Template Thursday

Another week has passed us by, and so it’s time for another coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group members.

This week, it’s a more geometric design, albeit with plenty of curves. I was inspired by my art of yesterday. Also, I played around with adding some texture/pattern to areas of the design as there are fairly large spaces in this one – perfect for entangling/tangling/zentangling in, if you’re of a mind to do so.

Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Mandala Tile

As I was coming around from yesterday’s headache, I plopped yesterday’s drawing into Repper to see what geometric patterns and tiles I could create.

Repper is a browser app that is great fun to play around with and makes the creation of tiling patterns from my artwork so simple.

Rather than save the patterns, I saved the tiles as so many of them looked like perfect inspiration for mandalas.

So, I chose one design, popped it into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and used it to inspire this particular pattern.

I chose a colour palette of soft pinks and greens, colours that are related to self-love, self-care, balance and harmony. Perfect for how I was feeling yesterday!

Today, I’m still feeling somewhat tired and fragile. That’s mainly due to a really poor night’s sleep. Emotionally, however, I feel a lot better than I have the past few days. There was an emotional storm brewing and it the headache was the torrential downpour that was needed to clear the skies by forcing me to take care and shelter myself.

So, the rest of today is going to be a quiet. nurturing kind of time to shake off the lingering wisps of stormy clouds.

Tuesday – time for self-care

Well, I pushed on yesterday and finished this particular drawing. Lots of texture/patterning has been added. I’ve also temporarily added a pale grey-blue background until I decide how I want to add shadow/highlight/colour to this particular drawing.

I won’t be doing that today, however. I’m still feeling all out of sorts and I really don’t trust myself with colour, shadow and highlight. I’ll get frustrated and irritated with myself. I also woke with a headache that isn’t clearing up anytime soon it seems.

So, today is likely to be another day of binge watching stuff. Yesterday it was The Killing on Disney+. A dark tale of murder and the crazy awful ways humans tangle their lives with others it seems.

It’s an American version of a Danish noir murder/mystery series. I started watching the Danish version, with subtitles, quite a few years ago, but mislaid the DVDs. It’s full of twists and turns in the story line, and a surprising ending to the first story line – the murder of Rosie Larsen. And it’s nice to be surprised by such a tale for a change.

So, I think I’ll spend a fair amount of today finishing watching season 3 and making a start on season 4, the final season.

Once the headache clears, I may turn my attention to some arty stuff. I’ll see how it goes. Self-care is important, not just physically but emotionally too. I know from bitter past experiences that if I push myself to do things when I’m not up to it, whatever I do usually ends up disastrously. I still feel the guilt of giving myself time and space to return back to a point of balance, but I know that when I do return to that point the guilt will fade away and be replaced with relief and a sense of gratitude that I didn’t give into to the guilt. There’ll also be a touch of pride that I’m strong enough, now, to recognise when I need this time to just lose myself in fiction, do nothing else, and let whatever is the cause of the imbalance work itself through.

I suspect the headache is an expression of that imbalance and is the way my mind, body and soul have of telling me, “Woah there Angela! You have to stop and take a break from this, now! You’ve pushed yourself too far, so I’m going to get you to stop and do other things for a while.”

I am learning to listen to what I need, rather than what I think I should be doing. So, today, I will listen to them.

Monday meanderings

Frustration

This is my current drawing. I’m adding tiny patterns to various areas of the ‘skeleton’ of the design. That’s making me feel a little happier about it, but I’m still not all that satisfied with this drawing.

It just feels disjointed, incoherent. Just a tumble of bits and pieces that just happened to fall together. I started with the monogram “a”, thinking I’d do a series of drawings with little monograms like this kind of hidden in the design. But I don’t think this has worked out at all.

I think this drawing is a snapshot of that shows I’m feeling out of sorts with my art at the moment, and that is a reflection of me feeling out of sorts with myself.

I know I can be hard on myself when it comes to art, or anything actually, and I’m sure others will view this differently to how I do. Maybe there’s even a story in the drawing of how my emotional weather has shown itself in how I’ve put together the patterns and motifs.

This happens from time to time – I get into a funk with my art. Eventually, however, I find my way again, often a slightly new way, and off I go again! So I’m not worried about this. I just know I need to be kind to myself and perhaps take a little break from arty stuff, though with what I don’t know. Whatever I’m trying at the moment is irritating me, even digital art.

“This, too, shall pass,” shall be my mantra until it does pass.

Bread making

One thing that’s not frustrating me is my foray into baking with a bread machine. I’ve had success with a delcious spelt flour loaf. At first I thought it was a disaster as it was flat on the top. But, it’s absolutely fine when cut – pleasantly moist, as airy as proper wholemeal bread can be, and nutty in flavour.

I’ve also just baked a spiced fruit loaf, the second I’ve done, and I know how delicious it will be! My home is filled with the delicious and heart-warming smells of sweet spices and yeasty goodness.

That’s all the baking I’ll need to do for a couple of days, however. There’s only so much bread I can eat! And I really don’t want either to go to waste.

Experiment in Entangled art

Today, an unfinished experiment into ‘tranzending’ layers.

I dug out a piece of natural mixed media paper that had been coloured with some Distress Inks. My aim was to see if the white under pattern would work with such a piece of paper.

It did. You can see the underlying pattern coming through the more darkly coloured areas. Also, the Zig clean colour real brush pens (what a mouthful of a name!) worked beautifully on the background. I was careful to choose colours that would work sympathetically with the Distress Ink background. Distress Inks are water-reactive so any wet media will reactivate them

I haven’t finished colour this one; it was just an experiment. The final part of the experiment was to add a layer of Distress Micro-glaze. This seals in the art, making it waterproof and just about impossible to work on again. Why did I do this? Well, the micro glaze is a bit like a gloss varnish and it enhances the colours, making them more vibrant and more transparent too. I wanted to see if the glaze would move the black ink and/or the posca pen. It didn’t. Sure, there was some black pigment on the paper towel I used to polish the surface, but not much.

The microglaze is likely to be handy should I choose to decorate envelopes in the future. It may be useful in other ways.

There’s a constant spiralling round of techniques and media with me. And I usually end up returning to digital art in one way or another. What is interesting to me, though, is how these experiments give me ideas for things to try out digitally. My mind is ticking over those ideas at the moment and I’m likely to go and them out in a short while.

Entangled Experiment

This was a fun little bit of art to do. I was inspired by a YouTube video by Zen Linea about the Tranzending technique developed by ZentangleHQ.

It involves drawing a background pattern with a white pen – I used a white Posca pen. Next, the black design is drawn over it. At the moment I’m enjoying using Uniball Eye pens – they’re waterproof when fully dry and their nibs last a lot longer on rough paper like the mixed media paper I used for this sample. I used the natural version of the ClaireFontaine Paint-On mixed media paper as the white would show up well.

Finally, I used applied colour using zig clean colour real brush pens where I wanted the darkest part of each section. Then, I used a damp brush to create a colour gradient. I prefer a traditional paintbrush to do this as I can control how damp it is. I find the waterbrushes that have a reservoir filled with water are a lot more difficult to control how damp the brush is.

Adding shadow around the whole design was the next step and I thought I’d messed it up. However, I like the uneven, grungy look that has resulted. I’m going to learn to embrace the unexpected!

Finally, I added some white dots with the Posca pen.

The background pattern subtly shows through the colours, adding a layer of interest and an intriguing one at that. It was fascinating to watch it happen.

I did try this technique on white paper and it doesn’t work anywhere near as well, so it’s something I’ll reserve for toned papers.

An unexpected surprise for me was how much I like the way the Zig brush pens work on the toned paper, and how easy it was for me to create gradations in colour to get the shadow and highlight.

So, an interesting time with art, and explorations I’ll continue with for sure. It is really fascinating!

Serendipity – Part 2

I’ve added and filmed a little more to the ‘Serendipity’ drawing I started in last week’s video.

This time, the drawing is in real time with me talking through my thought processes, along with some random waffling too. No music, just talk, and I think you can hear the nervousness in my voice.

I hope you enjoy watching the video – it is around 30 minutes long.

Template Thursday

And a new colour palette challenge too!

Not only is it Thursday but it’s also a new month and also April Fools’ Day.

I needed to draw some cute kawaii goodness the other day, and as the characters are fooling around in the template I thought it would be perfect for this week’s template.

Unusually for me, I’ve gone with a cute pastel rainbow color palette for the month long color palette challenge.

The template, and the color palette challenge, are via the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Free to join, free to download and join in, all that I ask is that you follow the terms and conditions of use.

I loved seeing everyone’s coloured version of last month’s colour palette challenge and template on the group. So much fun, and so many different ways of using the same few colours to bring life to the lineart template.

Drawn on A4 paper with Unipin 05 pen.
Coloured digitally.

March’s Color Palette Challenge

At the start of March, we launched the first month-long colour palette challenge for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. I also posted a template that could be used for those who have access to a printer (or any template from any of my books if not).

Here is my coloured version of the template.

I like working with limited palettes. I don’t find limited choices confining or a challenge. Instead I find myself liberated from the choice of colours to use when completing an artwork. I end up with a more coherent/cohesive artwork than if I’m allowed to play in the sweetie-shop of the limitless colours of the digital realms. The limited palette makes me focus on the work in a different way, usually on shadow and highlight, as shades of these colours are always allowed!

In hindsight, these colours wouldn’t be a natural choice for me to use. I chose colours that reminded me of spring-time flowers and leaves and the lovely clear blue skies we ca get. Black and white are there, of course, for various shades, shadows and highlights.

So, tomorrow there’ll not only be a new template, but a new color palette challenge. I already have the template drawn and good to go, I just have to choose the colours to use.

March Color Palette Challenge…

At the start of March, along with the weekly template, I set a color palette challenge for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans. I asked for all of you who took part to hold off sharing your wonderful colorations until the last Wednesday of the month, which happens to be tomorrow!

I’ve finished colour the template using the rather spring-like colour palette, and here is a fragment, a snippet of my completed template.