Spring themed dangle design

Angela Porter 2 May 2018 coloured Friday is #dangleday as often as I can create one.

This Fridays design features stylised hawthorn blossom and daisies, along with hearts, leaves and berries. Oh, and a pastel feather.

It would make a charming piece of framed art, or a greetings card, or a cover page for May for a BuJo, planner or journal.  I’m sure there’s many other uses that the design, or parts of it, can be put to.

If you have any ideas for how this design could be used add a comment, or visit my facebook page – Angela Porter Illustrator – and drop me a line there.  You could also try tweeting me @wyrdsmithing if you wish too.

It’s been a nice way to start the day, and to get those #weekendvibes working. I started by doing a quick sketch of the design on paper, scanned in, inked in using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book using my Microsoft Surface Pen, and then simply coloured with some texture added.

It helps me to calm down a bit; there’s still a lot of anxiety floating around my body after the saga of my car, and I’m waiting for a call back from sales about the possibility of me having a new smartcar. I find it all very stressful, even though there’s a part of me that’s very calm, the surface emotions are all over the place, sometimes overwhelming me like an emotional tsunami. Having poor sleep because of the anxiety isn’t helping too much.

I just remind myself to breathe, that ‘this too shall pass’, and find things to do that help me calm.

Talking of calming down, over on the facebook group ‘Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans it’s #furbabyfriday.  Why not pop over and join in the fun with the lovely group members there?

If you’d like to learn a bit more about creating your own dangle designs, my book A Dangle A Day is available for preorder, just click on the link!

Eerie Entangled Art is also available for pre-order from Amazon and other places.  It’s my next book in the Creative Haven series from Dover Publications.

Saturday Mandala

Angela Porter 28 April 2018

No quote, no lettering, just pure mandala. Drawn using my Microsoft Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Book with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.  The background was created using Rangers Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks on mixed media paper then scanned in.

Just a quick one to start the day.  I have some editing to do for A Dangle A Day (available for preorder) before going out to a Lebanese/Moroccan restaurant called Mezza Luna with my sister. For the first time, she gets to drive!

My car is still poorly; the Mercedes garage seems to be having problems working out what has gone wrong with Smartwo Deetoo.  I hope I get her back soon; if not, I’ll have to hire a car for a day or two for some appointments I have later in the week.

I’ve still not calmed down after the drama of last weekends car breakdown.  I’m all of a dither, my mind all over the place, my digestive system is still upset, and I’m so tired all the time.  How I ever managed to function as a teacher when I felt like this all the time is beyond me, but I did until my precarious mental health crashed in on me.

Over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group it’s #supplysaturday.

Dangleday!

Angela Porter 20 April 2018 dangleday coloured smallFriday means dangle day!

So, here’s my dangle for today.

It’s been rather warm and sunny here in the UK.  Spring flowers are blooming.  Trees are beginning to show their fresh-green finery. The birds are busy nest-building and singing their hearts out at dawn and dusk.

So, I wanted to reflect this in my design for today, along with some nice words, and to help me get those #weekendvibes going.

If you’d like to learn more about creating dangle designs, my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available for preorder now.  Just click on the link!

Over on the Angela Porter’s Colouring Book Fans facebook group it’s #furbabyfriday.

Dangleday

dangledayfriday angela porter 13 April 2019Friday means it’s #dangleday!

I thought I’d created a little dangle for this particular hashtag.

#createdonsurface #autodesksketchbook #microsoftsurface

A Dangle A Day, my upcoming book, is available for pre-order now.  In the book, I will take you, step by step, through drawing dangles, along with lots of charm and dangle designs you can use to create your own, just like this one!

If you’re already drawing dangles, I’d love to see what you create!

WIP Wednesday

Angela Porter Wednesday 11 April 2018 This is my current work in progress, with a little bit of wisdom thrown in.

I planned the lettering out on Rhodia dot grid paper before scanning it in. I then re-drew the letters digitally.

I did a blog post with tips for hand lettering  yesterday, but there’s also some in my upcoming book A Dangle A Day, available for pre-order.

The patterns around the quote were also drawn digitally, using my faithful Microsoft Surface pen, along with my Microsoft Surface Book and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I’ve started to add colour, though there’s quite a lot to do, including adding textures. It’s a pleasant way to spend time.

What I’m quite pleased with is the stone background behind the letters.  It’s not perfect, but I got my head around how I could achieve this.  Working in layers means I can do things I can’t do with traditional media, try as I might, but it involves working out how I can use layers to do different things as well as becoming aware of what I could use layers for.

Yes, I could watch and read tutorials, but there’s something satisfying about working out for yourself how to do things, and creating things in your own way.  That’s the sheer bloody-minded independence I have at times.

Perhaps I could learn quicker with tutorials, but I also know I can become quickly overloaded with information and instructions and ideas (something that frustrates me as before my two episodes of severe depression and anxiety I had no trouble at all…) so bit by bit I discover what I need to be able to do at any one time. Then practice using it until it’s easy to do and natural.

I do love how I can flip-flop between traditional media and digital work, as well as combining the two, whether it be a sketch that is then worked on digitally or using traditional media backgrounds to draw upon digitally. It also takes me a little bit out of my ‘comfort zone’ too, but in an enjoyable way.

Hand lettering – Tuesday Tips

tuesdaytips angela porter 2018 My #tuesdaytips are all to do with hand lettering this week, but taken generally, the advice applies to any skill, artistic, creative, practical or otherwise I’m sure.

Lots of people aren’t happy with their handwriting, for many reasons.

I actually am, when I don’t rush any ways.  I worked hard on my handwriting when I was in school; I didn’t like my writing (it was too much like my mother’s), so I worked to change and develop it. It did take time and conscious effort on my part, but I enjoyed writing, I always did. Doing all my homework and re-writing and re-organising my notes in school and in University gave me plenty of practice in honing my handwriting skills.

However, handwriting and hand lettering are not the same thing.

Handwriting is something we do without a lot of thought about how we form the letters, it is a practiced, automatic skill.

Hand lettering involves drawing the letter shapes; it’s more of an artistic skill.

I’m working on my hand lettering skills.  I’m happy with my handwriting, generally, but my writing is naturally very small.  To write big, bold quotes and sentiments is a challenge for me, one that I had to face during my work on A Dangle A Day.

My first and most important tip about hand lettering is practice, practice and more practice.

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Here are some of the pages from my hand lettering collection in my BuJo. The pens are a Uniball UniPin, a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen and a Lamy fountain pen with a fine nib.

The more you practice, the more you develop ‘muscle memory’ which makes it easier to be consistent in your lettering in terms of shape and so on.  It also helps it feel more natural and for you to speed up.

You can’t become an expert without first being a beginner.

My second tip is to start by practicing your natural writing style, your printing.  In these days of fonts by the million and perfect replication by computer and printing, I like to see the unique style that only your hand can bring to your hand lettering.

Practice your own printing until you are happy with the shape and style of your lettering, keeping it simple for now.  These letters will form the foundation of every other style you develop.

It’s easy to vary the style of your lettering by making simple changes to the letter height, width, line weight and so on. However, you need foundation letters you are happy with. So focus on this first and foremost.

My third tip is don’t compare your own writing to others’ or give up because you can’t seem to write as beautifully as you think they do.  Practice, practice, practice and work towards becoming the best you can be; it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of time.

“Daily learning of your craft makes you a master of your craft.” – Seema Brain Openers

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” – Michaelangelo

My fourth tip is to practice daily, or as often as you can.  In my BuJo (bullet journal) I have a section on my monthly tracker for hand lettering practice. Keeping a BuJo means I do get daily hand lettering practice, but it’s still not enough for me to keep developing the skill.

There’s plenty of advice out there and practice sheets and exercises for hand lettering, calligraphy, faux calligraphy, brush lettering.  What I like to do, however, is to write, using just my basic hand lettering ‘font’.

Writing out the alphabet again and again is productive, but not always enjoyable.  It doesn’t help you with putting the letters together in terms of words.

One of my happy memories is of English lessons when I was in primary school (aged 7 to 11) where we used a book called ‘A New First Aid in English’ to learn about nouns, similes, verbs, plurals and so on.  I enjoyed learning, but I enjoyed writing lists and answers down a lot too.  It so happens I have a copy of this book, one of the few remaining books from my days as a science teacher, and so I dip into this as a source of material to practice my writing.

Of course, you can use anything you like – quotes, names, lyrics, poems, anything that you enjoy but won’t distract from the focus of drawing the letters.

The last tip I will give is to use paper with guide lines on.  I printed paper out to suit my needs; I created it in Microsoft Publisher.  Dot grid or squared (graph) grid paper works well too.

My last words are – practice, practice, practice!

It’s Friday!

Angela Porter 6 April 2018 colouredFriday means it’s #dangleday, #freebiefriday #fridayfreebie and #furbabyfriday all over the web!

I’ve designed the dangle to the left for #dangleday.  I will also be putting an uncoloured version of it on my facebookpage – Angela Porter Illustrator – for you to download and colour for free.  So that makes it a #fridayfreebie.  It’s also great for getting into that #weekendvibes going – nothing like a bit of creativity to relax you after a busy week.

I’ve left the banner blank so you can add your own message.

Perfect for a bullet journal (BuJo) cover page.  Lovely turned into a greetings card.

Make sure you print it out to the size you need; the image is sized to fit on an A5 BuJo page, but it will print out cleanly to A4 (US letter) sized paper.

All I ask is that you don’t share the uncoloured image, but feel free to share the coloured image stating where you got it from. Also, the template is not for resale either in it’s uncoloured or coloured form; it’s for personal use only, though you can give the finished project away as a gift if you wish.

I’d love to see how you use the template, so please share on my facebook page.  You can also tag me on Instagram as @angelaporterillustrator or on Twitter as @wyrdsmithing.  On facebook you can tag me either as #angelaporter.

Don’t forget, my new book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available to preorder.

It’s also #furbabyfriday over on the facebook group Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans, and I love to see everyone’s furbabies!  I don’t know if I’ll manage to get my very camera shy kitty to allow me to snap a pic of him…