So long September

October Coloring Template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group
© Angela Porter

October-eve

Can you believe that September is nearly over? I swear that the older I get the faster time seems to go.

Anyway, a new month on the horizon means a new colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. There just has to be a Hallowe’en theme for October’s page, and you can see a sneak peek of it above. I couldn’t resist colouring some of it in as a way of trying out some new digital brushes and some ideas too.

I put some of my favourite All Hallows’ Eve motifs into the drawing, including a raven, skulls, fungi and a vampire cat! I always enjoy drawing stuff to do with Hallowe’en; it’s my favourite time of year because I don’t have any past traumas associated with it.

If you’d like to colour this template, pop over to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group and become a member; each month I do one drawing exclusively for group members (terms and conditions of use and sharing apply).

About the art

I used a combination of fountain pens and fine-line pens to draw the design on dot grid paper. I then scanned the drawing in and cleaned up smudges and smears digitally.

Then, I set about adding colour digitally using my usual tools – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I also added a background and surface texture that I had purchased via Creative Market.

I am really quite pleased with how the colour is bringing the illustration to life, especially the skull in a jar. I hope to be able to continue to add colour as the month progresses, though I do know I have quite a bit of work to do and focus on.

To Inktober or not Inktober, that is the question.

Last year, I really enjoyed taking part in Inktober. Inktober has become a really popular social media event where artists and creatives use a daily prompt to draw (or create) something based on that prompt and share it on social media.

There is an official prompt list, but people do create alternative lists and I may look at some of them as there may be variations that might be less time intensive than last years’ was!

I shall see what I find and go from there I think.

So, Angela, how are you today?

Tired. However, I’m am quite content, my mood is good enough today. I do have EMDR later on, and I often feel ‘flat’ before my therapy session. I think my unconscious mind starts to bring stuff up in preparation for EMDR.

I know that the likelihood of me being exhausted later is rather high, so I’m not planning to do loads of stuff later on. Self care will be the order of the late afternoon and evening.

Whimsical Autumn Dangle Designs and More.

Autumn dangle designs and more © Angela Porter

About the art.

It’s been a while since I did any whimsical dangle designs, so here’s an A4 sheet full of ideas!

There are six complete dangle designs on this sheet along with lots of ideas for motifs to use. I’ve also done some hand lettering, something I don’t do often enough these days.

I know there are likely to be things associated with autumn missing from the sheet, but it is a collection of some of my favourites. I had a lot of fun filling in some of the space around the dangle designs with the lettering and design elements.

I used Tombow Fudenosuke and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens to draw and hand letter on an A4 sheet of dot grid paper by Claire Fontaine.

After scanning in, I decided I’d like to add some colour digitally. I used a different kind of brush setting – natural blend with an airbrush. I’ve not quite worked out how it works, but I like the way it’s turned out here. The colour blends turn out quite soft and gentle, however this brush setting does need some more experimentation by me.

These are lovely, simple designs that would be perfect for using in bullet journals (BuJos), planners, diaries, scrapbooks and journals as well as for greeting cards, bookmarks and more.

My book “A Dangle A Day” is a great resource for dangle designs and design elements (called ‘charms’ in the book), even if I say so myself. It also has easy to follow step by step instructions for beginners to more confident creatives, as well as lots of inspiration – there’s nearly 200 dangle designs in the book!

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

I’m feeling content, fairly upbeat and the exhaustion of the past few days seems to have mostly subsided. There’s still some tiredness there, but I feel more able to cope with the demands of daily life.

I do have to venture forth into the world; in my rather emotionally fragile state the thought of going grocery shopping filled me with, well not horror but trepidation. Fortunately, I keep a fairly well stocked fridge, freezer and cupboard, but now I do need to go get some fresh fruit and veg, which I will do in a short while I expect.

It is good to be back to having the contentedness the dominant feeling – it’s not as strong as it has been which tells me there’s still some emotional distress lingering. However, it is the prevalent emotion.

I’ve weathered another emotional storm. I do try to remind myself that I’ve come through plenty of hurricane force emotional and mental storms in the past and I can come through them again. Nowadays, I know what contentedness feels like and during emotional storms it acts a lighthouse to guide me back to emotionally calm waters.

Now, that’s a nice metaphor!

Inktober 2018 Day 31 ‘Slice’ and Happy All Hallows’ Eve!

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 31 Slice

It’s All Hallows Eve, or Hallowe’en or Samhain as you prefer. It’s also the last day of Inktober 2018. Here is my offering based on the prompt of ‘slice’

Well, it had to be a celebratory slice of cake, complete with a pumpkin candle and all kinds of cutely spooky monsters and critters and so on.

This was, as all have been, fun to do. I quite like the grungy look I’ve achieved with the use of texture brushes and slightly duller colours along with black as a component of the gradients.

I sketched this in pencil on dot grid paper, scanned it in and used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to draw and colour this dangle design.

Yes, it just had to be a dangle design to round off the month of Inktober!

My Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pens were my magic tools to help me create this.

Now I see it in a smaller size, I can see where some highlights and lowlights would help to increase dimension in places. However, it’ll do as it is as I do have to finish the templates for my new book Entangled Forests. Yes, the cat is out of the bag on the theme of this coloring book for Creative Haven by Dover Publications. You can pre-order it on Amazon and it’s due for release in July of 2019. I should have all the templates completed today, then it’s just colouring a couple of them as examples in the book.

Before this book, Entangled Butterflies is due out in November 2018 and A Dangle a Day in January 2019.

I said (typed?) it yesterday – I’ve enjoyed Inktober, for many reasons, and I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve created using the daily prompts.

Oh, as it’s Hallowe’en, there’s a little event going on over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. I provided a hallowe’en themed coloring template at the start of this month and asked everyone to hold off posting their finished versions until today. I’m hoping for a flurry of postings throughout the day to give a lovely, cutely spooky feel to the group throughout this day! I have my own version of the template to post there in a short while too, and I’ll post it here later on today as well.

However you spend your All Hallows’ Eve, have fun and keep safe too!

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.

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.

Halloween Entangled Octahedron

Halloween Octahedron Montage _ Angela Porter _ 21 Sept 2017

Ok, not the best photo in the world, but the octahedron (bipyramidal) was fun to draw, and the colour certainly brought it to life (death?).

Quite apt I’ve done some autumnal themed work on the Autumnal Equinox.

Microsoft Surface Book, a dead printer and other stuff

angela-porter-colouredonehalloween-2016
My first digitally coloured and drawn line art created using my Surface Book.

The image to the left is my first digitally coloured drawing I’ve done with the Surface, but not the first drawing I’ve done with it.

The image to the left is my first digitally coloured drawing I’ve done with the Surface, but not the first drawing I’ve done with it.

I went and did it.  I really did.  I thought long and hard about it, I considered my various options, but after a lot of help and a play with a Microsoft Surface I decided that I was going to get one so I could explore the world of drawing digitally and digital art.

So, I ordered a Surface Book, it arrived and I picked it up from the shop at a time when the young chap who helped me with information about them was there so he could see it and try it out – my thank you to him. Apparently it caused a ‘nerdgasm’ as a fair few of the assistants came over to have a look and lust over the Surface.

That was around 3 weeks ago and I’ve certainly been giving it a good try out, and learning as I go, and I really do have a lot to learn! I will learn too, as and when I need to simply by exploring and playing.

One awkward task has been finding a program/app that will let me draw on the surface almost as if it is pen on paper.  So far, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is my most used app.  I’m having to learn about using layers, the type of ‘brush type’ and thickness and the other settings to get my drawings to look the way they do.

One little tool that has been invaluable has been the ‘smooth’ function; the Surface screen is so sensitive to movement and there is such little friction between the SurfacePen and the screen that my usually smooth lines were all over the place!  This has solved it though, without making my drawings look like they’ve been computer generated.  I’d like some choices of amount of smoothing applied, however, and maybe that’ll be something the app designers will add to it in future updates.

I have already found it of great help as I had some small amendments to make to a couple of images for Color Me Grateful.  It was so easy to do these, once I’d worked out how to make the texture/randomness/spacing of the line drawn mimic the lines drawn with the pen I’d used on paper.  No messy white-out liquid, no dusty eraser mess, no awkward editing to do with a mouse.  I can do the editing and tidy up of lines as I work, easily erase ‘mistakes’ or alter elements wholesale.  That alone makes the Surface worth it’s weight in platinum!

Add to that that if I am going to do all my future drawings on the beauty then I’ll not need to do the rather tedious task of scanning in and then cleaning up the images laboriously, then it’s worth double its weight in gold-pressed latinum!

Oh, I know I’ll still have to scan in a few images – ones I’ve printed out and coloured using traditional media – but they will be far fewer than the numbers I’ve had to do.

I did consider a Wacom Cintiq, however I couldn’t find anywhere to have a ‘test drive’ of one, and that I really wanted to do before I bought one.  I was able to play with Surface and work out quite quickly that it would work for me, especially as there was software loaded on it that would do what I wanted to do with one.

Of course, it will lead me to exploring the world of digital art and how it will work for me and my style of art, but I also know it will open up new ways of working, new techniques and effects for me.

Printing

peace-3
Playing with the Surface

I have a fair few drawings I want to print out to colour in traditional media, and also to check the line thicknesses and detail of the drawings as I’m still in the process of getting used to drawing on a screen that is smaller than A4 paper, and a lot smaller than A3.  However, the more I use it, the easier it is becoming for me to adjust to this way of working.

So, I went to print out some art yesterday, to find my printer had died on me.  I can’t even get it to turn on!

The hunt for a new printer began, and I chose an Epson printer that uses the DuraBrite Ultra ink as it’s supposed to be at least water resistant and someone has posted somewhere that it isn’t affected by alcohol markers such as Promarkers or Copics.  That would be great if that’s the case!  I also understand that the printer will take fairly hefty papers/cards too, which is even better considering I’ll want to put watercolour paper and mixed media paper through it.  My dead Brother printer coped well with both of these, though the watercolour paper had to be fairly lightweight in comparison to some I have in my stash.

The new printer should be with me the middle of next week…

Other things…

I have a break for a while from working for publishers.  I’m using the time to explore the Surface book, to visit places to gain inspiration, and to get my head around ideas I have for books and illustrations and so on.  I also need a break from the wonderful, crazy but overly busy time drawing for so many publishers and books.

Crazily busy, yes, but something I’m so grateful for as it’s all allowed me to leave teaching and become self-employed.

Happy All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en or Samhain to you)!

Hallowe’en

Punkie3 © Angela Porter 2010

Well, it’s that time of year again isn’t it?  And it’s another time to consider the truth vs. “The Truth“.  “The Truth” is that this is an ancient pagan holiday, mainly thanks to the writings of Frazer in ‘The Golden Bough’ where he cites this as The Truth, yet there is little evidence if any for it being so (see Hutton “The Stations of the Sun’ for more details)!

There were fairs and courts held in ancient Ireland at this time, a time called Samhain by them.

The Venerable Bede writes that this time of year was known as ‘Blod Monath’ which means Blood Month – the month where all unnecessary animals were slaughtered to save fodder and the people would feast on the parts that could not be preserved.

The truth is that it’s actually more of a Christian celebration in origin!  Today is the eve of a major Catholic festival – All Saints Day (1st November) which dates from the 8th Century.  All Souls Day (2nd November) was instituted around the year 1000 as a day to pray for the dead.  In England since the 19th Century, and increasingly in the 20th and 21st Centuries, it has gained a reputation as a night on which ghosts, witches and fairies are especially active.  Why this should be so is debatable, and returns to the truth vs. The Truth.

Different sections of society have claimed it for their own, or are rejecting it as being their own.  Who is right?  Everyone!  One thing is certain, Hallowe’en is big business, especially in America, and increasingly so here in Britain.

There are many traditional events and activities here that are overshadowed by the sheer bad behaviour and malice that a minority seem to partake in with delight.  It is an aspect of this time of year that I dislike…and I don’t need to say any more about that.

I do think it’s good that children can face their fears in a safe, measured and fun way.  We all like to be scared in a safe environment; if we didn’t then the horror films and books and games wouldn’t appeal to us.  It’s part of growing up, learning to manage our fears, to indulge in imagination, to experience a different world of wonder.  It’s not just Hallowe’en that allows children to explore this; the traditional fairy stories aren’t all sweetness and light are they?

As to it being a festival that promotes evil and satanism, well, I don’t think so.  Those who would be drawn to such systems would be regardless of Hallowe’en, lets be honest.

As much as I can be pedantic about ‘the truth’ and I like to know where the traditions and beliefs have come from (the scientist, researcher in me will not be denied), I also know that traditions change and evolve over time.  What is important, perhaps more than anything else, is that traditions link us together.  We can be sure that we are not the only ones having fun at this time, indulging in shared events, and it is that sharing that reaffirms that we are all connected in some way.

Auragraphs

Auragraph for Liz © Angela Porter 28 October 2010

Auragraphs are intuitive works of art that result from a sensitive person ‘tuning into’ another person’s energy, aura, being.  The colours, shapes, symbols and patterns all have meanings that can be interpreted, giving an insight into the recipients personality, life, and potential.  I’ve been experimenting with them for the last couple of months, and yesterday I was showing them to people at an open day at a local spiritual organisation.

A couple I had already done found their way to the people they were meant for.  Orders were taken for another couple, and all the proceeds are going into the organisations funds as donations.  It was an interesting experience for me in many ways.

Giving the interpretation (reading) for the recipient was interesting, and it was nice that they were so right.  Working with someone who wants one done for them and allowing the images/shapes to flow on to paper – just as sketches – and talking about why they are appearing and what they mean, and getting feed back on that was very interesting.

The two ordered have only been done as sketches; they will take around 12 hours each to complete, so that will keep me busy, as will writing down the readings for those verbally given will be interesting!  I really do need to carry my digital dictaphone with me more often I think.

The Ghost Train

Punkie1 © Angela Porter 2010I actually made it to the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway yesterday, after the open day at Treforest.

I didn’t arrive until around 5:30pm and most of the visitors had been and gone.  I did get to read one story to one family.  And that was fine.  Though I did enjoy winding up small children in a nice way, as well as saving them from the scary vampire who was stalking the carriages!  I do hope I’ll get to read some more stories today …

I really enjoy story telling /reading.  It’s another shared activity that bonds people together, allows them to make connections, and it’s also an opportunity for imaginations to be used, something that isn’t done so often these days.

This may be my last time at the railway, however.  I find the connections I once thought I had there are now very weak, if not non-existent.  Things change, which leads me to …

What All Hallows Eve Means to Me

Autumm Leaves © Angela Porter 2010

I always think of All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en to you!) as mid-Autumn.  It certainly is this year; the world is wearing its coat of glorious flaming Autumn hues!  I love it when I drive along through a flurry of leaves blown off the trees by a sudden gust of wind.  The warmth of the colours envelops me as I journey around the world, a warm memory is being stored to see me through the cold, dark days of Winter.

The Earth is preparing to sleep through those Winter days, taking a hard-earned rest before coming to life again in the Spring.  All that is unnecessary, finished with, complete  is being shed, the falling leaves being symbolic of that.

As this clearing out happens out in the world of Nature, so it happens within.  It’s time to look back on the year, to give thanks for what is complete, finish that which is almost complete, and let go of that which is finished, has served its purpose, that we have outgrown.  In doing so we make space in our lives for further personal growth.  And this is the potted version of how I relate to this particular spoke on the wheel of the year.

For me, it seems the railway is to go.  My SmartCar and all her problems have gone.  I may soon be finished with counselling … but we’ll see about that, there’s still my self-image, confidence, self-love to be worked on.  I’m not sure about anything else, but that will become apparent as time goes on.