It all began with a drawing in my A5 sketchbook. I then wanted to use it for digital art, and this is the result.
I’m really happy with the flower design. The black lines work in this instance; they give a stained-glass feel to the design.
I’m not at all sure about the background, however.I think I’ve just gone over the top, again. I just can’t seem to leave ‘white space’ in my art.
As a result, I tried some gold patterns on a rich, dark colour. Whatever I tried, just didn’t seem to work. Perhaps I could’ve created the line art in gold instead of black before adding colour. That may have worked out OK.
I’ve left it as it is, for now, as I’m tired and hungry. I’ll look at it with fresh eyes at some point. For now it’ll do, even as an example of art to remind me to work out when enough is enough!
Even though I’ve ended up a bit frustrated with my efforts on the background, I still enjoyed the process of creating this morning. It does make my inner light shine that bit brighter, and we all really need that extra bit of shine at this time of pandemics and more going on in the world.
I wanted a quote that went with the art, so I chose one about blooming and that sums up how I feel when I create, be it art or crafty pursuits. Even when the art goes in a direction I’m not happy with, there’s still a happiness inside that comes from just creating. There’s also a positive feeling about things not working as I want them to, artistically. It’s an opportunity to learn something, either artistically or personally. Today, the lesson is a reminder that I need to learn to leave ‘white space’ in my art.
I’ve managed to get a bit more of this design done today.
I’m finding I’m enjoying working ‘freeform’ i.e. without a sketch. I’m just adding shapes and patterns that I particularly like and trying out colour combinations that may work well together and alongside others.
Also, I’m finding that the more I work digitally, the more my head is getting around this digital lark.
As usual, my digital tools are Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, a Microsoft Surface Pen along with a Surface Studio.
So Angela, how are you today?
I had a good night’s sleep, sleeping through to nearly 8 am from just before midnight. I felt really upbeat and ticketty boo, once I’d come around. It takes me ages to wake up properly these days and I have no idea when that crept up on me!
All the same, I felt up to some ‘adulting’. Today, that involved posting a couple of packages off and doing some shopping.
I also have to say that I’m quite content, and today I don’t seem to have much anxiety. I noticed yesterday that I kept trying to find it or to make myself anxious so that I could feel it.
When did this happen that the anxiety has not vanished but diminished noticeably.
And here’s me thinking that Monday’s EMDR didn’t have much of an effect …
And that is all I have to say about that today, other than I do have to go and do a bit more ‘adulting’ in the form of cooking a healthy meal. I really fancy a curry … one with lots and lots of veggies!
I’ve spent another 3.5 hours on this design today, bringing it to a grand total of 10.5 hours just on working in colour. The design itself took around 2 hours to draw out.
I’ve cropped the image to show the coloured parts. I still have an awful lot to do.
I really am finding my way with this still. Mandalas are one thing, but entangled art is something else. I seem to be trying all kinds of techniques, texture brushes and so on here. Eventually I’ll work out how I like to work on such images.
I can see where my shading has been heavy handed. In other places I’ve not done a good job with texture brushes.
It’s very much a learning process for sure.
Colour is also a bit of a problem for me it seems. I’ll work it out, maybe. Time will tell.
I did say yesterday this was going to be more of a learning experience for me than anything else, and so it’s proving to be for sure.
So, tell me Angela, how are you feeling today?
I’m ok. I’m quite content verging on almost happy. I woke looking forward to working on this artwork even though it’s going to be a source of many challenges for me. Perhaps it’s because of the challenges I was looking forward to working on it.
And I have, as frustrating as it is when I see the colours I’ve used and wondering what on earth I was thinking. I just hope this is one of those points I get to when doing art where I think I should just give up as it’s horrible.
I’ve found that if I persevere at these points, after taking a break to freshen my eyes and mind, that things aren’t as bad as they seem.
After all, if the worst comes to the worst I can just start over!
Maybe I really should use a fairly limited palette of colours that I think work harmoniously together and that may help me with colour.
Anyways, I’m mostly content. I’ve had other challenges in my life in the past day, not least of which was deciding to abandon my lost souls skull shawl that I was working in very fine yarn. I’ve switched to a thinnish DK yarn using a 4.5mm needle and I’m much happier working with it. The other yarn is gorgeous, but I think I’ll find another project for it, maybe a knitted one.
I can either give up on things too easily or stubbornly persist even if they bring me no pleasure. So, to make a conscious decision that I was frustrated and fed up with the fine yarn and to abandon what I had already done was a step forward.
I also had a decision to make about an event happening in a couple of months time. There’s a lot of conflicting emotions around it, but I’ve said a tentative ok to it. I have time to work on the conflicted emotions in EMDR and to find coping strategies for myself.
I also have some adulting to do tomorrow. I have to contact my bank about online banking and the fact that my password etc just doesn’t work anymore, all so that I can view some correspondence they’ve sent to me via online banking. There’s some other bits and bobs too, such as deciding whether to renew my RAC membership after the debacle of a recovery of SmartooDeetoo last year. I do have SmartAssist with Binky so I think I’m ok if I break down as the car is under warranty. But tyres and so on … definitely have to make that decision.
It’s hard to change from something I’ve always used. That causes a huge amount of stress as I’m convinced people will be horrible to me about it, that they’ll get ranty and nasty on the phone, or will make me feel guilty about leaving.
Thing is, they never do. Me saying no is a problem still in so many situations. It’s all to do with the CPTSD, with the past traumas.
The emotional and mental fallout from these events spills over into ordinary, everyday events that have nothing to do with the traumas of the past, other than the fears of rejection, of being pressurised to do something I don’t want to do and so on.
Ah, more grist for the EMDR and therapy mill it seems. And a bit more self-awareness going on. Yay, go me!
And so the process of healing continues, bit by bit.
I created a really simple mandala for Valentine’s day. A day that is about love. A mandala that doesn’t have a single black line in it! That’s rather unusual for me!
Soft greens and pinks really speak to me about self-care – which is about taking care of oneself, treating yourself and speaking to yourself kindly and with compassion.
Compassion to oneself, that’s what ‘loving oneself’ is all about. Being your own best friend, speaking to yourself as you would a best friend in need.
This is one of the hardest things I have to learn as part of my cPTSD recovery.
I say learn, as it’s something I’ve never done or knew how to do, ever. Being kind to myself in words and deeds.
The inner critic is never kind, caring or patient and never ever has good advice. I think I’m a good friend to others, I try to be kind, caring and patient and if I’m asked I try to give good advice, even if that is ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that but lets see if we can find it together’.
I’m very, very rarely, if ever, kind to myself in that way. If anything, the emotional neglect and abuse I experienced from the earliest time I can remember taught me to hate myself, that I wasn’t worth anything. It’s hard to overturn beliefs from the past, beliefs about myself fostered by the attitudes and behaviours of others towards me when I have no point of reference to when I didn’t think about myself in this way. The inertia of the past, the power of the inner critic constantly wants to drag me back to how things always have been in terms of how I think and feel about myself.
However, every single time I manage to show myself some caring, some kindness, some patience, some compassion it’s a victory over the inner critic. And each little victory is vital as it is teaching me that I can learn to be that friend to myself that I so desperately need.
So, Valentine’s day is about love, we tell others we love them, but let’s make today also a day where we show ourselves some kindness, compassion, patience and caring, for the sake of our mental and emotional wellbeing. And lets not just do that on this one day, lets make it a part of every day of our lives. Lets learn how to befriend ourselves.
I don’t know what’s occurring with WordPress, but the colours of this particular dangle design aren’t quite so grey and dull. I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that when I upload an image the colours change. Never used to do that…
Anyways, today’s dangle design was fun to draw and I chose to use a different color palette than is usually for me. It’s not more pastel, it’s more subdued perhaps. I actually quite like it, which has surprised me!
I do tend towards bright colour palettes, bright and vibrant. For me to choose a more subdued one is very unusual, but it’s something I think I may work with more now as I rather like this one.
Also, I’ve chosen just 7 colors that I’ve used tones/shades of – cool grey, cool violet, antique pink, a blue-green, a yellow-green, soft blue-grey and old gold tones.
Again, using just a few base colors rather than a whole host of different colours is not my usual way of working. What I’m beginning to realise about this is that it gives a much more cohesive look to the finished design. With the colours being more subtle, it also gives a much more grown-up even, dare I say it, more sophisticated look to what is a rather simple and whimsical kind of design. It particularly works well with the monogram ‘C’.
In fact, the cute kitty is really the only whimsical element of this design. The others are simple, yes, but not quite so cute and whimsical. However, I wouldn’t remove the kitty-cat as cats are the theme of this series of monogram dangle designs.
I’ve said it before that I really struggle with seeing my art as others see it. I often think my art, like this, is rather childish, simple, unsophisticated, naive with no real artistic value at all.
This is part of how I think of myself and it’s part of my CPTSD. I’m working on it. For me to recognise that I’ve done nice things, things I feel proud of is a step or two forwards. However, there’s that nasty inner critic that does its best to derail any positive thoughts I may have about myself or the things I do.
Anyways, onto the nitty gritty of how I created this dangle design.
The steps I took were:
sketched out the design on dot grid paper
scanned the sketch into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
used a technical pen ‘brush’ to ink in the design
worked out the color palette I wanted to use
coloured the design, in this case using gradient fills for speed
added shadows to the design
created a drop shadow
created a coloured background
added texture to both the design and background
I sketched the design out last night, and it took me between 2 and 3 hours to complete the steps above as this is a relatively small design.
If you’d like to learn how to create your own dangle designs, then my upcoming book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is a good place to start. You can pre-orderit so it’s arrives on it’s release date in January 2019.
A simple, elegant design with a sweet sentiment for this week’s dangle design. I like the symmetrical nature of the dangles.
I did sketch the design out in pencil on dot grid paper which I scanned in to ink in digitally and make use of the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I also coloured and added texture with various brushes in Sketchbook. Naturally, I made use of a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio to do this.
I kept to a really simple colour scheme, using just one pink, golden, blue and green colour gradient for the design, with the exception of the rainbow beads in the central dangle.
It would be really easy to put a different sentiment or greeting in the box, but I like this one.
A different colour scheme, of course, would result in a very different ‘feel’ to the card, matching all kinds of seasons and occasions.
This would make a lovely greetings card or note card. I think I’d like to use it for the beginning of each month in a BuJo, planner or diary, changing the colour scheme as appropriate for that month. I do like playing with themes for my BuJo, but there’s something in me that likes a cohesiveness in design/style.
What would you do with this design? Let me know by leaving a comment.
Of course, I could print the uncoloured version out and colour with different media. It would be no great chore to re-draw the design on paper more suitable for, say, watercolours, where my printer doesn’t cope with decent quality watercolour paper.
Another abstract botanical. Here are the steps I took in creating it.
Draw the black and white line art design on dot-grid paper from Rhodia using Sakura Micron pens.
Scanned the drawing in, removed the dot-grid, removed noise and created a transparent background in GiMP opensource photo editing software.
Imported the image with a transparent image into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and added colour and texture.
It took a couple of hours to draw the design and several hours to colour and so on.
My digital tools are a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
I love the way many of the elements seem to glow against the dark green-blue background.
Many of my latest works like this seem to have an ocean, watery background going on. So, in the one I have on the go at the moment I’ve done a kind of sunset background. I’ll see how that turns out. Working digitally means I can alter my backgrounds really easily for sure.
I’ve been creating backgrounds digitally, but I want to create some on paper with Distress Inks and scan them in to use instead of the digital backgrounds.
I also made use of a more limited colour palette in this work – going for a more cohesive look/feel. These aren’t colours I’d normally choose to go together, but they seem to work fine.
I now have a fair few of these images and so now really need to try to work out what to do with them. I may try to import them into Repper and create repeating patterns from parts of them; that could be an interesting exercise for sure, but a fun one!
If you have any ideas of how my artwork could be used, leave a comment – I’d love to hear!
This was drawn on paper with Sakura Pigma Micron pens, scanned in and is in the process of being digitally coloured in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I’m using my Surface Studio and a Surface Pen, both from Microsoft.
The background may go a little darker on this one, but I’ll decide on that when I’ve completed colouring the design elements in.
Drawn using a Microsoft Surface Pen on a Microsoft Surface Studio screen in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last hand-lettered and patterned a word, and this morning it seemed really appropriate to do so.
Yes, hand-lettered, in a digital environment. Working with the Surface Pen on the screen of a Surface Studio is just like working with pen on paper in terms of physically hand-lettering and drawing the patterns.
The ability to work in layers, add effects to layers and use gradients to colour the background is a bit different to working in traditional media.
I do like doing these words; they’re fun to do! Also, a nice way to spend a few hours of a Monday morning.