Illustrated Journal – 2 Feb 2023

Illustrated Journaling

For a long while, I’ve been playing around with hand lettering, using my writing in art, and the idea of marrying together writing and drawing. Today, I started a new sketchbook dedicated to this idea and exploration. I woke up this morning with the concept clear in my head, and so I did!

A sketchbook is a perfect place to experiment and try things out. I’ve already got various notes on this page reflecting on what is working and what isn’t. And there’s some reflective journaling too. My handwriting is a mess. That Distress Ink-ed dot grid paper looks really grubby. The Inktense pencils and the use of a water brush may not have been a good idea on the sketchbook paper. However, it is a sketchbook. It’s not meant to be anything other than a place to explore, experiment, and unearth hidden thoughts and ideas.

The last paragraph had a lot of negatives in it. I do like the border, and this is something I’ll continue to do. The idea of collating notes onto a page intrigues me; even adding pockets and other things from junk journaling could be an idea. Places to store notes about ingredients and so on. I enjoy researching all kinds of things, including foods, ingredients, spices and condiments.

Food illustrations

What is new is me drawing food! I don’t know if I’ll ever draw a plate or bowl of food, but the ingredients or various elements interest me. So I’ve written a note to myself to see if I can make patterns or motifs for my more abstract, non-representational work from them.

I also must learn that colours can be imperfect; close enough is good enough! The ginger jam (more correctly, ginger preserve) was troublesome. But it’s good enough for now.

Soothing fraught emotions and thoughts

I’ve been relatively open with my mental and emotional health challenges, to a degree at least. And I thought it would be an excellent idea to combine that with food, and maybe more.

Art and food are two ways I can soothe and comfort myself. On good days, I’ll be adventurous with cooking. It may be a takeaway delivery or something quick and easy on bad days. On the in-between days, comforting food is the go-to, often more traditional recipes.

Cooking is always a challenge as a singleton. However, the motivation to cook and feed me wholesome and healthy food can be a considerable challenge, especially on my fraught and frazzled days.

Where will this lead?

I don’t know. I know it’s a personal project, but a friend and I have talked about collaborating on a project about cooking. So this may be a way of kicking the project off, even though I am still determining where it will go. If nothing else, it will give me a way to draw new and different things, explore various techniques, both in art and cooking, and reflect on all kinds of things. I’ll get to practice my handwriting and hand lettering as well. And perhaps work out how to create a pleasing layout!

This will, I trust, encourage me to take more care of myself in terms of nutrition. In addition, adding daily entries for at least one meal will hold me accountable.

A variety of meals/dishes will be required too and so will stop me from eating the same old things again and again! That’s a rut I can get stuck in. Also, if I find something I enjoy, I will eat it again and again, day after day, until I become sickened by it! That is not good either!

Am I overloading myself with projects?

I have a book to do for Creative Haven by the end of June. There are some self-published colouring books that I’d like to do too. Then there’s my creepy-cute monsters project. YouTube. Writing. And more!

I often can’t see the wood for the trees. Being able to prioritise has never been a strong skill of mine. However, I do need variety and options of what to work on. Otherwise, the work can become stale and uninspiring to me. And I can so easily get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, or tasks, to be done. And then there’s the fear of failure, of not being good enough, that results in procrastination.

Also, I know that at the moment, my emotions and, thus, my mental state isn’t the best; new challenges in life outside of art and creativity. But that means that art and creativity are more important to me to help me calm, relax, get in the flow and give my mind and emotions a break!

I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I’m not one for schedules of work day by day and hour by hour. That may be something I need to look into.

But not now. Now I need a mega-big mug of good strong tea! I’m British (Welsh), and we think tea will solve everything!

Zentangle Inspired Drawing | Draw With Me Video

Draw With Me video on YouTube

This design was inspired by a Zentangle Tile I did in the Tea and Tangle session organised and run by Tracy Hough CZT.

I wanted to do a design that was simple (ish?) and didn’t use too many patterns. This will form a page in my accordion journal.

The paper is Clay toned paper from Fabriano.
The pens I use are an 0.3 Unipin fine liner and a Tombow Fudenosuke.
To add colour, I used some Derwent Drawing Pencils in Chinese White, Pale Cedar and Olive Earth.
White dots were added with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen.
Gold details added using a gold glitter Unball Signo gel pen.

Hearts and flowers mandala

Today’s art is a mandala with hearts and flowers as the main themes. I’ve only used three colours – red, green and gold! That’s surprising to me; usually, I go to town on colour. However, in this case, it gives a coherency to the design I prefer.

One thing I may do is to revisit it and add textures to the spaces between the design elements. And a drop shadow would help to lift it off the paper a bit more.

Mandalas are really soothing and meditative to draw and add colour to. And I certainly need that today.

The last few days have had me intensely inking in colouring pages and adding colour to some of them. Yesterday I was determined to get the last couple done, and I overdid it a bit; my damaged muscles/tendons/ligaments between two ribs are rather stiff and sore. But I got it done! Whimsical Houses is complete, and the cover and back art for the next book is also done. So, now I can take a bit of a breather and spend some time on personal projects.

I’m also so tired today. My mind was working twenty-nine to the dozen last night. I woke before 4 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I see a nap not too far in the future. But before that tea. Lots of tea. Probably some lunch too!

Entangled, Zentagle Inspired Drawing – 28 January 2013

Click on the link to view the accompanying Draw With Me video tutorial on YouTube.

Yesterday, I had a stinking cold. One trip to a cafĂ© for lunch by myself, and I pick a bug up! I’m feeling a lot better today; still not right, but better. Anyhoo, I just ran out of steam after filming the video and uploading it. I had to stop and sleep.

So, the drawing is an unusual one for me. I used an 05 brown Sakura Pigma Micron pen and added some shade/colour with a port Graphitint pencil and waterbrush. The white patterns were added using an 08 GellyRoll pen, also by Sakura.

The paper is ‘naturel’ coloured PaintON Mix media paper by Claire Fontaine, and it’s approx 10cm x 14 cm in size.

There’s more to do in terms of colour, shade and highlight with this drawing. But not today. Today I need quiet time to rest, recover, and maybe do some quiet work. I have three colouring pages to add colour to as soon as possible. Then I can breathe for a while and really take some time to recover my strength, resilience, and equilibrium after what seems like months of hiccoughs, starting with the muscle damage between my ribs nearly three months ago.

Adding colour with Pitt Pastel Pencils

Arty Musings

Click this link to view the YouTube video where I partly colour this drawing.

A day or two ago, I started to add colour to this drawing using Pitt Pastel Pencils from Faber-Castell. I thoroughly enjoyed using these pencils, possibly more than alcohol markers! That was a big surprise! I think the paper makes all the difference. I drew the design on ClaireFontaine PaintON mixed media paper in a natural colour. This paper has a ‘tooth’ to it which the pastel pencil can be worked into to ‘fix’ it somewhat.

I tend to approach adding colour as a way of adding another layer of pattern. It’s not about representational art and giving a realistic look. For me, it’s about playing with layers and volume using contrast. If I keep this in mind, then colouring can go reasonably well.

I kept to a simple palette of three browns and two greens. Oh, and a white pastel pencil too. I also used gold ink on the ‘beads’ and found that I could add shade to it with pastel left on the paper tortillon.

I will finish adding colour to this design; it will find its way into my accordion art journal. But I won’t be finishing it today.

Overwhelmed and overwrought

My emotions are all over the place for reasons I’m not going to go into. But, just to say, it’s been a tough few days, and I’m now officially exhausted.

I’ve had to push through with work to get the first drawings for my next colouring book revised and inked in. I still have one template for Whimsical Houses to colour, which is my plan for tomorrow. Not today. I can barely keep my eyes open.

I need to be gentle with myself and give myself some quiet, relaxing time and plenty of opportunities to sleep so my brain and emotions can reset. Some Star Wars may be in order … Yes, a good dose of Star Wars always does me good!

Entangled Colouring Page – 26 January 2023

I had a lot of fun drawing this colouring page in my entangled style. It was so lovely getting back in the ‘entangled’ groove for colouring pages; there is a reason for me needing to do this. I also had some fun with adding colour. Though, as is usual for my colouring pages, it’s a partial colour! My attention needs to be turned towards other things.

This template is available to the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group.

Drawn with a 0.5 Unipin pen on dot grid paper. Colour was added digitally using Clip Studio Paint.

Zentangle and Early Celtic Art Inspired Drawing

Click on this link to view this design’s Draw With Me YouTube video.

I very much enjoyed drawing this design. It all began with a bit of chance. I grabbed my notebook full of motifs and patterns and opened it randomly. On the pages were some Early Celtic Art patterns dating back to the Iron Age. So, I started at the top left with one of these and let the rest of the design flow intuitively. Some patterns and practices were inspired by Zentangle principles. Oh, I did include some motifs inspired by the work of Yellena James.

I love Early Celtic (La Tene) art. It’s full of swirls and spirals and asymmetry too. It just intrigues me so much. Of course, I really enjoy drawing these kinds of non-representational designs very much.

Next, this design will need colour/shade/highlight somehow. I don’t know whether to use Inktense pencils or chalk pastel pencils. Either would work on the paper I used – ClaireFontaine’s PaintON mixed media paper.

I used 0.5 and 0.3 Unipin Fine Line pens from Uniball. The paper measures approx 4″ x 5.5″ (10cm x 14cm).

Aww, shucks…

Aww, shucks…

Another daily creepy cute critter. Well, almost daily. I’ll explain more in a moment, first to this lovely bunch of pals, or not lovely, depending on your interpretation.

I’m not sure what the possible story is or what stories are here. But that’s part of the fun. I suspect we’ll each see what makes sense to us, given where we are at any particular moment. I feel the tall one is having an aww shucks moment, especially as the ears are blushing (not the cheeks!). Is it a celebration? Or surprised someone would think of them, and the little one is rolling their eyes… again! Is tall always blue in colour, or is it a sign of their low mood and the others have thought to cheer them up?

But, of course, that is just one interpretation. It’s fun to muse about what’s going on for sure.

‘Puter Probs…

I’ve been missing from blog posts, social media and YouTube for a few days thanks to some computer problems. But all seems to be fine now, and I have a shiny new laptop that will function as a backup for digital art should my main computer have problems again. I have no idea what went wrong, but I went into full flap and panic mode. Or, an enormous flap and panic mode as I was already overwhelmed with a second deadline looming at the end of this week. The only problem with the new one is the pen on the screen is not as good as my main puter. So, I see a drawing tablet in the future, just in case…

I still have a lot of anxiety left over from this flap and panic, which is tiring me out. But that will fade. Tea will definitely help this morning! As will some art just for art’s sake too.

Trust me, I know where I’m going…

But who is leading, and who is doing the trusting? Little, big, bird or balloonist?

And how many times have we all heard that particular statement, only to find out they didn’t know where they were going. Sometimes that ends in disaster, but sometimes it results in a fantastic adventure!

All I know is there are multiple possible tales to be told from this illustration. And that kind of excites me!

Drawn with a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on paper. Colour added using Clip Studio Paint. Tradigital art.

With a little help from a friend…

What’s going on here, then? Some of my cuties caught in action… Sometimes we all need the help of a friend to dispel the emotional storm clouds that gather. This little, cute, pink critter seems to be spreading lots of love and a helping hand and I’m sure he’d be happy if he made you smile too!

Tradigital art – drawn with a ‘hard’ Tombow Fudenosuke pen on SeaWhite of Brighton All Media paper and colour added digitally in Clip Studio Paint.