Medieval Monogram Dangle Design ‘C’ – 18 December 2018

©Angela Porter 2019

I’ve spent around two and a half hours on this monogram. I’m still playing with metallic/glitter textures rather than black line work.

I still haven’t ‘cracked’ how to achieve a more dimensional look to the gold lines/beads. No doubt I’ll have a bright idea to try sometime soon.

Medieval, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Romanesque art and architecture has long been an inspiration for me, though it’s not often I express it in such an obvious way. This definitely has a medieval ‘feel’ about it, but there’s also a more modern take with the rectangular dangle charms and the very  contrasting gradient colours that fill the patchwork pattern inside of the letter.

I was thinking of adding more complex patterns inside some of these patchwork sections. However, I decided that could be way too busy and went with the dots.

Dots are  a very common embellishment in Anglo-Saxon and Celtic manuscripts. After adding dots to those patchwork panels, I had to go and add them elsewhere. Such a simple thing, the humble dot, but how much it can add to a design.

I love the plain blue panel behind the C, so the letter doesn’t get entirely lost in the background pattern – my favourite little spirals. I like the thicker lines around the letter too, but they’re too ‘flat’ for my liking at the moment. The little square-ish gems in the main outline help to break that thick gold line up, adding a bit more opulence in the process.

I love the dimension in those rectangular panels, particularly the lower one. The high contrast gradations in colour really give it some dimension. I wasn’t at all sure about using the pale yellow to orange color gradations anywhere in the design, but once I’d completed this particular ‘charm’ I absolutely loved it!

Although I don’t show such complex monogram dangle designs in my book ‘A Dangle A Day‘, this design really isn’t all the complex to do. 

Talking of ‘A Dangle A Day’, Lydia at #quartocreates sent me a link to a nice review of the book by Funky Frugal Mommy.

This is a piece of digital art using my Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and some texture files purchased via Creative Market.  I did start with a pencil sketch of the monogram and dangle design which was then redrawn digitally.

Golden Mandala 16 Dec 2018

© Angela Porter 2018

A little bit of playing around with textures and so on and I created this fun mandala, more like a concentric series of ‘wreaths’, but it was fun to do and I’m quite happy with the result. It’s fun, whimsical and just a bit shiny.

I used simple foliage and floral motifs, with the odd berry and heart thrown in for good measure, not to forget dots and stars! It’s amazing how simple motifs can result in a fairly complex looking design.

Instead of a black background for the design I went with midnight blues, with some texture added, though it’s rather subtle. Blue and gold is a classic colour combination – rich and opulent. Mind you, I rather like a rich burgundy with gold.

I have no idea how this would look when printed out, however it’s pretty to look at on the screen.

However, the main purpose of me creating these kinds of mandalas is to have fun and to explore more in the way of digital art and how I can make it work for me.

My tools for this were Microsoft Surface Pen and Studio, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a gold texture that I acquired in a set from Creative Market.

Yesterday I didn’t do that much in the way of art. I did get a template done for New Year, but I’m not at all sure about it. My mood was ‘off’ yesterday so I just spent a fair amount of the day relaxing and resting up. Sometimes that’s what is needed.

I’m feeling a bit more upbeat today, but I have a case of the sniffles. I know I have things to do later on in the day, but this morning, now I’ve tidied up the house a bit, I’m going to relax and maybe do some arty stuff.

Snowflake Mandala – WIP

This one is very much a work in progress. Drawn using a Microsoft Surface Pen on the screen of a Microsoft Surface Studio, I made good use of the symmetry tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

When ice crystals form they have a symmetry based on hexagonal shapes, so my mandala is separated into 12 sections, though I’m choosing to bring out the six-pointed patterns in different colour schemes.

I’m not sure if that makes sense – I know what I mean!

Of course, there’s only so much pointy-ness I can have in anything I draw, so curves have to make an appearance. And this is very much apparent in the fine detailed patterns within each section. Here I’ve used simple line patterns to more complex pattern fills using spirals and swirls. I’ve played around with adding a drop shadow and a highlight to these patterns to add a sense of dimension, not that it’s easy to see in a low-resolution image for the web.

I do like my colour choices of cool purples, blues and aquas so far. I think I’ll go with a more blue-purple to complement the purple in the design so far.

I do have an idea or two as to what I can do about the black lines as well, though they may not work out. As I’ve said often before, I do like black lines in my art; I like the way they define spaces and patterns and often give that feel of ‘stained glass’ to my work. However, sometimes I think they look a tad childish too, but that’s mostly on days where I doubt myself an awful lot, rather than the usual little to a lot.

The design isn’t quite as open as perhaps a snowflake is considered to be, but I rather like filling spaces in, though I may leave some of these spaces open so the background, when I add one, can shine through. That means I may end up erasing some of the colour I’ve added already to created a more open feel to the design.

It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning, especially now I’ve finished downloading all the Amazon invoiced for the last financial year in preparation to getting my accounts to my lovely accountant, Leah.

Joy – hand lettering

Angela Porter Joy 13 August 2018

I did hand-letter this one, though I did do it digitally using a Surface Pen on my new Surface Studio.

I love my Surface Book, which was a joy to use most of the time. However I was beginning to become a little frustrated with turning the screen around and losing the use of the keyboard and not being able to see the whole image I was working on at the actual size it would be printed.

So, as I officially take my teacher’s pension early today as I reach the illustrious age of 55, I decided to invest some of the lump sum in a shiny new Surface Studio for my business of art, illustration and writing.

The Surface Studio isn’t without it’s frustrations, not least of which were the hours and hours it took to download and install all the upgrades for Windows and the Surface system, and then installing the software I used (not done all of it quite yet).

I did get a Surface Dial with the Surface Studio, and it works interestingly with the free Autodesk Sketchbook, but it doesn’t work at all with the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro version, which is the one I prefer, perhaps because I’m familiar with it and find it easier to access the functions I make use of.

These are minor things, the Surface Studio is a joy to use (though I do need to remember to change the tip on the surface pen to one that glides more easily on the screen!)

So, it seemed appropriate that today, the day I turn 55 and become a semi-pensioner, that I hand letter the word Joy, in my own inimitable style.

I actually quite like the neon colours on the black background. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more like this now my mind has worked out that I can do stuff like this digitally.

Will I be turning my back on more traditional art? Not at all! If anything, I treat digital art as if it is traditional art – the pen means I draw like I would on paper.  All it means is I have access to tools that make some styles a little easier, the ability to use colours and textures that would be difficult for me in traditional media possible, and the ability to edit without frustrating use of white inks a dream!

Don’t forget, I do tend to work directly in ink on paper, often with no pencil lines at all.

Joy is also an appropriate word as I share my artwork because I share my joy in creating it with others, and I trust that viewing it (and hopefully my witterings like this one) joy for you.

What doesn’t bring me joy is when I find my artwork is shared or used without my permission, particularly when people use it to make money for themselves without any regard for the creator of the work. I try to protect my work by watermarking it, signing it, sharing at a low resolution, but still I find people steal my work.

That is not joy. Not joyful at all.

It is stealing too. I don’t know where people get the idea that artwork shared by artists on the interwebs means the artists give up their copyrights.

We DO NOT give up our copyrights in any way.

I sometimes create ‘freebies’, but even then there are limits to how they can be used – personal use, not for resale either coloured or uncoloured, not for inclusion in publications, and so on.

People who steal work like this, and let me be clear it is stealing, make me feel very un-joyful and on the point of removing all my accounts where I share art so people can view it and enjoy it, sometimes even buy it, or prints of it or products with it on, but not to steal it and use it without my permission.

I’m sure those of you who read this will agree with me on this and don’t need to read it, but if my words reach just one person who takes the work of others for their own personal gain in someway, without asking permission of the artist, without even crediting them or providing a link back to where they got it from, stop to think about the harm and upset they are causing to those of us who want to share our joy in our vocation with others, then my words will have done some good. Pricked a conscience or two maybe.

Perhaps then the days of me getting upset and writing emails that go unanswered to websites where I find my artwork offered to others will stop, and there will be more joy.

I can hope this will happen.

Returning to the theme of joy rather than not-joy, I do hope you find my little artwork of today brings you some joy too. Do let me know if you’d like to see more like this, or if you have suggestions of words that you’d like to see in this kind of style!

Finally, do have a joyful day yourselves. Do something that brings you peace and joy, be it art, coloring, baking, reading, dancing, playing music, a sunset walk in nature … whatever it may be, do something joyful every day.

Spring themed dangle design

Angela Porter 2 May 2018 coloured Friday is #dangleday as often as I can create one.

This Fridays design features stylised hawthorn blossom and daisies, along with hearts, leaves and berries. Oh, and a pastel feather.

It would make a charming piece of framed art, or a greetings card, or a cover page for May for a BuJo, planner or journal.  I’m sure there’s many other uses that the design, or parts of it, can be put to.

If you have any ideas for how this design could be used add a comment, or visit my facebook page – Angela Porter Illustrator – and drop me a line there.  You could also try tweeting me @wyrdsmithing if you wish too.

It’s been a nice way to start the day, and to get those #weekendvibes working. I started by doing a quick sketch of the design on paper, scanned in, inked in using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book using my Microsoft Surface Pen, and then simply coloured with some texture added.

It helps me to calm down a bit; there’s still a lot of anxiety floating around my body after the saga of my car, and I’m waiting for a call back from sales about the possibility of me having a new smartcar. I find it all very stressful, even though there’s a part of me that’s very calm, the surface emotions are all over the place, sometimes overwhelming me like an emotional tsunami. Having poor sleep because of the anxiety isn’t helping too much.

I just remind myself to breathe, that ‘this too shall pass’, and find things to do that help me calm.

Talking of calming down, over on the facebook group ‘Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans it’s #furbabyfriday.  Why not pop over and join in the fun with the lovely group members there?

If you’d like to learn a bit more about creating your own dangle designs, my book A Dangle A Day is available for preorder, just click on the link!

Eerie Entangled Art is also available for pre-order from Amazon and other places.  It’s my next book in the Creative Haven series from Dover Publications.

Shine

Angela Porter 25 april 2019 small

Phew, this took some doing…

I tried four or five times to create this quote illustration using traditional media this morning.  I failed each time; they just weren’t right at all. I’m still really anxious/stressed from the debacle of a car breakdown at the weekend.  Once my stress hormones are elevated, it takes a goodly while for them to leach away.  It takes a good while for this to happen as I’m much more susceptible to being startled or becoming even more anxious.  I know from past experience that eventually things will return to a less stressful level.

So, in frustration, I turned to my trusted trinity of Surface book, surface pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and created this one.

I’m learning how to set up pens in Sketchbook pro, and finally have one that mimics a roundhand nib. My hand-lettering is still a bit wonky, but I finally have something I like.

The background was made using traditional media by myself – distress inks on mixed media paper, scanned in to the ‘puter so I can make use of them.

Drawing on the surface is almost like drawing on paper, but without the eraser mess.

I do need to create more backgrounds for me to use now I’ve got my head around doing that.

I chose this piece of wisdom for #wednesdaywisdom because it is relevant to myself at the moment and the healing I’m going through in my EMDR therapy. I’m sure, however, that it is relevant to many, many people.

On another note, it’s #wipwednesday over in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. I keep saying it, but they’re a lovely bunch of people, friendly, supportive and appreciative of each other.  Why not pop along, join up and say hello?

Also, don’t forget A Dangle A Day is available for preorder  as is Eerie Entangled Art.