Practice makes progress – a Dangle Design

Angela Porter Dangle Design 23 March 2018

I’ve just completed this dangle design, which features a very appropriate message.

Learning to recognise when something is good enough has been a hard lesson for me, but bit by bit I’m getting there.  The ‘practice makes perfect’ adage puts a lot of pressure on a person, so I much prefer the use of the word ‘progress’ instead of perfect.

No one has ever picked up a pen or pencil or other tool for the first time ever and created a perfectly wonderful piece of art. It takes time, patience, and, above all else, practice.

Mistakes are made along the way, or I prefer to call them ‘happy accidents’ or ‘creative opportunities’.  They allow me to reflect on what I have done, to learn, and to improve or extend myself as a result.  Sometimes, the happy accidents teach me something I never would’ve come up with, a surprisingly pleasing result which becomes part of my artistic vocabulary. Sometimes, they result in me changing what the artwork was meant to be into what it needs to be.

To be flexible and not too invested in a definite artistic outcome, is another lesson that imperfections, happy accidents, or creative opportunities have taught me. Learning to go with the flow and work with what happens instead of fighting it and trying to force it into what I wanted it to be, which often then results in a horrible mess of a work.

I’m happy with this ‘dangle’.  If I drew it again, there are bits I’d change. If I were to colour it again, there’s bits I’d change. However, it’ll do as it is.

I sketched the design on dot grid paper, scanned it and then drew it digitally using my Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface.

Next, I printed it out on watercolour paper and used some Tombow Dual Brush Pens to colour it.  I didn’t use many colours at all; the blender brush helped me to achieve colour gradients.

I did use some Copic Multiliner SP pens to add some more details to the printed image and coloured image; I regret the stippling on the centre pot, but it’ll do. I’ll remember next time to use the little lines for added shading!

My book, A Dangle A Day, due out in September 2018 and available for pre-order now, will show you how, step by step, you can create similar dangle designs.

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