Digital art- it’s a learning thing

Flower1_AngelaPorter2017

Over quite a few hours I’ve used this design to explore digital colour a bit more.  Of course, it’s one of my own designs.

Flower2_AngelaPorter2017

This is the first coloured version of the template.  I’ve left the black lines in and added some more line patterns for interest.  To colour the flower, I used a couple of pencil ‘brushes’ in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with two blender ‘brushes’.  The colours come from the Copic colour palette.

I’m quite happy with this; it’s very much like what I’d do with traditional media.  However, the digital environment means it’s far easier to correct mistakes.

As I’ve said before, you may think that digital colouring/art is faster and easier than traditional media; I have to tell you it’s not! It took me 2 hours or so to colour this simple flower – and that was just colouring one-eighth of the design and letting the symmetry tool copy it around the flower!  With traditional media it would have taken me much less than 1 hour to achieve a similar effect.

I don’t think that the extra time is due to me not being familiar with the ‘brushes’ I’m using, but more to do with the way that you can use layers as well as intensifying the contrast after each blending session.  It is quicker to lay colour down – it doesn’t have to be neat and smooth as the blending tools can help to smooth out the unevenness.

Flower3_AngelaPorter2017

Now, this one really is something quite different from me.  NO black lines.  Not one.  Just colour.

It took me a lot longer to do this one – 3 to 4 hours in total I think, and it’s only a small and simple design!  Part of that time is because this is something very different for me – no black lines…

I also made good use of layers to keep the colours separate so they didn’t blend; one layer for blues/purples and another for the yellows/oranges.  A third was added for the background.

Getting my head around the concept of working in layers after a long time only ever working on one sheet of paper, is a really challenge, but as  I work in this way it becomes more familiar to me.

I’m also a bit ‘stubborn’ in terms of exploring and discovering what works and how to do things my own way rather than reading/watching tutorials.

Like any skill, it takes time to develop some level of competence with it, and a lot longer to achieve a mastery.  The more I do with digital art, especially in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, the more I like working with it.  I like Sketchbook, lots.  It may not be as complex as Photoshop or Illustrator, but it does what I want it to do without struggling with a complicated interface.  It allows me to draw/create a lot like I would with paper and pen, and then to explore more media than I’d ever use with traditional art media, and media that don’t even exist outside of the digital environment.

The more I work with it, the more I know I will need a Microsoft Surface Studio sooner rather than later; as much as I love my Surface Book, I do find it difficult to understand how things will look 1:1.

I’m in no great rush though, my Surface Book works just fine, and if the worst comes to the worst, I can sketch my ideas out and scan them in and work from that, using layers of course!

Artwyrd at Etsy

Last night I bit the marker pen and uploaded two sets of small greetings cards to my Etsy shop, Artwyrd.

Each set has ten cards featuring a coloured flower/mandala design stored in a small, custom made box along with matching envelopes.

The flower/mandala designs I drew myself in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface book.  I printed out multiple copies of the designs and then used my Chameleon Markers and Copic Markers to colour them.  Distress Ink was used to add colour around the designs.

The next step was to create colour mats for the designs; I used my marker pens to colour some Centaura Pearl card.

Before mounting them on the 3″ x 3″ (7.5cm x 7.5cm) card blanks, I embellished the designs with dots of metallic and pearlescent acrylic paint, as well as adding coloured gems.

Of course the cards sparkle!

The boxes are made from cardstock with the lids decorated with designer series paper; the colour ways chosen are complementary to the colours of the cards. I also used Distress Inks to distress the edges and corners of the boxes.   I’ve yet to embellish the boxes.

These are my fifth and sixth attempts at making the boxes.  I had to purchasing a new paper cutter that’s more accurate than the one I had been using.  I had used a template for a box that would take ten 3″ x 3″ cards, but wasn’t big enough for the envelopes.  So, I also had to work out and adjust the measurements needed for the base and lid so that the envelopes would fit in the box!  Frustrating, especially as maths isn’t my strong point …but I got there in the end.

I do have a couple of jobs to do to the cards/boxes; the boxes need some embellishment, and I need to add makers labels to them too.

The boxes will be nice for other things once the cards are used up – the lids are a snug fit.

All of the designs I have stored and may, in the fullness of time, put them together as a pack of digi-stamps so people can use them to create their own cards!

Dragonfly design for Crane&Co

ColorMeCraneDragonflyCard_AngelaPorter_2017

I received these cards in the post today from Crane&Co!  I think you can tell I designed the artwork.

The design is Letterpressed onto cotton rag paper using a grey ink; this means the lines of the design are slightly impressed into the paper.

I’m really chuffed with how it’s come out!

Butterflies

Butterfly 3 patterned_AngelaPorter_16June2017Butterfly 8 patterned_AngelaPorter_16June2017

I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book along with my Surface Pen to add patterns and shading to two of the butterfly outline designs I drew yesterday.  I’m happy with the results.

Today I’ve also created two more dot mandalas, each around 5″ in diameter.  I added some gems to those, as well as to the small dot mandalas I created over the last couple of days.  The sparkle really adds something special to them, and helps to emphasise the circularity of mandala designs.

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Mixed media index cards – 3 June 2016

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Two more index card done!

I drew the fungi then coloured them with the Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops pens.  Cogs have appeared in the background once again – gotta have a lil bit of steampunkishness!

I’ve used 3D Crystal Lacquer on the fungi caps and on the stars in the background.

I’m liking the slightly bigger format of the index cards compared to ATCs.

Chameleon Color Tones, Color Tops and a Coloured Mandala

SixColoured_AngelaPorter_3June2017

Yesterday, I recieved a big box filled with goodies – a full set of the Chameleon Color Tops to go with my Chameleon Color Tones markers, as well as a full set of ink refils for them

I couldn’t wait to try them out, and did on a couple of small fungi I’d drawn, which you’ll see in another blog post as I want to use them on some mixed media index cards.  I loved using them, and so wanted to do something a bit bigger, and the mandala above was the result.

What I love is the ability to create smooth gradations between one colour and another, with out the fuss of using two color tone pens to achieve this.  Of course, I still love the original colourless to full colour color gradation, and have used this in the mandala on parts of the butterflies.

However, I love strong, bright colours, and the Chameleon Color Tops are fab for doing this!

Now, I do have a full set of Copic Ciao markers, which are great.  However, achieving a smooth colour blend is quite difficult, especially with colours that are far apart in intensity or colour.  You can use the tip to tip method of transferring colour from one pen to another and use the pen to blend the colour a bit better, but I still struggle, even on specialist marker paper.

Not any more!

What I haven’t done is to look at how the pens blend when the colours are from different colour groups, such as blending a green to a red, but you can guarantee I’m going to try them out.  Apart from them maybe creating some mud where the colours overlap (which would happen anyway), I have confidence they’ll do this just fine and dandy.

Yesterday’s Mixed Media Index Cards – update

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I spent some time yesterday and this morning adding some details to drawing on each of the index cards.

I added stippling and lines to add shading on the focal points, both in black and white.

I also added some ground for them so they weren’t floating in air; the grasses or plants in the background I wanted as black silhouettes just so interest/texture/pattern was added.

Finally, I added either white dots or black ‘popping bubbles’ to the ‘sky’ for more visual interest.

I’m now much happier with them and feel that they are complete.