Autumn mandala 6 November 2018

Angela Porter Mandala 4 Nov 2018

This has taken me a couple of days to complete, mainly because of appointments but also a big need for some self-care.

Autumn Mandala

I don’t get to create many mandalas at times. So, On Sunday, after creating the cute angel kitty dangle design, I put my creative energy into drawing and starting to colour a mandala.

I worked directly on my Surface Studio screen with the Surface pen using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and it’s fab symmetry tool to outline the the design in black ink.

Next, I used a marker brush and a blender brush to colour the design.

It’s the colouring that takes a lot of time.

I wanted to keep the colour scheme fairly simple, so I chose some vibrant shades of blue, green, yellow, orange and red.

Finally, I added a beautiful blue background and texture to the finished artwork.

On the whole, I’m quite pleased with it. The bright colours have been needed today as it’s a rather grey and damp day here in the Valleys of South Wales. Someone has a bonfire burning on the hillside opposite my home and the smoke is floating down the valley. There’s a temperature inversion that’s trapping the smoke quite low.

Add to that all the smoke and particulates from the plethora of fireworks that have been set off in the past few days and the air is rather fuggy, hazy.

However, the golden hues of the autumn trees glow all the more brightly against the grey skies, especially with a dusting of rain on them.

What I absolutely love to see are the dark trunks and branches becoming more visible as the leaves fall from the trees. The architectural contrast fascinates me; it’s being able to clearly see the skeleton that gives the tree form.

I didn’t have autumn in my mind when I was drawing or coloring this mandala, even though autumn is my favourite season. However, the jewel tones and the gradual predominance of the autumnal golds, oranges and reds on the outside of the mandala give it that kind of autumnal feel. The greens gradually change from blue-greens to more yellow-greens from the centre out, adding to that sense of a seasonal progression.

The coloured mandala also has a feeling of stained glass. I love stained glass windows and this one would make a very interesting ‘rose’ window! That I adhere to using black lines to delineate my design only reinforces the suggestion of stained glass.

What I haven’t done is add detailed patterns to the mandala. I don’t think this one needs it, though the leaves may need a bit of shadow and highlight to make them feel less ‘flat’.

On the whole, I’m quite pleased with this one. I think I’ve manged to get enough contrast from dark to light in each section to give that sense of dimension – something else I like to incorporate into my artwork.

The need for self-care

I’ve been rather emotional over the past few days. The post about remembrance and my Dad tapped into some grief, a door that had never opened before I had to say goodbye to my beautiful white cat Cuffs back in May.

I took time out of things to watch some Harry Potter films. I do get emotional when I watch them (or read the books) even though I know what’s going to happen. However, this weekend I was more emotional than I’ve been before.

Yesterday, was EMDR therapy day, and various memories had cropped up and one we worked with yesterday. That left me absolutely pole-axed, emotionally that is.

Part of my mental health – the CPTSD – is that I avoid emotions and when I get emotional I have shoved it aside and locked the emotions in a box, symbolically. I also shove the memories away, something referred to as dissociation.

I have very few memories of my childhood, adolescence or even adulthood. That’s because many of them are painful in some way or another and they have been locked away.

Locking them away means I have never worked through, processed, them and the trauma or emotions that go with them. The trauma is still there and is still hurting my emotional and mental health.

EMDR is helping to unlock memories, sometimes very painful memories I don’t want to believe happened or believe certain  things about people. I always want to see the best and believe the best in people, except when it comes to myself; then, it’s always the worst possible.

I’ve been experiencing some cognitive dissonance and some very uncomfortable times as I try to come to terms with various realisations.

Add into the mix a busy week or so with appointments and events and I’m emotionally tired. Oh, not to mention the constant jumpiness with all the fireworks going off.

So, self-care is important. I watch films. Knit. Drink lots of tea. Snuggle up under a cosy throw. Nap if I need to. Eat healthily, when I can. Create art that I want to create rather than any that I feel I have to to meet a contract or some deadline or other, either real or self-imposed. Have some alone time – being an introvert beneath the face I present to the world I need alone time to recharge.

I know I’m on a jolly tomorrow with my pal Liz, so it’s even more important I recharge before that day out.

So, that’s why I’ve needed some self-care time.

 

October’s Coloring Template

Angela Porters Coloring Book Fans facebook group October 2018 small

It’s that time of the month again – the release of my ‘freebie’ coloring template in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Autumn is my favourite time of year and Hallowe’en is my favourite ‘festival’. Not the dressing up or trick or treat and rowdiness, though I do appreciate the excitement that the little ones have about the spookiness and slight scariness that it all brings.

I just enjoy the atmosphere at this time of year that the darker nights and changing colours and falling leaves bring. It’s the time of year where I really appreciate candle light during the evenings, creating a cosier environment at home.

There’s a little more to it than that, but I can’t quite find the words for it at the moment.

Anyhoo, this whimsical, cute colouring template is available only to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to join. I create one template a month just for the members (sometimes I surprise them with a second one, and in the run up to Christmas I try to do a couple a week to help with de-stressing). Pop over and join a fair number of like-minded, friendly people.

Dangle Day Friday

Angela Porter September 2018 coloured

Friday is dangle day!

We’re a week into September and autumn is nearly here in the Northern hemisphere, so I thought my dangle design should be one for this season. I think this would be a lovely BuJo page to separate the autumn months. I also think it would make a pretty notecard or greetings card. The hand lettering could be changed for another sentiment and it would be suitable for an autumn celebration. Alternatively, it would look great framed and hung as part of a quartet of designs that cover the four seasons; now there’s a project for me to do!

I drew the design on squared paper using Sakura pigma micron pens.

Then, I scanned the image in, used GiMP to remove the squares and create a transparent background

Next, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to colour the image, create the textured background and add a shadow to the design.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love autumn! I love the way the world changes in terms of colours over the space of a few weeks, and the colours can be absolutely glorious.

I don’t know how the long, very hot and dry summer in here in the UK will affect autumn this year.

If you would like to design some dangles and not quite sure how, then my upcoming book A Dangle A Day (available for pre-order) will lead you through the steps as well as giving you plenty of ideas for dangle design.

Friday freebie

Just a reminder that today is the last day for you to enter any of my giveaways, the prizes being signed copies of Eerily Entangled Art, my latest book in Dover’s Creative Haven series of coloring books.

See my previous blog post for details on how to enter.  I’ll be drawing the winners at random tomorrow evening, UK time.

Furbaby Friday

Over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, it’s furbaby friday.

Of course, it’s Furbaby Everyday over on the Happy Tails Animal Group facebook group.

Both groups would love to see your pictures of your furbabies, as would I.

Hello September!

Angela Porter September Template 2018 small

September 2018’s coloring template

A new month begins and a coloring template for September 2018(above) for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is now available.

If you’d like to access to September 2018’s uncoloured template, which is exclusive to members of the group, just wander over to the group, join and download. Please note, that terms and conditions do apply.

I drew this in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Studio using my Microsoft Surface Pen.

Autumn is a-coming!

With the calendar turning to September, my heart lifts with the expectation of the glory of nature as autumn asserts it’s influence.

It’s my favourite season of the year. I love the bright, vivid colours that replace the darker, duller greens of summer. Nature’s picks out it’s most glorious paintbox and sets the world alight in fiery autumnal hues.

I also luxuriate in the cooler evenings and mornings and look forward to waking up to see dew, or even frost, on Binky, my Smartcar.

The fresh, clean, clear air that the turning season brings blows away the dustiness of the hot, dry summer.

There’s also the return of the pleasure and comfort of snuggling up under a duvet as night time is cooler. Not to mention the relief of sleeping well throughout the night.

There are other things I’m looking forward to this year too.

It’s hard to remember now the fear and trepidation that the return to school as a teacher that would come with the start of this month as the new school year starts.

Now, I look forward to the start of the new school year as the world is calmer, quieter during the school day and I can begin to venture forth from my home without my CPTSD panic kicking in when I hear the sound of teenagers shouting and arguing and swearing and being belligerent, just them being themselves really.

It’s not their fault, I know, but their sounds are triggers for my fear, anxiety, panic and cause me to want to hide in a quiet dark corner of my safe home. So much so, that I find it so difficult to venture out of my front door during daytime during the school holidays.

Through therapy, I will overcome this, but the reaction is so ingrained in me and goes right back to my earliest years; teaching, dealing with the dramas of teens on a daily basis as well as being the focus for some to vent their anger, just reinforced these automatic responses. This means not just unraveling the web of trauma that resulted in the panic response, it means learning a healthy response to such triggers, one that I’ve never, ever had in the first place.

Now, with the start of the school year, and a daytime world that is quieter, I’ll be able to find my courage to venture forth during the day once again. Maybe not often, but from time to time.

With it being my favourite season, with the theme of my next book being forests, to sketch and find inspiration in woods and forests during autumn is something I want to do this year.

It’s all part of my road to recovery from CPTSD. Autumn always feels like a time of new starts, more so than New Year. As nature begins to shed what is unnecessary so survival through winter is possible, so I work on shedding the trauma that has kept me in a metaphorical winter in terms of my mental and emotional health for a very, very long time.

 

 

Happy Hallowe’en and a Blessed Samhain to everyone!

Halloween2017AngelaPorter3

Quickly created this morning – took around 3 hours to do.  Lots of gradients used, and working with layers – learning new stuff still, as if that ever stops!  Very sketchy kinds of drawings, but fun ones.  I used a pencil brush to do that as well as for the colouring, along with a blender brush.  I had fun.  My cat is annoyed as I wanted to finish this and not go upstairs with him.  I have a busy day ahead of me and may not get to do much art after this…

#createdonsurface #surfacebook #microsoftsurface

#autodesksketchbookpro #sketchbookpro

#halloween #samhain #allhallowseve

Digi Hallowe’en Pumpkin Stamp set

I have a set of 13 digi stamps with a whimsical Hallowe’en Pumpkin theme available in my Etsy shop, Artwyrd.

The set includes :

  • 3 pumkins without faces
  • 5 faces to add to the pumpkins or any other images you wish ( spooky eyes in the dark, on monsters, ghosts, aliens…your imagination is the only barrier!)
  • 5 leaves to use to create an autumn/fall scene with or without the pumpkins

Use them to create cards, or to fill a page with images for a custom colouring page, or any other craft you can think of.

 

News

Autumn1 Angela Porter 30 Sept 2017 coloured watermarked

Vida

I have been adding new items to my collection on Vida.  All feature my artwork, and the collection includes tops, scarves, wraps, bags, jewellery and tapestries.

There’s a 40% off deal until midnight PST 30th Sept; use the code BESTEVER to get the discount!  This isn’t available with any other offer.

Also, there’s offers on my collection until the 10th October 2017. The code WELCOME-25 will give you a discount of $25 off orders over $75, and the code WELCOME-75 will give you $75 off orders over $200.

Colorist

Autumn Mandalas, a collection of ten Autumn and Halloween themed designs, is now available in Colorist!

Colorist is an app for Windows that allows you to colour in the templates as if you were using pencils or gel pens!

Etsy

There’s now a total of eight digi stamps of whimsical, simple flower designs available in my Etsy Shopincluding the one to the left.

The large open spaces in the designs mean you can go to town on shading, or you can add doodles or patterns.

The beauty of digital stamps is that you can print them again and again on paper that is best suited to the media you’re using.  Also, you can re-size the image to suit the card, picture or other item that you’re making.  Not only that, these can be layered as the background is transparent, but the flowers and leaves are white.

Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group

A pair of lovely ladies who love my work have created a Facebook group for those who also love my colouring pages.  They’re Krystal and Brett.

Why not pop across there and join up!  They’re determined to make it a friendly, kind nook on the internet.  It’s in it’s early days, so will grow and develop as Krystal and Brett work on it and with the members.

One thing I can guarantee is that I’ll create unique colouring pages just for members of that group!  The first one will be live on the page very soon.

I also know they have a poll on the go to find out what you, the colorists, would like as theme for my next book!

Also, I’ll wander through there from time to time, though I don’t think I’ll have time to comment about everyone’s beautifully interpreted and coloured templates, I’m sure to leave a comment to let people know I’ve take and least a quick peek and answer any questions pointed in my direction.

Vector graphics and Adobe Illustrator

I finally got the dragonfly artwork finished as a vector graphic.  How frustrating was that?  Every line drawn as a series of points.  It took me days to re-draw a drawing that took just a day or so to draw.

Still, I’ve learned how to do it, I have a request for some other bits and bobs, as well as a suggestion that I should create vector graphics and sell them as there’s a market out there for that kind of thing.

Something else for me to wrangle with!

Embroidery Patterns

Someone has suggested that my designs would make lovely embroidery patterns.

I’m not an embroiderer, nor do I have a clue about what to do, but if there’s anyone out there or if any one knows someone who’d like to work with me to do this then please either contact me or suggest they contact me!

I already have a few cross-stitch designs available via Paine Free Crafts.

Juggling time

All this means I feel like I’m getting a little overwhelmed at the moment.  Learning time management seems to be something I have to do sooner rather than later.

I have, however, found time start to create this year’s knitted pumpkin patch; the one from a few days ago is no longer alone … I think I’m going to need to find homes for these…

Between working on things for Etsy, sorting out a collection at Vida, doing Vector graphics, completing the Autumn mandalas for Colorist, and everything else, I’ve not had time to play with the 3D forms or other ideas I have.