Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en to you all!

My favourite day of the year in my favourite season. I shall be observing it in my own way later on.

However you celebrate this day, as usual or changed as a result of the pandemic, have fun, be safe and be well and may your ancestors watch safely over you all.

It was an All Hallows’ Eve tradition in the UK to lay out places at the dinner table for those who had passed away during the previous 12 months as their one last meal before they finally go to the world of spirit, heaven, or whatever else you may call it. It was this night as it was believed that the veil ‘twixt the living and the dead was at its thinnest and loved ones could return to spend time here on Earth with their families.

This year, sadly, too many have done so as a result Covid-19, which has swept around the world taking far too many needlessly. While we no longer lay places for those who have passed, we can take time to honour their memory, their presence in our lives, how important they were and continue to be to us.

I actually finished colouring in one of my templates for this day. It has turned out both dark and colourful, and cutely spooky. While colouring today, I have been listening to a Hallowe’en playlist on Spotify.

Template Thursday

This week’s template for the Angela Porter Coloring Fans facebook group is another Hallowe’en themed one, the last one this year.

I always have a lot of fun with Hallowe’en themed designs, and this one is no exception. Lots of skulls, potion bottles, eyeballs, ghosts, monsters, pumpkins, toadstools, gravestones, and more!

It’s taken me several hours to colour in just a portion of the design. I’m going to try to finish this one off in time for Hallowe’en.

Drawn with pen on paper, digitally coloured.

The template is available for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group – free to join, and free to download. Terms and conditions for use apply.

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.