Monday Mandala

Eerie and spooky?

A fun, quirky, cute Hallowe’en themed mandala was what was needed on Monday morning.

I started with the skull, without any clue as to what I was going to do with it. Then I thought about adding a mandala around it, and I wanted it in eerie, almost glowing colours.

As I drew the skull without any outlines, I thought I’d do the same for the rest of the mandala. I also kept a pretty simple colour palette – violets, teals and blues.

It’s worked out OK. It certainly is a bit different. The most important thing is that I enjoyed drawing it, and that is most probably the most important thing of all.

Sunshine and mood

Today, there’s some sunshine and that helps to keep my mood up. I did feel a bit better yesterday – sleep and Star Wars really helped! I may have felt better, but settling to art just didn’t happen yesterday.

I’m still so tired. I think it’s all to do with some anxiety at this time. There’s nothing specific for it, just general anxiety. I think it was triggered by my boiler breakdown and then the engineer fixing it, and the increasing cases of Covid combined with a national lockdown in Wales.

I’m not sure I can drive less than a mile to the cemetery I like to walk around. I feel safe there in a way I don’t walking around the streets and town I live in at this time.

Of course, worrying about whether I’ll be breaking the rules to take a walk adds to my anxiety.

What a pickle!

It may be that I baulk and just stay home, and check the rules carefully before I do venture forth for a walk.

Pumpkin knitting

Knitting pumpkins while watching Star Wars. Guaranteed to reduce my anxiety. And knitting, unlike crochet, is something I can do without having to look at my fingers.

Also, I’ve found it really relaxing and the feel of the knitted fabric in my fingers is soothing and pleasurable. As I’ve been kintting in stocking stitch, it’s a very smooth fabric. Crochet tends to have more texture to it. I think I’ll be doing more knitting and less crochet for a while.

Saturday arty day

Artsy ramblings

Today I’m feeling a tad ‘meh’ to say the least. I’m tired despite sleeping plenty last night and yesterday. The weather is gloomy – leaden grey skies and rain. At least the autumn colours are glowing a little in the gloom.

So, today I just needed some arty fun. Nothing too big and overwhelming, something with a little whimsy, and no pressure for anything other than making art for art’s sake.

Hallowe’en is my favourite festival, so that’s where I started, along with pen and paper.

The drawing isn’t all that big – 8cm x 10 cm approx (3.25″ x 4″),s o it was relatively quick to complete. I scanned it in to tidy it up, but decided to add a spooky border around it, which I did digitally.

Then, I set to colouring the image, in Hallowe’en colours, mostly.

I played with texture brushes and how I can work with colour. I’m pleased to get some areas that seem to glow eerily. My brain won’t let me fully process that or go back to the image to add this effect to other design elements.

It was, after all, a few hours of fun, arting for art’s sake, and to do what I can to lift my mood.

Polymer clay

I spent sometime yesterday afternoon playing with polymer clay. The Sculpey clay I purchased is soft enough to work with almost straight out of the packet, which is a good thing.

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to work with it. What I thought would work just didn’t for me. So, I’m going to let the ideas rumble around my subconscious and come up with how I could work with the clay my way.

I was disappointed with myself, but worked hard be easy on myself as this is a new skill to learn and develop. It won’t happen overnight. Also, there’s no rush or panic to get it done either.

In the meantime, I’m wrangling with myself as to whether I should invest in a pasta machine to roll out the clay or whether that’s a decision that can wait until I work out if polymer clay is for me or not.

Template Thursday

Thursday comes around once again, so it’s time for a coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, it’s a hallowe’en themed mandala design. Lots of cuteness and whimsy in the design, as well as a geometric background and a funky border.

I enjoyed drawing this, and I’ve enjoyed the partial coloring. Sadly, I don’t have time for more colouring today. I have a chap coming to sort my central heating out in a short while and my anxiety is heading through the roof now I need to get showered and tidy up the house a bit.

I have some social anxiety at the best of times, but the increasing prevalence and transmission of Covid19 and having contact with anyone is having it skyrocket. Hopefully, I’ll be able to calm down quickly enough after he’s done what he needs to do.

Anyways, if you’re not a member of the facebook group you’d be made most welcome. Membership is free, as are the templates I create for the members of the group.

Autumn

How true those words are. How I look forward to a walk where trees are dressed in their fiery autumn finery. How much the colours glow in sunlight and against a leaden grey sky. They lift my heart and fill my mind with warm memories to last the long, dark nights of winter. The bright colours are a reminder from nature that spring will return again, after the well-deserved rest over winter.

My clunky arty design today is just that – clunky. Awkward. But it will do for now.

Template Thursday

How are you all doing? Keeping well I trust.

A week more of the pandemic has passed us by, and it’s one week closer to Hallowe’en! So, this week’s template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is Hallowe’en themed.

I always have fun drawing these cute and whimsical templates. They’re the kind of art that I don’t have to worry too much about my colour choices, which I’m never quite happy with.

As always, I look forward to seeing how people bring my templates to life with colour in their own way.

Template Thursday

The template

It’s that day of the week again – Template Thursday! It’s the day where I add a coloring template to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group for members only.

This week I’ve done a pretty yeuchy job on the colour scheme. It happens. I do struggle with colours, more at some times than others, and today is one of those days.

The template itself has lots of my favourite motifs in – pumpkins, leaves, flowers, seedpods, seeds, berries, shells, mushrooms and stones. Not to mention arches and geometric patterns along with a sprinkling of stars.

I’ve gone with a weirdly autumnal colour scheme, but I think this would work for any kind of colour scheme you’d like. I may revisit this template and add linework and keep it monochrome at some point in the future. It would be good practice to redraw it digitally and work on my digital linework skills at the same time.

I used Unipin pens and Canson Marker paper to draw the template. Next, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to clean up the image and then add the colour.

To Inktober or not Inktober? Nah, let’s Paleotober instead!

I may do an Inktober challenge this year, but again choosing an alternative prompt list. I enjoyed last year’s month of daily drawings focusing on art I’d not usually do, particularly the skulls. However, I found the pressure to draw every day a bit much and a bit manic to work in around everything else I needed to do.

This year, I’ve found Paleotober on Instagram , created by @bluemaskart.

I like that each theme covers a few days, so less pressure. I have been thinking of working on drawings of fossils, dinosaurs and so on in the way I have my recent drawings of moths. So, this is the push I need to get me to follow those thoughts!

I must admit, the sight of an ammonite, icthyosaur and pterodactyl, three of my favourite fossils, on the prompt list just did it for me!

I think I’m going to struggle with the imagined and speculative prompts, but I may just use those days to add to one of the others. We’ll see.

In other times, I’d visit my local musuems to view fossils and such like for myself, sketchbook and camera in hand. But not now.

Nevertheless, I shall have some fun with these!


Autumn Equinox

‘Tis the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere, astronomically speaking. The day started bright and sunny, but the clouds have closed in, the breeze has picked up and the temperature has dropped a little.

Even though today may not be a typically autumn day, today’s arty offering has warm, fiery tones reminiscent of autumn leaves and bonfires. Of course there’s a black and white, graphic moth illustration.

This moth is an iteration of the first moth I drew a few days ago. it’s fun to work with images, alter and change them and create something new and different each time. It’s also a good way for me to experiment with line to achieve volume and texture in the illustration.

Having the mandala of acorns, leaves and berries become a texture upon the background means it doesn’t detract from the moth. It does add interest and another hint that I created this with autumn in mind.

Hello September!

It’s a sunshiny, blue-sky morning with a distinctly cool and freshness to the air. It really feels like autumn is on it’s way. So, I’ve created a mandala to welcome the change of month, and the incipient change of season. I even practised my hand-drawn typography / hand-lettering.

What I missed out on doing was having a 9-fold symmetry for the ninth month. Ho hum. Perhaps I’ll just create another!

I’m also not at all sure of the background colour. It’ll do for now. After all, this is my morning warm up art.

Drawn in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Hello August!

The calendar page turns over and we’re into a new month.

August always heralds the end of summer and start of autumn, my favourite season. It is the last full month of summer here in the Valleys of South Wales. The evenings come noticeably earlier, always a sign that the year is continuing on its endless cycle of seasons.

We have a grey, damp and blustery start to the first day of the month. There are shafts of sunlight finding their way through gaps in the clouds, but there’s a deliciously refreshing snap to the cool and fresh air after the night-time rain.

I thought I’d create a really simple mandala design for the start of this month, one that is full of warm colours, but that hint of autumnal tones in the background.

I kept things simply stylised in the design. If nothing else, working on it made me smile, inwardly as well as on my lips.

I woke early-ish today and did some work on one of the typographic portraits I’ve been doing. Then, in my rush to get to the shower, I clicked the wrong button and lost my work. Thankfully, it’ll be easy enough to do it again. I also think that with the version I’m working on, I’m finding my way with the process. I have a lot of the portrait left to do, but I feel less frustrated with it and have a clearer idea of what I’d like to achieve now I’ve taken a few days break from this kind of work.

Before I settle back to the typography, I am going to take a walk in the fresh air of the morning. Well, after I’ve done my social media posts!

Template Thursday

It’s Thursday, so that means it’s time for a new coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

One of the members suggested a Christmas in July template, so that’s what I did. A page full of iconic Christmas motifs, admittedly not all of them, but a fair selection.

If you fancy printing this template off, all you need to do is join the group! It’s completely free, as are all the templates I design for the group. All I ask is that you follow the terms and condtions of use.

I drew these little designs on Rhodia dot grid paper with a Tombow Fudenosuke (hard) pen. I cleaned the drawing up in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, then digitally added colour. Some are in the more traditional Christmas colours, others are less so. No rules for colouring! Whatever makes you happy or peaceful is fine! The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy what you do.

As for me, today I’m taking a break from the typographic portrait of Nye Bevan that I shared yesterday. My artistic intuition needs some time to work out what to do with it, both to complete the blank areas and to edit places that aren’t working.

I need to pop out for a walk too. I’ve been sat down, focused on art too much over the past couple of days. It’s overcast and there’s a stiff breeze, so it’s perfect for me!