Dragonfly design for Crane&Co

ColorMeCraneDragonflyCard_AngelaPorter_2017

I received these cards in the post today from Crane&Co!  I think you can tell I designed the artwork.

The design is Letterpressed onto cotton rag paper using a grey ink; this means the lines of the design are slightly impressed into the paper.

I’m really chuffed with how it’s come out!

Dragonfly mandala

DragonflyMandalaWatermarked_AngelaPorter_19June2017

Over the last couple of days, my focus has been on designing mandalas.  I also have been learning a little more about Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and how I can import images, cut them and have them as an opaque image that ‘floats’ on top of other layers or designs.  The image above is an example of the work I’ve done.

My only issue with it is that I’ve used too thick a pen for the mandala. Now I know how to do this, I can always re-do the mandala part, or the dragonfly!

I also spent a fair part of yesterday doing some mixed media work.  A friend of mine asked if I’d do something with her wedding speech for one of her family so it’d become a keepsake for them.

I’d been puzzling about how to do it, when inspiration struck with the colours I needed to use, and off I went!  I’ll post a photo of it once the wedding is all done!

More butterflies

FourPatternedButterflies_AngelaPorter_17June2017

Another four patterned butterflies, drawn using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on a Microsoft Surface Pen with the Microsoft Surface Pen as the input device.

Butterflies

Butterfly 3 patterned_AngelaPorter_16June2017Butterfly 8 patterned_AngelaPorter_16June2017

I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book along with my Surface Pen to add patterns and shading to two of the butterfly outline designs I drew yesterday.  I’m happy with the results.

Today I’ve also created two more dot mandalas, each around 5″ in diameter.  I added some gems to those, as well as to the small dot mandalas I created over the last couple of days.  The sparkle really adds something special to them, and helps to emphasise the circularity of mandala designs.

DotMandala1_16June2017_AngelaPorterDotMandala2_16June2017_AngelaPorterDotMandalaCards_16June2017_AngelaPorter

Chameleon Color Tones, Color Tops and a Coloured Mandala

SixColoured_AngelaPorter_3June2017

Yesterday, I recieved a big box filled with goodies – a full set of the Chameleon Color Tops to go with my Chameleon Color Tones markers, as well as a full set of ink refils for them

I couldn’t wait to try them out, and did on a couple of small fungi I’d drawn, which you’ll see in another blog post as I want to use them on some mixed media index cards.  I loved using them, and so wanted to do something a bit bigger, and the mandala above was the result.

What I love is the ability to create smooth gradations between one colour and another, with out the fuss of using two color tone pens to achieve this.  Of course, I still love the original colourless to full colour color gradation, and have used this in the mandala on parts of the butterflies.

However, I love strong, bright colours, and the Chameleon Color Tops are fab for doing this!

Now, I do have a full set of Copic Ciao markers, which are great.  However, achieving a smooth colour blend is quite difficult, especially with colours that are far apart in intensity or colour.  You can use the tip to tip method of transferring colour from one pen to another and use the pen to blend the colour a bit better, but I still struggle, even on specialist marker paper.

Not any more!

What I haven’t done is to look at how the pens blend when the colours are from different colour groups, such as blending a green to a red, but you can guarantee I’m going to try them out.  Apart from them maybe creating some mud where the colours overlap (which would happen anyway), I have confidence they’ll do this just fine and dandy.

Yesterday’s Mixed Media Index Cards – update

AngelaPorter_1June2017_MixedMediaIndexCard4

I spent some time yesterday and this morning adding some details to drawing on each of the index cards.

I added stippling and lines to add shading on the focal points, both in black and white.

I also added some ground for them so they weren’t floating in air; the grasses or plants in the background I wanted as black silhouettes just so interest/texture/pattern was added.

Finally, I added either white dots or black ‘popping bubbles’ to the ‘sky’ for more visual interest.

I’m now much happier with them and feel that they are complete.

Mixed media index cards

AngelaPorter_1June2017_MixedMediaIndexCard3

I started these 5″x 6″ cards yesterday and finished them (I think) this morning.

The focal images I drew myself on watercolour card.  I used Caran D’Ache Supracolour watercolour pencils and a damp brush to colour them.  I was quite happy with the colouring; I do find pencils a lot easier to use than traditional watercolours.

Nex, I cut three of them out around their edges and used a black marker to colour the white edges (and disguise my poor cutting out skills).  I had to use a craft knife in a couple of places.  The other two I cut out as small panels.

The drawings are a little bare of detail, mabye, but I can go back and add detail once I’ve decided what I’d like to do.

I’m not all that happy about the torn paper behind the focal images; you try things out and learn, maybe.  The torn paper is Gelli printed tracing paper made using PaperArtsy Fresco paints.  I then ran them through my Sizzix Big Shot in various embossing folders, and on some the embossed images have had some metallic waxes gently brushed over them. I also added some Inktense to the papers to darken the edges and add shadows.

What I am really happy with are the index cards themselves.

I started by covering them with gesso.  Then, I used some foliage stamps from IndigoBlu with grey Archival Ink by Ranger to add patterns.  I really liked this, as the patterns were softer and already ‘ghostly’ in the background, a much better choice than black Archival.

My next step was to add colour using ink blending sponges and Distress Oxide inks, followed by a spray of Gold perfect pearls mixed with water.

This is where there was an unexpected effect – the wet Distress Oxides were repelled from the Archival ink.  I loved the result, as well as the way the colours mixed as they pooled around the stamped patterns.

Here’s a close up where you can see how the Archival Ink has repelled the Distress Oxide inks:

AngelaPorter_1June2017_MixedMediaIndexCard1

Then, I used Versamark Ink to stamp more foliage on some of the cards, and mini-mandala type patterns on others.  I then sprinked WOW Embossing powder (clear holographic) over the ink then melted it with a heat tool.  This added an extra layer of interest – a subtle layer as it can only be seen from certain angles.

I framed the cards using black Archival ink and a foam blending tool to give a distressed looking edge.

Then, it was just assembly of the focal points and so on, before sticking the index cards to some really thick card to get them nice and flat; the cards are so thin that they curl a lot when working on them, even with the layer of gesso to seal the card in.  Cosmic Shimmer’s Specialist Acrylic Glue worked beautifully for this.

I had intended to make more ACEO cards, but I drew the focal images a tad too big for that format, so thought I’d try out an index card instead.  I quite enjoyed working on the slightly larger scale.