Playing with colour

Angela Porter 29 August 2017Angela Porter 29 August 2018 A

I’ve been quiet around ‘tinternet for a couple of weeks – problems with my mood, instead of starting many new things I’ve been spending time organising a reference collection of my favourite patterns and designs of things like fungi and buildings and creatures and so on and its very much a work in progress!  The process of going through the familiar and organising them is comforting to me …

I have done some new drawings for the Eerie project for Dover – not many left to do for the book, then the hard work is deciding which two I would like to colour in the most, always a problem.

Plans are afoot for a change in my online presence too … more as that happens!

The above images show one artwork I started last night and finished this morning.  Most probably about 8 or 10 hours of work.  Distress Oxides, Cosmic Shimmer watercolours and a Sakura Glaze pen were used. When light strikes the artwork at just the right angle, the metallics and iridescents bring the artwork to life; it’s like it lights up all by itself.  A joyful feeling for sure as I look at it.

It was nice to work with colour and the more traditional media rather than digital art, though, yet again, I noticed how drawing with the Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Book are having an effect on my work on paper.

One thing I did enjoy was adding the sparkle and shimmer to the artwork, something I’ve not found out how to do digitally (or even if you can!).

So, I now have satisfied a need in me to work with colour and pen and I can turn my attention back to the illustrations for the Eerie book, and on to other things after that is done.

For today, I head off soon for counselling/EMDR, and to have my acrylic nails removed once again as they really do get in the way of me typing, art-ing, using my phone…and no doubt I’ll do some drawing while I have a late lunch between nail removing and counselling.

Artwyrd at Etsy

Last night I bit the marker pen and uploaded two sets of small greetings cards to my Etsy shop, Artwyrd.

Each set has ten cards featuring a coloured flower/mandala design stored in a small, custom made box along with matching envelopes.

The flower/mandala designs I drew myself in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface book.  I printed out multiple copies of the designs and then used my Chameleon Markers and Copic Markers to colour them.  Distress Ink was used to add colour around the designs.

The next step was to create colour mats for the designs; I used my marker pens to colour some Centaura Pearl card.

Before mounting them on the 3″ x 3″ (7.5cm x 7.5cm) card blanks, I embellished the designs with dots of metallic and pearlescent acrylic paint, as well as adding coloured gems.

Of course the cards sparkle!

The boxes are made from cardstock with the lids decorated with designer series paper; the colour ways chosen are complementary to the colours of the cards. I also used Distress Inks to distress the edges and corners of the boxes.   I’ve yet to embellish the boxes.

These are my fifth and sixth attempts at making the boxes.  I had to purchasing a new paper cutter that’s more accurate than the one I had been using.  I had used a template for a box that would take ten 3″ x 3″ cards, but wasn’t big enough for the envelopes.  So, I also had to work out and adjust the measurements needed for the base and lid so that the envelopes would fit in the box!  Frustrating, especially as maths isn’t my strong point …but I got there in the end.

I do have a couple of jobs to do to the cards/boxes; the boxes need some embellishment, and I need to add makers labels to them too.

The boxes will be nice for other things once the cards are used up – the lids are a snug fit.

All of the designs I have stored and may, in the fullness of time, put them together as a pack of digi-stamps so people can use them to create their own cards!

Dot Mandala Cards, Butterflies and Fungi

Digital drawings

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Over the past couple of days I’ve continued working on my Microsoft Surface Book using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to create digital images for used in card making and mixed media projects.  IFungi and butterflies have been my chosen subjects, and you can see some of them in the images above.  They’ve also been digitally coloured, though I’ve still got dots and lines to add to them to give more depth and dimension to them.

They’re all now cut out and sitting waiting to be used in various projects.  There’s still more drawings carefully filed away on the Surface Book for future uses…

Dot Mandala Cards

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DotMandalaCards_15June2017_AngelaPorter

I’ve also have a bit of fun creating some teeny-tiny dot mandalas.  Each card base is just 3″ x 3″ (approx. 7.5cm x 7.5cm).  The black card I used as the substrate is 2½” square (approx. 6.25cm).

The acrylic paints I used are either metallic or pearlescent, so they do catch the light rather nicely.

Mixed media cards – shells and fish

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Over the past few days I’ve been drawing shells, flowers, fish and fungi and sorting them out to be digi-stamps, work all done on my Microsoft Surface Book.  Some have been printed, coloured using my Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops pens, cut out and mounted on mixed media backgrounds.  The photos above show the fruits of my labours.

Apart from the Chameleon markers, the media I have used are:

  • Distress and Distress Oxide inks
  • Iridescent and metallic paints from Liquitex and Pebeo.
  • Perfect pearls sprays
  • Stencils
  • Stamps
  • Black Archival Ink
  • Inktense pencils
  • 3D Crystal Lacquer
  • Alchemy Wax

I think that’s the complete list of media.  I used mixed media paper for the backgrounds, and the paper was cut out using rectangular dies.  Behind the backgrounds, I used silver mirriboard as a mat.

I’m quite pleased with them.  No so sure about the kraft card bases (which are 5¾” x 4″ in size), but they were what I had.

Now, all I have to do is work out a price for them and pop them into my Etsy shop, though I think I will have to take better photos for that!

Mixed media index cards – 5 June 2017; my own library of digital drawings

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Mixed media index cards

Two index cards worked on over the last day or two.  The focal points are shells I drew, first on paper, then the image was worked on on my Surface book with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and my Surface Pen,

I had to use scissors to cut out the shells (not my favourite task as I’m not good with scissors) after I’d coloured them using the Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops marker pens.  I’m really pleased with the colouring.

Lots of different techniques/media were used on the index cards – stamping, stenciling, inktense pencils, distress inks and distress oxide inks, pebeo dyna paints, perfect pearls sprays, gesso, clear holographic embossing powder from WOW!

I’m happy with them, though I’m not sure they’re quite finished, especially the little one.

Digital drawing library

I’m beginning to build up a library of my own digital drawings – fungi, flowers, shells at the moment, oh and one angler fish skeleton that I’ve not used yet (but that’s an idea for later or tomorrow maybe).

I have to decide if I put these images together as packs of ‘digi-stamps’ for sale…I’m really pleased with my shells here, but the fungi have worked out fine too.  With my limited scissor skills, I’m keeping it in mind I need to keep the outlines relatively simple, but the inside of the design can be rather detailed, which is fun.

Mixed media index cards – 3 June 2016

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Two more index card done!

I drew the fungi then coloured them with the Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops pens.  Cogs have appeared in the background once again – gotta have a lil bit of steampunkishness!

I’ve used 3D Crystal Lacquer on the fungi caps and on the stars in the background.

I’m liking the slightly bigger format of the index cards compared to ATCs.

Today’s mixed media ACEOs/ATCs

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Today’s ACEOs/ATCs

Today I’ve created a set of six ACEO/ATC cards using dragonflies and butterflies as focal images.

The photograph doesn’t do them much justice; the backgrounds are shiny purple and silver with some stenciled patterns created using modelling paste.  Peeking through in places are patterns from some reprints of first series Ordnance Survey maps as well as some torn text from an old mathematics text book.

I couldn’t work out how to use my cogs and gears on these, but remembered all the patterned paper I have, so I had a bit of a furtle through  and found some paper that looked nice against the busy background, which also the focal images looked good on.  Indeed, they look like mounted specimens.

I got the focal images from my stash, already painted.  However, I did put some painted and embossed papers behind the wings of two of the dragonflies, which looks quite nice.  I did add a wash of iridescent medium to all the focal images (can’t avoid adding some sparkle).

On returning from an appointment, I decided I would cover the dragonflies with 3D Crystal Lacquer, which has worked out really well I think (difficult to photograph though).

I’m really quite pleased with these ACEOs/ATCs; they’re simple, yet they just work and satisfy my need for ornate, sparkle and shine.  I’m glad I used the patterned paper to crated a calmer centre to mount the focal images on.

I don’t think I’m going to add any words/quotes to these, though a few gems or similar may be in order once the crystal lacquer has fully dried.

Drawing focal images

One thing I thought of as I was using the die cuts for focal images, is that I do need to find the confidence/courage to draw my own.  I have done some fungi, flowers and ammonites, but haven’t printed them out at the right size, yet.

Also, it may be that using the surface to do drawings for this may not be the best way for me to work; my drawings do tend to turn out a little too ‘perfect’ for my liking in some ways.  I’m still doing my best to work out how I can get my Surface Book to work for me as I’d like it too.  However, if I don’t use the smoothing tools in the software, the pen wobble just is totally annoying (it’s also something that is inherent in the Surface Pen/Surface book, which I really hope Microsoft will do something about sooner rather than later.

It’s really easy to use dies to cut out images for use, but to create my own…well…but we’ll see if I manage to use my own drawings in the next batch of ACEOs/ATCs.

So, my job this evening (apart from going out to do some food shopping) is to do some drawings, on watercolour paper I think, to cut out and use as focal images.

Oh, using scissors is a bit of an issue for me.  Despite me being right handed with pens and so on, I use scissors in my left hand.  In fact, there are quite a few things I can do with either hand, and many things I’m equally as bad at with either hand, such as using a badminton racquet or golf club!  Don’t ask.  Anyway, back to the scissors.  I’ve always struggled using scissors well, and I’m worse with left-handed scissors than I am with right-handed scissors.  Craft knives and me tend to be a slightly dangerous pairing – for me, not for anyone else!  I’m ok if I’m using a rule to cut straight lines, but anything else, well …

So, I will persevere, and perhaps the mistakes I make won’t be as noticeable to myself…