Video Friday

This week, I finish this particular drawing, apart from a few bits and bobs.

Partway through the video, the microphone just stopped recording. I have no idea why. So, for the last part of the video, I’ve sped my drawing up 5x and just put some music to go with it.

Guess I’m going to have to learn to do voice-overs as well as learning the new digital art stuff!

I’d appreciate likes for this video, as well as new subscriptions to my channel.

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

Little art

More small pieces of artwork today. These are perfect for when I’m feeling overwhelmed by a large sheet of paper. Also, they are sources of ideas for patterns and motifs for future work. I do need to spend some time with all this art and add some of the newer motifs and patterns to my visual dictionary/zibladone. Or, just stick them all into a sketchbook. At least then I’d know where they are!

It’s snowing outside. It’s cold outside, and warming up inside as I put the heating on a couple of hours ago. I think I may curl up in bed today with Din Djarin and Grogu. I still have three episodes of Season 2 to watch, and that sounds like a good plan to me!

Entangled Monograms

I’ve enjoyed doing these! The squares are 3.25″ x 3.25, 3.5″ x 3.5″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The circles are almost 3.5″ in diameter.

The tiles were cut from a variety of papers – watercolour, bristol vellum and heavyweight smooth cartridge paper. I used Distress Inks to colour the paper tiles before drawing on them.

I’ve used Sakura Pigma Micron pens (05 and 01), along with some brown and one blue-green Stabilio fineliner pens.

I like them all, But my favourites are the ones that are much more geometric in nature – my initials and the A in particular. My least favourite is the E; the background to the letter just feels disjointed. I think that’s why I like the more symmetrical, geometrical designs more.

I’ve enjoyed using one or two tones of colour to add variety, interest and ‘dimension’ to the tiles. I’ve not added any shadow or highlight to these. That’s when things tend to go wrong for me as far as traditional media is concerned!

It also occurred to me that if I were to draw these on a different shaped paper, I could add dangle designs to them. (My book “A Dangle A Day” is still available). Maybe I’ll try that out in a while. Of course, I’d like to get a full set of monograms done too.

Be gentle to yourself

I often say to myself, “Angela, what on earth were you thinking?” This is one of those times.

I started with hand lettering the words. Ok-ish Good enough to mess around with. And mess around them I did – with an “aura” and pattern, then more patterns and repeated motifs … until I’d mostly filled a square sketchbook page.

The drawing was OK. I liked some bits, others I didn’t.

Then, I thought, “What would it look like with colour? Let’s try Inktense and water!”

How often have I mused here about how I struggle with colour? All was going OK-ish with just pinks and greens … and then I added blues and browns…

The geometric pattern at the bottom were colours that didn’t fit well. So, I added watercolours to glaze the colours. Big mistake. I lost any sense of shadow and highlight …

So, I used a white graphite/chalk pencil to try to add the highlights back in …

YEUCH!

So, I put it to one side while I did some other stuff and had lunch.

Then, it caught my eye and with fresh eyes I thought that maybe it’s not as bad as I thought it was .. maybe.

I constantly do this – try to add colour with traditional media and fail. Monochrome seems to work best for me. Monochrome where I can play with shadow and light. Monochrome colours that are added digitally seems to work the best of all.

No matter how often I tell myself this, put notes up to remind me of this, I still insist on trying to use traditional coloured media.

I just think that I hope one day that something will just ‘click’ with me. Today wasn’t that day it seems!

So, back to either white or simple coloured backgrounds, and adding monochrome colours for the sense of dimensionality I like. And I have no hopes that I’ll remember this in a day, a week, or a month or two and I’ll end up asking myself the exact same question; “Angela, what were you thinking?”

The end result may be something I’m unhappy with, but adding colour was enjoyable. I just seem unable to stick to just one or two colours, with variations in their intensity and tone. Then, I descend, bit by bit, into insecurity and self-doubt and incredulity that I did it again!

Ho hum! Not to worry, it’s only pen, paper and some other media. It’s yet another experience to help me, hopefully, learn more and be more comfortable with my artistic style. If we did everything perfectly every time we’d never learn and grow.

So, back to a blank piece of paper with pens I go, and may make some art to remind me, “Angela, monochrome is best!”

Insomniac Art 20 Jan 2021

It was one of those nights. I woke way too early feeling way too hot, even though the windows were open in the Welsh Winter. Hot flashes, again. So, the only thing to do was to draw until I was cool enough to get back to sleep. That took until nearly 8 am, GMT.

These are the little drawings I completed during my insomniac hours. My Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen is nearly done – either the nib is too worn to work properly or the ink is mostly gone, I’m not entirely sure which. I know I have a heavy hand with pens and tend to wreck them before all the ink has gone.

Anyway, I witter. I’m still trying to figure out how to add words into my drawings. I’m not entirely sure I’m being successful in this. No doubt I’ll keep on trying though!

These were drawn on A4 acid-free cartridge paper in one of my current sketchbooks. I added the background colour digitally.

Happy Thanksgiving! Template Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you
who are celebrating it today.

This week’s template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is a thanksgiving themed mandala, along with some simple hand-drawn typography.

I create templates for the members of the group as my way of saying ‘thank you’ for supporting my work. I am thankful that I am able to bring some joy and peace into others’ lives through my colouring books and my art.

If you’d like to download and print the template for personal use, head on over to the facebook group. Some simple terms and conditions of use apply.

I’ve chosen warm, autumn colours for my version of the template. How would you bring yours to life with colour? I love to see how people colour my templates, and I can be tagged on twitter and instagram as @artwyrd.

Today in South Wales

It’s a beautiful late autumn day. A hard frost this morning has now melted. The dragons-breath mist flowing down the valley has dissipated leaving the air filled with a silvery mist that diffuses the bright sunlight beaming from the pale blue sky. Trails of smoke and steam trickle through the fairly still atmosphere, making a statement that the colder months are now upon us.

Once I’ve completed all my social media posts, I’m going to put some sunblock and boots on, wrap up warm, and go for a much needed and long-put off walk. It’s time for me to face some of the social anxiety that has built up in me during another lockdown.

Then, it’ll be settling down to ink in some coloring templates for Entangled Starry Skies. I was going to do some yesterday. Unfortunately, I was overcome by the intense fatigue that plagues me from time to time, which hasn’t been helped by a few insomniac nights. I slept lots yesterday, and fairly well last night, so feel better today than I have done for a while.

Tuesday Typography for Paleotober

I had to take a totally different approach to completing this piece of typographic art – pencil drawing the design and letter outlines on paper before inking and scanning into the computer.

Once scanned in, I could clean the image up, fill the shapes with black. I learned how I could use some of the tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to do this. However, in black and white the artwork looked just so flat and dull.

So, I added a chalkboard background in a lovely sea blue (ammonites were denizens of the oceans after all!), and added a colour gradient to the typography.

It then looked a bit better. But I thought I’d try adding highlights and some shadows. And that just did the trick and I was finally happy with what I’d produced. It was good enough for another step on my typographic art apprenticeship.

That doesn’t mean there are things I wouldn’t do differently the next time I try something like this. My hand lettering needs a lot of work on, as does my attention to the letter weights too. I’ve just realised that I meant to draw tiny ammonites in the dark blocks between words as spacers. Also, I could’ve spent a lot of time tidying up the lettering digitally.

I also learned that working on paper gives me a much better overall view of the design and how things sit together. For some reason I struggle with this when working digitally. It may be that digitally I can zoom in and out and often work unaware of what is around the design. With paper, that overall perspective is ever present.

Digital art is something I love to work with, but I’m realising that I do need to work on paper too, even if it’s a sketch or drawing that can then be enhanced, edited and completed digitally.

#Slowtember – Days 2, 3 & 4

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I’ve spent time catching up with #Slowtember by @megaelod on twitter. Here’s the sketchbook page I created for the prompts monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant), areca palm and rubber plant.

I took the opportunity to practice my hand drawn typography / hand lettering, as well as my use of line to add volume to a line drawing.

I’m not the best with colour, or with traditional media to add colour, but I think I’ve done OK with some of these. I like the simple washes of gradient colours in the areca and rubber plant leaves. The line work is nice, but the colour brings it to life. The monstera leaf done in coloured pencils works well as far as a sense of volume goes, but I’m not the best with coloured pencils, even using blending solution.

I even found some microscopic images of cells from monstera and rubber plant leaves and stems. So, I just had to do quick drawings of patterns from these, with some imaginary colour added to them.

It’s nice to do this challenge. It’s not as full on and intense as Inktober is, and even if I fall behind there’s not so much to catch up with. It’s also nice to work in a sketchbook (or digitally) as there’s no pressure to complete a finished piece of work. I like how I’ve left some of my drawings partly coloured so I can compare how colour adds (or not) to the design.

When I’m looking at my page and writing about it I always have ideas about how I could’ve approached an idea, or get new ideas. Time for me to go and jot them down before I forget them!