Abstract botanical 13 September 2018

Angela Porter 13 September

I managed to finish colouring my WIP from yesterday. I have changed the colours of some elements and darkened the background.

Now, I’m working on the drawing for the next one.

One day, I’ll work on completing one or more of these with just colour and not black outlines, maybe.

Line art drawn with Sakura Micron pens on paper.

Scanned art coloured using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Angela Porter 9 September 2019 02 coloured small1

This was drawn on paper with Sakura Pigma Micron pens, scanned in and is in the process of being digitally coloured in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I’m using my Surface Studio and a Surface Pen, both from Microsoft.

The background may go a little darker on this one, but I’ll decide on that when I’ve completed colouring the design elements in.

It’s also work in progress Wednesday over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. We’d love to see your colouring works in progress of pages from my coloring books. Why  not pop along and join in? You’d be very welcome there.

Monday musings

Angela Porter 28 August 2018

It’s been a little while since I’ve done an illustrated quote. Today, I was drawn to one by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and even though it was written over 200 years ago, it still has relevance in our time.

I printed the words out and then used Ohto Graphic Liner pens to draw the illustration around it. After scanning the image in, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to alter the colour and add my watermark.

A nice way to spend a damp, sometimes drizzly Monday morning here in the UK. The schools return, the teachers at least for their day of training/preparation for the return of their students in the coming day(s), the interminable meetings where so much information is passed on it’s hard to retain it, let along digest it!

I do not miss this one bit. I loved teaching – the actual teaching, helping pupils to grow and develop, not only as little scientists but also as human beings and in confidence and self-belief.

I do not miss the huge number of meetings, the constant change, the challenges of behaviour/attitudes that changes in society have wreaked, the homogenization of teaching strategies…and so much more.

I’m feeling grateful this day that I get to do what I love, to make a new career from it, to continue to help people through my colouring books, and in other ways too.

I was once ignorant of the fact that I could do something else with my life, I thought I’d be a teacher until I reached retirement age, and that I would struggle more and more with my mental health and emotional health over time. I was also ignorant of the fact I had depression, anxiety and more – willfully ignoring the signs, denying that it was a problem, that I was just tired, or it was the result of a verbal attack or poor behaviour or even a physical threat at the end of my time teaching.

I was ignorant as I chose to ignore the facts of what was happening to my mind and emotions.

It must have been a terrible thing for those who truly knew me (not many, one maybe, thanks to the carefully crafted mask of happiness and jollity that I wore all my life when with people, very different behind closed doors with no one around to observe) to see how I was plummeting downward, to have me dismiss their observations with the excuse ‘I’m just tired’ or ‘I’ve had a tough day’ or ‘So and so did such and such yet again today and it got to me. I’ll be fine after a good night’s sleep’.

Eventually I had no choice but to get help, to have months and months away from teaching so that I could recover just enough to return and last another eight months.

I know now my ignorance of my own well being wasn’t out of innocence about mental health issues; instead it was borne out of the messages I had as I grew up from the mother, from society, that to have depression, to be anxious, was a shameful, weak thing and there was something wrong with you if this was you.

I stigmatized myself, and prevented myself from getting the help I needed for a long time.

I was ignorant as I willfully ignored the facts, the evidence that was right in front of me, staring back at me whenever I looked in the mirror. It wasn’t innocence. I knew about mental illness, mental ill-health, depression, anxiety, but I refused to consider that was what was wrong with me.

Ignorance, ignoring the facts, the knowledge or applying it as it didn’t suit what I wanted to believe.

To give myself a bit of a softer time, I’d never known anything but depression and anxiety, ever that I can recall. So, to me, the worsening state of my mental/emotional health was just me being worn out by the day, the week, the term (semester) or academic year.

It took a very skillful and understanding GP to help me see that I needed help, and I took it, and still am with my weekly therapy sessions.

That’s a personal example of why I don’t see innocence and ignorance as the same thing with reference to the quote.

Abstract Botanical 28 August 2018

Angela Porter 28 August 2018

Another abstract botanical. This one has gold dot highlights as well as white dots. Fun to do!

I dug out my old Ohto Graphic Liner pens to draw this one. I’d forgotten all about them until I was looking for some new Uniball Unipin pens in my pen stash.

The Ohtos are roller ball pens with pigment ink which is waterproof and fadeproof. The beauty of a roller ball, unlike fibre-tips like the unipins or Sakura Microns, is that the roller ball tip is practically indestructible, even for one with a heavy hand like me.

They work well on the lightly textured hot pressed watercolour paper I used (which is 10″ x 14″ in size).

I applied the colour first, then worked with the way the colours spread and mixed to draw the patterns generally, though I do work rather intuitively.

Abstract Botanical 27 August 2018

Angela Porter 27 August 2018 small

Started yesterday, finished this morning. Another intricate, abstract botanical

I coloured the paper first and worked with the patterns made, mostly. Intuitive drawing with detail and intricacy and black lines is my favourite to do. Botanical things, abstract motifs, from my imagination are also some of my favourite things to draw.

My colour choices are a bit different for me, the way I blended the colours resulted in some unusual, subdued, almost grungy tones. I think I like it.

 

Angela Porter 18 August 2019

Here’s today’s drawing, design, artwork; yesterday’s ‘just colour’ design.

I did try a small design using coloured pens to add lines, but it just doesn’t feel or look right.

I’m happy with this one, like I was with the one yesterday.

These last couple of artworks have been a bit of a change in the way I usually work. Perhaps more of quite a change.

Usually, I start by drawing my design and then adding colour. Over the past couple of days I’ve been drawing the basic shapes/design with colour from a brush, starting with the broad structure of the design. Then, I add the architecture of the design in pen.

The laying down of colour first means there is, for me, not a lot of control over the gradation of colour/tome and the precise shapes. Using watercolours means that colours can bleed from one shape into another if I forget to move to another area and let each shape dry before adding another next to it.

The resultant colour design, the variations as mentioned, is then the basis for my drawing. I work with the shapes as they are, trying not to be overly concerned if my pen lines done precisely match the edge of each shape. I try to work with the variations in colour/saturation/tone as I add the patterns.

I have tried doing something like this digitally, but so far haven’t been all that happy with the results. I will keep trying though. I know eventually I’ll work out how this will work for me.

It’s a nice way to spend a Sunday, no matter what I do precisely.