B is for … a dangle design

Angela Porter 7 Nov 2018 B is for

B is for birthday balloons, birthday cupcakes, birthday gifts…baking … beads …beautiful cats, beautiful flowers…bullet journal (BuJo)…

It’s Friday and it’s taken me a couple or three days to get this monogram dangle design finished, mainly because yesterday was another jolly jaunty day with Liz (more of that on my other blog – Curious Stops and Tea Shops – when I get to write it, that is).

Today’s dangle design features some cute kitties, as is the theme of my current series of monogram dangle designs.

I started by sketching out my ideas in pencil on dot grid paper then scanning it into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. The next step was digitally inking in and adjusting the design. Finally, colour and texture was added to the design before adding my watermarks. My digital tools were my trusty Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

I like the design, not so sure about the colour choices though. I also got a bit heavy handed with the added textures in some places.

After I’ve got my other tasks done today, I think I may print this design out and colour it with my Chameleon markers and see the difference. It looks like we’re going to have some heavy rain and some strong winds here today, so cwtching up indoors with some nice arty stuff to do could be the way to spend some of the day.

Friday means it’s #dangleday. My tutorial book about designing dangles, called ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available to preorder. In it I take you step by step through simple hand lettering, monogram dangle designs, and other kinds of dangle designs, showing how you too can draw and design your own. There’s lots and lots of examples in the book as well as suggestions of how to use them as greeting cards, notecards, bookmarks and framed pictures, as well as in BuJos, planners, diaries, scrapbooks…how to use them is limited only by your creativity!

 

Second version of my BuJo Monthly Cover page for November

Angela Porter November Bujo 2018 v2

Ah! That’s better!

I wasn’t happy with my first version, so I thought I’d use it as a start to create a digital version of my November BuJo page.

Done with the magic of my Microsoft Surface Pen and Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

The only place I made use of gradient fills were the hearts, the rest was coloured as if I was using marker pens, with the use of a blending tool.

A couple of simple dangles add some interest to the space below the wreath of poppies, foliage and berries.

I kept the colour scheme really simple to the reds, greens and dark greys so that the design is much more cohesive. The use of a texture brush makes the colouring a little less perfect, as it does on the background too.

I also added a drop shadow to give the illusion that the design is floating a little bit above the page.

My current thoughts on BuJo-ing

My current BuJo is a very minimalist one, though I enjoy designing pages like this. I found I was spending more time on my BuJo in terms of prettying it up rather than using it in a functional way. I do add dangles to the daily logs, when I feel the urge to.

This means I’m making far more use of my BuJo than I was when it was just an artistic/creative endeavour.

Not that there is anything wrong in that. It’s just that I wanted to immerse myself in bullet journaling in a way that it could help me with memories, thoughts, tasks and so on, in a way that I wasn’t doing previously.

And, not worrying if it’s not perfectly written/drawn/recorded is quite liberating actually! It takes a lot of pressure off BuJo-ing.

If I’d thought about it, I could’ve left a page blank at the start of the November logs for a pretty page like this. However, everything is getting rather more mixed up in my BuJo than when it was in my first versions of BuJos, and that makes me feel it’s working more for me as a record of my life, as well as planning a little more, though I don’t over-work that. Keeping track of ideas and notes and events is far more important to me, a more reflective kind of BuJo.

What I love about the BuJo system is it evolves as you need it to. You’re not limited by someone else’s structure, such as in a planner or diary. As your needs for it change, it changes.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t make use of colour. Of course I do! That helps in the index to pick out different kinds of contents and helps me separate tasks from events from notes – the symbols are great, but colour really helps me see them. That is a personal preference.

Collections, as always, are really important, and after reading a fair amount of Ryder Carroll’s book on the Bullet Journal Method the idea of threading and indexing back to earlier BuJos actually makes sense to me and seems to be a really valuable thing for me to do as I move forward with this.

As I’m typing away my mind is working on how I could work pretty pages into my working BuJo. I don’t think it’s working pages I need, more like book marks or maybe a postcard or a print out of my design I can use as a book mark …

Oh, the one thing I do pretty up a little bit are my monthly logs, with a pretty border next to the name of the month and year. At present they’re just black and white linework and I rather like the graphic nature of them.

What’s surprised me is how I’ve gone with this more minimal way of doing it. I mean, I love to see how people organise their BuJos ahead of time and so on and the beautiful things they create and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this and if it’s someone’s way to express themselves and/or be creative then I’m definitely all for it!

However, for me I’ve found that setting my daily logs up ahead of time can be a problem as some days I need a LOT more space than I’ve allowed for, and I do like to to make notes in the daily log.

What I have to do is work out if I’m going to do more than the monthly cover and monthly logs for my BuJo or whether I’m still going to come up with ideas for the weekly/daily logs or trackers and collections just for fun.

I don’t know the answer to that rhetorical question at the moment. It will work itself out over time I’m sure.

I have wondered about making some of my monthly cover designs and others available as digital downloads so people can print and add them to their BuJo’s, or use as greetings cards or note cards or or or … leave me a comment with your ideas!

#dangleday

Angela Porter 13 July 2018

I declare today, Friday, to be #dangleday! And to celebrate, here’s a dangle design, which includes a hand-lettered quote.

Want to draw your own dangle designs? Need a bit of inspiration or advice? Then my book “A Dangle A Day” is available to pre-order from Quarto.

I drew this one on paper with a Sakura Pigma Micron PN pen, scanned it in and then edited and coloured digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, which is now totally free! My Microsoft Surface Book and Pen were used to do this.

I’d include this in my bullet journal (BUJO) as a really cute quote page.

It would look lovely as part of an art-journal page too, though cutting out all the fiddly bits could be a bit challenging, though re-drawing them would be easy enough I’m sure.

I do have some ideas about dangle designs and art journals and other stuff that’s running around my head, but they’ve not really become solid enough that I can bring them into practice…yet.

If I made the dangles a bit longer, then this would make a really nice bookmark. It would also work quite nicely as a tall and thin greetings card, I think. Especially as the quote could easily be changed for something different.

Over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, it’s #furbabyfriday. I’m looking forward to seeing them all! Why not pop over and say hello?

Glorious

Angela Porter 8 June 2018

Isn’t glorious a wonderful word? I decided, after much experimentation with geometric, gem-like decoration, black outlined florals, to go with a much softer, gentler almost chalky flowers and leaves. I think the lettering looks a tad perfect, stark, against the flowers. Let me know what you think?

I’ve had a day of it with things of a computery nature. After installing the latest updates for Windows 10, my Surface Pen started to misbehave dreadfully. It took me a goodly amount of time to sort it, the fix being a simple pairing of the pen via bluetooth. Seems the updates knocked the pairing off, though not for any other of my bluetooth devices connected to my Surface Book.

It was a frustrating, and more than a tad scary, time as I panicked that the Surface and pen wouldn’t work, more so as I have a deadline for Entangled Butterflies looming.

Thank goodness I managed to find the fix, which was an obvious one, if you know about it that is!

So, I can now breathe, return to drawing entangled butterflies (I have seven illustrations left to do for the book) and calm down.

Wishing you all a #gloriousweekend #weekendvibes and #thatfridayfeeling.

Friday quote

Angela Porter 1 June 2018

I am so lucky being self-employed, doing something that brings me pleasure and never feels like work; it always feels like the weekend for me!

I sketched the words and part of the design on paper, photographed it and opened it in Autodesk Sketchbook, then used my Microsoft Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Book to hand-draw the letters and flower wreath.

Yes, it is hand-drawing, even though it’s done in a digital environment. I use my Surface Pen as I would any pen or pencil. I do make use of some of the tools in Autodesk Sketchbook to speed up the drawing – such as the symmetry tool, and the ability to move elements in the hand-lettering around (I’m learning not to be too fussy about size and arrangement in the sketch; that just gives me the general idea of lettering styles and sizes).

All the same, it’s a nice way to start a Friday with a decorated #fridayquote, just to get those #weekendvibes going with #thatfridayfeeling #fridayfeeling.

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.