Wednesday Wisdom | Paleotober | Drawtober

Wednesday is a day when I’m up extra early for an organic food delivery. I usually spend the time awaiting the knock at the door drawing. Today was no different.

I had an idea to try to work in layers of patterns and to add a quote to one side. The first layer contained some ammonite-style shells, surrounded by little bubbles that could represent the sediment.

The next layer has seed pods, but the pattern they create reminds me of the fossilised stems of plants found in the carboniferous coal of the South Wales coalfield.

The third layer reminds me of the limestone beds exposed on the Glamorganshire Heritage Coast, particularly Southerndown and Nash Point.

The fourth layer reminds me of some kind of fossils or sea plants, the name of which I just can’t bring to mind.

I thought a quote about fossils would finish this off nicely.

Drawn with 05 Pentel Energel and 0.38 Uni-ball Signo DX pens on marker paper. Background, shadows and quote added digitally.

Tuesday Mandala

Another day, and the inner need to create a mandala. I’m not entirely sure about this one. Whether it’s the red colour I’ve chosen, or the dense texture of the widest ring, or something else.

It may not be the mandala itself, but how I’m feeling today and how the mandala is, perhaps, a reflection of that.

Perhaps I’m just trying to read too much into it.

Though I’m not too sure about the finished mandala, the process of creating it was pleasant, calming, satisfying in it’s own right. Maybe as the day goes on the mandala will reveal more about myself today.

Monday Mandala

It’s always a lovely way to start the day – mandala drawing. Symmetry is one of the things that I love.

There’s also plenty of detail in this one – lots of line work to add dimension, which is then enhanced by highlight and shadow.

I chose a rather muted kind of background for this mandala. Sometimes, I tend to make things too bright and colour-saturated. Today, it’s soft and dusky purple.

There’s plenty of my favourite kinds of patterns and motifs in this one – seed pods, arches, spirals, leaves and hearts. But there’s also some unusual, for me, spirals.

This morning’s art brings a warm and gentle smile to my heart, soul and my lips. As I said, it’s a lovely way to start a day and sets me up just nicely for whatever else I need to do this day, and the first task of the day will be breakfast!

Sunday Art

Today, I continued with the entangled art I started yesterday. The drawing is still not complete, but I wanted to add a background colour/texture and add some shadow and light to see how it’s working out.

The shadow and light bring the drawing to life. I’m not entirely sure about the colour I’ve chosen for the background – maybe a bit to saturated and dark. I can always alter that though. I also think there’s not enough contrast betwixt shadow and light. Again, that’s something I can work on.

I’ve drawn inspiration from various things – fossils, seed pods, botanicals, crochet-covered pebbles, architecture, nature, shells, Mayan glyphs to name a few.

Leaving some more open spaces is proving difficult for me once again. It’s something I need to consider as I continue to work on this drawing.

The design is being drawn with Unipin and Sakura Micron pens on marker paper. Background texture/colour, light and shadow are added digitally.

Weekend WIP

This drawing is very much a work in progress. It’s being worked with black Unipin and Sakura Micron pens. When it’s complete, I will scan it in again, add a background, along with shading and highlights.

There’s some motifs in here inspired by fossils, others by flora and nature, and others that are purely abstract in nature.

Art is one of my self-care activities that help me manage my mental and emotional wellbeing. I mention this as it is World Mental Health Day #WMHD #WMHD2020 and, ironically, I need to do a fair amount of self-care today.

There’s plenty of information and advice out there on the internet. If you are struggling with your mental or emotional wellbeing, or if you just want to learn more about good mental and emotional health, ideas for how to look after it, then I’d encourage you to do a google and/or seek professional help.

We all have physical health and if something goes wrong with us physically, we don’t think twice about seeking out medical help and advice.

We all have mental and emotional health too. Yet too few of us will seek out help and advice when we need it due to the stigma and/or discrimination that cloud mental and emotional health.

It is high time that seeking help and advice for mental and emotional ill health was as natural and normal as seeking help for physical ill-health.

Paleotober 2020 – Fossils

An entangled smorgasbord of fossils, stylised fossils, and some of my favourite patterns and motifs.

I enjoyed creating this one, though I feel I rushed the highlights and shadows a bit. However, I can always go back and edit or re-work them. I’m so much happier adding those highlights and shadows digitally than I am with Copics or other media.

Today, my colour scheme is monochrome, with many shades of grey, along with black and white. Those colours echo a conversation I’ve been having about how life isn’t always black and white, that sometimes no matter how you try to find the right path, make the right decisions, not everyone will agree, either totally or in part.

Art is something I do mainly for my own pleasure. Yes, I do work on adult colouring books, but within the broad topic it’s up to me what I create. I guess enough people like my art as I’m asked time and again to create another book and another.

My biggest problem is believing in myself, recognising that what I do is good enough, and that my own way of expressing myself, in drawings like this one, is good enough too. This way of drawing comes all too easy to me, and that lack of struggle makes me think it’s not worthy of consideration.

That is why I end up experimenting with different media, different ways of creating art, of expressing myself. Yet I always return to this style.

In the past, I’ve described it as my ‘comfort art’. I’m beginning to understand that it is my main artistic voice, the tune. Everything else is me just trying to find harmonies that add to that voice. Perhaps the voice itself is enough, as with Gregorian chants.

That is an insight that I need to dwell upon for a while, but it feels right to me.

Drawn with Unipin pens on marker paper. Background, highlights and shadows added digitally.

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.

Entangled Art

I finally have this particular drawing finished.

It was drawn on marker paper using Unipin pens. Shadows were added using cool grey Copic markers. Next, it was scanned in and a kraft paper background added. Finally, highlights were added digitally to help bring out some sense of dimensionality.

I like the way the highlights and shadows work. However, in future I need to add the shadows digitally along with the highlights.

It’s a very typically “Angela” style of art – intricate, detailed, and full of botanical motifs, arches and geometric patterns that I enjoy using so much. I even managed to leave some areas that are not so busy with line and pattern!

So, it’s on to the next one, once I’ve designed the coloring template for Template Thursday!

Tuesday Typography for Paleotober

I had to take a totally different approach to completing this piece of typographic art – pencil drawing the design and letter outlines on paper before inking and scanning into the computer.

Once scanned in, I could clean the image up, fill the shapes with black. I learned how I could use some of the tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to do this. However, in black and white the artwork looked just so flat and dull.

So, I added a chalkboard background in a lovely sea blue (ammonites were denizens of the oceans after all!), and added a colour gradient to the typography.

It then looked a bit better. But I thought I’d try adding highlights and some shadows. And that just did the trick and I was finally happy with what I’d produced. It was good enough for another step on my typographic art apprenticeship.

That doesn’t mean there are things I wouldn’t do differently the next time I try something like this. My hand lettering needs a lot of work on, as does my attention to the letter weights too. I’ve just realised that I meant to draw tiny ammonites in the dark blocks between words as spacers. Also, I could’ve spent a lot of time tidying up the lettering digitally.

I also learned that working on paper gives me a much better overall view of the design and how things sit together. For some reason I struggle with this when working digitally. It may be that digitally I can zoom in and out and often work unaware of what is around the design. With paper, that overall perspective is ever present.

Digital art is something I love to work with, but I’m realising that I do need to work on paper too, even if it’s a sketch or drawing that can then be enhanced, edited and completed digitally.

Mandala Monday

I had no preconceived idea of how today’s mandala would work out when I started out around four hours ago. There were sticky moments along the way and until I added shadows and highlights I thought I’d made a right pig’s ear out of it. Then it all started pulling together. The final glowing centre and ring as well as the shadow around the whole design was what finished it off nicely for me. So, I’m now quite pleased with it.

I chose the mossy greens subconsciously. I took a walk yesterday and though I was taken with the first showings of fiery autumn colours, there was plenty of this mossy kind of colour around – lichens, moss, aged and fallen leaves. I guess it stuck in my mind.

Contentment and peace is the result of my artistic endeavours this morning.

As far as the typography I posted yesterday, I was getting frustrated with working digitally. So, I thought I’d work on paper. I think it’s coming along a bit better now, but only time will tell if I’ve made the right choice. I will be finishing it off digitally, once all the letters are completed, but it will be a while before I’m at that stage I think.

For now, I think I’ll finish up my social media stuff and then maybe wander out for a walk while it’s dry.