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May Plan With Me

For May I am getting back to my black and white illustrations, which I love, but there will still be a little color as well. I'm continuing to work in my Archer & Olive notebook and starting off with an apple blossom theme.

Watch the entire process in the video:

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Marker Colors:

Tombow Brush Pens: Lamp Black #N25, Sand #992, Holly Green #312, Hunter Green #249, Yellow Gold #026, Blush #772

Koi Brush Markers: Woody Brown #407, Lilac #123

Starting with my dutch door cover page, I am marking in eight squares on the first two pages and plotting out my design. I want to keep it simple, to create a beautiful black and white graphic illustration. With the branch coming down across the page, I'm adding a few large circles to mark the largest florals on my guide. I tucked some leaves in behind and added the heart shaped buds.

I continued to refine my guide, sketching out the blossoms, before going over everything in pen. The next step is the contour drawing - the stage in this photo - which is a line drawing without any shading. All I had to do at this point was go over the pencil guide. I wiggled my pen to get natural lines that don't look too perfect, and added the messy dots in the middle for the stamens. I thickened the line for the stem and kept it rough - I don't want that one to be smooth at all.

After erasing all the pencil marks, the very last step is adding in the line shading. I switched to a smaller fine liner and shaded the center of the flowers, to help with the concave look. Shading can be added anywhere you want to show shadow, or different colors and textures. By adding more shading and filling in the leaves there is more contrast between them and the blossoms.

I added a very large title for May in faux calligraphy, thickening each downstroke. After cutting it out I added my tiny calendar peeking out. In behind I have my month at a glance - I love starting each month off with my lists of goals and affirmations. In the video, I do a simplified illustration of the apple blossom branches to frame the page. If you want to keep it simple you can use these ones for the cover page as well.

For May, I need a large scale to-do list! This spread can easily be adapted for whatever it is that you need. I traced a ring of washi tape for my circle and used my markers to bring in some color. Starting with my gray, I drew the stems and leaves coming out of my pencil circle. Going around the circle, leaving lots of space, I added one color at a time with a new floral.

This one is all about the color palette. I chose the pinks and greens to go with my apple blossom theme, Pick a few colors that work well together and look nice. Each color is a different style of leaf, creating a tight cluster around the circle. This one is great bang for your buck! It's quick to create and is as simple as drawing different oval shaped leaves, but it is so striking and pretty with a great color palette. On the opposite page I created a bordered-in area for my to-do list which will grow throughout the rest of April.

I have done a smaller calendar this month with a 3x4 grid. Keeping in theme with the apple blossoms, I also included the moon to tie into my 2021 theme. I started by tracing a circle and coloring this in, and then adding some cute messy little flowers in pink marker. I kept a similar color palette, which just reminds me of spring, and drew them flowing up and out. Adding the sketchy pen after provides just a little more definition and contrast.

I am trying a totally new weekly layout from Pinterest this month! By dividing the two pages into columns and then squares it was easy to mark out the spaces in pencil first. Using my favorite fine liner, the Molotow, I traced over the headings of each. There are lots of spaces for to-do lists, notes, and room for one more illustration!

I hope you enjoy the springtime apple blossoms and have fun putting your own twist on this month's layout!

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