MSG on my mind

Today I listened to a podcast about MSG. It’s is a very interesting food additive, and something I only knew very little about.

Doodle style drawing of the letters MSG inside the mouth of a person.
A silly doodle and a serious post.

The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4) is one of my favourite podcasts. While the baby was on her way to a nap in the garden, I listened to the first half of the episode “Pure umami: should we learn to love MSG?” from May 2021. And I was eager to hear the rest.

The thing that struck me the most was the points about racism and the stigma around MSG and Chinese food.

As I learned from the podcast, MSG is used in a wide variety of foods, such as chips (crisps). The science does not show that it’s unhealthy, even though many people think that it is. I’m one of the people who had an idea that “MSG is bad”, but I couldn’t tell you why I thought so. I also couldn’t tell you why I mostly related this to Chinese food without giving it a second thought.

Racism is a hard word for me to say or even type, but it’s something that I know I have to care more about than I have. Especially because it is so ingrained in things that I would never think of, because I’m so privileged that I don’t see it.

Besides an important wake-up call about racism, what I gained from the podcast is that I probably shouldn’t worry about MSG in restaurant food. I could even consider using it in my home cooking. A whole other issue addressed in the end of the episode is additives in processed foods. Long story short, things like MSG or sweeteners can make a product taste good even though it has very little nutrition. And that might be a bigger problem.

Did you know a lot about MSG already, or did you learn something reading this?

Please listen to the whole podcast episode if you’re interested, I probably didn’t do it justice!

Anyway, thanks for reading this, I know the post was more serious than my usual stuff. Maybe it’s because I’m a mother now, maybe it’s because of the state of the world. I can’t promise my next post won’t be about a fluffy bug that I saw, or something even more silly. But I’ll probably continue to write about things that are close to my heart, I hope you’re here for it.

❀

MSG on my mind

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) πŸŒ·πŸŒ€οΈ

… and then Winter returned πŸ˜³πŸ˜„ But here they are anyway.

Here are 3 Spring-themed doodles I made in the first week of March. Still doodling away on my phone in ibisPaint X whenever I have the chance.

I love illustrating food, especially veggies πŸ’š

I didn’t really plan out this drawing but just added things bit by bit. I try to eat what’s in season (and not grown in heated greenhouses), because it’s a way for me to be more sustainable. That means I haven’t had a fresh tomato or cucumber in a long time.

But living in this country can get a bit boring foodwise, especially in Winter. We love potatoes, carrots and all sorts of kale and cabbage in this house, but do get fed up with it. So we allow ourselves to get imported veg, especially peppers and lots of oranges and lemons, I just can’t live without them. And on rare occasions an avocado, yum!

I think I’m going to be a bit more loose about my “local and in season” food goal, because our daughter will soon start to eat solid food. And I want her to taste everything. But I’m torn, because I also want to teach her about sustainable lifestyle and give her a good Earth to live on!

When you think about it, it’s quite ridiculous that we have become used to being able to buy fresh fruit this far North in the middle of Winter.

Umm, that was quite a blurb about food. Anyway! Here are the other two Spring doodles.

Weeeeee! *sniffle

Just a lil’ Spring flower who is maybe now reconsidering the choice to come up and say hi.

You can find speed videos of my drawing process for both of these last doodles on my Instagram.

It was great to have some days with nice weather, especially since all you can really do is go for walks at the moment. But then the cold came back to bite us all in the, well, cheeks! πŸ₯Ά So I think I’ll wait an extra couple months to remove my woolly layers πŸ˜„

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) πŸŒ·πŸŒ€οΈ

Maternity leave Maksy binge

I discovered Rachel Maksy on YouTube back in September when I was waiting for the baby to arrive. So me and my belly binged all her videos ☺️ And now I made some fanart, I guess!

If you’re at all interested in fashion, vintage clothes, cosplay, hair, makeup or just laughing, you need to check out Rachel Maksy (link to YouTube). Such a hilarious and beautiful lady boss, and so many memes! Of which I understand only a few, but that’s fine.

Yesterday I drew this portrait of Rachel on my phone:

I had fun with a more paint-like style than I normally go for and went ham with different brushes. It turned out fine, I think, but I’m still practicing how to draw properly in ibisPaintX (check out my previous post for more on that).

Makeup or hairstyles are completely out of my comfort zone, so I’m sorry if I messed up the details. Especially Rachel’s wonderful, messy, curly bangs were very difficult to draw!

I watched a bit of video while I sketched the outline but didn’t look a lot at reference images, so the portrait isn’t based on a specific Rachel look.

I put her in a blue shirt/dress because I liked the colour, even though I know she prefers brown, hobbitty colours 😊

You can check out a 1 minute video of the drawing process over on my Instagram.

Btw I’ve decided to try to draw and post something there every day for the month of March, so stay tuned for that. We’ll see if the baby allows it! Maybe I’ll do some roundups here on the blog as well if there’s time.

Maternity leave Maksy binge

Learning to draw in ibisPaint X

I’ve started using a new drawing app on my phone and having fun trying out different drawing styles. Here you can check out some of my first doodles.

After a period of doodling a lot in my sketchbook, I wanted to get back into digital drawing. Mainly for the practical reason that I don’t have to get out any drawing stuff, but can start drawing immediately when the baby takes a nap and I don’t want to get up πŸ˜†

My first 2 quick doodles in ibisPaint X. Not really meant to be shared but what the heck.

I’ve had ibisPaint X on my phone for months (thanks to my cool and creative niece who recommended it ❀️) but never really got started until now.

A very random and late Valentine’s Day doodle that I shared on Instagram…
Testing out a new drawing style with a doggo doodle! When I don’t know what to draw I go for cats and dogs, food things or people. And at the moment a lot of babies πŸ˜„

I had a cheap stylus which so far has been okay to use, but I’ve been drawing so much that it already needs replacing. I could just use my finger to draw but I find that very difficult 😬

What I think about ibisPaint X so far

I’m really liking the airbrush tools, and generally find the drawing tools in the app easy to use. Especially the handy switch between brush and eraser and the zoom and rotate functions. It’s also very neat to be able to make a process video of a drawing.

Orange airbrush vibes 🧑

I should mention I quickly decided to pay for the ad-free version of the app to also get access to more brush options. Which you obviously don’t have to do, but I don’t regret.

I’m having lots of fun playing around with textures and colours. Actually spending time drawing that I could be napping or doing other useful things!

If you draw, do you use drawing apps for your phone/tablet or prefer working on paper – or maybe on a computer with a larger screen? You’re welcome to share in the comments, thanks for following along! More drawings to come!

Learning to draw in ibisPaint X

Flower sketches

I thought I’d share these two different doodles. I made a traditional drawing in my sketchbook first, and a couple of days later it inspired a digital doodle of the same cute flower creatures.

Flower sketch made with marker and coloured pencil.
Flower doodle made in Gimp.

I like both doodles, but the digital definitely took longer to make. I tried out a drawing style that looks like it’s drawn with marker on paper.

Using my sketchbook as inspiration for digital drawings is nice. Then I don’t have to think of something to draw, but I can use my energy on trying new colouring techniques.Β 

When I made the previous post (Orange pepper), I realised that I didn’t have a garden tag on the blog. So now there is one!

Since moving into a house I have plants on my mind a lot of the time. I guess they’re a classic thing to draw, and I’m very bad at drawing leaves and trees and stuff like that. So I’ll probably post more practice doodles of indoor and outdoor green things on here πŸ™‚

Flower sketches

Orange pepper

Gardening is new to me, and I get VERY excited when something new happens with my plants. Sometimes things change colour from one day to the next! So I had to make a drawing about it.

My sister gave me a pepper plant and a tomato plant as a housewarming gift in Spring, and they are both thriving in the greenhouse. There are soooo many fruits!

Colourful fruits

So far, all the peppers have been green, but a couple of days ago one of them turned orange! And it made me a very happy garden owner.

How do they know when to stop growing and start changing colour? It must be some kind of garden magic. Now the challenge is to leave it for a couple more days and see if it turns red. If I don’t eat it before it happens!

Drawing process

Here’s a look at my original hand-drawn sketch from my sketchbook:

I imported it into Gimp, coloured it in and added some layer effects to keep the hand-drawn vibe. I’m happy with the style, it turned out kind of children’s book-ish. Which I think fits the little story well. If you can even call it a story… To me, it’s headline news!

Also, I started work again last week after the summer vacation and today was the first very busy day. So colouring in this little doodle felt very calming and nice.

I’ve been doodling and drawing digitally a lot this summer, and I really want to keep it up as much as possible – even though I use up some of my creative energy at work. Drawing is so good for my mental health, so I need to try to stay in the habit.

Orange pepper

Blurry hedgehog

Last week, I saw a hedgehog in my garden for the first time! It made me really happy, because I love seeing new animals in the garden. And hedgehogs are so cute! This guy was just walking casually down the garden path.

I also love hedgehogs because they eat slugs (I think?) and we have lots of slugs that like to eat my salad!

I know hedgehogs aren’t purple, but I chose a different colour than brown to give off a Danish summer evening vibe – and also just for fun.

Drawing process

Here’s a speed video of my drawing process:

The actual drawing process took about 30 minutes. As you can see in the video, I’m having fun experimenting with different layers, layer modes and textured pens in Gimp at the moment.

One of the artists that has inspired me to develop my digital drawings is JelArts – check out her channel on YouTube if you don’t already follow her.

A big, prickly mouse

I think I inadvertently made my hedgehog look like a fat mouse…

There’s something about the snout that I would change if I drew it again. It should probably be less pointy. And maybe the eye placement needs to be different.

But, hey! I only saw this particular hedgehog once, and only for about a minute. And it was the night time! πŸ˜€

I managed to take a very blurry photo, which I couldn’t really use as a drawing reference. But I decided to draw it anyway and not to Google how they actually look.

I did a hedgehog doodle for Inktober 2018 in more of my “old” lineart doodle style. They might actually look a bit more like real hedgehogs πŸ˜€

I’ve never really been great at drawing from a picture reference anyway, I prefer drawing freely from what I remember or imagine. And then mouse-hog creatures sometimes happen!

Mugs and things

If you like my recent more colourful drawing style, you might want to check out my new sourdough design in my Redbubble shop. That drawing was made mixing traditional and digital drawing – read about it in this post.

Thanks for the read!

Blurry hedgehog

Catnap experiment

This cat drawing is another result of my recent Gimp adventures:

Naps are the best.

The drop shadow turned out a bit weird – don’t know what happened there. I’m still learning about drawing light and shadows after I’ve started to use more colours in my drawings.

I guess I could try to fix it, but I’m more motivated to leave it as is and try again with another drawing.

I haven’t had a lot of time to doodle these past couple of vacation weeks because of house visits and house work (and let’s be real – lots of preggo naps). When I’ve had 5 or 10 minutes to draw, I’ve mainly been doodling in my sketchbook, so will share some of those old fashioned paper drawings soon πŸ™‚

Catnap experiment

Swol sourdough is back!

I’ve been baking sooo much bread lately, and it reminded me of a dough doodle I made for #inktober 2018. If you love baking too, you can get the new, colourful Swol Sourdough as a sticker, on a mug or notebook (among other products) in my shop.

The old drawing looked like this:

sourdough yeast rise #inktober doodle by wordsanddoodlesblog
Read my Inktober post from 2018 here

And here’s the fresh version of “Swol Sourdough” as I’ve decided to name it:

You’d better pop it in the oven soon, before it spills out of its tin.

I put this design on stickers, mugs and more products in my Redbubble shop for other baking nerds flexing their dough muscles – you can see them all here:

Drawing process

The new and improved version of my dough doodle was drawn on paper using Windsor & Newton Promarkers and coloured pencils. Afterwards I did some digital editing in Gimp and Adobe Illustrator to give it some clearer colours and contrast. I also ended up using Adobe Draw to do the final line art. Needless to say, I spent many hours on perfecting this sourdough!

If you follow the blog, you might also have seen this sourdough doodle that I made a couple of weeks ago – also inspired by the doodle from 2018.

It’s funny how old drawings sometimes pop up in my head and inspire something new. I draw a lot of new things on paper and screen at the moment, too, but redrawing old stuff is very fun and challenging at the same time.

Swol sourdough is back!

The year of the belly

I sat down today and sketched a couple of new comics. And then I realised I haven’t made any this year so far! As usual, this one is based on real life – in this case, a fresh conversation from yesterday morning πŸ˜€

comic about shoes and bellies by wordsanddoodlesblog image 1
comic about shoes and bellies by wordsanddoodlesblog image 2
comic about shoes and bellies by wordsanddoodlesblog image 3
comic about shoes and bellies by wordsanddoodlesblog image 4 - final

It’s probably important to note here that I’m pregnant and soon in my third trimester. Which means my feet are beginning to be quite foreign to me and difficult to reach. We both joke a lot about my very round belly, but I also get all the love. I hope the last bit of the comic shows that πŸ™‚

I have to admit, the perspective in the last panel is very strange. Maybe my BF is supposed to be sitting on a chair and leaning dramatically to the side or backwards? Anyway, it was fun to draw.

Mixing traditional and digital drawing techniques

After drawing and colouring this comic in by hand with markers and coloured pencils, I spent a couple of hours (maybe 4… Yay vacation time!) redrawing the line art and adding layers of colour in Gimp. My style has evolved quite a bit – Check out my collection of comics here.

I’m happy with the result, but I’m definitely still very slow when working in Gimp and need to practice loooots more. Luckily there are many little silly moments like the one above to use as material. And there will probably be even more when there’s a baby living with us!!

Fun fact about hands

I actually had my BF model his hand for the third panel. I find that hands are still one of the most difficult things to draw!

I was surprised at how well this one turned out. And let’s leave it at that small success and never talk about the squiggly doodle supposed to be my own two hands in the last panel…

The year of the belly