It’s that time of the week again – a new coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
This week, I’ve created a mandala and, as is my want, I’ve added some colour to the template to help bring it partly to life.
Early in June, it’s Brett’s birthday. Brett is the owner of the group and she looks after it fantastically. So, it’s always nice for the group to celebrate her birthday by sharing templates coloured in her favourite colours – PINK, purple, turquoise and teal. So, the group members have been asked to do this (as well as told when her birthday is).
I drew the template yesterday after having a nap in the afternoon. I’m still incredibly tired and my digestive system is a tad sensitive still to say the least, but I do feel better in myself emotionally.
I’ve finished the line art for this particular design. Now, it’s adding colour to it, which is going to be a long job.
I’m trying out a color palette of greens, peaches and dusky pinks, but I’m not sure about them, or maybe I’m not fussed on the background. I’ll see how I get along. It’s definitely a work in progress.
I’m not sure what happened with the design. I had intended to leave open space in the design to add a lighter, airier feeling to parts of it. That just didn’t happen. I’m not sure about some areas, but I do know that colour can make all the difference to a design.
A4 Marker Paper Pentel disposable fountain pen, 02 Uniball Unipin pen, and a 0.38 Uniball Signo Dx pen Backgrounds and colours added digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
Note – I’m not paid, sponsored or supplied with any products.
I always relax, feel my whole body let out a sigh of relief as I work on drawings like this one. Purely abstract, line and pattern being the focus, with healthy doses of black giving a very graphic feel to the design.
Playing with line width and pattern to bring layers and depth to the design is always something I’ve enjoyed.
I start with one single line, shape or motif and go from there instead of having an overall plan for the design all sketched out and ready to go. I like this organic, intuitive way of letting the design grow, developing it one pen stroke at a time.
I’m learning, slowly but surely, that areas of white space can be a powerful part of the overall design. It’s been a long journey to realise I don’t have to fill the whole sheet of paper with line and pattern.
I need to have a lot of trust in the whole of this process; that something pleasing will be created after hours of work with very fine nibbed pens.
What next when I’ve finished the pen-work? Do I add shadows, colour, highlights with traditional media or digitally? Do I just add a background coloured/textured paper? Do I leave it in it’s very graphic black and white?
Working digitally with a scan of the finished drawing allows me to experiment, though I’ve yet to work out how to add shadows in the way a blended graphite or pastel pencil would do. And I do have a tendency to use much brighter, saturated colours than I would with traditional media.
Perhaps it’s time I sorted out my own digital colour palettes from my traditional media. That is something for another day, however. For the rest of the day, I’m going to lose myself in completing this drawing.
A work in progress as I try to work out my Christmas card design for this year. I’m not entirely sure it works, so will let it ‘sit’ in it’s folder for a couple of days before I commit to adding colour to it.
I’ve had a busy day with Entangled Starry Skies. I woke with some kind of inspiration for a couple of the last templates to be created, and so I worked on them. I have three templates left to do, though I’ll be trying to get some more done so there’s some choice for the book.
Me getting engrossed in templates is the reason some personal artwork is later today than usual. Still, it was fun to do! I think it’s time for some ‘Angela’ time now.
I’ve become a bit obsessed with making art journal bits and bobs over the last couple of days. This morning has been no exception, other than the more I do and watch, the more ideas that come to me.
Yesterday, I created some blank, printable, templates for inchies, twinches and tea cards. I printed them out on plain paper so I could draw in them. I also made a list of themes I could tackle for them too.
I spent an hour or two filling in a sheet of inches with various designs. Then, I printed them on plain paper and also vellum for calligraphy. The vellum has a rough texture, interesting colours and subtle patterns in them. I have a laser printer, so wasn’t sure if it would print on the vellum; it did, however the print does come off if I’m a bit rough with it.
Nevertheless, I coloured some of the inches with Distress Inks and then adhered them to some 1″ tiles of thick chipboard card. I edged them with tresure gold wax from Imagination Crafts. Then, I gently applied a thin layer of Ranger’s gloss multi-media medium, to see if it would seal the laser printing; it did! It also brought out the colours of the Distress Inks.
These are simple enough to make. There are plenty of tutorials online for them. I made them from ordinary printer paper, then coloured them with Distress Inks.
Next, I added some dot embellishments using a small ball tool with Imagination Crafts’ Starlights metallic paint in rich gold. This is a beautiful, glittery, shiny paint that leaves some dimension when applied this way.
Finally, I adhered the inchies I’d made, along with some vintage book paper, to the envelopes.
I’m not sure if these envelopes are finished. I do want to use them to store either journaling notes in, or little pieces of art or mementos in them.
I haven’t been at all sure about tags and using them. However, I thought I’d see what I could do with them after yesterday’s mucking about with a tri-fold tag that turned into one single tag.
I wanted to make some templates for cutting the corners at the top of the tags, so I did that, using various widths of paper and slopes to remove the top corners.
I then realised I needed something to store them in, so I made an envelope for them.
The envelope has a more rectangular top flap and a plain front, perfect for embellishments.
Something occurred to me this morning while watching someone make tags using background paper. I thought that I could use my colouring sheets and entangled designs as my own background paper. So, I thought I’d try to use some.
I found some old designs on my computer and printed a couple of them both as the black line originals and with a grey line.
I made a tag and cut out a piece of one of the designs. I coloured the design with Distress Inks and used them to subtly colour the tag.
I didn’t like the way the neatly cut out background pattern looked when I placed it on the tag. So, I tore the edges. I still wasn’t happy, so I tried tearing it into strips. That looked better, but I still wasn’t happy with it, but I stuck the pieces down.
I used a gold glitter gel pen to add lines and patterns between the torn pieces, which created some pattern and interest.
Finally, I added a distress ink coloured belly band along with a word, “creativity” to the tag. For now, I tucked one of the seed packets behind the belly band.
The background drawing may be just too busy, detailed, and varied to work well. I need to bear this in mind going forward.
I am keeping notes of how I make tags, pockets, and other bits and bobs in an A5 dot grid notebook, along with ideas for other things to do or try. It’s turning out to be rather useful as a reference.
I’m struggling with accepting that what I’m creating for my art journal is “good enough”, “attractive enough”, “pretty”. It’s not like others I’ve seen, which is part of my problem.
I seem to like, mostly, neat edges, borders on work, very organised, neat, and carefully, geometrically arranged elements in my designs. I know I want to use my own artwork to create a journal, but I’m not sure it’s going to be successful in any kind of way. I have no idea if I’m on a wild goose chase.
I know I enjoy making these bits and bobs, I just don’t know if the overall end products actually work, so I’m doubting myself. I’m not sure I like what I’m creating. I mean, I really like individual elements such as the inchies and little panels on the envelopes. It’s when I start to actually combine them or put them into a journal that it all seems to go more than a bit skew-iffy.
I’m at that uncomfortable place I often find myself in when I’m creating a mandala or drawing or digital painting; partway through I want to give up as I think that what I’m creating is awful and not working. With the mandalas, drawings and digital art, I’ve learned to work through that point and, mostly, to complete the work. I’ve learned by experience and perseverance that I can produce art I’m happy with.
I’m not at all sure of that with this art journal type stuff. I’m not sure at all if I can find my own creative ‘voice’ with this, or whether I have to accept that as much as I’d like it to be one of my ‘things’ it’s not meant to be and that I can continue to watch and admire others for what they create.
Maybe, I’ll end up making digital elements for journals for others to use in their creations. Maybe, I’ll find that collections of inchies are my thing (along with twinchies and tea cards and other little designs).
For now, I’ll take a bit of a break from it all, and come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
I like this week’s prompt for #Inktober52 – Shadow. I like to work with quite high contrast colours/shades to give the illusion of dimension. So, I thought I’d take one of my borders, add it to a very shadowy background, add colour, light and shadow, and finally I’ll put a quote about shadow on to it. My only problem with adding a quote is which one to choose! There are so many fine quotes about shadow and light.
It’s nice to have a whole week to work on the prompt. I’ve already spent over two hours adding colour to that little section of the border design, just to give you an idea of how long it takes me to work in colour.
What this means is that I can use my Inktober52 project as ‘warm up’ or ‘comfort’ art over the next few days if I wish.
The colours I’m choosing are quite ‘dull’ for me – they are hues that have a lot of black/ in them and they do give a quite vintage or grungy feel. However, against the dark background they glow.
They’re not my usual choice of bright, pure colour. I think that’s simply because it’s taken me a long time to work with them and become comfortable with them too. That’s another reason why Inktober52, and Inktober, are so good – I end up trying things out that I wouldn’t necessarily do for my publishers.