava'

'River of Lava' by Belatrix29.
Click image for more detail.

It's time to spotlight some of the lovely work people have been adding to the 'Dangerous Doodle' group at Flickr.

I chose this piece, 'River of Lava' by Belatrix29 (also known as Helena). You can see more of her beautiful drawings here.

Come to think of it, maybe it could be a bit of a subconscious choice on my part, considering the title of the piece.  Last night I had a rather confused dream about a volcano erupting.  I spent the whole dream either trying desperately to get away from it, or getting distracted by other nonsense. 

Aren't dreams great?  You can be escaping from an erupting volcano, but still have time to pop in to your friend's house for a nice cup of tea.

Anyway, back to the subject!  Helena has encapsulated such a diverse collection of patterns in her 'River of Lava'.  I like how she has framed them all in the circle, and each pattern swirls outwards from the geometric shape in the middle. 

Let's have a closer look at some of those patterns, and discuss how Helena has used them to create a really wonderful artwork.  This is something useful that you can do with your own drawings as well.  If you select interesting pieces, cut them out (either on Photoshop, or with good old scissors) then they become even more beautifully abstract.  You can even use them as starting points for new artwork.

This pattern resembles 'Sea Sick', a very wavy doodle which has puddles of concentric circles wedged in between moving parallel lines.  Helena has taken the pattern to the next level by adding a subtle shadow next to the wavy lines, which creates even more texture, height, and layering.
 Here is such a beautiful interpretation of  'Shell Treasures'.  Helena has drawn overlapping shells which get smaller as they work their way around the spiral.  This adds perspective/distance to the piece.  She has also layered some gentle hues of pink and purple to the shells which really bring them to life.
 Here we see 'Deep in the Jungle', with vines curling around themselves, and lush green leaves popping out here and there.  I love the way she has added a hint of shadow in just the right places to make the vines look three dimensional, as if one curl might be in front of another.
 The 'Over and Under' Dangerous Doodle is a very versatile one, as it can be interpreted in many different ways.  It could be a crisscross of highways, branches, nerves, or whatever your imagination dreams up.  Belatrix has used this pattern to emulate waves of hot molten lava, using sizzling colours of yellow, orange and red.  She has woven this through a darker background, which really makes it stand out.
This reminds me of some wooden steps going down to some sort of mysterious trapdoor.  Again, those wonderful shadows do the trick.
 Sometimes it is not WHAT you draw, but it is what you DON'T draw that makes all the difference to a shape!  Leaving out a little piece of each line in these swirls gives them the effect of being ultra shiny...great technique!
 Cleverly hidden in the 'Sea Sick' pattern are some sharp 'Spikies'...  Watch out!
This wonderful pattern reminds me of a futuristic transportation tunnel made of glass.  Again...great use of perspective, with the lines all disappearing at a vanishing point behind the curve.

Thanks again for adding your wonderful masterpiece to the group, Helena!  That's the end of the second Dangerous Doodle Spotlight.  Don't forget to subscribe so that you don't miss the next exciting episode.  Keep adding your drawings to the Flickr pool...yours could be next!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Name that Okashi!

I remember when I was young (not that long ago...yeah right! hehe) my dream travel location was somewhere like England, or Scotland. Somewhere cold with snow and castles and lots of green rolling hills and mountains. These were the places I always read about in books as a child.  Little did I know, that I would end up going somewhere totally different.

I began my travels in Japan, then went to South Korea, China, over to Morocco, and a few other places.  I haven't made it to anywhere in Europe yet, maybe one day.  It is funny how I ended up going to all the places that I knew nothing about and didn't have much interest in.  That has all changed, though, as I love reading about these places now, and dream of going back there one day. One place which I really loved was Japan.  I have to admit I spend a lot of time looking for interesting blogs and YouTube channels about Japan, and this is all because of a lovely friend of mine (thanks, M!) who invited me there and persuaded me to set off on my big adventure all the way from Australia.

So what has this all got to do with the image above?  Well while looking for cool stuff about Japan, I found a YouTube channel created by 'NihonJenn' who is a North American living and working in Japan teaching English (something I am always interested in, as I taught English in South Korea for two years).  She talks about various things she observes about her life overseas, and has a very cute segment called 'Name that Okashi'.  In it she talks about the latest Japanese snack she has found, and lately she asked her subscribers if anyone would like to make an intro for her next snack I thought it would be fun.  Brings back memories of all the interesting snacks I used to try in South Korea.  I could never read the writing on the packet, but it was always a surprise to break it open and find out what was inside.  The convenience store across the road from my apartment must have made a small fortune out of me in the two years that I was there hehe.

The image above is a still from the 10 second animated intro I made.  As you will see, I didn't use any fancy animation software to make it, I just did a bit of drawing with a black pen, scanned it into Photoshop, and then coloured it in different stages, saving a Jpeg of each stage, and then I just loaded them all into Windows Movie Maker, added a bit of sped up voice and background music, and...Voila!

You can watch NihonJenn's 'Name that Okashi' video here, or alternatively, you can view the animated intro by itself on my channel.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunny Side Up

Egg on toast...sunny side up, runny yolk, salt and pepper.  Cup of milky tea on the side.  My favourite breakfast.  This one, however, has been cooked according to a special 'Dangerous Doodle' recipe:

Original black and white version.
Dangerous Doodle Egg on Toast   (Serves one)

1 drawing journal
1  thin black permanent ink pen (approx 0.3)
A generous sprinkling of Dangerous Doodles (eg:  Head in the clouds, Deep in the Forest, Spikies, Sea Sick)
1 computer with Photoshop or similar software installed (or a set of coloured pencils or watercolours)
1 Scanner
1 imagination


Draw the general shape of the egg lightly with a pencil.  Outline with the thin black pen, then use your imagination and have fun doodling on the egg using a variety of Dangerous Doodles.  Make sure the ink is dry, and erase the pencil lines.  Use your choice of medium (Photoshop, coloured pencils or watercolour for example) to add colour to your egg to make it look as delicious as possible.  You don't have to stick with yellow and white, splash in a few other different colours to spice things up a bit.

This drawing was my attempt at #1 challenge 'BREAKFAST' for the 'Dangerous Doodles' drawing group on Flickr.

You can also buy this drawing as a print in my shop.

Bon Apetite!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Click on image above for more detail.

Yesterday I decided that the photos on my posts needed a bit of hand-drawn bling!  My children were drawing in their daily journals at the kitchen table (they are 5 and 3 years old...they draw a picture and then they dictate the story to me as I write it next to the picture). I can't watch someone else drawing and not get into it myself, so I whipped out my pencil case and sketchbook, threw down some general shapes, and began to decorate them.  Some turned out scannable, and others, I'm afraid, will have to remain in the sketchbook.  After scanning I changed the colour in Photoshop (always fun!).  I made quite a few of them, so you may see them pop up on future blog posts. Keep your eyes peeled!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Only Three Spaces Left!

As you can see from the picture above, the hand-drawn classified ad spaces are filling up very quickly on Andrea Joseph's upcoming new zine, and she only has 3 spaces left!  UK based Andrea's beautiful drawings are very popular, and so are her zines, so this is a good opportunity to get your message out to people who appreciate this sort of thing.  Can you spot my funny little tree logo on the page?  I purchased a very inexpensive spot in the classifieds a while ago, and can't wait till the zine is published.  The classified pages are like an artwork all by themselves!

Check out Andrea Joseph's Sketchblog article to see the other pages and read more information, but be quick!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dangerous doodle challenge #2 - 'UP!'

Are you ready for the latest Dangerous Doodle Challenge?  Well here it is!

Use the latest tutorial 'Cumulus, Head in the Clouds' as inspiration for this challenge. Interpret the title 'Up' in an artwork, and include the cloud pattern somewhere in your work. There is no time limit, just post it to the Dangerous Doodles group pool and we will all then 'oooh' and 'aaah' at it. 

The group now has 38 fabulous members, by the way! I wonder if we can make it to 100? Don't forget to tell all your friends :)

When you post your work to the pool, include this tutorial link in your description so that I can click the 'approve' button:

Have fun!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Those Lovely Soft Fluffy Floaty Things - A new Dangerous Doodle Drawing Tutorial.

Clouds...something we get a lot of here in Wellington, New Zealand.  My house is often actually IN the clouds, as we live fairly high above sea level.  Sometime I look out the window and see the fog rolling in from Wellington harbour, in between the hills.  It's a really eerie sight, and one I always love to watch.  Within minutes it envelopes everything, and you can barely see the house across the road except for a few lights, and it can sometimes stay like that for days. After assuming that the whole of Wellington must be getting tired of this heavy fog, I am surprised when I drive down the hill towards the harbour and see that the rest of the city is drenched in lovely warm sun!

Clouds around here mean business, they are not just for looking pretty.  They usually mean either heavy rain that goes sideways and will knock you off your feet (with the help of the sideways wind, of course) or hail that covers everything in tiny little white perfectly shaped balls.  Sometimes we even have snow, although that only happens about every 10 - 20 years apparently.  Wellington is one of those places that can have 'four seasons in one day'.  It pays to wear lots of layers of clothing sometimes, as you could either end up wearing a t-shirt or a large jacket at any time in one day.  And don't even THINK of opening an umbrella, or you (and the umbrella) will suffer the consequences.

And so...the subject brings me to my next 'Dangerous Doodle' Drawing Tutorial, named 'Cumulus, Head in the Clouds'.  Use this to draw a masterpiece of floating white fluffies, or dark brooding stormies.  Your choice :)  Don't forget to subscribe, so that you don't miss the next tutorial.  To see all the tutorials, click on the tab at the top of the page.

Happy Doodling!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Some Of the Artwork Inspired by Dangerous Doodle Tutorials.

A beautifully intricate artwork by 'Country15' inspired
by the 'Shell Treasures' Tutorial.

The Dangerous Doodles group on Flickr now has 32 members, and the photo pool features some fantastic artwork!  Here is a slideshow for you to enjoy.  I'm thinking of having a competition or two...what do you think?  Perhaps you have some competition ideas...I'm new to all this sort of thing, but it would be fun to try it and see what sort of response I get.  I also want to encourage the nice people who have taken the time to add their artwork.  Write your ideas in the comments below :)

You can see the tutorials here.


PS:  Click on the arrow to begin the slideshow.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A New Video - 'Hidden'.

This was supposed to be a 'work in progress' video, but I couldn't help myself and turned it into a sort of mini tutorial as well.  You can read more about it in my previous post.  Hope you like it :)

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