Mandala in succulent colours

Mandala in succulent colours © Angela Porter 2019
Mandala in succulent colours © Angela Porter 2019

I do struggle with colour schemes at times. I either go crazy overboard with bright, vibrant, rainbow colours or monochrome. For this one, I took the colours from some images of succulents and used small colour palette of just five basic colours, with varying tones of those colours to achieve the depth I like in my artwork.

The colour palette is also a bit different for me, much more muted, subdued. That may reflect my current emotional and mental weather. I’m not as gloomy as I have been over the past few weeks, but it certainly isn’t as bright and sunny as it can be.

I always find creating soothing to my mind and emotions. It’s my main self-care activity. It’s not the only one, but it’s the main one. Others include crochet/knitting, reading, napping. I’d like to add going for a walk to that list, but on days like today that can be difficult for me to do. Weekends tend to be more peopley than I can cope with even on the best of my days.

I have invited my sister over for a meal this evening. However, I’m not up to facing the craziness of a Saturday supermarket to do the shopping, so I’ll take her out for a meal instead. That would do me some good too, a change of scene and someone else cooking for me. It will also allow me to conserve what energy I have at the moment. I’m so tired all the time after a few very draining weeks through EMDR and Time to Change Wales anti-stigma talks.

Sunday Morning Art

Abstract wip 24 March 2019 Copyright Angela Porter Artwyrd.com
Abstract wip 24 March 2019 Copyright Angela Porter Artwyrd.com

Spending a lazy Sunday morning (and early afternoon) digitally colouring this drawing and using it as an exercise in learning more about different kinds of brushes in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio are my other tools for this, though the image was drawn with a Lamy Fountain pen on Rhodia dot grid paper.

I’m finally feeling more settled than I have been all week. Just in time for EMDR tomorrow! Typical. Still, it’s nice to feel settled for sure.

Whiling away the time…

Whiling Away the Time (c) Angela Porter 2019
Whiling Away the Time (c) Angela Porter 2019

Yesterday turned out to be a different day than I expected.

The anti-stigma talks I was booked in to do didn’t happen. No one knew about them. So, I drove to some services not far away for a wee, tea, something to nibble and time out to relax and draw.

Then, I wended my way to Neath for lunch in forty-six, a cafe in Queen Street that I love for it’s quirkiness. I finished the drawing over lunch, and the result is above. I used various Pitt Artists pens from Faber-Castell, grey Uniball Unipin pens, and some coloured pencils. I wanted to work in monochrome, but I also wanted to experiment with scanning a monochrome drawing in and adding colour to it digitally. I tried that last night, but my mood plummeted and well, I abandoned the idea for now.

EMDR therapy followed lunch and then a drive back home.

I thought the therapy was quite gentle this week, though there was lots and lots going on in my body. We haven’t quite finished processing the memory I’m working on at the moment. Maybe next week will see it finished. I felt tired and a bit spaced out when I left EMDR, but positive and hopeful on the way home.

However, when I got home, after preparing a vegetable stew and putting it on to cook, my emotions crashed in on me.

I was so disheartened with myself, my art, my life. I felt so sad, so tearful. I was so tired too. Emotionally tired, mentally tired.

I didn’t know why I was bothering to do art, to draw coloring books, to write words, to speak up about mental health and my journey to achieve some measure of healing from CPTSD. I felt so lonely, so alone. I didn’t believe my own story, that I was making everything up as an excuse for being overweight, for being a failure, for being useless at everything I do.

I’ve not felt this disheartened for many weeks, time. The suddenness surprised me. No warning. No gradual decline that I could pick up on and work towards halting it.

I ended up going to bed early to escape these thoughts and feelings.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit better but with a horrible, horrible headache behind my eyes. I feel the pressure to complete the book I’m working on before the end of this month, but I’m not sure I’m in the right place to continue with it.

I suspect EMDR has shaken some stuff loose… and I need to give it time and space to be processed and released. I’ll have to see how I go with drawing later on, when the headache tablets kick in, to see if I can do anything today.

I need to tell myself I have time to complete the requisite number of illustrations, plus a couple extra so choices can be made. That it may be better to take a day to find my balance again.

Mandala

Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com

I worked on this mandala over a couple of days. it has a whole range of new motifs in it and is rather organic in nature, with plenty of pods and seeds included. I’m quite happy with it. I think there’s a kind of flow of design and the colours are vibrant enough to please me.

I really wasn’t at all sure about my colour choices as I added colour to the mandala. The beauty of digital art is that it’s much easier to change the colour, which I did do in just a couple of sections. The colour changes means I’m a lot happier with it.

It has no name as I’m not very good at thinking up names for my artwork. Perhaps I should just find some kind of quirky way of lettering or numbering the designs in future.

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

Mental Wellbeing

Today I’m feeling really tired and I don’t feel I have many words at the moment – despite what my blog may suggest.

My fingers, hands and wrists are also rather achy which is making typing or drawing (either digitally or traditionally) rather painful. I don’t know what’s caused that. Yesterday I did do a lot of drawing with pencil on paper – sketches for my new book – and a lot of digital art too. No more than I often do though.

I suspect a bit of self-care is needed. I am feeling a bit low. Tiredness doesn’t help, but I’ve slept really well the last couple of days.

Maybe it’s the grey, wet, windy day.

Maybe it’s just emotional weather with no real cause.

Maybe it’s the start of the buildup to EMDR on Monday.

I just know that like the weather my mood will change and brighten.

Tiny botanical tile 23 September 2018

Angela Porter 23 September 2018

Yesterday, I had an enjoyable couple of hours drawing fairly cute designs that are 6cm x 6cm (approx. 2½” x 2½”).

I drew my little designs (twelve of them in total, and not all of them I’m all that fussed on at the moment) on Rhodia dot grid paper with a Uniball Unipin 05 pen. Then, I scanned them into the computer and did my usual magic to remove the dot grid and create a transparent background.

Finally, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface Pen, along with my Microsoft Surface Studio to colour the image.

I used various brushes and brush textures to achieve the colouring.

It’s really small, for me. A 6cm x 6cm size would look darling on a small greetings card or note card. I also think they’d make a lovely addition to a BuJo, Planner or Scrapbook page.

Abstract Botanical 19 September 2018

Angela Porter 19 September 2018

It’s a lovely, sunny late summer morning here in the UK and it’s been a perfect time to finish this design off.

Yes, it’s another abstract, zentangly, entangled botanical design, which seems to be my signature style of art, though I do dabble in other styles, as you know, particularly my kind of dangle designs.

This one, like many of my previous ones, was completed in these stages:

  1. Draw the black and white line art on Rhodia dot grid paper using a black 08 Sakura Pigma Micron pen.
  2. Scan the drawing into GiMP. Use tools to remove the dot grid and remove the noise. Save with a transparent background.
  3. Import the image into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. Any edits to lines can be made here using a pen ‘brush’ that mimics the texture of the Micron pen on the dot grid paper. Then layers are used to create the background, add colour to the design before adding texture and highlights.

It takes a day or more to create a piece of art like this. The drawing of the design alone can take anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on the intricacy and size. This one was A4 in size and isn’t very detailed; I let the colour and texture add details to the design in this instance. I want the colours to shine. The colouring etc. has taken a few hours to do.

It takes me at least as long to create a piece of digital mixed media art as it does to draw and colour the design using traditional methods such as Chameleon markers or Inktense pencils.

What I love about working digitally is the ability to change the colours I use for the elements, and then being able to add texture and highlights/shadows. I can see where I need to go back to the image and add or deepen shadows to increase the sense of depth in the design. A drop shadow on the background isn’t really needed as I think the background is like a sunset sky or alien sea.

The other thing about digital work, is the ability to use the black and white outline to re-work the design using a different colour palette, different textures. I also have the option to print the design out and colour using other media, such as marker pens, perhaps changing the size of the image so that I can create, say, a greetings card or note card, or even a page for my BuJo.

I spent some time on Monday playing with Repper Pro and had some fun creating repeating patterns using the last couple of abstract botanical images. Just from a couple of artworks, I have more than a hundred seamless tiles for patterns; it’s just sorting through them and working out which are the best. I may post some of the best ones later today or tomorrow, and maybe create some based on today’s art above too.

I actually think some of the tiles would, with a border, make amazing patterns for square cushions/pillows worked in tapestry, canvaswork, cross-stitch or similar. You can decide for yourselves when I post them.

Abstract Botanical 9 September 2018

Angela Porter 9 September 2018

This one has taken many hours to do, and I’m not quite happy with the background colour/texture, but I need a break from it.

I drew the black and white line art on paper with Sakura Pigma Micron pens, scanned it in, created a transparent background and then coloured it digitally.

I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with a Microsoft Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Studio.

Fun to do. A nice way to spend time, jut playing. And it’s unusual for me to colour in one of my black and white pieces of line art.