Monday is mandala day! I’ve been working on this one all morning, and you can see there’s a lot of work to be done to get it all coloured!
I’m keeping the colour to rather jewel and metallic like tones – red, blue, green and gold. Though, I just had to add some black and white into one of the areas for some variation.
Yesterday, I had a migraine and it had me away from art and stuff for the day. I’m feeling a lot better today, though I’m still a tad spacey. I’m going to wrap up all my social media posts and go out for a walk in an hour or so, when the sun has dropped from it’s zenith a tad. A walk will do me the world of good I think.
I’ve been lacking artistic oompf and inspiration in the last day or so. This morning, I remembered all those tiles I’d created in the Repper app and thought using one as the basis for some art may be a good idea to get me creating. It seems to have worked.
I’ve finished, I think, the lineart, and I’ve started to add colour along with some pattern/texture. I’m not entirely sure if the glow/shadow patterns are working. Also, I don’t seem to have that intensity of contrast/highlight in the colours. Still there appears to be some volume in the individual shapes, so that’s ok.
The choice of colours, the fussy patterns and the lack of intense contrast between shadow/highlight may just be indicative of my ‘meh’ mood today.
Still, it’s almost time for me to shower and head out for my walk. It’s sunny but very breezy outside. My window is open and I’m revelling in the cool air flowing over my exposed skin. Actually, it’s rather more than breezy, there’s quite a stiff wind blowing! Invigorating and perfect for a walk!
I’ve spent this morning finishing yesterday’s mandala.
I’m fairly pleased with the result. I love the sense of volume I have in the design. I almost feel like I put my fingers inside some of those ‘folds’ around the chains of seeds! And being able to create this intensity of volume or dimension in my artwork is what makes me smile. It’s not often I say I love my work, that’s for sure.
I’m not so happy about the background texture/colour. However, it’ll do for now, as I can always go back and change it.
I added a third colour – cool blues – to this design. The last ring of ‘seed pods’ would’ve been brown, and I thought there was enough brown in the design already. Also, I wanted the furled, stylised leaves in the other ring to be green, so blue was the colour I settled on.
I had a bit of a ‘ta-da!’ moment as I was adding colour to the furled leaves. I recognised that I was starting to use a pattern as a way of adding the highlights and shadows, a shape that could be used in all of these particular forms.
My final task, before calling this mandala done (for now at least) was to add shadow around the whole mandala. I don’t think I’ve been all that successful with it. Again, it’ll do for now until I work out a better way of doing this.
In hindsight, the choice of that coppery brown may not have been the best one I’ve made. However, this mandala really has been a fab learning experience for me – not just of the software I’m using, but of how I work artistically. I’m finally beginning to think a bit more about what I’m doing. I’m still working very intuitively, but I’m recognising the unconscious thoughts that steer me as I work.
I think this is developing as a result of me talking about my artistic process as I create YouTube videos. That’s an interesting and positive side-effect of making the videos – they force me to express in words what is fairly abstract and unconscious as I work. I guess I don’t have many opportunities to talk about my art and process with others, and YouTube, and this blog too, is helping me to discover more about my own inner workings.
Monday is, usually, mandala day. I have at least one mandalas-in-progress, but I started a new one today, primarily because I wanted to try out some different brushes in Clip Studio Paint Pro.
It took me a few experiments to settle on one brush to work with for this mandala – a coloured pencil brush.
It also took me quite a few goes to work out how I wanted to lay down colour for this mandala too. Eventually I settled on highlight on one edge, shadow on the other, and quite a sharp delineation betwixt the two.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but the effect I was achieving reminded me of the abstract oil paintings I did many, may years ago. The abstract patterns came from Romanesque architecture and rusty parts of steam and diesel locomotives. I remember myself playing with light and shadow. I also remember at the AS level exam exhibition I was puzzled as people kept touching the paintings. I asked someone why they had. They answered that they wanted to see if the paintings were 3D in nature. I hadn’t seen that illusion at all, but once it was pointed out to me I could see what others could. I put it down to having worked so closely on the paintings.
This was around 17 years ago now, and I still tend towards working with highlights and shadows, and the resultant illusion of volume or dimension in my work.
I’ve also finally worked out that I tend to use light and shadow as part of the patterns in my work instead of related to a light source. I think that penny dropped when I was listening to a Zentangle video on youtube.
As lovely as it is to work with varied colour palettes, for this one I wanted to return to a simpler palette. I’ve chosen just two colours and various shades of those colours.
I can see how my colour blending technique has developed from the centre outwards! The difference between highlight and shadow has increased a tad.
I have so many works in progress at the moment, and I tend towards creating new all the time. I think I really do need to learn perseverance and get works finished more often!
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.
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.
As I was coming around from yesterday’s headache, I plopped yesterday’s drawing into Repper to see what geometric patterns and tiles I could create.
Repper is a browser app that is great fun to play around with and makes the creation of tiling patterns from my artwork so simple.
Rather than save the patterns, I saved the tiles as so many of them looked like perfect inspiration for mandalas.
So, I chose one design, popped it into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and used it to inspire this particular pattern.
I chose a colour palette of soft pinks and greens, colours that are related to self-love, self-care, balance and harmony. Perfect for how I was feeling yesterday!
Today, I’m still feeling somewhat tired and fragile. That’s mainly due to a really poor night’s sleep. Emotionally, however, I feel a lot better than I have the past few days. There was an emotional storm brewing and it the headache was the torrential downpour that was needed to clear the skies by forcing me to take care and shelter myself.
So, the rest of today is going to be a quiet. nurturing kind of time to shake off the lingering wisps of stormy clouds.