Dimensions : 8cm x 8.5cm (3¼” x 3¾”) Smooth cartridge paper (acid free) Uniball Unipin pens (05 and 01) Digital editing and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
I drew this little drawing yesterday, but spent some time this morning scanning, cleaning and adding colour and shading digitally.
I deliberately left some ‘white space’ so I could fill it with colour. This contrasts rather well with the graphic black and white entangled art design. The coloured background adds depth to the image, and the subtle shading by grey and textural lines adds volume to the design elements and layers.
I often think I struggle with colour, unless I use a limited palette. This is a way to make use of colour in a way that adds interest to the design without detracting from the line work.
Yesterday and today my focus has been on colouring some templates for my Entangled Gardens coloring book that is due out next year – March 1st 2021 here in the UK to be precise.
This is just a small part of the second of three templates I need to colour. I thought I’d go with a night sky for this one. The first one I’ve given a sunshiny sky to, the third I’m going to go with a sunset colour scheme for the background.
It takes me quite a few hours to colour each template, which is a nod to how intricate and detailed my artwork usually is.
This template, like many in the book, was drawn with pen on paper. However, I like to colour the templates digitally, so I’m using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with my Surface Studio and Surface Slim pen to add colour.
I’ve spent so long working at my computer that I’m feeling a bit stiff and uncomfortable. I’m able to tilt the screen of my Surface Studio so that’s at a comfortable position to work at with pen on screen. Still, I’m feeling somewhat stiff. So as soon as I’ve finished my social media stuff for the day, I’m going to take a walk to ease some of the stiffness before I return to the task.
I decided to do Slowtember. I like having prompts to challenge me, take me a little outside of my usual style. However, Inktober can be a bit full on with daily prompts. Slowtember gives that breathing space, and I can work it in around my other commitments.
Thanks to @megaelod on twitter for the idea and prompts!
So, the first prompt was a choice betwixt pothos and chill. I decided to combine them! I like foliage, and the word gives me a chance to try out some hand drawn typography/hand lettering.
I sketched the quite stylised design on dot grid paper, inked it with Unipin pens and then scanned it in. after some digital clean up and slight adjustments, I added some simple colour and shadow.
You’d think adding simple colour would be easy, yes? Nope! Choosing the right greens wasn’t easy for me. And then there was the typography. I lost count of how many times I tried different ways to colour the letters. Eventually I decided enough was enough and the gradient I had was good enough.
As I think now, after breakfast and some mocha, I could’ve done the word as a flower pot, or used it to add shadow to a flower pot. Maybe I’ll give that a go for the next prompt (monstera and water).
Complex drawings are my stock in trade. Going simple and stylised is not quite so easy! Still, it was fun to do, a bit frustrating at times, but the result is perhaps good enough, though I’m not sure about that.
Today, I thought I’d digitally colour one of my recent drawings. I thought it would be nice to compare and contrast digital colouring with traditional colouring.
It’s been a while since I did much art digitally, I’ve been lost in traditional media this week as I slowly heal from some emotional wounds. Art helps with healing. Meditation helps too. But time is still needed for the healing to take place, and for rest to relieve the exhaustion that lingers still.
Any kind of art, digital or traditional, soothes my mind, emotions and body.
What I like about digital art is the way I can get such high contrast in colours to enhance the sense of volume the design elements have. I also like the vibrancy of colours. I also like the ability to add texture to the colour in so many different ways.
Of course, I like the ability to alter colours when they don’t work, without having to start over. I’m not sure if those leaves are going to stay that particular green-ish colour. Nor am I sure about the background colour.
As is my wont, I’ve used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to add the colour and textures. My hardware is a Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.
Yesterday, I thought I’d give Clip Studio Paint a go. The bottom part of the template above was coloured in Clip Studio, the top part in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I spent yesterday afternoon, and a bit of this morning, colouring part of the template above in Clip Studio Paint. So, these are my first impressions of Clip Studio Paint and a comparison with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I think it’s impossible to tell the difference between the colouring I’ve achieved with both programs. What is different is the user interface more than anything else.
I’ve long been a fan of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and that isn’t going to change. I love the intuitive and rather beautiful interface of the software, the menus on screen and the colour and brush ‘pucks’. Everything is done easily and simply through the quite minimalist, yet powerful, tool bars and menus. Keyboard shortcuts are available, but I prefer to use my pen directly on the screen as I work. It makes working digitally as natural as working with traditional media.
As I’m familiar with the Affinity suite of programs from Serif, working out what the different menus and tools,, which are similar to Photoshop, wasn’t as confusing as it would’ve been in the past. Thanks to working with Sketchbook Pro, I have a better understanding of what the various tools do.
While the tools and options are all accessible on the screen, I find it frustrating and time consuming as I seem to have to perform more steps in Clip Studio Paint to do the same task as I would in Sketchbook Pro. I’m sure there must be keyboard shortcuts, which may help streamline the process somewhat. However, I work directly on the screen with Sketchbook Pro and the only time I use my keyboard is name the file before saving it, or if I want to add text to the art. Usually, they keyboard is out of the way so that I can adjust the angle and distance of the screen to suit my comfort.
I do prefer the way I can choose colours in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, as well as the ease of creating a custom palette. Sketchbook Pro also comes with a separate Copic color palette. Being able to move them around the screen means I can pop them where I like, make them easily and quickly accessible for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a comprehensive colour palette and various options of viewing colours in Clip Studio Pro, but I like the more intuitive and streamline way of doing it in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It’s just personal preference more than anything.
Having the colour puck makes it easy to alter the saturation and tone of a chosen colour really quickly. The brush puck makes changing the size and opacity a breeze. I keep the pucks close to where I work for convenience.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with how all this is done in Clip Studio Paint, but I just prefer the ease with which I can do everything in Sketchbook Pro.
The Sketchbook brush palette is a great tool too; I have all my favourite brushes available in one, easily accessible place. A click on this palette and I can access all the brush sets I’ve either downloaded or created so I can add or remove brushes as I need to.
The zoom and rotate touch functions only work separately. I found this a clunky and awkward way to work. I think that’s because I’m used to doing both at the same time and at will in Sketchbook Pro.
What I did like are the many more choices of brush effects in Clip Studio Paint. However, I think I can replicate many of them in Sketchbook. There are some interesting brushes in Clip Studio Paint, but nothing that I couldn’t replicate if I found I really wanted to use them.
Anyway, I will persevere with Clip Studio, working with it from time to time to become more familiar with it. The ability to draw vectors may be helpful in the future, but then I have Affinity Designer on my ‘puter, which is Serif’s version of Adobe Illustrator.
Also, I’m hoping I can find a way in Clip Studio Paint to work in CMYK rather than RGB. When I convert files to CMYK for printing, the colours shift and I’d like to work in roughly the colours that would be printed.
Overall, I think it’s a good, affordable application. It’s a fraction of the cost of any Adobe Product. I paid £40 for the Clip Studio Paint version; that’s a one-off purchase and you have free upgrades for life. You also get access to online resources created by other Clip Studio Paint users.
This price is on a par with the price of each of the Affinity suite of programs (approx £50 each), and there are regular, free updates to the software.
You can get Autodesk Sketchbook for free, though I subscribe to the pro version monthly for approx. £12; it does have a few more features than the free version. Just because Sketchbook is free doesn’t mean it’s not professional; it is. It doesn’t look powerful, but it is.
How much will I use Clip Studio Paint? That I’m not sure. Perhaps with more use the frustrations I experienced with lessen as I become more familiar with the software. Perhaps I’ll gain fresh ideas on what effects I can try out in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
Do I think Clip Studio Paint is a bad program? Not at all. It seems to be powerful and similar to Adobe Photoshop and artists and illustrators are able to create fantastic artworks with it. I’m sure that if you are familiar with the way Photoshop works, you’ll find Clip Studio Paint an easy transition to make.
Personally, I find the way the menus are set up hard work and time consuming to use. I’ve been spoiled with the simple sophistication and intutive nature of the Autodesk Sketchbook interface, no matter which version you use. I find I spend less time clicking on menu after menu to get to what I want to use, and more time creating art in Sketchbook. That may be a function of my familiarity and comfort with the software. What I don’t want is to feel I’m struggling or working so hard to get an effect I’d like when I could do it so simply in Sketchbook.
One thing I know is that Autodesk Sketchbook Pro will be my go-to digital art program. It does all I want to do digitally, and most probably a lot more I’ve not worked out yet.
This week, I’ve harked back to my Doodleworlds book with cute monsters and critters. I’ve included some family portraits which hang above a background of more monsters and critters and my signature entangled style drawing for coloring books.
I got lost in colouring this template this morning. It was fun to use different styles of digital brushes and colour combinations in this one. Sometimes it’s just nice to do art with no expectations other than enjoyment, relaxation and comfort.
I drew the template with a Pentel 07 Energel pen on Rhodia dot grid paper. I scanned it in to the Surface Studio and cleaned the image up digitally. Then, I partially coloured it digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, adding a background texture that isn’t present in the downloadable image.
Last night, there was the most amazing lightning storm I think I’ve ever seen. It lasted for more than an hour and there were multiple flashes of lighting most minutes. I really need to learn how to use my camera to take photos of lightning – natures very own fireworks.
Sadly, I haven’t been able to see the Perseid meteor shower this year, and I missed the Neowise comet too. I have seen amazing photos of both, though, and of course the lightning storms of the past few days that have coruscated over the UK.
It’s a little cooler in the house today thanks to the clouds shrouding the sun. It’s humid though as the couple of brief showers last night have been evaporating slowly.
The heat meant I didn’t sleep well again last night. But, waking early meant I had plenty of time to edit the coloring template and add colour to a section of it.
I’m not sure if it’s cool enough to take a walk this afternoon. There seems to be a bit of a breeze picking up from time to time. I really don’t do well in the heat; I wilt very quickly. But I’ll see once I shower what it’s like outside.
Another week in lock-down has passed us by here in the UK, as well as many places around the world. That means it’s time for another weekly coloring template.
This week, the inspiration for this template has come from the pages full of capsules, pods and seeds in my sketchbook. Lots of opportunity to experiment with colour, but also adding little details to each tiny picture.
Drawn using Sakura Pigma micron pens (05 and 01) on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. Clean up of drawing, colouring and typography done digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.
The weeks are flying by! It seems like hardly any time at all since I posted last week’s coloring template. I decided at the start of the Covid-19 quarrantine that I’d design a weekly coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. And so far I’ve managed to do that.
And here, partly coloured, is this week’s offering. I look forward, as always to seeing the coloured templates by members of the group. I love the way that they use different colours and interpret the design differently!
The template is only available in the facebook group, and is for free. I know how much colouring and creativity can help people manage their emotional and mental health. Creating art and being creative certainly helps me, especially if I have a good audiobook on or uplifting music!
I created this design digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
This week, my offering harks back to my ‘Entangled’ style of drawing – abstract, with swirling lines, spirals and organic motifs. And fairly detailed with zero or little white space. It’s still a style I like to return to; it’s one of my comfort drawing styles.
For this one, I worked digitally – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with a Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio, both by Microsoft.
I started to add colour to it, and the colours are softer, more muted than is usually the case for me. I think those represent my mood at the moment, as well as it being spring time.
If you’d like to download a copy and colour this template, then you do need to become a member of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free and all I ask is that you follow a few reasonable terms and conditions for use! I’d love to see how you’d colour this one in.