14th October 2017 Update

New Book and a Competition!

I’ve spent time working on a few more DoodleWorlds colouring templates for a book I’m going to self-publish, most probably in November 2017.

I’ve gone ‘old school’ on these – pen and paper – simply because drawing on the screen was starting to irritate me just a bit.  Also, a change is as good as a rest for sure!

The coloured artwork on the covers is going to be provided by the winners of a competition running on both the facebook group Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans and the Colorist app.

So, if you fancy having a go at colouring in the template to be found in either the facebook group on on the Colorist app, then head on over there – closing date is midnight on Hallowe’en.

Here’s a sneaky peek at one of the new templates for the book.  I used my Chameleon Pens to colour this one in.

Vida Collection

I’ve added some new items to my Vida Collection, typically ‘Angela’ style abstract art focusing on line and colour.  The collection includes scarves, tops, wraps, leggings, bags, jewellery, cushions/pillows and tapestries.

Later today I’ll be adding new leather products to the collection, including passport holders and baggage tags.

 

 

 

 

Time to Change Wales and World Mental Health Day 2017

Although I didn’t do anything in particular on Tuesday 10th October 2017 for World Mental Health Day (other than re-tweet and re-post relevant articles that is), I did do an anti-stigma talk on Thursday 12th October 2017.

I delivered my talk and story to a group of front-line police officers who were receiving training. It seemed to go well and be received well.  I’ve not read the feedback forms though, nor am I likely to, as even if 99% of them are positive, the 1% that may not be all the positive or says I made no change is the one that I’ll focus on and will end up worrying and fretting and being hard on myself…

What did surprise me was how anxious I was when I woke and on my way to, during and after my talk, far more than I’ve been before.

Gnawing stomach, shaky, hypervigilant, cold sweaty palms, unable to speak in order…

I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to be like that, or that was how I lived every day of my life for many, many years while I was still a teacher.

Well, not quite like that – it was worse back then, a lot worse!

Echoes of it reminds me of how far I’ve come, how much better I am now.

Of course, after the talk and driving and getting home, I had the post-anxiety ‘crash’ where I felt shaky, wobbly, my eyesight was still very acute, and a headachy tiredness grew.

A huge mug of tea, a couple of Jaffa Cakes, and an afternoon sleep with cat cuddles saw me a bit better in the evening, but I was still emotionally drained.  So, I too it easy, ordered a take-away, though I didn’t have much of an appetite.

Friday I was still a little wobbly, but today I feel more like myself again.

Art always helps me calm and ground, so that has been my therapy, and will continue to be so I’m sure.

Cool Calm – mixed media, Vida Collection

CoolCalm Angela Porter Small

I’ve spent the last couple of days completing this mixed media drawing/painting where I focus on colour and line.  I’ve called it Cool Calm.  It reminds me very much of stained glass.  I love the warm highlights I’ve added, as well as those sharp, bright green tones too.

What I do want to do, now it’s been scanned for things like Vida and printing, is to add metallic/iridescent elements/patterns to it and then, maybe, put it on Etsy as an original work of art.

I’ve also used it to add new items to my Vida collection, including this tee-shirt:

 

Entangled d20, aka icosohedron

dav

Just finished drawing this and assembling it.

I drew and edited the construction lines in Serif’s Affinity Designer.  I then opened the saved file in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book and created layers, including a mask as the top layer.  Then I doodled.  Printed out two copies.  Cut one out, scored and folded along the grey construction lines, then assembled using Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue.

Assembly was a bit of a ‘mare, and it wasn’t helped by me not scoring and folding a couple of lines, but when put together, it kind of works. Even where the edges aren’t likely to marry up nicely, the still seem to work.

One thing I will need to remember to do on the next one is to go round the cut edges with a black marker of some kind which will help those edges to blend in a bit more.  Maybe.

I do rather like the heavy black lines on this one, and coloured in they’d look like stained glass!

No numbers, so it’d not really work as a d20 (20 sided die), but coloured in that maybe possible with a key of some kind.

All good fun stuff!

Yes, I am being busy with arty crafty stuff today … and it’s not ended yet as I had some soft polymer lino in the post the other day and I haven’t tried carving that yet!

Entangled Icosohedron

Icosohedron1 montage Angela Porter 19 Sept 2017

Having more fun!  This time a 20-sided icosohedron.  And I’ve just noticed I lost the plot slightly in creating the montage above – the same image repeated, d’oh go me!  First time I’ve ever done a photo montage though, so maybe I can be forgiven!

Autumnly Entangled 5 and 6

AutumnlyEntangled5and6_AngelaPorter_18Sept2017

Last two of the six Distress Oxide coloured 14 x 10 cm sheets of paper.

Autumn is on the way!

Autumn Mandala 01Coloured Angela Porter

Autumn is nigh and it’s a lot more glorious because…

September has arrived at long last, along with the promise of the fiery blaze of glory that is autumn in a few weeks time.

Cooler mornings and evenings along with warm enough days, the quality of sunlight is softer, more golden too.

I really love this time of year, it’s my favourite!

Even more so that I no longer have the long fear/anxiety of returning to school as a teacher.

I don’t miss teaching one little bit!  I miss friends I had. I miss the more social interaction I had and the fun and laughter I had with colleagues and pupils.  What I don’t really miss is the constant fear, anxiety, worry, stress, pressure, bad attitudes, poor behaviour and constantly being looked at and assessed. All the things that led me to some very dark places that I found difficult to get out of.  No, it’s not ‘I don’t really miss’ these things – I really don’t miss these things, though I still get moments anxiety verging on panic when memories of various situations arise from the depths of my subconscious.

Arty pursuits

I’ve finished all the black and white line art for Eerily Entangled – my latest colouring book for Dover Publications.  I have two more to colour in for the book, but I’ll wait to see what my editor and her design team would like me to colour – there are so very many, if not all, I’d love to colour!

As well as this, I’ve spent quite a bit of time starting to organise my ‘pattern library’.  It’s something I like to do when I’m too tired to do anything else, when I’m feeling down and need a comforting not challenging activity, and when I’m lacking in inspiration; sometimes the patterns bring the inspiration I’m searching for, sometimes they just allow stuff to well up to the surface of my subconscious mind where my conscious mind can grab them and make use of them.

As a change of focus, I decided to draw some autumn themed mandalas, the one at the top of this blog entry being the first.

I’m a bit rusty at creating them after focusing on other things for a while, but the skills soon come back, often with new ideas or twists to old ideas, as well as new skills learned by my use of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with my Microsoft Surface Book, which I used to create this mandala.

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!