Saturday Sketchbook | A Week Ink Art

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

My vlog today is a flip through of all the art I’ve been doing in the past week, both in sketchbooks and on paper.

The image above shows my bedtime drawing last night. I’m not happy with it, but it is what it is. Finishing the drawing followed by the addition of colour and shadow/highlight may change my mind about it. As may the passage of time and a fresh view of it.

This is but one of quite a few drawings done this week. The rest can be seen in today’s vlog.

Template Thursday | ATCs and Cards

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

This week’s coloring template / coloring page for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group is a bit different.

Instead of one large image, I created a sheet of eight, slightly smaller than ATC sized drawings.

ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) are 3½” x 2½” in size. The original idea was for artists, crafters, creatives to make small pieces of art and to swap them with other artists as a way to share and collect art. The idea was to swap and not sell, though people do sell them now, but many more do swap and collect work from other artists.

In today’s vlog, I colour and embellish one of the designs. Then, I turn it and another into first ATC cards and then into greeting cards.

This idea came about through a conversation with a group member who asked permission to create ATCs from my coloring templates for the group.

I do not have an Angel Policy for any of my templates in the group to allow them to be sold in any form. However, gifting or swapping them, or items made using them, is fine so long as the artist (me) is credited and the items are not sold.

For the individual coloring books, terms and conditions are mentioned in the books and should always be referred to.

Today’s mixed media ACEOs/ATCs

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Today’s ACEOs/ATCs

Today I’ve created a set of six ACEO/ATC cards using dragonflies and butterflies as focal images.

The photograph doesn’t do them much justice; the backgrounds are shiny purple and silver with some stenciled patterns created using modelling paste.  Peeking through in places are patterns from some reprints of first series Ordnance Survey maps as well as some torn text from an old mathematics text book.

I couldn’t work out how to use my cogs and gears on these, but remembered all the patterned paper I have, so I had a bit of a furtle through  and found some paper that looked nice against the busy background, which also the focal images looked good on.  Indeed, they look like mounted specimens.

I got the focal images from my stash, already painted.  However, I did put some painted and embossed papers behind the wings of two of the dragonflies, which looks quite nice.  I did add a wash of iridescent medium to all the focal images (can’t avoid adding some sparkle).

On returning from an appointment, I decided I would cover the dragonflies with 3D Crystal Lacquer, which has worked out really well I think (difficult to photograph though).

I’m really quite pleased with these ACEOs/ATCs; they’re simple, yet they just work and satisfy my need for ornate, sparkle and shine.  I’m glad I used the patterned paper to crated a calmer centre to mount the focal images on.

I don’t think I’m going to add any words/quotes to these, though a few gems or similar may be in order once the crystal lacquer has fully dried.

Drawing focal images

One thing I thought of as I was using the die cuts for focal images, is that I do need to find the confidence/courage to draw my own.  I have done some fungi, flowers and ammonites, but haven’t printed them out at the right size, yet.

Also, it may be that using the surface to do drawings for this may not be the best way for me to work; my drawings do tend to turn out a little too ‘perfect’ for my liking in some ways.  I’m still doing my best to work out how I can get my Surface Book to work for me as I’d like it too.  However, if I don’t use the smoothing tools in the software, the pen wobble just is totally annoying (it’s also something that is inherent in the Surface Pen/Surface book, which I really hope Microsoft will do something about sooner rather than later.

It’s really easy to use dies to cut out images for use, but to create my own…well…but we’ll see if I manage to use my own drawings in the next batch of ACEOs/ATCs.

So, my job this evening (apart from going out to do some food shopping) is to do some drawings, on watercolour paper I think, to cut out and use as focal images.

Oh, using scissors is a bit of an issue for me.  Despite me being right handed with pens and so on, I use scissors in my left hand.  In fact, there are quite a few things I can do with either hand, and many things I’m equally as bad at with either hand, such as using a badminton racquet or golf club!  Don’t ask.  Anyway, back to the scissors.  I’ve always struggled using scissors well, and I’m worse with left-handed scissors than I am with right-handed scissors.  Craft knives and me tend to be a slightly dangerous pairing – for me, not for anyone else!  I’m ok if I’m using a rule to cut straight lines, but anything else, well …

So, I will persevere, and perhaps the mistakes I make won’t be as noticeable to myself…

Mixed Media ACEOs, and updates

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Mixed Media ACEOs/ATCs

I’ve spent the last four or five hours creating this set of four ACEO/ATC cards.  It’s been a while since I did any mixed media work, but I felt the need to get a bit messy.

Each card measures 2½” x 3½” (approx. 6.5 cm x 9 cm) with the substrate being some fairly thick Kraft card.

I started by using some yellow Frog Tape to hold the cards together so I could make the background at the same time.

I started by applying PaperArtsy Fresco Paints to the kraft card until I had a finish I liked.  The colours I used were Cheesecake, Rose and Sherbet.

The next step was to add some Windsor and Newton Modelling Paste through a couple of stencils (one was the dot fade stencil by Tim Holtz, the other a mini dragonfly stencil by Creative Expressions).

Once the modelling paste was dried, which I hurried along using a Tim Holtz Heat Tool from Ranger, I watered down some Alchemy Waxes from Imagination Crafts  (white gold, tulip and apple green)and used a paintbrush to colour the dragonflies.  I then used the wax and a piece of Cut and Dry Foam from Ranger to apply some of the waxes over the dot patterns.

Once I’d finished applying the wax, I wasn’t happy with the result on the dragonflies, so I used Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint in Rich Gold to re-colour them. I was much happer with the results, especially the dragonflies that I’d coloured pink/red.

The next step was to have a furtle through various coloured diecuts I have in my stash.  Every now and again, I spend a day cutting out various die cuts (mainly cogs, flowers and foliage, but sometimes other things too) and then colouring them to add to my stash.  It saves on time when I have the urge to do some mixed media work. It also makes use of my rare urges to do die cutting, which I find a very tedious process.

After a good furtle, I found some cogs that would work on two ACEOs that had just the dots on the background. I couldn’t find anything I’d want to add to the dragonflies; I was just happy with them as they were.

The die cuts were applied with Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue from Creative Expressions, then some Vintage Photo Distress Oxide Ink with a wet brush was used to add shadows.

I used a Quickie Glue pen from Sakura and Gold Superfine Embossing Powder from WOW to add some gold dots and to areas where there was no embossing paste.  Following this, I edged the cards using a piece of Cut and Dry foam and black Archival Ink from Ranger.

 

I then chose some words from the Tim Holtz Chit Chat stickers and glued them down with the Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic glue, and used a damp brush and a China Black Inktense pencil from Derwent to add shadows around the stickers.

The very final step was to add some sparkly gems, and they were done!  Once all is dry, I can add my information to the back and so on, and I have some ACEO cards to use on other mixed media projects or in my art journal.

Other arty news

Over the past week I’ve been keeping myself artfully busy learning a bit more about Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and how it works for me; you could say I’m building up a relationship with it.

For now, I’ve been drawing LOTS of mandalas!  I’m keeping them back from t’internet as I hope to publish them (some are already spoken for by the Colorist app), and other people asked if I was going to make some available for purchase.  So, I’m building up a collection of them for that purpose – either with a publisher, or I’ll self-publish if necessary.  I’ve also done a couple more small mandalas that work nicely as designs to be coloured and made into greetings cards, kind of like digital stamps.

Talking of digital stamps (digi stamps), there are some ideas rattling around my noggin that I’d like to try out, so there’ll be more news on this later on no doubt.

It looks like I’m going to be doing a colouring book of spooky templates in the near future, so if anyone has any ideas for ‘spooky’ or ‘eerie’ then feel free to share!

I also have a few ideas for written books rumbling around my noggin; however, it’s really hard for me to do something with them as I doubt myself so much, think they’re silly ideas, and so on.  The ideas aren’t wholly in my noggin, I do have notes on them on the ‘puter which need tidying up…but I’m finding it difficult to do this because of all my self-doubt and self-criticism. I just need to keep saying to myself, ‘But you have recorded these ideas so they are there for you, so you have made progress).

Other things going on in my life

A week ago, I finally had the hedge at the front of the house removed, as well as the back garden completely cleared.  My garden is tiny, but it’s amazing how much space was hidden by the cotoneaster and forsythia!  I do have some clean up to do, but there’s no great rush on that.  I also need to consider what to do with the back garden.

The process of getting this done has caused me great anxiety, but there was an ah-ha moment when I realised that some voile panels in the windows in my front room would help me to feel ‘safer’ and more ‘private’ while letting in daylight.  For a long time I’ve hid behind curtains; well, I still am, but at least I can see out through the voiles even if people outside can’t see in!  Why I didn’t think of this a long while ago, I don’t know, but thank goodness I did!

I’ve done a couple of anti-stigma talks for Time to Change Wales, and I’m seriously wondering if I’m really making any difference as my story is so bland and ordinary … after all it’s not a dramatic tale to tell, and I really don’t think it’s anything people haven’t heard/seen on TV on the soaps and so on…so I’m really feeling quite downhearted about that at the moment.

I know it may very well pass, but at the moment … it’s difficult….my therapy?  Art of course!

 

Stay Strong – Mixed Media

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More Foamiran flowers, this time rather more stylised or abstract.  Background is texture paste mixed with distress ink and some pearlescent paint from Liquitex and stenciled over a distress ink background.  Papers coloured with distress inks or distress oxide inks.

Embossed paper and ACEO card are coloured with various acrylic paints from Pebeo and Liquitex.  They’ve been used to create a collaged pattern behind the previously made ACEO/ATC paint.

Liquid pearls have been added in places, and gems in the flower centres.

I die-cut the leaves from Centaura pearl paper and coloured them with Copic markers; the sheen they have is subtle and fits in nicely with the more pastel colours used.

Be Authentic – Mixed Media

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I’ve mostly finished this piece of mixed media art.  I think I need to add some pearls or similar, maybe some shadows around the flowers and foliage, but it is, in essence, complete.

I’m quite pleased with it, especially as I kept to a mainly monochrome colour scheme of blues and greens, but pinks and purples had to make a little bit of an appearance just to add some accents.

It’s another big one – A3 in size.  Lots of Foamiran flowers have been used; I used Distress crayons and a baby wipe to add colour to the white foamiran before heating and shaping each layer.  The colours are the same as some used in the background.

My focal point is an ACEO or ATC that I made a few weeks ago at the start of my mixed media explorations.

In places you can pick out the subtle sparkle on the background and foliage – achieved by spraying with a mist of gold perfect pearls.

Many of the coloured papers I used in the collage were created using a Gelli Plate and PaperArtsy fresco paints.

A fair amount of metallic and iridescent paints from Pebeo, Liquitex and Daler-Rowney have been used too.

Never give up and Foamiran flowers

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Back to playing with mixed media today, and this is the result…

It’s around 8″ x 6″ in size and 300lb Smooth watercolour paper by Daler-Rowney is the substrate.

First, I coloured the paper using Distress Oxide inks, with a light spray of gold mica mixture.

Once that had dried, I added the diamond motif and text to the background using texture paste through stencils.  Once the paste had dried, I used a rich gold System 3 acrylic paint from Daler-Rowney to paint the texture paste.

Yesterday, I had used embossing folders with my Big Shot from Sizzix to emboss coloured card which I then added metallic and iridescent colours to.  The dark red-brown layer of cogs is part of one of these papers. Behind it, there’s a piece of patterned paper.  Both have had their edges roughed up (distressed) and then inked using black Archival Ink from Ranger.

I next chose an ACEO or ATC card from my stash to act as a focal point.  I also firtled through my stash of steampunk diecuts to find some cogs and a clock dial to add to the background.

The diecuts were all made from kraft card and I used Distress inks to add the base colours of a rich blue, an intense blue-green and a red-brown before dry brushing metallic and iridescent acrylic paints from Liquitex over them to give the appearance of old metal.

Finally, I assembled everything together in an arrangement that pleased me.  I used a Payne’s Grey Inktense pencil and a water brush to add shadows, and finally a few sparkly gems (I can’t resist the use of sparkle!).

I thought I’d finished, however, the postman brought me a box that contained some Foamiran sheets I’d ordered a couple of days ago, and I just had to have a go at making some flowers.  You can see one of the flowers on the mixed media piece.

The flowers are quite easy to make.  I die cut flower shapes from the Foamiran.  I then used a couple of Faber-Castell Gelatos and a damp baby wipe to apply colour the the front and back of the flowers.

Next, I used my heat tool to warm the foam so it curled up a little and then shaped the petals before using hot glue to stick the layers together to make fluffy flowers.  Finally, I used an alcohol marker to colour some clear gems in so they complemented the flowers and attached to their centres.

I think I’m going to be making more of the flowers, they are easy to make, if a little fiddly given the current manicure I’m sporting.  Next time my nails are done, I’ll make sure they are kept fairly short!

Live gently upon this Earth – Mixed media artwork

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I’ve had a bit of a week with appointments and then yesterday was a day where I needed some self-care.  I did, however, begin work on this particular piece, and I’ve gone crazy on making ATC sized backgrounds ready for work on them, particularly using the Dylusions paints which have laid dormant in my stash for a long, long time.

This particular mixed media pieces has a colour scheme that is not typically ‘Angela’.  There’s lots of god in it, and the flowers look more like succulents than flowers, bu tthey do kind of work!

The close-up image shows the ATC that’s become the focal point of the piece, along with the metal charms and keys that have been added.

See Possibility Everywhere – Mixed media

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A little different, and I’ve found a way to use those ATC cards I made a couple of weeks ago!

I’m not all that happy with the leaves, especially the ones at the top left.  However, I’ve learned to let a piece of art sit and for me to return to it at a later date and fix what needs fixing if it’s still there when I look at it with fresh eyes.

What I do need to think about doing is to get either canvas boards or some other thicker, stiffer surface to work on as this one bend so much.  I’ve managed to flatten it somewhat.

What it does need is to be mounted on another background as it seems like it is like a big tile that needs something to sit on and to show it off.  Again, I’ll let this idea rattle around the subconscious corners of my brainbox and tackle it at a later date.

What I do like is the iridescent ‘crackle’ texture on the background, a finish I also added to the flowers to tie them into the piece.  I thought the gold circles, rays, spirals and wavy lines had messed utall up, but I actually quite like them now.

Maybe not quite as ‘flowing’ as some of the earlier mixed media pieces I’ve created, but I’ve certainly tried different things out and am learning all the time, as well as exploring new materials or ways of working.