Winter design

I drew this a few days ago and have only got around to coloring it today. 

The hand lettering and drawing was done with Uniball Unipin pens on paper. In black and white it has an almost vintage linocut feel to it. 

I did scan it in and print it out on paper more suitable for alcohol markers. I used Chameleon Duo Tone and Duotop markers. Highlights were added with a white gelly roll pen from Sakura. I then added more black lines to add more dimension in places using a Staedler Mars Matic technical drawing pen.

Not sure I’ve done too good a job with the colours. Or line shading. Or the highlights in some places.

I’m quite pleased with the black and white line drawing however. 

I am going to make this template available on Friday 7 December 2018 in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group as an exclusive to members. Terms and conditions in it’s use apply.

Another December Dangle Design

As one of my current goals is to improve my hand lettering I thought it would be fun to practice it with another dangle design.

For this one, I used some dangles from my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ to build the dangle designs with a wintry, Christmassy vibe to the finished design, thanks to the traditional Christmas colours of red, green and gold, along with with some blues, purples and cool pinks thrown in.

Of course, I could’ve chosen a non-traditional series of colours too, for fun. For example, the baubles on the dangles and the wreath could be done in pink, purple and blue. Whatever your decor at this time of the year it can be reflected in your colour scheme for your dangle design.

From the initial sketch to posting it on this blog it’s taken me around 6 hours to complete. 

Yes, I started with a sketch and then inked it in traditionally, pen on paper. I scanned that drawing into GiMP so I could remove the dot grid and the faint echoes of erased pencil lines. This was followed by coloring the image. For this I used marker and blender brushes . The last steps were to add texture to the design, a coloured background, a drop shadow and then the watermarks.

I used a Microsoft Surface Pen, a Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to complete the digital colouring and so on.

The charms on the dangles are a lot easier to draw than they appear, it’s the colour that really brings them to life and gives them dimension.

It’s always fun to string charms together to make these dangles. I often tend towards more symmetrical designs, but ones like this are good to do too. They all have their own charm, pardon the dreadful pun there.

I take you designing dangles step by easy step in my book ‘A Dangle A Day‘. There are lots of examples of dangle designs in the book that are ready to use, but it’s easy to rearrange things to suit your particular needs. The release date is 8 January 2019, a new style of creativity to start in the New Year, and throughout the year as all the seasons and many different celebrations are covered in the book, along with suggestions for projects using dangle designs.

December 2018 BuJo Monthly Cover Page

I’m absolutely dreadful at taking photographs! However, here is my coloured version of the dangle design I posted earlier today, all glued into my BuJo ready for the start of a new month tomorrow.

This is likely to be the only artsy stuff I do in my BuJo as the rest of my bujo is rather minimal – it’s functional and I can lose way too much time prettying it up. For instance, sketching, inking in the design and then colouring it has taken me most of my day! It’s been fun though, and a much needed ‘quiet’ day after a hectic week.

I realised after coloring the hand lettered December in that I’d messed up the letter M. The second vertical line should’ve been like the first one to give balance to it.

I also forgot that when I printed out the A4 sized design as an A5 that the lines would be reduced in thickness. So, I had to invest time in going over them with a thicker pen after I’d finished the coloring. Mind you, this helped to make the lines nice and bold again.

To colour I used Tombow Dual Tip Brush Markers along with glitter Signo gel pens from Uniball. I also used some Chameleon coloured pencils to add a bit of shading here and there and to add the shadow around the design.

I left the background white. I realised that I could’ve coloured it with Distress Inks and then coloured over them. So, instead of messing up the background by trying to colour it I elected to use silver and gold glitter gel pens to create patterns of ‘sparkles’.

Yes, glitter! I rarely get to add glitter or metallics to my work, especially if it’s for publishers as it really doesn’t photography or scan at all well. But as this is a personal project I did add a fair amount of sparkly highlights and elements.

I think this one may be my favourite BuJo monthly cover so far.

I must admit if I had time or desire to colour it again I’d not use the  Tombows. I managed to smear the colours lightly here and there so I haven’t got a ‘clean’ coloured illustration.

I think I’d go with alcohol markers such as my Chameleon Color Tones along with the Color Tops.

However, I think I may find it difficult to colour the tiny spaces with the Chameleons. That’s the problem with printing the design smaller than the original. 

December Dangle Design for BuJo

It’s Friday, so that means it’s #dangleday! As it’s the last day of November it seems appropriate that I design a dangle design that would look fantastic as the monthly title page for a BuJO, journal, planner or just a fun design to color and frame or, printed out smaller, used on a greetings card.

As usual these days, I sketched the design out on dot grid paper and then scanned it in. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a technical drawing pen ‘brush’ to ink the design, as well as make adjustments to the design.

The final steps were to add a background colour and watermark it for sharing on the internet.

Naturally, I used my Microsoft Surface Pen along with my Microsoft Surface Studio to do the digital drawing. I think I’m going to print this design out so it will fit in my BuJo and colour it with traditional media.

I’m going to make this available as a coloring template in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. So, if you’d like to download and print the template, pop along to the group and join in!

This is quite a complex dangle design to look at, but it’s not that complex to create. In my book ‘A Dangle A Day’, released on 8 January 2019, I take you step by step through the process with loads and loads of examples of monograms and dangle designs for all seasons and all occasions, along with ideas of how to use them. There’s also a fair number of tips and encouraging words within the book.

If you do download, print and colour this design, I’d love to see how you’ve coloured and used it! You can find me on twitter, Instagram and facebook.

December Bujo Ideas

December is nearly upon us and my mind is turning to ideas that could be used to brighten up BuJo pages with simple lettering and design ideas. And this sheet is what I’ve come up with … thus far!

If you use any of them for inspiration in your BuJos, planners, journals, or in card making or any other way I would love to see how you’ve used them! If you share on Instagram then tag me in your post @angela_porter_illustrator. On twitter you can tag me as @artwyrd and you can find me on facebook as @Artwyrd

All are hand lettered and hand drawn. I used Crayola Supertips to colour the images in. I used Uniball Unipin pens for the black lines and I worked on dot grid paper to help me keep the letter sizes and spacing consistent.

I can see that the bubble lettered ‘December’ has a weird looking M. It looks more like Decewber!  Oops! Practice is needed with bubble lettering methinks.

This was a fun project, that took a bit more time than I thought it would. 

Of course, the next thing for me would be to choose some of these and convert them to dangle designs, a process I cover in my upcoming book ‘A Dangle A Day’.

I’m finding that I’m enjoying hand lettering a bit more now that my conversation with myself in an earlier blog is setting in – about making it mine and accepting the little imperfections as they are what make it unique, just as they do in my drawings.

Inspire – 28 November 2018

Today’s hand-lettering is just a variation on the one I posted on Monday.

For this one, I’ve used simple patterns to fill the white space in the letters and added a ‘line shadow’ to left and below the letters. To do this I used a Uniball Unipin 0.5 pen.

I like the graphic nature of just black and white as well as the intricacy of the patterns.That intricacy is something that warms the cockles of my artistic heart.

I didn’t only add details to the letters – I’ve added details to the dangle too! Simple additions but add a feeling of complexity.

I feel at the moment I’m in a position both in terms of demands on my time but also in how I feel about myself and my artistic nature to explore hand-lettering so it’s an ‘Angela’ thing that I’m comfortable with.

Not just comfortable, confident in my skills too. So, re-working a fairly open hand lettered word like this in different ways. 

So, it’s possible you’ll see variations on a word appearing on this blog, my Instagram, deviantART, Twitter and facebook accounts as time goes on.

We’re rapidly approaching December so it’s time for a number of personal artistic pursuits :

  • my christmas/winter cards for 2018 need to be designed and printed
  • ‘freebie’ templates need to be designed for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
  • BuJo spreads and design elements

I’m sure there’s some other things that need doing, but this morning they escape me. Of course I’m going to note these things in my BuJo.

I’ll also be starting work on a new book for Creative Haven by Dover Publications.

So a nicely ‘busy enough’ time ahead. 

Yesterday, I had a lovely day out to Aberglasney Gardens for lunch with my pal Liz. It was hammering down with rain during our journey there, but the rain cleared up by the time we’d finished a leisurely lunch. 

It had been many years since I’ve visited Aberglasney and I’d forgotten how interesting it is. I’ll return sometime soon with sketchbook in hand for sure!

My evening and night until well past midnight were taken up designing a birthday card for someone. The design was finally uploaded to Moonpig ready for posting today near midnight. To say I was, and still am, shattered could be an understatement today! Still, I can have a semi ‘self-care’ day today to recover.

Inspire – hand lettering

©Angela Porter 2018

Yesterday, after completing the basic hand-lettering reference sheet and my blog musings about believing in myself, I was inspired to hand letter something. So the natural choice was the word inspire. I also added a little dangle to the initial letter.

I used dot grid paper to help me keep the letter sizes and heights consistent, though I can see there are places where the width of the letters has varied. I’m working on telling myself that is fine, that it is all part of my hand lettering style and journey, that it adds that ‘human’ quality of perfectly imperfect to the design.

I scanned the design into the computer and used GiMP to remove the dot grids and then create a transparent background.

I could’ve printed the word out and used traditional media to colour it, but I decided to use Autodesk Sketchbook pro along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio to digitally add colour, a drop shadow for the image and a colourful background. Today, I chose to use the gradient tools as I have a limited amount of time before I head out for an appointment.

Colour certainly brings the lettering to life!