Coloring Day – 2 August 2017

Angela Porter National Colouring Day 2018 colouredSmall

The day be soon upon us!  National Coloring day in the USA, but that can apply to the whole world!

In celebration, I’ve created a free coloring template, a partly coloured version of which you can see above.  You can get the template by visiting my facebook page, just click on this link to go directly to the post – Angela Porter Illustrator.

Have fun! I have been – lost several hours colouring in the template, and it’s only about half done, if that!  Yes, I’ve been doing this one digitally, well partly.  The mandala was drawn using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, printed out, and then the doodles and zentangles and so on were drawn using a Sakura Micron Pen.  Scanned the finished image in, cleaned it up in Sketchbook Pro, then started to colour it digitally, and I actually like how the colouring is turning out.  I’m finally getting to a stage where I can say I like what I’m doing … for this style of drawing at least.  Somehow, I think that bold, bright colours with high contrast shadows and highlights to create a strong illusion of depth/dimension is me, and I perhaps need to forgo the desire to do ‘watercolours’…we’ll see in the fullness of time!

Doodles and zentangles…not digital!

29July2017_AngelaPorter_Minis

That’s right!  Not digital, but drawn using Pitt Artist Pens from Faber-Castell.

Something inside me told me I needed a break from playing around with digital art, and that my pen wielding skills needed a bit of a dusting off.

If anything, drawing digitally has resulted in me being a bit more confident and fluid with my pen strokes.  I also realised that it’s a lot easier for me to work out designs on paper (though I’m not happy with all of the drawings above – a bit out of practice, maybe).

I’m  my latest drawings for the Dover Publications project, I have been drawing out the bare bones of a sketch on paper, scanning in and then working on it digitally.  That has helped me with size and layout of the design for sure.

This makes me hanker after a Surface Studio even more, as I’d be able to work on a digital image at a 1:1 scale for A4 drawings at the very least.

It’s not easy for me, it seems, to get my brain around the the fluidity of scale of drawing digitally as compared to the fixed scale on paper.

All the same, I really enjoyed wielding a pen with creativity on paper rather than screen.  It has it’s own pleasures, and challenges, including having to work with the mark you make when you put ink directly on paper; there’s no easy ‘erase button’ to be used!  So, it’s more about going with the flow and the creative opportunities that the permanency of ink results in (creative opportunities being the positive way to view ‘mistakes’; as I was once told, there’s no mistakes in art, only happy accidents!).

Oh, the boxes on the images.  Well, I do intend to scan these in individually and create files for printing out, the boxes being there where a greeting or message or quote can be placed.

Also, each drawing is approx. 4″ x 4″ (10cm x 10cm)

By the sea, more about digital art

EscapesByTheSea_AngelaPorter_Coloured1

At the end of this month, a new colouring book by myself is due out.  It’s called ‘By The Sea’ and is one in the Escapes series of books from Dover Publications Inc..

Above, is one of the templates from the book, along with my work in progress based on it.

I’m using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book to do the colouring/drawing.  It’s taking me a long time to do; if I’d used my Chameleon pens, it would’ve been all done a couple of days ago!  However, it’s all a process of learning and exploring, working with different brushes and so on.  Working in layers is a revelation to me, and I love the glowing colours I can get.

Working ‘outside the lines’, or even totally ignoring the lines’ is something very new for me to do, and I’m very uncertain about the results I’m getting.

I know from past experience with different traditional media such as oil or acrylic paints, I really don’t get the hang of them.  I also don’t like the smell or texture of them.  Watercolours are fine as long as I don’t try to get fancy with them and just colour areas in then work on top with pens and pencils…

Digital art is opening up my horizons…and shaking me out of those old, comfortable ways.

I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in colour choice.  I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in using the different brushes and textures and blending.  I end up unhappy with what I’ve done for example, I’ve tried four or five times to add the wiggly seaweed strands to the bottom right of my coloured area, and I’ve been unhappy with the five times I’ve done that.

What I do know is, that I’m not going to screw my work up and chuck it.  The beauty of being able to work in layers means it’s easy to remove what you’re not happy with and re-do it.

The other side of this coin is that it’s really difficult for me to know when to stop fussing and fiddling with things!  I sometimes end up erasing work I’ve done as I’ve gone too far and can’t undo it, and the only way to go is to start that section over again.

This is all fascinating for me, as well as frustrating, and can lead to me being hard on myself.

Backing off from it isn’t an option.  Where I get very frustrated with traditional media when I try to add colour in a way I’d like it to be there, a lot of that is taken away from me as I use digital methods.

I have a lot to learn, a lot to explore, but the more I do, the more I’m determined to acquire myself a Microsoft Surface Studio.

Rainbow Mandala – another

Rainbow Mandala01-Angela Porter

Late last night I spent some time playing with mandalas where the background is completely black and the design is in colour.  I came up with a few where the design was the same, but the colours were different.

This morning, I felt I wanted to try a bigger, more complex mandala, and this is what resulted.

I love the way the colours seem to glow against the black, there’s something almost magical about it.

Of course, I now want to play with different colour combinations, particularly complementary colours.

It’s fun!

Etsy Listings for Colouring Pages

 

In the last day, I’ve uploaded three more colouring sheets to my Etsy shop – Artwyrd.

For each, there’s either a fully coloured, or partly coloured, version of the line art to see.  Yes, I’ve been using them to practice colouring in digitally.

I’ve also started work today on a new book for Dover, the theme for it being eerie.

Dragonfly Mandala – available on Etsy

AngelaPorter_DragonflyMandala_29June2017

I’ve started getting my head together around colouring templates for sale on my Etsy shop, Artwyrd, and this is my first design – Dragonfly Mandala.

It’s offered as a high resolution pdf file for instant download.

As always, I love to see how people colour my designs in, and hope that people will share their finished works with me via social media!

 

Digital art- it’s a learning thing

Flower1_AngelaPorter2017

Over quite a few hours I’ve used this design to explore digital colour a bit more.  Of course, it’s one of my own designs.

Flower2_AngelaPorter2017

This is the first coloured version of the template.  I’ve left the black lines in and added some more line patterns for interest.  To colour the flower, I used a couple of pencil ‘brushes’ in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with two blender ‘brushes’.  The colours come from the Copic colour palette.

I’m quite happy with this; it’s very much like what I’d do with traditional media.  However, the digital environment means it’s far easier to correct mistakes.

As I’ve said before, you may think that digital colouring/art is faster and easier than traditional media; I have to tell you it’s not! It took me 2 hours or so to colour this simple flower – and that was just colouring one-eighth of the design and letting the symmetry tool copy it around the flower!  With traditional media it would have taken me much less than 1 hour to achieve a similar effect.

I don’t think that the extra time is due to me not being familiar with the ‘brushes’ I’m using, but more to do with the way that you can use layers as well as intensifying the contrast after each blending session.  It is quicker to lay colour down – it doesn’t have to be neat and smooth as the blending tools can help to smooth out the unevenness.

Flower3_AngelaPorter2017

Now, this one really is something quite different from me.  NO black lines.  Not one.  Just colour.

It took me a lot longer to do this one – 3 to 4 hours in total I think, and it’s only a small and simple design!  Part of that time is because this is something very different for me – no black lines…

I also made good use of layers to keep the colours separate so they didn’t blend; one layer for blues/purples and another for the yellows/oranges.  A third was added for the background.

Getting my head around the concept of working in layers after a long time only ever working on one sheet of paper, is a really challenge, but as  I work in this way it becomes more familiar to me.

I’m also a bit ‘stubborn’ in terms of exploring and discovering what works and how to do things my own way rather than reading/watching tutorials.

Like any skill, it takes time to develop some level of competence with it, and a lot longer to achieve a mastery.  The more I do with digital art, especially in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, the more I like working with it.  I like Sketchbook, lots.  It may not be as complex as Photoshop or Illustrator, but it does what I want it to do without struggling with a complicated interface.  It allows me to draw/create a lot like I would with paper and pen, and then to explore more media than I’d ever use with traditional art media, and media that don’t even exist outside of the digital environment.

The more I work with it, the more I know I will need a Microsoft Surface Studio sooner rather than later; as much as I love my Surface Book, I do find it difficult to understand how things will look 1:1.

I’m in no great rush though, my Surface Book works just fine, and if the worst comes to the worst, I can sketch my ideas out and scan them in and work from that, using layers of course!