Cirque-doodle

AngelaPorter_17Aug2017_ZenCircle01

This is what I’ve done with one of the Distress Oxide coloured circles I blogged yesterday.

It’s essentially finished, though I may add a few metallic highlights, and maybe some drops of 3D Crystal Glaze.

The Distress Oxides give a lovely soft feel to the paper and it is lovely to draw on.  The mixed media paper on it’s own is quite hard and bumpy and not a surface I enjoy working on with pen; the Distress Oxides and water spray have changed that.

I still have a few circles to draw on, but shortly I need to turn my attention back to things of an eerie nature.

New Distress Oxide Colours – I finally have them!

dav

I finally got my happy hands on the new Distress Oxide colours today!  I had enough time between appointments to have a quick play, so four sheets of mixed media paper, some circle and tag dies and my Sizzix Big Shot as well as 1″ and 3/4″ square paper punches this is what I’ve ended up with.

The colours are lovely, different, kind of, to the original Distress Inks, but lovely.

So, I now have a lot of bits to doodle and draw on!

Mandala of the day

mandala2 20 July 2017

I thought I’d try white on a kraft paper coloured background.  I quite like it.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book

Today’s Mandala

mandala 19 July 2017

Drawn on my Microsoft Surface Book using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Surface Pen.

A little, pastel mandala

Angela Porter mandala 17 July 2018 watermarked

Today, I’ve been artfully busy with drawings for a new book for Dover Publications Inc., but have taken time out this evening to draw a simple mandala, and to colour it in.  Oddly, I’ve chosen lots of pastels!

Mandala created using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and my Microsoft Surface Book.

By the sea, more about digital art

EscapesByTheSea_AngelaPorter_Coloured1

At the end of this month, a new colouring book by myself is due out.  It’s called ‘By The Sea’ and is one in the Escapes series of books from Dover Publications Inc..

Above, is one of the templates from the book, along with my work in progress based on it.

I’m using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book to do the colouring/drawing.  It’s taking me a long time to do; if I’d used my Chameleon pens, it would’ve been all done a couple of days ago!  However, it’s all a process of learning and exploring, working with different brushes and so on.  Working in layers is a revelation to me, and I love the glowing colours I can get.

Working ‘outside the lines’, or even totally ignoring the lines’ is something very new for me to do, and I’m very uncertain about the results I’m getting.

I know from past experience with different traditional media such as oil or acrylic paints, I really don’t get the hang of them.  I also don’t like the smell or texture of them.  Watercolours are fine as long as I don’t try to get fancy with them and just colour areas in then work on top with pens and pencils…

Digital art is opening up my horizons…and shaking me out of those old, comfortable ways.

I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in colour choice.  I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in using the different brushes and textures and blending.  I end up unhappy with what I’ve done for example, I’ve tried four or five times to add the wiggly seaweed strands to the bottom right of my coloured area, and I’ve been unhappy with the five times I’ve done that.

What I do know is, that I’m not going to screw my work up and chuck it.  The beauty of being able to work in layers means it’s easy to remove what you’re not happy with and re-do it.

The other side of this coin is that it’s really difficult for me to know when to stop fussing and fiddling with things!  I sometimes end up erasing work I’ve done as I’ve gone too far and can’t undo it, and the only way to go is to start that section over again.

This is all fascinating for me, as well as frustrating, and can lead to me being hard on myself.

Backing off from it isn’t an option.  Where I get very frustrated with traditional media when I try to add colour in a way I’d like it to be there, a lot of that is taken away from me as I use digital methods.

I have a lot to learn, a lot to explore, but the more I do, the more I’m determined to acquire myself a Microsoft Surface Studio.

Digital art musings

 

AngelaPorter_ColouredMandala2_26June2017

As you know, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time developing a good relationship with both my Microsoft Surface Book and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I’m fairly happy with drawing on the surface, though I’ve yet to get the texture of the ‘pen’ I use to be a little less perfect and a bit more ‘human’.  There’s also the issue of not quite getting how big patterns will be when printed out, and then finding out that a powerful magnifying glass along with microscopically fine pointed pens/pencils will be needed to colour the patterns if not done digitally.

Now, I have mostly been printing my designs out and then colouring them with traditional media; particularly my Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops marker pens.  I do love doing this – it’s a very sensory experience.

However, I am aware I have a different tool for colouring viz. Sketchbook Pro and it’s suite of brushes and textures and so on.

Believe it or not, it takes me longer to colour an image in digitally than it does with traditional media, and I mean a LOT longer.

AngelaPorter_ColouredMandala1_26June2017

I love the way the colours are clean, almost glowing, when I use the marker pen ‘brush’ or one of the watercolour brushes.  I’m getting to grips with which particular kind of blending or smudging ‘brush’ I like to use.  I’m starting to get the idea of working with layers.

What is vexing me, is how ‘perfect’ the finish is, and how simple it looks.  I wonder if it is way too simple a finish.  It also frustrates me that I’m kind of trying to replicate the effects of traditional media but with digital tools, and failing as everything either works out almost perfectly blended with bright, clear colours, or ends up as a bit of a mess as I try to use different brushes or textures.

5x7Flower3 coloured 1.1

A dear friend of mine pointed out to me that I’m trying to compare apples and oranges, that perhaps I should treat digital colouring as an art medium all of it’s own instead of trying to make it like traditional media.

It was also pointed out that I do have a tendency to give myself a hard time when things seem too easy to me, or end up too perfect.

All of the images in this post have been coloured digitally, and the colours have shading/gradation in colours, but there’s no texture in them.  But then, there’s little texture in the colouring when I use marker pens, such as my Chameleons or Copics, unless I deliberately add it, which I’m always disappointed with.  I much prefer to add texture with black lines, which I need to bear in mind now as I work with digital colour.

I also recognise that I need to do a bit more to make more ‘contrast’ between the paler and darker shades of colours, as well as making sure there’s good deep shadows to add that illusion of 3D to the drawings.

I will continue to experiment and explore the other digital media and brushes, as well as special effects, and in time I may work out how it can all work for me in a way that I’m happy with.