A video experiment…

I woke this morning and something had filtered through my unconscious mind about why I couldn’t get the record screen app in Movavi to work. I had to set my computer into tablet mode. And all worked well, including recording my voice as I worked.

I was a bit flustered and more than usually waffly, but if you’d like to see how I add colour digitally, then you can see the screen, and hopefully the ‘mouse’ pointer.

I can now calm down that I know I can do this!

If you watch the video and enjoy it, like and subscribe.
If there’s any helpful advice you can give, or suggestions for future projects, then please leave a comment with them.

Coloring ‘Serendipity’

I’ve spent much of the day so far adding colour to my ‘Serendipity’ drawing that I completed yesterday. The whole process of drawing has been videoed and is available on my YouTube channel.

I thought it would be an idea to try to record a timelapse of my process in Clip Studio Paint Pro, which has a tool that does it for you. This just didn’t work, it caused everything to freeze up.

So, I thought I’d try the record screen tool in the Movavi Video Suite. It didn’t let me use my digital pen on the screen. So, I’m going to have to spelunk through the settings to see if I can resolve that issue, and the one with Clip Studio Paint Pro. A couple of things to sort out along with how to add a voice-over to a video!

So, after getting another mug of tea, I settled to starting colouring the image digitally. I wanted to use the rich colour palette I’d used for this week’s ‘Template Thursday’ design.

I’ve only got part of the design done. It’s taking me a little longer to add colour in CSPP (Clip Studio Paint Pro) than in Sketchbook as I’m not familiar with the tool layout yet.

Again, I’m taking this as an opportunity to learn more about CSPP, in very tiny, tiny steps. I seem to have found a watercolour brush I like that adds an interesting texture to the colour. Usually, my work is characterised by rather smooth colour gradients. To have such a textured finish is unusual for me, but I quite like it.

I have a lot more of this particular drawing to do, and as I’m working digitally I can always try a different colour palette or way of working.

I think I’m going to take some time away from the computer now, and return to ‘analog’ forms of art. If you’ve watched my video, I gave a short look at one of my collections of patterns and motifs. That notebook is almost full, so I had a new Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook delivered yesterday. It turns out I’d managed to order a square grid rather than a dot grid. No problem. If anything it may work out better.

I’m not going to transfer the entirety of the nearly full notebook to this new one, just the motifs/patterns I use the most, and start to add others. They really are books full of inspiration, mostly images but sometimes words/notes too.

Tuesday Work In Progress

I love drawing mandalas, if you hadn’t noticed. And creating a mandala is a perfect way to continue exploring and getting familiar with the tools and interface of Clip Studio Paint Pro.

The more I use Clip Studio Paint Pro, the happier I am with it, though I do seem to have had a hissy fit with the quality of this particular image. I need more tea I think.

Even though this particular peek at my work in progress, you can get the sense of the rich colour palette I’m using – magenta/red, purple, orange and golden tones.

Monday Mandala

My first mandala created in Clip Studio Paint Pro! It was a different yet similar experience to that I’d get in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. In fact everything is similar, but different. It’s going to take me a while to work out how it all works.

I enjoyed the process, and the challenges it presented me weren’t huge. They were more opportunities to learn than to be frustrated.

One thing I really do need to look into are the settings on the symmetry tools. They didn’t work the way I expected them to, hence the rather unusual way the patterns are repeated around the centre. The fact that they work this way means that there’s a wider range of possibilities for such designs going forward. That is exciting!

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how I’ve been dissatisfied at times with my artistic expression. It felt stale, samey, and just not working. Every now and again I have a need to explore new things, to shake it up a little. This is turning out to be one of those perfect confluences of frustration, opportunity and freshness.

It has to be said, though, that there are times when I return to what is more familiar, comfortable too. But when I do return to them, I do so with the lessons and outlooks gained from these fresh experiences. And so, my artwork develops, which is a good thing indeed.

Nature

Nature – an entangled artwork. It looks like batik, silk painting or stained glass!

The design was drawn in pen on bristol board and then coloured digitally in Clip Studio Paint Pro using a textured watercolour brush.

I’m determined to find my way around this piece of software, along with Affinity Designer at some point. The effects are the same as Sketchbook, but just not quite so easy to find the tools I want to use at first. It’s all a case of familiarity and I’m definitely outside of being familiar with the software at the moment.

Having said that, all that I’ve learned about layers, the various effects that can be applied, brush settings and so on, apply to all digital art platforms. It’s just finding my way around the software and learning more about it.

The one thing that’s top of my list at the moment is setting up a custom colour palette.

I’ve discovered that Clip Studio Paint has symmetry tools – phew! And these tools do a thing or two not available in Sketchbook as well as working slightly differently (and making certain things a lot easier for sure.

So, onwards and upwards I go.

So frustrating!

It’s been a frustrating few hours. I scanned these two drawings in, went to edit and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, only to find that Autodesk has cancelled the pro, subscribed version and the only one available is the free version.

The free version doesn’t allow me to alter contrast, or work at different dpi, and it is a tad unstable it seems.

Also, there was no warning of this and I had no chance to save all my own custom brushes.

To say I’m gutted is an understatement. Sketchbook Pro has been my pathway into digital art and I absolutely love its intuitive interface.

So, I’m now looking into other software I have on my ‘puter. I learned to edit and colour and add texture layers, background and text using Clip Studio Paint.

It works well, but the interface isn’t so intuitive, it’s so much like the Adobe products, with menu after menu after menu. I can see that it’s more powerful.

Trying to look on the bright side, maybe I’d become way too comfortable with Sketchbook Pro and it’s now time for me to learn new digital skills and extend the ones I already have. So this may be a blessing in disguise.

All I know is that it’s going to be darn frustrating for a while until I get to grips with this new software.

I’m tempted to have a look at Corel Paint, but I suspect it’s user interface is as confusing and not intuitive either.

I still have access to the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook. But it is missing some of the features I loved so much about the subscription version.

Anyways, I discovered the watercolour brushes in Clip Studio and used them to add colour to the top design, and I like these ones very much. I’ll see how I get along with it, but first I need breakfast. Yes, It’s nearly 2:30pm and I’ve not had breakfast yet! So I’m going to eat and then it’ll be onwards and upwards digitally, I trust.

Now I’ve had my moan, here’s some info about the drawings:

14.5cm x 14.5cm Bristol board
Faber-Castell fineliner pen
Colours and textures added digitally using Clip Studio Paint

Template Thursday

Another week has passed us by, and so it’s time for another coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group members.

This week, it’s a more geometric design, albeit with plenty of curves. I was inspired by my art of yesterday. Also, I played around with adding some texture/pattern to areas of the design as there are fairly large spaces in this one – perfect for entangling/tangling/zentangling in, if you’re of a mind to do so.

Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Template Thursday

And a new colour palette challenge too!

Not only is it Thursday but it’s also a new month and also April Fools’ Day.

I needed to draw some cute kawaii goodness the other day, and as the characters are fooling around in the template I thought it would be perfect for this week’s template.

Unusually for me, I’ve gone with a cute pastel rainbow color palette for the month long color palette challenge.

The template, and the color palette challenge, are via the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Free to join, free to download and join in, all that I ask is that you follow the terms and conditions of use.

I loved seeing everyone’s coloured version of last month’s colour palette challenge and template on the group. So much fun, and so many different ways of using the same few colours to bring life to the lineart template.

Drawn on A4 paper with Unipin 05 pen.
Coloured digitally.

March’s Color Palette Challenge

At the start of March, we launched the first month-long colour palette challenge for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. I also posted a template that could be used for those who have access to a printer (or any template from any of my books if not).

Here is my coloured version of the template.

I like working with limited palettes. I don’t find limited choices confining or a challenge. Instead I find myself liberated from the choice of colours to use when completing an artwork. I end up with a more coherent/cohesive artwork than if I’m allowed to play in the sweetie-shop of the limitless colours of the digital realms. The limited palette makes me focus on the work in a different way, usually on shadow and highlight, as shades of these colours are always allowed!

In hindsight, these colours wouldn’t be a natural choice for me to use. I chose colours that reminded me of spring-time flowers and leaves and the lovely clear blue skies we ca get. Black and white are there, of course, for various shades, shadows and highlights.

So, tomorrow there’ll not only be a new template, but a new color palette challenge. I already have the template drawn and good to go, I just have to choose the colours to use.

March Color Palette Challenge…

At the start of March, along with the weekly template, I set a color palette challenge for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans. I asked for all of you who took part to hold off sharing your wonderful colorations until the last Wednesday of the month, which happens to be tomorrow!

I’ve finished colour the template using the rather spring-like colour palette, and here is a fragment, a snippet of my completed template.