Template Thursyay!

Time for another coloring template/coloring page for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Today, I felt the need for some cuteness and whimsy in my arty pursuits. So, I’ve drawn a Doodleworlds style template, with some ice-creams and an ice lolly included. It’s still blisteringly hot here today.

There is a time lapse video showing the process of drawing this template.

Today, I’m aching after my fall yesterday. At least the headache has gone! I’ll be glad to retreat to the downstairs rooms in a little while. It’s 26ºC outside according to the ‘puter. That means it’s rather warm inside too. It’s forecast to be cooler tomorrow, with the high being 25ºC, which will be manageable. Just.

Time to finish my social media postings and then to get more tea!

A motley miscellany of mushrooms.

Link to today’s time-lapse video

Before it gets too hot in my studio area, I decided to finish off the mushroom watercolour I’d been working on.

I have really enjoyed working with the Ecoline watercolour ink from the brush pens. The more I work with it, the more I work out the techniques I like to use to apply colour.

I’m fairly happy with this artwork. I’m not so sure about the dotty embellishments added using Sakura Soufflé gel pens. I did use some white, but I thought I’d try different colours too.

This is all a learning experience for sure.

I woke with a stinking headache this morning. It’s still not lifted. So, today’s video is a timelapse of how I added colour and embellishment to this motley mushroom miscellany!

A fishy vlog …

Link to the vlog

It’s fishy because today I fancied drawing and painting some cute and whimsical fish! I drew the fish before I started filming.

Also, I wanted to try the Ecoline watercolour inks from the brush pens on a piece of the Canson Imagine Mixed Media paper. The watercolour ink works well enough on the paper, which is nice to know going forward.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the cooler realms of my downstairs living room. It was so hot, and it’s forecast to be so again today. A fair amount of time was spent filling pages in my sketchbook with drawings of whimsical birds and fish, simply because I could.

Today, it’s forecast to be as hot. It’s already almost insufferable upstairs (for me anyways). So, I’m going to be downstairs as much as possible today, except for three zoom meetings spread throughout the day. More time for drawing and sketching methinks. Perhaps using non-watercolour media to add some colour to the sketches. I’ll see how I feel.

More Mushrooms! Watercolour explorations

Link to today’s vlog

Ecoline watercolour inks, insects and mushrooms

As you can see, I finished the insect painting. I’m really quite happy with this artwork, even more so as it’s the first one done entirely with a new medium to me – Ecoline watercolour inks.

Of course there’s a lot more exploring and working with them to come, including a rather cute bunch of mushrooms!

I started drawing the mushrooms with a grey unipin pen. Then, I had a flash of inspiration; try using watersoluble fineliner pens instead and see if the line will disappear even more!

So, I dug out a fairly pale Chameleon fineliner pen (NU4), which was darker than I thought it would be. All the same, it would suit my purposes for this experiment.

The pen didn’t react with water/ink as easily as I thought it would. Perhaps that’s because I’m working on watercolour paper…maybe. Or perhaps because I’m using a fairly dry brush with the watercolours. If there’s too much wetness, the colour migrates to the edge of the wet area and the centre becomes pale to colourless.

No problem now I have recognised this. I just use a paler fineliner in future explorations.

I am still really enjoying the Ecoline watercolour inks. I know I said I thought I’d found my water-medium of choice with the Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. The Mijello’s are great, the best watercolour paints I’ve used so far. But, the Ecoline inks just seem to work so much better for me and my style of art.

Am I going to abandon the Mijellos? Nope! But for a while they’ll be put to one side as I work with Ecoline inks. It may be that I work out how I can best work with the Mijellos as a result of using Ecoline inks. Perhaps I’ll end up using them in concert from time to time. I don’t know for sure!

Of course, I won’t be abandoning digital art/coloring. Ideas, techniques, inspirations flow from one medium to another.

Template Thursday

It’s Thursday, so time for another template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week’s template is a template I created for the Whimsical Cats book that didn’t make the cut. So, what a better way to make use of it than to release it for the members of the group to colour.

I did the inking in of the sketch in Autodesk Sketchbook. The colour was added using Clip Studio Paint.

I do have a timelapse video of how I added colour to part of this sample. Unfortunately, I forgot to record sound so it’s just video with music.

I like working on a darker, or coloured, background. The colours seem to much more alive than on white. Also, it saves me some eye strain!

It’s always fun to see how the template comes to life with colour. I’m often really unsure about my templates. Are they too simple, too naive, too intricate, not intricate enough. Adding colour helps me to see that they’re good enough, and also that they are created in my own artistic style. Cute, whimsical, imaginary. Places to play with colour and not worry too much about realism, if you wish. A skeleton that can be fleshed with colour however you wish.

I like that. It ties in with my exploration of abstract art. That’s on hold until later today, maybe tomorrow. I first need to focus on getting the last couple of templates inked in, though I am awaiting the review of the final one submitted. I have three to do, plus that last one. So, it shouldn’t take me all day to do!

It’s always exciting coming to the end of a book. Though not quite the end. I will still have three templates to colour in. I let the editorial team choose them; I never can! Also, they have a more objective view about what images will best represent the book.

Each of those images will take me a couple of days to add colour to, each! Not a quick process at all.

So, It’s time for me to finish my social media posts for today, get some breakfast while my computer installs and update, and then settle to work.

July 2019 Dangle Design

July 2019 Dangle Design © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
July 2019 Dangle Design © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

July Dangle Design

July is nearly upon us. It seems hardly anytime at all since June started! So, close to the eve of a new month it’s time for a dangle design.

This month I wanted to do a floral wreath with a little hand lettering. As I live in the Northern Hemisphere July means summer. So, my charms are a glowing sun, an ice cream cornet, and a tiny feather. I chose colours that remind me of summer too.

Now, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere where winter has begun, feel free to substitute different charms – perhaps a snowflake instead of a sun and a steaming mug of hot chocolate instead of the ice cream cornet. Of course, a more wintry colour palette would be lovely.

I designed this to be A5 in size so that it would fit nicely in a BuJo, but equally it would look lovely in any planner, journal, diary or scrapbook. Of course the sentiment could be changed too.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the wreath has a seven-fold symmetry. Well, July is the seventh month after all!

If you’d like to learn more about how I design and draw dangle designs, along with plenty of designs to use or adapt, then my book “A Dangle A Day” is a good place to look.

I did create this dangle design digitally, using my trifecta of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. It would be quite easy to draw with pen on paper and then use any media you like to add colour.

So Angela, how are you today?

I’m feeling quite content today within myself. I seem to have rested quite well. My digestive system still doesn’t feel quite right, but it’s certainly a lot better than post-EMDR on Monday.

In my blog yesterday, I wrote about my CPTSD and the prejudices I seem to face for having therapy. I’m amazed at how that post garnered a lot of interest on twitter; a lot of interest for a tweet by me that is, the most I’ve ever had.

I was humbled by this, but the best thing for me was someone letting me know my blog post had helped them.

That’s why I write about my CPTSD, mental health and emotional health. It’s not for attention (I don’t deal well with being shown attention of any kind – all part of the CPTSD). I share my story and journey so that it may help others.

It took me nearly 50 years of life to work out that I had a problem, and a couple longer to work out that it wasn’t just anxiety and depression, that it was something more, that it was CPTSD.

This is a label I needed to have. As I learn more about CPTSD it helps me accept that I am stuck in the past; not in terms of reliving memories and events over and over, but in the way I behave, feel, react to life.

Being traumatised means continuing to organise your life as if the trauma were still going on – unchanged and immutable – as every new encounter or event is contaminated by the past.

After trauma … the survivor’s energy now becomes focused on suppressing inner chaos, at the expense of spontaneous involvement in their lives. These attempts to maintain control over unbearable physiological reactions can result in a whole range of physical symptoms including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and other autoimmune diseases.

“The Body Keeps the Score” Bessel Van Der Kolk

Today, as I read a little of “The Body Keeps the Score” this quote really struck me.

If I think back to the weeks, months and years before my first bout of serious anxiety and depression, I can see how I was trying to control the inner chaos during my daily life. I struggled every single day with exhaustion, fear, fighting back the tears and wanting to hide away or run away. I also hoped I would die in my sleep so I didn’t have to continue with this.

I certainly had physical symptoms of illnesses for which there were no physical causes – upset stomach, losing my voice, problems with my lungs, outbreaks of weird spots on my skin. I’ve also developed a couple of chronic illnesses along the way too.

I don’t lose my voice anymore, but I certainly still get a dodgy digestive system and asthma attacks when the lightly napping anxiety monster is provoked and awakens. Oh, and I still get weird flare-ups of skin problems.

It’s taking me quite a while to read this book. I lost my ability to read during my first big ‘breakdown’; I still have problems retaining what I read. Sometimes I even have trouble making sense of what I’m reading. I used to be an avid reader. I miss that. However, I am aware that my ability to read is returning… slowly. In the meantime, audiobooks are a great source of pleasure for me.

When it rains look for …

When it rains by Angela Porter Artwyrd.com 2019
When it rains by Angela Porter Artwyrd.com 2019

Another cute and whimsical drawing with some hand lettering this day before I start on work for the book and then off to EMDR.

Line art drawn with a Lamy Fountain pen, coloring done digitally with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

My mood is back to being fairly content. However, the past week has been quite tough and emotional. It’s on days where I struggle to push the inner critic that tells me I’m stupid, horrible, unloveable, useless, a failure it can be hard to look for rainbows or stars. Yet, it’s on these days that it’s important to try to find just one spark of colour in the rainbow or just one teeny, tiny star that is barely visible to the inner eye.

I think I may need to make a list of things in my BuJo about myself that are small stars and little rainbows on my good days. A list that may bring little glimmers of light in the darkness that descends on my soul on the bad days.

Little reminders of the good things about me, the positive things I have done and do do, the kind words people have said to me. Little reminders that this dark time will pass. Little reminders that the inner critic hasn’t won, even though it’s trying to break me. Little reminders that I’ve survived time and time again. Little reminders of the progress I am making.

Little sparks to help ignite the light once again.

Friends, always

Friends, always © Angela Porter 2019
Friends, always © Angela Porter 2019

Two pals sitting in a galaxy of bright yellow celandine stars. Two pals that happen to be my two favourite animals – cat and raven.

Drawn with a Lamy fountain pen on Rhodia dot grid paper then edited and coloured digitally using my trifecta of Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Simple colouring for a simple but sweet, cute and whimsical image.

Piccatso

Piccatso © Angela Porter 2019
Piccatso © Angela Porter 2019

A bit of fun art this morning! I stumbled across the quote and thought it needed a cat, and this was the result – Piccatso!

Sometimes you just gotta have a bit more fun than usual, and this bit of fun has me smiling today. It’s also a sunny day here in Wales after many days of wild winds and rain, so a happy smiling pusscat seems quite appropriate.

Simple in appearance but it took me a good three hours to complete!

The black and white line art was drawn using a Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen on Rhodia dot grid paper. I used the same pen to hand letter the quote. After scanning in and removing the dot grid, pencil lines, smudges and errors, I added colour and texture using various gradient and brush tools.

I used my usual trifecta of digital tools – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen adn Microsoft Surface Studio along with GiMP to do the removing of the dot grid and smudges.

Just to say hello…

©Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
©Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

I’m not a brilliant card maker, but I do like to have a go from time to time. Cards are quick, simple projects for me. They’re also a way to practice hand lettering.

I did have fun creating this design and also decorating the envelope. I used Faber Castell Pitt artist pens to draw the black and white line work. I added colour with Copic markers. I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen, a blue Sakura Glaze pen and a silver Uniball Signo pen to add the details on the card. I also used a mini blending tool and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink to edge the paper. For the envelope I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen.

I lifted the card design up using adhesive foam squares. However, I think it would’ve looked better if I’d attached the design to some white card, maybe some silver card and didn’t put the silver border lines on the design. Maybe some ink blending around the design would’ve added interest instead of the blue and silver dots – the blue are a bit heavy handed.

Always easy to be wise in hindsight. However, I don’t want to rework the design just now. I also think it’s useful that I share when I get things not right and how I would change things if I did this again.

Art doesn’t always work out right the first time. I always try my best to review why I’m not happy with something and what I could do the next time to improve things. There’s always something to learn and consider, and there’s always something good in each design.

I’m actually really quite happy with the snowdrops – the copic colouring worked out quite well on the leaves/stems particularly. I like the cat too, but I’m not too sure about the spiral embellishments. My hand lettering worked out ok this time too.

I know from personal experience that when I’m finding life a struggle as my mental wellbeing deteriorates from time to time I tend to withdraw from people. It’s weird as I want to be with people but I also don’t want to as I don’t want my Eeyore-ness to be a burden or a bother to them. It can be too much to deal with social media too.

However, a little piece of happy mail in the form of a whimsically cute card would be welcomed. Happy mail may not be quite the right term for this, caring mail maybe. Thoughtful mail perhaps. No matter what it’s called, it would be something I could accept to know that someone was thinking about me.

At the worst times of my depression/anxiety it may have taken me a long time to contact the sender and say ‘thank you’. I really would have appreciated the gesture.

Even more, it’s a physical, constant reminder that someone, somewhere is thinking of you. It’s something I would now put into a ‘self-care box’ to use when I am having a struggle with my mental and emotional health.

I have enjoyed making personalised cards to send to people for their birthdays and other celebrations. I can be really dim, but I’ve just realised here and now that it would be lovely to send cards or bookmarks to people to just say hello, to let them know they’re being thought of, something tangible that can be a constant reminder that they are important to me at least.

Talking is good. But sometimes it’s too much to talk, to leave the house, to use social media. A little something in the post though … especially something handmade, personalised … that’s something that speaks more loudly than words at times when spoken words don’t make sense.