A video experiment…

I woke this morning and something had filtered through my unconscious mind about why I couldn’t get the record screen app in Movavi to work. I had to set my computer into tablet mode. And all worked well, including recording my voice as I worked.

I was a bit flustered and more than usually waffly, but if you’d like to see how I add colour digitally, then you can see the screen, and hopefully the ‘mouse’ pointer.

I can now calm down that I know I can do this!

If you watch the video and enjoy it, like and subscribe.
If there’s any helpful advice you can give, or suggestions for future projects, then please leave a comment with them.

Coloring ‘Serendipity’

I’ve spent much of the day so far adding colour to my ‘Serendipity’ drawing that I completed yesterday. The whole process of drawing has been videoed and is available on my YouTube channel.

I thought it would be an idea to try to record a timelapse of my process in Clip Studio Paint Pro, which has a tool that does it for you. This just didn’t work, it caused everything to freeze up.

So, I thought I’d try the record screen tool in the Movavi Video Suite. It didn’t let me use my digital pen on the screen. So, I’m going to have to spelunk through the settings to see if I can resolve that issue, and the one with Clip Studio Paint Pro. A couple of things to sort out along with how to add a voice-over to a video!

So, after getting another mug of tea, I settled to starting colouring the image digitally. I wanted to use the rich colour palette I’d used for this week’s ‘Template Thursday’ design.

I’ve only got part of the design done. It’s taking me a little longer to add colour in CSPP (Clip Studio Paint Pro) than in Sketchbook as I’m not familiar with the tool layout yet.

Again, I’m taking this as an opportunity to learn more about CSPP, in very tiny, tiny steps. I seem to have found a watercolour brush I like that adds an interesting texture to the colour. Usually, my work is characterised by rather smooth colour gradients. To have such a textured finish is unusual for me, but I quite like it.

I have a lot more of this particular drawing to do, and as I’m working digitally I can always try a different colour palette or way of working.

I think I’m going to take some time away from the computer now, and return to ‘analog’ forms of art. If you’ve watched my video, I gave a short look at one of my collections of patterns and motifs. That notebook is almost full, so I had a new Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook delivered yesterday. It turns out I’d managed to order a square grid rather than a dot grid. No problem. If anything it may work out better.

I’m not going to transfer the entirety of the nearly full notebook to this new one, just the motifs/patterns I use the most, and start to add others. They really are books full of inspiration, mostly images but sometimes words/notes too.

Video Friday

This week, I finish this particular drawing, apart from a few bits and bobs.

Partway through the video, the microphone just stopped recording. I have no idea why. So, for the last part of the video, I’ve sped my drawing up 5x and just put some music to go with it.

Guess I’m going to have to learn to do voice-overs as well as learning the new digital art stuff!

I’d appreciate likes for this video, as well as new subscriptions to my channel.

Template Thursday

It’s Template Thursday once again. This week’s template is an entangled sampler kind of thing. Sometimes, the whole image is overwhelming, or perhaps there’s just not enough time to do a large area. These kinds of samplers have lots of smaller designs within them. Choose one of a size you can manage or for the time you have. Complete it one motif at a time, just as a stitcher would complete a sampler one stitch or motif at a time.

If you’d like to access this template, for free, then you need to be a member of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The group is free to join and the members are lovely. There’s a monthly color palette challenge and I’m trying to get my head around time zones to organise some get togethers on zoom.

The template was drawn with pen on paper. I’ve added colour digitally.

Wednesday Work In Progress

Work In Progress

Here’s a small section of the April Colour Palette Challenge Template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I thought it would be a nice way to further explore Clip Studio Paint Pro and to become familiar with the tools. Also, it’s useful to try to get a way of organising various menus on the screen that suit me. I’ve still not found the right positioning, but I will!

I’ve just realised I forgot to save my work on this particular template. Ack, that means I’ll have to start over again. Typical, given the kind of day today is being.

Weird start to Wednesday

I was awake around 4:30 am and didn’t try to go back to sleep as it’s delivery day for my Abel & Cole organic produce. Today, the delivery was much later than usual – close to 8 am! By the time I’d put my order away and had my Wednesday treat of a cinnamon and raisin Danish for breakfast, it was time for me to go back to bed.

And I slept through until around midday. I really didn’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of my bed, but I had to as an Amazon delivery was due.

The long sleep, and the need for more has me feeling a bit spaced out today. Hence why I forgot to save the full template.

Domestika course

Yesterday evening, I finally settled down to start the Character Factory course by Patricio Betteo. I think the unexpected way I was forced to change art software has also forced me to shake up my art a little and to try and learn new things.

I always struggle with characters in my art. I’m OK drawing cute, kawaii characters, but I’d like to develop my own style of drawing rather stylised characters. To do that, I need some help and I reckon this course will help. Not only will it give me ideas, but it will shake me up a bit and help me out of the rut I sometimes feel in to a broader, more solid path.

In fact, I’ve signed up to a few new courses lately, and I’ll gradually work my way through them.

The rest of the day…

Not that there’s much left of the day, but I do need to have a late lunch/early tea soon. And as I’m feeling dazed I may spend some time with the course I mentioned above. That would be nice.

Also, when I feel a bit more focused, I completed this week’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group this morning while waiting for the Abel & Cole delivery. I need to scan it in, edit it and then partially add colour. I need my mind to focus while I’m doing this. It may be a job for tomorrow morning instead of this evening.

It’s a lovely afternoon here. The sunlight is tinged with gold and the rust on the roof of a garage opposite me is a beautiful colour. Someone’s put bread on it and there are plenty of birds, jackdaws and magpies, paying it a visit to gather the harvest.

I would’ve liked to go out for a walk, but … the social anxiety I now have when outdoors coupled with the spaced out feeling won’t make a good combination.

One day soon, I hope, I’ll get myself into gear and go for a walk in a familiar place where I know there won’t be many people. One day. Just not today it seems. Today is a day for some self-care and accepting that I could go for a walk and accepting that I’m not in the right place to do so at this time. Tomorrow, things may very well be different.

Tuesday Work In Progress

I love drawing mandalas, if you hadn’t noticed. And creating a mandala is a perfect way to continue exploring and getting familiar with the tools and interface of Clip Studio Paint Pro.

The more I use Clip Studio Paint Pro, the happier I am with it, though I do seem to have had a hissy fit with the quality of this particular image. I need more tea I think.

Even though this particular peek at my work in progress, you can get the sense of the rich colour palette I’m using – magenta/red, purple, orange and golden tones.

Monday Mandala

My first mandala created in Clip Studio Paint Pro! It was a different yet similar experience to that I’d get in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. In fact everything is similar, but different. It’s going to take me a while to work out how it all works.

I enjoyed the process, and the challenges it presented me weren’t huge. They were more opportunities to learn than to be frustrated.

One thing I really do need to look into are the settings on the symmetry tools. They didn’t work the way I expected them to, hence the rather unusual way the patterns are repeated around the centre. The fact that they work this way means that there’s a wider range of possibilities for such designs going forward. That is exciting!

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how I’ve been dissatisfied at times with my artistic expression. It felt stale, samey, and just not working. Every now and again I have a need to explore new things, to shake it up a little. This is turning out to be one of those perfect confluences of frustration, opportunity and freshness.

It has to be said, though, that there are times when I return to what is more familiar, comfortable too. But when I do return to them, I do so with the lessons and outlooks gained from these fresh experiences. And so, my artwork develops, which is a good thing indeed.

Nature

Nature – an entangled artwork. It looks like batik, silk painting or stained glass!

The design was drawn in pen on bristol board and then coloured digitally in Clip Studio Paint Pro using a textured watercolour brush.

I’m determined to find my way around this piece of software, along with Affinity Designer at some point. The effects are the same as Sketchbook, but just not quite so easy to find the tools I want to use at first. It’s all a case of familiarity and I’m definitely outside of being familiar with the software at the moment.

Having said that, all that I’ve learned about layers, the various effects that can be applied, brush settings and so on, apply to all digital art platforms. It’s just finding my way around the software and learning more about it.

The one thing that’s top of my list at the moment is setting up a custom colour palette.

I’ve discovered that Clip Studio Paint has symmetry tools – phew! And these tools do a thing or two not available in Sketchbook as well as working slightly differently (and making certain things a lot easier for sure.

So, onwards and upwards I go.

So frustrating!

It’s been a frustrating few hours. I scanned these two drawings in, went to edit and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, only to find that Autodesk has cancelled the pro, subscribed version and the only one available is the free version.

The free version doesn’t allow me to alter contrast, or work at different dpi, and it is a tad unstable it seems.

Also, there was no warning of this and I had no chance to save all my own custom brushes.

To say I’m gutted is an understatement. Sketchbook Pro has been my pathway into digital art and I absolutely love its intuitive interface.

So, I’m now looking into other software I have on my ‘puter. I learned to edit and colour and add texture layers, background and text using Clip Studio Paint.

It works well, but the interface isn’t so intuitive, it’s so much like the Adobe products, with menu after menu after menu. I can see that it’s more powerful.

Trying to look on the bright side, maybe I’d become way too comfortable with Sketchbook Pro and it’s now time for me to learn new digital skills and extend the ones I already have. So this may be a blessing in disguise.

All I know is that it’s going to be darn frustrating for a while until I get to grips with this new software.

I’m tempted to have a look at Corel Paint, but I suspect it’s user interface is as confusing and not intuitive either.

I still have access to the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook. But it is missing some of the features I loved so much about the subscription version.

Anyways, I discovered the watercolour brushes in Clip Studio and used them to add colour to the top design, and I like these ones very much. I’ll see how I get along with it, but first I need breakfast. Yes, It’s nearly 2:30pm and I’ve not had breakfast yet! So I’m going to eat and then it’ll be onwards and upwards digitally, I trust.

Now I’ve had my moan, here’s some info about the drawings:

14.5cm x 14.5cm Bristol board
Faber-Castell fineliner pen
Colours and textures added digitally using Clip Studio Paint

Serendipity Part 3 – a video

Friday is YouTube video day for me. Before I’d even had breakfast, I was filming the next part of this video series. I did get myself a mug of mocha first, in an insulated mug so it stayed nice and hot throughout the filming.

I changed the pen I used today. I’d bought a couple of Faber-Castell Grip 2010 fineliner pens to see what they’re like. I like them. They’re refillable and the ink is document safe but not waterproof I will use them for art that I’m planning to scan in. Oh, I’m not being paid or sponsored in anyway to mention this pen.

Anyway, the video is nearly an hour long and I chat away as I draw, particularly about Romanesque architecture/sculpture and it’s influence on me, along with mentions of La Tene/Iron Age/Celtic art and others.