Monday Mandala

Yet again, a lovely way to start a Monday. Mandalas are always a pleasure to draw/paint/create. I particularly love creating them digitally for many reasons, not least is the opportunity to experiment and learn new skills. It removes the worry of making a ‘mistake’ on paper and either having to start again or try to make that ‘mistake’ a part of the work. Often, that ‘mistake’ will be worked into the drawing, but not always and if I know it’s there, it bothers me, even if no one else can see it. The perfectionist in me gets a tad upset at it.

Having said that, there are a couple of things I’m not happy with in this mandala, but I can live with them.

One thing I do like is the colour palette of copper/bronze colours and that steely blue-grey. Vintage colours seem to be my thing at the moment for sure.

Purpose and passion…

What to do with an entangled design that seems to want to take up just one side of a page? Add a quote!

The design was drawn on Bristol Board with a fine Uniball ‘eye’ gel pen and a 01 Unipin pen for the fine lines. The quote was added in Affinity Designer.

It was a quote that just ‘spoke’ to me this morning. Art is one of my passions and something I indulge myself in daily, whether for work or pleasure. I’m so grateful I can combine my work with my passion. Not only that, my coloring templates and books allow others to share in my passion and expressing theirs through colour.

I do get disheartened at times. I doubt myself often. I often judge myself very harshly, especially if I compare my work to others. It’s not always plain sailing. But, I’ve learned that if I persevere, I end up with work that I’m happy with, including this one.

Entangled Art

Just trying out new 05 fineliner pens in vintage tones.

The central motif/pattern was worked on a small square of cotton watercolour paper (2″ x 2″ or 5 cm x 5 cm) coloured with Tea Dye Distress Ink. The larger panel beneath is a piece of Bristol Board (6″ x 6″ or 15.5cm x 15.5cm) coloured with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.

I used various shades of Carbothello chalk pastel pencils and a paper tortillion to add colour and shadow. Gold higlights and a border around the central motif were added with a metallic gold Gelly Roll pen.

I’ve just noticed I really didn’t do a good idea at adding my initials so they were oriented harmoniously! Still, this really was just a trying out something kind of thing. I’d seen a Zentangle video about the use of cartouches – frames around writing or an illustration. And thought I’d try it out, in my usual clumsy kind of way.

I do like the idea of creating frames around other small pieces of art or precious items. That may be something I do going forward.

Template Thursday

Thursday seems to come around both quickly and as if it’s been an age since last Thursday. As it’s Thursday, that means it’s time for a new colouring template /coloring page for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week’s template is a typically ‘Angela’ entangled style drawing. A stylised dragonfly floats above an entangled background containing arches and seed pods, flowers and foliage, along with various patterns and an intricate border.

I’ve chosen to part colour the template in a monochrome scheme of greens. I don’t really pay attention to light source much. mostly I use light and shadow as part of the patterns and a way to introduce a sense of depth and dimension to my art. This is something I realised only recently.

Work in progress Wednesday

Yet another work in progress! Also, another gel pen drawing, this time with Zebra Sarasa 0.5 pens in vintage tones. For this drawing I used smooth, heavy-weight cartridge paper. This paper has more texture than the bristol board and the pens didn’t work as well on this.

The colours are rich and intense, and the palette will work well with the Arteza Vintage gel pens. I like the finer line of these pens. I do like these pens, which I bought the same time as the Arteza ones. None of my posts are sponsored by any company, nor do I receive any products for free to review. I mention brands and names in case you’re interested in what I’m using to create art with.

I’ve had a poor night’s sleep. I don’t really know why. So, I was working on this during the insomnia hours. It kind of reminds me of layers or rock beneath the layers we walk and live on. I think the geology lectures I’ve been listening to have had an unconscious influence! The lower layers definitely have an intensely metamorphic feel to them.

Working with colour to draw is something new for me. I’ve dabbled in the past but always reverted to black quickly. I know understand that the colours were just too bright, or perhaps my taste in colours was for the bright tones. I still love those kinds of intense colours, but there’s something alluring about these vintage tones that I seem to need to use and express.

Always growing, developing, experimenting, learning and changing. Sometimes these changes are subtle with the art looking the same but somehow different. At other times they are sizeable changes. Sometimes these changes are a temporary diversion to explore the new. Even these temporary changes have an influence on my artistic voice.

Trying out Vintage Gel Pens from Arteza

All my life, I’ve had a love of bright colours. I’ve shied away from the more earthy, natural or vintage tones. Recently, however, I’ve been using a lot of brown and more subdued colours in my art. When I saw Arteza had a box of vintage coloured gel pens, I thought I’d give them a go! So, I got out a sheet of bristol board and started to draw with the Vintage Grape Purple and Ginger pens.

Usually, I have huge problems with gel pens. The ink doesn’t flow smoothly due to the way I hold the pen (very upright) and it tends to blob. The pen soon stops working as well – and I don’t choose cheap pens. However, I was very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the ink flows from these pens. No globs. It dries quickly. I can colour small areas smoothly. And the colours are rich. A bonus is I’m able to get the pen to produce thinner lines when I ‘flick’ the pen to add hatching lines.

Normally, I’d only draw in black. However, the darker tones of these pens may very well change my mind, for some projects any way.

The pens are non-toxic and acid-free. They are definitely smooth writing – the first gel pens I can say that work that way for me. And they do dry quickly, so no smudging!

So, one happy artsy me today. Always nice to have new pens that play nicely with me!

Mandala Monday

It’s Monday, so it’s time for a mandala. This one includes lots of Zentangle tangle patterns, many quite organic in nature.

I, again, chose a monochrome colour scheme, and enjoyed playing with light and shadow to add dimension to this artwork. Perhaps not quite as contrasting as I’d like, but still interesting.

Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio.

Sunday Work In Progress

This is one of a couple of drawings I have on the go at the moment. The scan has washed out and altered the colours a tad. The gradations of colour are a lot smoother too. But I think you get the idea.

This was was drawn with Copic Multiliners on heavy smooth cartridge paper by Daler Rowney. I’m using Staedtler and Chameleon fineliners to add texture/pattern to the drawing. The larger areas of colour were achieved with Carbothello pastel pencils and a paper tortillon.

I was going to stick to a monochrome colour scheme, but some of those tendrils, fronds and leaves just needed a touch of a muted green. And then that led me to including that central ‘orb’ of turquoise (which isn’t as pale or lacking gradient as it appears).

I’m getting to the point where I need to decide how much white space to leave in the design, and where I’m going to add colour and/or texture and pattern. I also need to think about whether some of those coloured spaces need either more shadow or lightening up a bit. That means it’s time for me to take a break from this particular artwork and go and do another or something else completely different!

Before that, there are elements in this design that I really like – the strange columns/antenna at the top and bottom left, the organic trellis of fronds in the largest part of the design. That horizontal bar towards the top. however, just jars with the rest of th design.

Entanglement – 19 Feb ’21

Yesterday’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group all coloured and shaded. I used Chameleon alcohol markers to add the colour and some shading. I also used a graphite pencil and a tortillon to darken the shading and add shadow to the lighter areas. It’s turned out OK.

Template Thursday

This week, I decided to create a coloring page / template that is in the ‘Angela’ Entangled style, similar to yesterday’s artwork.

I made the motifs bigger and less patterned for the coloring template, however. To add colour to my version of the template I used a mixture of brown fineliners by Staedtler and Stabilo. Instead of solid colour, I used patterns and textures to add colour and complexity. I did use a pale grey fineliner to add details to the snowdrops and leaves, but the scanner didn’t pick it up. Ho hum.

After I’ve had lunch, I may return to the drawing to add shadows to bring out some dimension and depth. I’m not sure what medium I’ll use, though alcohol makers may be the best option, perhaps. I’ll see how I feel when I get to it.

Of course this is the template of the week for the members of the Angela Porter’s coloring book fans facebook group. And this week there’s a challenge to colour this template, or another of their choice, in a monochrome colour scheme.

If you’d like to print the template and join in with the challenge then just pop along to the group!