Cirque-doodle

AngelaPorter_17Aug2017_ZenCircle01

This is what I’ve done with one of the Distress Oxide coloured circles I blogged yesterday.

It’s essentially finished, though I may add a few metallic highlights, and maybe some drops of 3D Crystal Glaze.

The Distress Oxides give a lovely soft feel to the paper and it is lovely to draw on.  The mixed media paper on it’s own is quite hard and bumpy and not a surface I enjoy working on with pen; the Distress Oxides and water spray have changed that.

I still have a few circles to draw on, but shortly I need to turn my attention back to things of an eerie nature.

Happy Coloring Day 2017!

Angela Porter National Colouring Day 2018 colouredSmall

Have a wonderful day, and find even a few minutes to colour, relax, unwind and calm!

Here’s my finished version of my Coloring Day Template 2017.  I’ve enjoyed colouring it, muchly, but now need to turn my attention back to drawing eerie lineart for Dover Publications.

Oh, I coloured it using my Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Book in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.  It took around 15 hours or so to complete, I think; I lost time while doing it!

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)

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!

Digital art musings

 

AngelaPorter_ColouredMandala2_26June2017

As you know, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time developing a good relationship with both my Microsoft Surface Book and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I’m fairly happy with drawing on the surface, though I’ve yet to get the texture of the ‘pen’ I use to be a little less perfect and a bit more ‘human’.  There’s also the issue of not quite getting how big patterns will be when printed out, and then finding out that a powerful magnifying glass along with microscopically fine pointed pens/pencils will be needed to colour the patterns if not done digitally.

Now, I have mostly been printing my designs out and then colouring them with traditional media; particularly my Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops marker pens.  I do love doing this – it’s a very sensory experience.

However, I am aware I have a different tool for colouring viz. Sketchbook Pro and it’s suite of brushes and textures and so on.

Believe it or not, it takes me longer to colour an image in digitally than it does with traditional media, and I mean a LOT longer.

AngelaPorter_ColouredMandala1_26June2017

I love the way the colours are clean, almost glowing, when I use the marker pen ‘brush’ or one of the watercolour brushes.  I’m getting to grips with which particular kind of blending or smudging ‘brush’ I like to use.  I’m starting to get the idea of working with layers.

What is vexing me, is how ‘perfect’ the finish is, and how simple it looks.  I wonder if it is way too simple a finish.  It also frustrates me that I’m kind of trying to replicate the effects of traditional media but with digital tools, and failing as everything either works out almost perfectly blended with bright, clear colours, or ends up as a bit of a mess as I try to use different brushes or textures.

5x7Flower3 coloured 1.1

A dear friend of mine pointed out to me that I’m trying to compare apples and oranges, that perhaps I should treat digital colouring as an art medium all of it’s own instead of trying to make it like traditional media.

It was also pointed out that I do have a tendency to give myself a hard time when things seem too easy to me, or end up too perfect.

All of the images in this post have been coloured digitally, and the colours have shading/gradation in colours, but there’s no texture in them.  But then, there’s little texture in the colouring when I use marker pens, such as my Chameleons or Copics, unless I deliberately add it, which I’m always disappointed with.  I much prefer to add texture with black lines, which I need to bear in mind now as I work with digital colour.

I also recognise that I need to do a bit more to make more ‘contrast’ between the paler and darker shades of colours, as well as making sure there’s good deep shadows to add that illusion of 3D to the drawings.

I will continue to experiment and explore the other digital media and brushes, as well as special effects, and in time I may work out how it can all work for me in a way that I’m happy with.