Template Thursday

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another week in lock-down has passed us by here in the UK, as well as many places around the world. That means it’s time for another weekly coloring template.

This week, the inspiration for this template has come from the pages full of capsules, pods and seeds in my sketchbook. Lots of opportunity to experiment with colour, but also adding little details to each tiny picture.

If you’d like to download and print this template, then pop along to the facebookgroup – Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans – and you can do so for free (terms and conditions for use do apply).

Drawn using Sakura Pigma micron pens (05 and 01) on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper.
Clean up of drawing, colouring and typography done digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Capsules, Pods and Seeds

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I had a very fitful night’s sleep (or non-sleep) last night. So, around 5:30am I decided to get up and ‘art’.

I finished off the watercolour of some seed capsules.

I’m really, really happy with this watercolour illustration, with an unusual color palette for me. I smile when I look at it! I decided to use a 0.5mm HB pencil to add heavier lines to the more shadowed parts, as well as a little bit of subtle line to help give the pods some volume. It’s difficult to see on the image.

I am so happy I drew a ‘window’ on the paper to draw within. I’m never happy drawing without a frame to keep within and the edge of the paper just never feels right for me. I also like the way that it feels like you’re looking through a window and that it’s OK to cut things off (apart from one cheeky leaf that I just had to have overlying the frame!).

There may be a bit too much white space above the seed capsules, I don’t know for sure. It’s so unusual for me to leave space around the various elements in a design that it feels a bit weird. However, I do like the space in this illustration.

Once I finished the watercolour, I turned my attention to drawing more capsules, pods and seeds in my A4 sketchbook. I completed two pages of small drawings, one of which you can see in the background.

Unusually for me, I drew in pencil. I’d usually use pen straight away. I have no idea what that is about, but it was a pleasant and soothing experience for me. I now have plenty of sketches I can use to create more watercolour paintings from, small ones as I really enjoy working on a small scale. Creating my own little treasures, complete with some precious, metallic details.

Painting little treasures will have to wait though. My eyelids are becoming leaden with a need to sleep. This frustrates me as I had things I wanted to get done today, things that need focus and concentration. So, I’ll soon be back in the land of nod.

Drawing and Watercolor Practice

Yesterday turned out to be a funny old day. Funny as in not what I’d planned.

I got most of my recent experiments into watercolour added to the journal I’m making/working on, with brief notes. That journal is now getting a partly open ‘crocodile mouth’ look, which is fine by me. Before adding the experiments to the journal, I needed to colour some pages with Distress Ink.

As I was adding the little pieces of art to the journal, I realised that the background colours tied in rather nicely with the artwork placed on them – all completely by chance.

After that, I had some tasks around the house to do, and had phone calls that disrupted my flow of work somewhat. In the evening, though, I decided to continue with the Mattias Adophsson Domestika course, and the drawing/painting above was the result.

I’d already done some sketches of the anthropomorphic items in my sketchbook, and I re-drew the character drawing of myself, again. I made myself too thin by far! Ho hum. More practice is required for sure.

Anyways, after drawing the characters, I used flat, controlled watercolour washes followed by glazes to colour them in. This I felt more confident with – and more controlled about.

I can see how the kitty needs some shading, both on it’s body and on my top. I also need to add a line to the hand holding the balloons to make it more like a closed hand.

I’ll be following Mattias’ course, well parts of it. People and characters aren’t quite my thing. I don’t have the imagination it seems, or maybe I just don’t have the need to draw them. However, it’s nice to explore other ways of artistic expression. Those explorations are never wasted as it may just be that I find out that a particular style isn’t for me, no matter how much I admire it! Also, there’s always new things to learn that can be incorporated into my own art going forward.

More Watercolour Practice!

Over the past couple of days I’ve been playing around with watercolours. Apart from fun, it’s trying to work out how I can get them to work for me, and here you can see some of my experiments.

As well as continuing with the Domestika course, I found a book on my Kindle called “The Art of Creating Watercolor : Inspiration & Techniques for Imaginative Drawing and Painting” by Danielle Donaldson.

I’d forgotten I’d bought this, but on rediscovering it and looking at it I found it inspired me, particularly when it comes to drawing people.

What was reassuring, is that Danielle Donaldson is someone else who likes to work on a small scale! She also uses a very fin (0.3mm) pencil to draw with, but also to add line and pattern to her drawings instead of pen. I wanted to try that out.

I also really like the whimsical nature of her art, and her people inspired me to have a go. The three people in the collection of images above are inspired by her work, one more than the others. The one that is most directly like Danielle’s work is the person to the right of the trio. I used a pencil to draw the design as well as outline it after it was painted.

With the other two, I used a very fine Pitt Artist pen to outline them once the paint was dry.

Looking at them all together, I quite like the softer quality of the pencil line.

Oh, these trio are also my way of developing a version of myself. Unfortunately I look pregnant in the middle one (I’m not!), though I rather like my hair in this one – I wish my own hair was as thick and long! I really need to work on feet and foot positions.

Watercolours have vexed me, and continue to do so though I will persevere with them. Drawing people has vexed me for longer!

I started a course on Domestika – The Art of Sketching: Transform Your Doodles into Art by Mattias Adolfsson, Illustrator. But kind of let it fall by the wayside when the practice exercise was about drawing people, particularly myself. I baulked, big time. Perhaps I’ll now continue with the course, now I’ve found a style that makes sense to me, and I can work on developing my own.

I’m not entirely sure that watercolour will be the best medium for me to use…I’ll try others, including digital, to see what I can get to work for me and is in my style.

I also spent sometime experimenting with monograms and botanical themes. I really like the blue foliage, and the cute tree too.

Yesterday my art and other stuff was put on hold for much of the day; I woke with a migraine and couldn’t do much until painkillers had kicked in and I could sleep away the remnants of it. Once I woke, that’s when I found the book and did some art inspired by it.

I slept quite well last night, and woke just fine and dandy today.

All these bits of art will find my way into the journal I’m making, including notes and reflections on them.

Watercolour Practice

Yesterday was another day where I got lost in watercolour practice – unintentionally! I had planned to do some editing of drawings for ‘Entangled Gardens’. However, time ran away with me.

Panel 1

The first panel I completed was the one with leaves on. They do have plenty of gold metallic/iridescent watercolour paint along with traditional paint, though it doesn’t show up in the photo.

I tried different ways of adding details to the leaves – Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (F) and metallic watercolour and brush. I find the black pen either too black or I used too thick a point. The metallics in a red-copper, gold and grey-black were more sympathetic to the colours of the leaves, in my opinion.

Panel 2

The next panel I created is the one at middle bottom. I made circles of watercolour and let them touch while wet so there was some flow of colour from one to another. After they’d dried I used a fine brush and both watercolours and metallic watercolours to add line and pattern to it.

I enjoyed making this one very much. I used some quite earthy colours that are unusual for me. The line and pattern added a lot of interest, though I did wonder if I’d covered up too much of the underlying watercolours.

Looking at this with fresh eyes today, I think it shows through just fine. I want to try using metallic paints that are complementary to the main colours in the watercolour to see how that works out.

Panel 3

This is the one at the middle top. I created ovals of watercolour, again using unusually muted, earthy tones.

Once they’d dried I used some Caran D’Ache Luminance coloured pencils, well sharpened, to add patterns to each oval. I used the variation in colour/tone to help me add the patterns, as well as to choose the colours of pencils I used on each oval.

Finally, I used a yellow-green metallic/iridescent watercolour paint to fill in some of the patterned areas.

I enjoyed making this panel too. Again, I thought when I finished it that the pencil lines were a bit thick. However, after a night’s sleep and with fresh eyes I can see that it’s worked out well. I think that using coloured fineliner pens may work out better than coloured pencils – something I’ll try another time.

Panel 4

The last panel I created yesterday was the fourth panel. I used a different kind of watercolour paper, by Tim Holtz. The paint just dried so quickly on it I couldn’t really drop colours in, though the paints would re-wet and I could blend colours that way. I didn’t really enjoy using this paper.

Anyway, I thought I’d make a typically ‘Angela’ entangled style painting. I did use a raw umber Caran D’Ache Luminance pencil to draw the design on the paper. This was such a pale colour it disappeared into the watercolour sections. Again, I used uncharacteristically earthy, muted colours.

The final panel was nice enough, however, it was lacking in pattern and interest. So, I decided to use it to experiment with different ways of adding outlines and pattern to the various sections. I also noted on the panel what method I’d used next to each one.

The metallic paints and pens worked nicely and were practically or totally opaque. I prefer using a pen rather than a brush, though I’d not be averse to adding line and pattern using a fine brush and watercolour.

The gold and silver Uniball Signo glitter pens worked really nicely, and because the glitter is suspended in a transparent ink, there’s interesting effect where the watercolour shows through. I actually really like this a lot.

I couldn’t find a gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen, so I used a silver one instead. This, surprisingly, wasn’t as shiny as the Signo silver pen, but it worked just as well in terms of opacity.

I tried two white gel pens – a Uniball Signo and Sakura Gelly Roll. Both seemed to be fairly opaque, the Sakura being very slightly more so.

Finally, I dug out some really fine black pens – 005 and 01 OHTO Graphic Liners and a 01 Sakura Pigma Micron. These worked much nicer than the thicker pen I’d used on the leaf panel.

Of course, I left some areas of the panel without any lines added for comparison.

Of all the pens I tried, I like the metallic and glitter gel pens the best for this.

On reflection…

I’ve found I really like to work on a smaller scale. I feel like I’m creating small ‘treasures’ full of interest and fascination. I’m happier working smaller and more detailed than I am working on a larger scale.

I want to try coloured fineliner pens to draw patterns on watercolours.

Another experiment will be for me to use metallic and plain acrylic and other inks to draw with. I do have a glass pen that will work nicely with indian ink and writing ink. I’ll have to dig some dip-nib pens out to try with the metallic acrylic paints as well as a brush. I think that ball tools could be used to dot spots of ink onto the work rather than a brush; something else to try.

I also need to find a way of leaving a border on the page! When I draw a colouring template or other piece of lineart, I start by drawing a pencil line to demarcate the area I want to draw in, leaving a border around the line. I need to do the same for watercolour panels, either using a pencil or masking or washi tape.

Something else I’ve worked out is that I tend to use too much water when I paint, and I need to experiment with using less and trying dropping colours in when the area is at different levels of dryness.

Lots of things to try and consider.

Doodling? Really?

I see a lot of people calling the addition of line, texture and pattern as part of an artwork ‘doodling’. I don’t like doodling being used in that way.

Here are the definitions for ‘doodle’ from Dictionary.com

verb (used with or without object), doo·dled, doo·dling.
*to draw or scribble idly:
He doodled during the whole lecture.
*to waste (time) in aimless or foolish activity.
noun
*a design, figure, or the like, made by idle scribbling.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/doodling

When I add line or pattern to my drawing, it’s not an idle or unconscious activity. I deliberately choose what patterns and textures I want to use and where to place them. The process of adding the lines, patterns and textures may be a more mindful process if the pattern is familiar to me.

The lines, textures and patterns are used to add interest to elements of the overall design. But they are not meaningless, as implied in the words scribble and doodle, and they are anything but idle or mindless scribbles. There is purpose in them, and this is why the use of the word ‘doodle’ irks me!

What am I going to do with the panels?

The leafy panel I created to add to a tag to put in my journal. The other panels will also live in my journal, even the one with annotations, possibly with a pocket behind it for my notes and reflections!

Watercolour Practice

Yesterday I mentioned that I’m taking a Domestika course by Ana Victoria Calderon – Modern Watercolor Techniques. Here are some of my first experiments with Watercolour from the lessons and practices in the first couple of units of the course.

I’m having a lot of fun with this, learning more about how watercolours work and what I like about them. It’s also about experimenting with mixing different media with watercolours to get different effects.

The blue flower was my first attempt at the exercise to create a painting in monochrome. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo, but in real-life I wasn’t happy with it; not because of the smudge around a leaf, but because I just didn’t get the range of transparencies and I was also heavy handed in adding the line details.

The sheet of purple-pink flowers was my attempt at retrying the exercise. I think it worked out worse than the blue flower. Seriously heavy handed outlining … not happy.

So, I thought I’d do a small panel of arches and fill them with line patterns. This is the one I’m most happy with, and the one I enjoyed doing the most.

So, I turned my attention to the next section of the course, which is about experimenting with colour and different media with watercolour. You can see the results in the large sheet.

I tried dropping watercolour into a circle of water, or into a circle of watercolour. I added salt or rice while to still wet circles. I tried dropping alcohol and blending solution into a wet area. I dotted metallic acrylic inks, metallic writing inks and indian ink into watercolour. I used metallic watercolour paints in different ways with watercolours too. I even tried some Distress Ink refil ink, both neat and diluted, to see how that would work. I also tried sprinkling Perfect Pearls mica powder onto a wet circle, as well as adding a wet mixture of Perfect Pearls into wet watercolour.

I made sure I noted down what I’d used to make the circles so I can replicate the effects later on – as much as watercolour will let you replicate anything. One thing I’m learning working in this way is that watercolour has a mind of it’s own! The results, while broadly the same, vary each time. I think that’s why it vexxes me so much.

Anyway, I really like the watercolour metallics with watercolour. So, I decided to create a small sheet of monochrome leaves using the same watercolour, but adding different colours to it as well as metallics. I absolutely love the way the metallics work with the wet watercolour! They spread in the wet areas in a most delightful way, and as they dry, the appearance changes, with the metallic becoming more and more visible. It’s quite magical!

I can see myself using watercolour art in the journal I’m making, maybe on cards, maybe in packs of ephemera for sale.

Journal making progress report

Talking of my journal, I found some folders containing gelly printed papers from a number of years ago. I used the PaperArtsy fresco paints, acrylic paints to create the prints. I even had papers I’d used to clean a brayer on in there, which are quite beautiful.

I’m going to make use of them in my journal. Not quite sure how yet. But before I use one, I’m going to scan it in to add to my digital background texture collection. That way I will be able to use them again and again.

This morning, I’ve been working a little on the journal. I’ve affixed some squared paper to the journalling cards on page 3. I’ve also added some little words here and there. I’ve created a journaling booklet that will live in the big pocket on page 4, though I messed up making this somewhat. I can always make another.

I’ve also been collecting together some quotes about art and creativity and I’ve printed them out, ready to add to cards and to the journal pages.

I’ve had quite a creative morning, that’s for sure.

Coloring Template

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another lock-down week has passed us by, so it’s time for another coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Here’s my partly coloured version. I’ve gone for rather soft yet glowing colours for this one.

As always, if you’d like to print and colour it, then pop over to the facebook group and join up. It’s free, it’s a lovely community of people who love my artwork and share their amazing colorations with each other. You’d be made most welcome.

I used one of the dragonfly designs from yesterday’s posting as the focal point for this design. Mandalas are something I love, so to place one behind the dragonfly felt the natural thing to do. I’ve used my signature style of entangled art to fill the space around the mandala.

This is digital art, drawn and coloured using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, along with Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.