I’ve spent this morning, around four or five hours, creating art to go with a quote by Rumi :
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” Rumi
Art is one such voice, and the voice belongs to the artist that creates the art.
My style of art flows from my heart, my soul. I work intuitively, often with very little plan, and I just let it happen as it needs to.
Abstract and stylised are two other features of my art, along with line and pattern. I draw inspiration for these from all kinds of places – nature, architecture, jewellery, pottery to name but a few. Whatever pleases my soul inspires me.
And I recognise that I need to stand by my style, my art-voice as it a true expression of me, of how I absorb influences from around me and then find a way to combine them into a response that is uniquely mine – one rich in detail and colour.
My artistic voice tells you a lot about me, if you but listen to it. It tells a story about me, what fascinates and inspires me, what I’m curious about, what catches my attention, and what makes my heart sing with joy. Creativity gives me a way to share these things with others, with you. It allows me to speak one of my truths, a truth that doesn’t have words.
I’ve been working at this mandala intermittently over the past week or so. I was determined to stick to a limited colour palette of three colours, though a fourth one crept in to the outer ‘ring’ of the design.
Also, I wanted to use a lower contrast betwixt the edges of the various sections, something that I think I’ve mostly managed to do. It still has that illusion of dimensionality.
It was nice to work on something digital this morning. I’ve been focused on more traditional drawing over the past few days. I knew I had this mandala to finish, and I think it now is. I may very well spend some more time today playing around with digital art. I’ll see. I also have a hankering to knit or crochet, or both, but not at the same time.
I had so much fun making these little abstract art creations! They really do go back to my roots, but in the way I like to create now.
To give you an idea of size, the purple one is 3″ x 4″, the other two are 2½” x 4″ in size. I have mounted them on cards that are 4½” x 5″ in size, made from some white Daler-Rowney mixed media paper, and I love how they look!
I started by creating the backgrounds using Distress Inks, a mini foam blending tool and a spritz of water.
Then, I painted on some basic shapes using a brush, water and either colour from Zig Clean Real Brush pens or Distress Inks, followed by some splatters of colour.
The the real fun began. Taking some things I really wasn’t happy with and adding line and pattern to them to give them form, definition, and some dimension.
I used Sakura Pigma Micron pens (05 and 02). I also used a glass pen and gold ink in the top right design. For all designs, I used a gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen to add gold highlights, which haven’t shown up well in the scans.
There was something so satisfying and pleasing in working with vague shapes and patterns, the random nature of the background, and using them to inform how my art would develop in each case.
I really, really enjoyed creating these, and I will do more in the future.
I’m not sure how I could create similar digitally – the randomness of wet media isn’t something I’ve worked out how to do…yet. Maybe I never will. Maybe it’s the case of me creating the backgrounds separately using traditional media, then adding the lines digitally. I don’t know yet, however. It may be that this is something I reserve solely for traditional media.
What I do know, is that each design is a work of art in it’s own right and these would look fab framed. In fact, I had a huge inner smile as I mounted them on the card blanks, giving them a simple frame, and saw how finished they then looked. Teeny, tiny pieces of art, by me, Angela.
This morning, I thought I’d play around with some digital art, and this is the result.
I drew the motif on the left entirely in grey-scale. I then went to create the background before adding colour to the grey-scale design. I had a chance to play with different types of layers, brushes and effects too.
I got to the point where the design was enough as it was and I knew some words were needed. So, I chose two important messages for people during the coronavirus crisis.
Today, I started to create with just the idea of trying out greyscale and adding colour, with no idea where it would lead me. I’m quite pleased with the result, though I may have been heavy handed with the contrast and not lightened it where highlights would be needed.
The background I am pleased with. It has that grungy, distressed feel to it, yet the colours and nice and ‘clean’. I’ll definitely be doing more backgrounds like this one. In fact, I think I’ll spend some time today doing just that! I can never have enough backgrounds to draw upon – figuratively and literally! It’ll be a nice way to spend some time on what is a somewhat overcast and cooler day today.
Digital art resources : Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.
You do need to be a member of thefacebookgroup (it’s free to join) to get the template, and there are some terms and conditions about how the template can be used, but otherwise they are free for purely personal use.
If my creating some coloring templates to help people during this worrying time, then it’s worth it.
This particular drawing harks back to early days of entangled drawings. It’s purely abstract, but with some design elements taken from architecture and nature.
Today has been a funny day so far. I have, however, managed to get this little mandala done.
The runes represent growth (the rune looks like a B), joy (looks like a P), flow (half an arrow) and strength (a bit like an n), and you are welcome to read into that what you wish.
When I started this I had no idea at all what I was going to create. All I knew was that I wanted to end up with a mandala and try out some techniques to get things to appear to glow.
The artwork started with me creating a series of my own texture backgrounds, and this was the last one I created. I then created the ring of glowing runes, then worked inward. This is an unusual direction for me to work when creating mandalas; usually I work from the centre out. I did, however, add the final ring of the mandala last.
For some reason I needed to add arrows into the design; it was just an instinctive, intuitive kind of knowing. In the same way I knew that runes needed to be incorporated into the design. Spirals are one of my favourite design motifs and they made an appearance too.
The colour palette is quite a simple one, mostly cool tones of blue, purple, teal and greys, but with a little splash of warm pink and mauve.
I do like the illusion of dimension that I’ve achieved in this mandala by using high contrast. I’ve also enjoyed using texture brushes to help with the sense of dimension too.
This is digital art, created in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen along with a Microsoft Surface Studio.
Finally! I have this mandala finished. Life events conspired over the past couple of days to keep me from paper and pen (digital or traditional) and the aftermath left me with a blinding headache and bone-deep tiredness this morning. Still, I did what I’d arranged to do today, and when I came home I had a late lunch and retired to bed to sleep the lingering effects of the extreme stress/introvert hangover off.
Before I left home this morning, I managed to get a little more of this mandala coloured. I’ve now finished it this evening.
The colours took an unexpected turn in places, as did the contrast betwixt light and shadow. The resulted in the outer rings of the mandala being more dimensional in appearance than the inner rings, less like decorative mosaic in a grand entrance hall and more organic, alive, vibrant.
I’m also glad that I’ve changed the background. The darker, richer colours really help the mandala to glow.
The colours aren’t my usual kinds of colour choice, that’s for sure. If I were to re-work this mandala, I’d most probably use a different palette. However, the colours kind of work.
Although I like the more mosaic forms of the inner rings, the dimensional nature of the outer rings really makes my arty heart smile.
I remember when I did my A level art and I produced three oil paintings, the only three oil paintings I’ve ever done and will ever do. I really disliked working with the slimy paints, despite the vibrance of the colours. These paintings were three abstracts – one from the folds in a Romanesque sculpture, another from some kind of worm screws from a steam locomotive, and the last from rusty gears from a diesel locomotive. Each was a monochrome study, focusing on highlights and shadow.
At the exhibition of students’ work (mine included), I was puzzled why people kept touching my oil paintings. I eventually asked someone why they’d done that. The answer was that they looked so three-dimensional they just wanted to touch them and were surprised that they were flat. I hadn’t seen the paintings that way myself, but when it was pointed out to me I could see the illusion I’d created.
Part of me would love to see mandalas of mine created as mosaics, to see people surprised that they’re not dimensional as they appear.
Working on this mandala today has reminded me of how much I love to create this kind of illusion. It may be stylised, not realistic, but it’s part of my artistic melody, a theme deeply embedded in my heartsong.
I created this mandala in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro running on my Microsoft Surface Studio and with a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.