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About Other / Artist Core Member Karen Amanda HarrisFemale/United Kingdom Recent Activity
Deviant for 3 Years
12 Month Core Membership
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Hi! And welcome to my site.

I am a self-taught artist from London, UK. Although I was a bit of an artistic chameleon over the years, flitting shamelessly from one approach to another, I've gradually developed my own signature style. More information below...

"Stained Glass Mosaic"

My style is inspired by the vibrancy of stained glass and the jagged geometry of mosaics - but is achieved with mere pen and paper. I combine the technique with my favourite themes from fantasy and mythology: dragons and snakes, great birds, mountains, lakes and enchantresses. Recently I've been exploring the possibilities of pure, abstract colour and shape.

This technique actually started out as a solution to a common problem: lack of space. I badly wanted to paint, but was finding it increasingly hard to lay out all the equipment where I wanted it - plus there was the inevitable mess! And then I hit upon the idea of coloured pens: this much-neglected medium can create beautifully intense colour combinations. They are also easily portable, and can be ready to use or packed away in a moment.

Although I started out by using a variety of fibre-tip pens, I quickly progressed onto the wonderful range of Letraset markers. Today, these remain my medium of choice for their smooth, professional lushness.

And so I began to experiment…

1) Materials

The materials are fairly simple. My essential kit presently consists of the following:
• Letraset pens (ProMarker; Metallic Marker; AquaMarker);
• gold and silver gel pens;
• black liners of varying thickness (I recommend Staedtler pigment liner and Faber-Castell PITT artist pen);
• white paint marker - or even correction fluid;
• heavyweight watercolour paper;
• plus, of course, a good old HB pencil and eraser for the preparatory bit.

2) The basic technique…

• I begin by drawing the outlines and adding the jagged "tiles", all with an HB pencil. (If these tiles are kept fairly small, the final picture becomes more vibrant and sophisticated.) It's a good idea to plan the design in a sketchbook first for composition and balance: no point in wasting high-quality watercolour paper.
• Then the really fun part starts: the colouring in. For each distinct section of the painting (e.g. a creature's wings), I typically choose up to seven or eight colours, which I first test to see how well they harmonise. Once I am happy with the combination, I fill in that section, distributing the colours partly at random, but also according to my own preferences for whichever shade(s) should predominate. I usually try to avoid having the exact same colour on adjacent tiles.
• I then go over the outlines in black ink, with thin lines between tiles and thicker lines between sections.
• Finally, I often highlight the key areas (e.g. the shape of a creature against the background) using a white pen, or correction fluid with a fine paintbrush.
• Et voila!

Naturally, my technique has evolved over time. I've found, for example, that the texture of watercolour paper combined with high-quality markers creates a velvety richness, and I wholeheartedly recommend Letraset Metallic Markers for their soft glimmer - plus they're great for covering errors. Gel pens, applied sparingly, can also create an irresistible glow.

I really hope you enjoy the artwork here. And do try out the technique: there's a real pleasure in trying to find that elusive alchemy of colour from the myriad possibilities. Plus the whole process is both deeply, deeply meditative and immensely thrilling (I promise). Please feel free to get in touch: I'm always delighted to get feedback.  


Scarletfruit's Profile Picture
Karen Amanda Harris
Artist | Other
United Kingdom


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DominiqueDuong Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Hey, it was nice meeting you at the workshop today :) I really like your work, it's so colourful and detailed, keep it up
Scarletfruit Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014   Artist
Hi Dominique - so sorry it took me this long to reply.  I've only just logged in to my deviantart account, having neglected it for ages and ages!  I was so happy to see your message: my apologies for not having seen it earlier - I must seem really rude!

I'd be interested to hear more about your degree at Westminster; as I'm based at UAL it's always interesting to hear about other courses and the similarities/differences.

I love your work too, and hope you have loads of success with your illustration career...

Andecaya Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for joining :iconyour-best-art: I'm glad you are with us!
Please share your work and your favourites with us. We also accept tutorials and stock because this is what others help to create art!

You can find our rules here: [link]
Also you are maybe interested in our contests - have a look at the blog section for our contests

Maddie-Marie Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fav! :)
Scarletfruit Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012   Artist
You're welcome! Hope the creativity block is beginning to evaporate...
Maddie-Marie Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually it is :)
ProcerDeCrepusculum Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Welcome to DeviantArt! :la:


Scarletfruit Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012   Artist
Thanks, still trying to get it all started :)
ProcerDeCrepusculum Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Professional General Artist
You are most welcome! :D You seem to be setting up fast. :)

Scarletfruit Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012   Artist
Now I just need to get on as many forums as possible and start networking...
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