At the start of each month, there’s a color palette challenge for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The palette can either be used with the first template of the month, or any template from any of my numerous coloring books.
I’ve been adding colour to the 01 April 2021 template, and my image today is of a part of that template. It’s all cute, doodly, kawaii and the colour palette is a pastel rainbow. Not colours I’d choose nowadays, but it goes with the cuteness of the template.
If the quote applies, I have no idea what my morning drawing says about what my art says about the world! Perhaps it says more about my inner world – imagination and emotions. I’ll let you decide that one.
All I know is that my Tuesday morning art has been influenced by the drawing I’ve been doing for the coloring book I’m currently working on. Cute. Doodle-y. Fun. Using colour for the sake of colour. Lots of colour.
I drew the design with an 0.5 Rotring Rapidograph pen on Rhodia dot grid paper. Next, I scanned it in, cleaned the drawing up and added colour digitally. Finally, background, texture and quote were added.
A nice way to spend the first three hours or so of my day before I turn to other things, like breakfast, shower and maybe even a walk if the weather keeps dry.
Another morning, another play around with watercolours, this time digitally.
Soft balls of watercolour, fuzzy edges, with white ink details added on top. Layers of transparent colour.
I overlaid a watercolour paper texture, which helps give the right ‘feel’.
This is my favourite attempt at digital ‘watercolours’ so far. I definitely like using white ink in this instance; black ink was just too harsh, hard and jarred uncomfortably with the softness of the watercolours.
I tried lots of ways of adding colour; not just brushes, but different brush effects. In the end I was happiest with white ink.
A nice way to spend a couple of hours as I wake up.
Yesterday was another day where I got lost in watercolour practice – unintentionally! I had planned to do some editing of drawings for ‘Entangled Gardens’. However, time ran away with me.
The first panel I completed was the one with leaves on. They do have plenty of gold metallic/iridescent watercolour paint along with traditional paint, though it doesn’t show up in the photo.
I tried different ways of adding details to the leaves – Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (F) and metallic watercolour and brush. I find the black pen either too black or I used too thick a point. The metallics in a red-copper, gold and grey-black were more sympathetic to the colours of the leaves, in my opinion.
The next panel I created is the one at middle bottom. I made circles of watercolour and let them touch while wet so there was some flow of colour from one to another. After they’d dried I used a fine brush and both watercolours and metallic watercolours to add line and pattern to it.
I enjoyed making this one very much. I used some quite earthy colours that are unusual for me. The line and pattern added a lot of interest, though I did wonder if I’d covered up too much of the underlying watercolours.
Looking at this with fresh eyes today, I think it shows through just fine. I want to try using metallic paints that are complementary to the main colours in the watercolour to see how that works out.
This is the one at the middle top. I created ovals of watercolour, again using unusually muted, earthy tones.
Once they’d dried I used some Caran D’Ache Luminance coloured pencils, well sharpened, to add patterns to each oval. I used the variation in colour/tone to help me add the patterns, as well as to choose the colours of pencils I used on each oval.
Finally, I used a yellow-green metallic/iridescent watercolour paint to fill in some of the patterned areas.
I enjoyed making this panel too. Again, I thought when I finished it that the pencil lines were a bit thick. However, after a night’s sleep and with fresh eyes I can see that it’s worked out well. I think that using coloured fineliner pens may work out better than coloured pencils – something I’ll try another time.
The last panel I created yesterday was the fourth panel. I used a different kind of watercolour paper, by Tim Holtz. The paint just dried so quickly on it I couldn’t really drop colours in, though the paints would re-wet and I could blend colours that way. I didn’t really enjoy using this paper.
Anyway, I thought I’d make a typically ‘Angela’ entangled style painting. I did use a raw umber Caran D’Ache Luminance pencil to draw the design on the paper. This was such a pale colour it disappeared into the watercolour sections. Again, I used uncharacteristically earthy, muted colours.
The final panel was nice enough, however, it was lacking in pattern and interest. So, I decided to use it to experiment with different ways of adding outlines and pattern to the various sections. I also noted on the panel what method I’d used next to each one.
The metallic paints and pens worked nicely and were practically or totally opaque. I prefer using a pen rather than a brush, though I’d not be averse to adding line and pattern using a fine brush and watercolour.
The gold and silver Uniball Signo glitter pens worked really nicely, and because the glitter is suspended in a transparent ink, there’s interesting effect where the watercolour shows through. I actually really like this a lot.
I couldn’t find a gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen, so I used a silver one instead. This, surprisingly, wasn’t as shiny as the Signo silver pen, but it worked just as well in terms of opacity.
I tried two white gel pens – a Uniball Signo and Sakura Gelly Roll. Both seemed to be fairly opaque, the Sakura being very slightly more so.
Finally, I dug out some really fine black pens – 005 and 01 OHTO Graphic Liners and a 01 Sakura Pigma Micron. These worked much nicer than the thicker pen I’d used on the leaf panel.
Of course, I left some areas of the panel without any lines added for comparison.
Of all the pens I tried, I like the metallic and glitter gel pens the best for this.
I’ve found I really like to work on a smaller scale. I feel like I’m creating small ‘treasures’ full of interest and fascination. I’m happier working smaller and more detailed than I am working on a larger scale.
I want to try coloured fineliner pens to draw patterns on watercolours.
Another experiment will be for me to use metallic and plain acrylic and other inks to draw with. I do have a glass pen that will work nicely with indian ink and writing ink. I’ll have to dig some dip-nib pens out to try with the metallic acrylic paints as well as a brush. I think that ball tools could be used to dot spots of ink onto the work rather than a brush; something else to try.
I also need to find a way of leaving a border on the page! When I draw a colouring template or other piece of lineart, I start by drawing a pencil line to demarcate the area I want to draw in, leaving a border around the line. I need to do the same for watercolour panels, either using a pencil or masking or washi tape.
Something else I’ve worked out is that I tend to use too much water when I paint, and I need to experiment with using less and trying dropping colours in when the area is at different levels of dryness.
Lots of things to try and consider.
I see a lot of people calling the addition of line, texture and pattern as part of an artwork ‘doodling’. I don’t like doodling being used in that way.
Here are the definitions for ‘doodle’ from Dictionary.com
verb (used with or without object), doo·dled, doo·dling. *to draw or scribble idly: He doodled during the whole lecture. *to waste (time) in aimless or foolish activity. noun *a design, figure, or the like, made by idle scribbling.
When I add line or pattern to my drawing, it’s not an idle or unconscious activity. I deliberately choose what patterns and textures I want to use and where to place them. The process of adding the lines, patterns and textures may be a more mindful process if the pattern is familiar to me.
The lines, textures and patterns are used to add interest to elements of the overall design. But they are not meaningless, as implied in the words scribble and doodle, and they are anything but idle or mindless scribbles. There is purpose in them, and this is why the use of the word ‘doodle’ irks me!
What am I going to do with the panels?
The leafy panel I created to add to a tag to put in my journal. The other panels will also live in my journal, even the one with annotations, possibly with a pocket behind it for my notes and reflections!
This morning, I woke early-ish and thought I’d spend a little time on my journal.
On page 2 I’ve added one of my silhouette irises backed onto some pearlescent card that i coloured with Chameleon Color Top marker pens. I’ll be adding a quote beside the flower, when I find the perfect quote to go there!
Above the flower you can see a little tag with a semi-circular bottom that has a little pocket in it. The tag will flip up so I can hide some journaling or quote or something pretty and surprising behind it.
On both pages you can see paperclips that have inchies embellishing them. This is a fab way for me to use my inchies in a practical way.
Finally, you can see three mini paintings – two floral, one abstract – that I can use in future pages.
Unusually for me I started by painting the basic shapes of flowers and leaves. Then, I added stems and details using various colours of fineliner pens as well as a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. I added some sparkly dot details with Sakura Stardust and Uniball Signo glitter gel pens.
For the abstract pattern, I painted arcs on the watercolour paper and when they were dried I added curved lines using a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen and a gold glitter Uniball Signo pen.
I’m not at all sure how I’ll use these, other than the colours of the three cards go really well together so they’ll help me with the colour scheme for another pair of pages further on in the journal, as well as making other ephemera and so on for it.
I do like relatively straight edges, neatly regimented bits and bobs in my journal. I’m not one for lace and frills and frothy additions. It’s not completely clean and simple; I do like old book paper that’s been torn. It’s like I need to control shapes and positions and arrange things ‘just so’, neat and tidy like. That may very well be my way with journal creation, which is in juxtaposition with those I see on youtube.
Being confident with something new, like making my own journal, is something that takes time, perseverance and patience – the patience mostly being with myself until I gain enough confidence.
It’s also the confidence that doing something different to others is perfectly fine.
I was missing in action yesterday. I was unsettled, dissatisfied with anything I tried to do, and needing a lot of sleep it seems. I kept away from the ‘puter and social media. So, no art was done (other than a couple of templates for Entangled Gardens) and no blog post was written (nor any other social media).
One lesson I have learned from my time in counselling/therapy was the importance of knowing when to exercise self-care. I try my best to do this, though sometimes it’s difficult as I know there are expectations and pressures I place on myself.
However, I have learned that if I try to push myself to do things when I’m just not in the right place to do them, I just get more and more frustrated and fed up. If I give myself the time and space to do what I need to do to take care of my emotional and mental health, when I settle down to work, the work flows more easily and I’m more satisfied with what I create.
Although I did draw two templates yesterday, I started three or four others and just threw them as I really wasn’t at all happy with them, and they really were nonredeemable.
Once those two were complete, I felt better about my deadline for the book, a bit more settled in myself. However, any other artistic things I tried I was just frustrated with. So, a complete break away was needed. So, it was crochet while binge watching American Gods on Amazon Prime Video.
I don’t know if I’m feeling any better today as far as art goes, I do know I need breakfast before I consider doing any!
Can you believe that September is nearly over? I swear that the older I get the faster time seems to go.
Anyway, a new month on the horizon means a new colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. There just has to be a Hallowe’en theme for October’s page, and you can see a sneak peek of it above. I couldn’t resist colouring some of it in as a way of trying out some new digital brushes and some ideas too.
I put some of my favourite All Hallows’ Eve motifs into the drawing, including a raven, skulls, fungi and a vampire cat! I always enjoy drawing stuff to do with Hallowe’en; it’s my favourite time of year because I don’t have any past traumas associated with it.
I used a combination of fountain pens and fine-line pens to draw the design on dot grid paper. I then scanned the drawing in and cleaned up smudges and smears digitally.
Then, I set about adding colour digitally using my usual tools – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I also added a background and surface texture that I had purchased via Creative Market.
I am really quite pleased with how the colour is bringing the illustration to life, especially the skull in a jar. I hope to be able to continue to add colour as the month progresses, though I do know I have quite a bit of work to do and focus on.
To Inktober or not Inktober, that is the question.
Last year, I really enjoyed taking part in Inktober. Inktober has become a really popular social media event where artists and creatives use a daily prompt to draw (or create) something based on that prompt and share it on social media.
There is an official prompt list, but people do create alternative lists and I may look at some of them as there may be variations that might be less time intensive than last years’ was!
I shall see what I find and go from there I think.
So, Angela, how are you today?
Tired. However, I’m am quite content, my mood is good enough today. I do have EMDR later on, and I often feel ‘flat’ before my therapy session. I think my unconscious mind starts to bring stuff up in preparation for EMDR.
I know that the likelihood of me being exhausted later is rather high, so I’m not planning to do loads of stuff later on. Self care will be the order of the late afternoon and evening.
I had a little bit of fun this morning after watching a video by creationsceecee on YouTube.
Rather than using traditional watercolours, I thought I’d try the idea out digitally.
I’m still very much learning and finding my ‘style’ when it comes to digital art. I haven’t really done much with watercolour brushes, so thought this a brilliant idea to try some watercolour brushes out as well as to practice drawing digitally.
Yes, practice digital drawing. Although it is almost exactly like drawing on paper it’s also slightly different, different enough that it’s good to draw regularly using digital media.
Anyway. I started with water colour ‘blobs’, trying out different watercolour brushes in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The colours came from the blue-violet Copic colour palette.
Finally, I drew patterns on top of the blobs using a fine watercolour brush with black and white paints.
I said I had a bit of fun, and it was fun. I’m not so sure I like all of the results. the ones I don’t like are where smooth black outlines have resulted. All the same, it was fun to do and to try something new out too.
My tools for this artwork were Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
I know Friday is usually dangle day and there’s still time in the day for me to get a dangle design done.
So Angela, how are you today?
Tired, but content enough. At this moment, I’d like to go back to bed and sleep some more. However, that’s not possible as I’m taking my younger sister out for a couple of hours.
I’m finding it hard to wend my way to the shower and get myself tidied up to pop out. That’s me just feeling tired, I think. But there may be something else going on with me too. Perhaps some anxiety about going out for lunch.
Hmm. Yes, there’s anxiety. Even though I know it will be just fine, I’m still all anxious about leaving the safety of my home and venturing out into the big, wide, people-y world.
Damn you CPTSD and the inner critic. I wish I could catch what you’re speaking to me at the moment so I can work on disempowering you.
There’s a ‘well done, Angela’ for me too for spotting that I’m feeling this way and for noticing how strong it is as I spot it. Yes, it’s intensified and is making me feel sick.
Oh, the joys of anxiety. Still, I won’t let it stop me going out for lunch with my sister, so it’s time to go shower and stuff.
I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘If only’, not ‘as long as’. I matter. Full Stop.” – Chimamanda Adichie, Nigerian writer.
A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. www.internationalwomensday.com
Today is International Women’s Day, Furbaby Friday and Dangle Day so what else could I do but combine them all into one design?
I started by sketching them out on dot grid paper. My favourite sketching tool at the moment is any one of the darker tones in the Koh-I-Noor Magic multicoloured pencils range. The thickness of the lead encourages me to be bold in my hand lettering and drawing. It also encourages me to draw on a larger scale than I usually do.
Something else I’ve noticed is that drawing with such a thick (but fun and coloured) pencil,I can’t put all the small details in that appear in the final image in the sketch. It really is a sketch which I can then use as the skeleton, the framework, the architecture for the final design.
The thickness of the pencil also means that my hand lettering is bigger than usual. I can also deliberately wear the lead down into more of a chisel shape which helps with the thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes.
It’s also a pleasure to write with pencil and my writing always feels neater when I do write with a pencil. I have no idea why that is, but it just is.
Anyways, once the design was sketched out, I scanned the design into the Microsoft Surface Studio and used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface pen to first ink in the outlines and then add colour, details and texture.
For the colours I kept to a fairly simple colour scheme with pink and purple for the flowers and hearts and the Women’s Day symbol. I just had to use a rainbow to fill the hand lettering (apart from the word ‘women’s’). And the pusscat just had to be mainly white, but I thought peachy-pink stripes would be quite nice.
I always have fun when drawing and creating, including this design. In it I’ve combined some of my entangled design elements along with winter/Christmas doodles.
To start, I hand lettered ‘Noel’ using a guide for the shape of the lettering I wanted. Then, I printed it out so I could add the black and white line art using a 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.
Once that was done, the finished lineart was scanned back into the Microsoft Surface Studio, a transparent background created and some smudges cleaned up.
Finally, I could colour it. Today, I chose to use the color gradient tools, which does make the job of colouring a bit quicker, but it also results in a rather ‘shiny’ look too. Or perhaps that’s simply due to the colours I choose for the gradients.
I had fun adding the glowing stars and sparkles to this one, though I’m not sure I’ve got that right.A nice way to spend the morning and early afternoon as the weather has been wet and very windy at times here.
After the emotions surrounding Remembrance Day and all the heart-tugging posts on social media concerning issues around veterans and families and so on, I needed to create something that was a little fun.
I drew the design yesterday and I’ve spent the past 4 hours colouring it using my set of Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops.
Not digital art this time, just some fun doodleworlds style critters and monsters and objects, along with some geometric designs as well as my trademark arches and swirls and spirals.
I love how all my critters are different and yet close together getting along, even if some of them look a bit grumpy, fierce or angry. We all have emotions, a whole range of them from ecstatic, happy to sad, angry, miserable. It’s like a weird kind of family, friendship photo. Even the single kitty to the left of the tower is part of this group, even though it’s keeping its distance.
Sometimes I need that distance from people, even groups of people I care for. I get overwhelmed so easily. I then need some quiet alone time and space to rest, recoup and recharge. I enjoy time with people I care about; the trade off is feeling drained and tired and exhausted afterwards.
It’s the same with overly emotional days. When I need to rest, recoup and recharge sometimes drawing overly whimsical, cute, simple designs with cheesily cute critters and monsters helps to soothe what’s going on inside me.
I really need a bit of that before I head out for EMDR therapy later on today.