Bee in your bonnet, Porter?

Got a bee in your bonnet © Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
Got a bee in your bonnet © Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

Bee in my bonnet? I think I may have the whole hive! And it’s all to do with copyright infringement and copyright law.

I found a very, very useful and interesting article on wikihow.com called ‘avoid copyright infringement.

I recommend the article. It’s simple and clear and the quote above makes it very plain and clear that just because something is on the internet doesn’t mean it has no copyright. That includes Pinterest.

The only things that have no copyright are things that are in the public domain and/or declared copyright free.

Public domain is NOT the same as the internet. Public domain is another way of saying the images or content are without copyright or the originators of the images or content have waived their right to copyright.

Reputable websites, companies, people will give the source of an image, credit the artist/creator with it and won’t remove any signatures, copyright statements, watermarks or change the website address.

Reputable companies and people are proud to name the artists/creatives whose work they are placing on product or showcasing. They approach the owners of the work for permission to use the work, seeking a license and are willing to pay for this.

Disreputable companies make no effort to find out who the original creator was, even though it’s easy to drag and drop an image into the search bar of google images to find websites where the artwork has been shown. Yes, it might take a little effort to find the artist/creative, but not as much effort and time as it’s taken the artist/creative to create their work.

Disreputable companies and people usually remove any references to the original artist/creative and make no mention of who they are. They don’t sing their praises.

Disreputable companies and people make no effort to contact the original artist/creative in order to gain permission to use the work.

Now, we artists and creatives are more than happy for our work to be shared with proper credit being given and links back to the original source of the work. It’s always nice when people share our work as it shows it’s liked and appreciated and we’ve made someone happy for a while. It’s even nicer when someone leaves a comment; that always lifts the heart. Of course, it’s even nicer when someone wants to purchase our work.

It doesn’t take much to see if companies are proud of their artists or hiding that information. If they hide that information or don’t bother to find it then you can bet your bottom dollar (or any other currency of choice) that they aren’t working with the artist who created the work.

Many artists have their own shops online where you can buy original artwork, prints or products with their art on. I have an Etsy shop (though it’s been very much neglected lately) and a shop at RedBubble.

It is through these official outlets that you can purchase high quality products with really good resolution artwork prints on at affordable prices, and by doing so you can be sure the artist themselves is getting some monetary return for their efforts.

Of course, it can be hard to do this if you don’t know the name of the artist and you’ve seen their art on a facebook shop or similar. But use the drag and drop trick into google images to do what you can to find who they are. It takes a short amount of time for sure.

If we all did this these companies that use copyrighted work without permission (a licence) would soon have no one buying from them and they’d not profit from someone else’s hard work and creativity without even mentioning the original artist/creative.

It would be lovely if this blog post was shared far and wide (properly credited of course) to try to get people to understand what copyright and the internet is all about and how important it is to creatives who make their living through their creativity.

Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I’m going to make the black and white version of this artwork available as a coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to join, and I try to add one template for members to colour each month. Some months, like this one, I add more.

It would be lovely if people would colour the template and share, properly credited, to try to get the message out.

About my illustration of the day

I must admit I didn’t handletter this quote, I used Microsoft Publisher to set the quote on the page and then printed it out on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board.

I then set about adding some artwork around the quote using a soft Tombow Fudenosuke pen. This has resulted in much bolder pen lines as well as variable width lines in my drawing. The motifs are also a little bigger than I’d usually draw.

I like the more graphic nature of my penwork; it gives it a bit of the feel of being linocut. It also adds plenty of depth and dimension to the artwork.

I will be colouring this one myself. Not quite sure if I’ll do it digitally or whether I’ll use my Chameleon markers. I need a break for some tea first.

Experiments in foiling

Foiling experiments © Angela Porter 2019
Foiling experiments © Angela Porter 2019

Hot foiling

I’ve had some fun today with thermal foiling. I’ve been waiting for an Amazon Basics laminator to arrive, which was the one that seemed to be the most recommended out of simple laminators. I’ve had the foil for quite a while.

For thermal foiling, the images need to be printed with a laser printer. The laminator then heats up the laser toner which becomes sticky and the foil sticks to it as you run the layers through the laminator. A quick cool down, peel the foil away and the black lines are left with foil covering them!

I played around with adding the foil first then adding colour, and coloring first before foiling. I also tried out alcohol markers, coloured pencils and Tombow Dual Brush markers both before and after foiling. They all worked well either way, though the alcohol markers do colour the foil, so for alcohol markers it may be best to colour first.

I then had to try them out on images and I chose to use two of my cute kittie designs. I coloured them with Copic markers before foiling. The one of the left has been foiled with gold, the one on the right with silver.

I mounted the designs on 4″ x 4″ square kraft card card blanks. To be honest, I could’ve done with printing these out a bit bigger as the lines were very bitty as they were so thin. Something I have to keep in mind when printing out future work. I think I’m going to have to design them to the size they’ll be printed at to make sure the lines are as thick as I’d like them.

I’m not a photographer. No matter what advice I’m given and follow I still don’t manage to get a good image. The gold shows up well and there are hints of silver visible on the right hand one, but I think you’ll get the idea.

I’m rather pleased with them and the sparkly, shininess keeps my inner raven quite happy.

I also now have a new tool in my creative tool box, one that I will use fairly often I think.

Emotional and mental wellbeing…

For the first time in ages it seems I feel awake and not needing to go back to bed for a nap in the afternoon. The emotional exhaustion of the recent EMDR, therapy sessions and Time to Change Wales anti-stigma talks is beginning to wear off. Mind you, that may change tomorrow as I have EMDR then rather than today just for this week. All the same, it’s nice to feel content and quite creative.

I’ve started a little book that I’ve titled ‘When it’s dark, look for stars’. It’s an A6 (UK size) sketchbook, and inside I am going to use Distress inks and other media to colour the pages and then add all shiny, metallic hand lettering and images and patterns with quotes and helpful words of advice, reminders for me on my darker days that I am not what the inner critic wants me to believe I am. Of course, my cute, foiled kitty and raven with rainbow and stars is definitely going to make it into the book.

I’m open to suggestions of what I could add to my little book, be it quotes, or kind words, or ideas for self-care. I’d also like to know if you’d like to see glimpses of it from time to time.

New coloring template in the facebook group

A new month means a new coloring template is available for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This month, I’ve designed a mandala with some of the motifs I’ve been using in my more abstract works lately.

If you fancy printing and coloring a mandala designed by myself, pop over to the group, join and you’ll find the new template and quite a few others there available exclusively to members. Terms and conditions apply.

If you do join in, I’d love to see your finished coloration!

March Mandala Dangle Design

© Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
© Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

It’s another beautiful, sunny, unseasonably warm late winter day. Daffodils are out, February is almost over and it’s time for me to turn my attention to a design for a BuJo monthly cover.

This is what I came up with today. A simple mandala of sunny yellow daffodils, bright fresh-green leaves and the lovely clear blue skies we’ve had here in the Welsh Valleys over the past few days.

Of course, 1st March is St David’s Day. St David is the patron saint of Wales, and daffodils are the flowers associated with this day.

As a child we used to have a half-day at school for St David’s Day. In the morning there was an Eisteddfod – a kind of concert and competition involving singing and poetry and music and clog dancing and all kinds of creative things. Much of this was done in the Welsh language. And of course My Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau would be the final song that all joined in with – the Welsh National Anthem that is still proudly sung at international rugby matches and other such occasions.

On this day, children went to school dressed in traditional Welsh costume, wearing either a daffodil or leek pinned to their clothing. The boys would try to show how big and tough they were by eating the whole leek raw.

I could’ve tried to draw a red Welsh Dragon for the mandala, but the daffodils are so pretty…maybe I’ll do another with a dragon in, or maybe a dangle design with a dragon as part of it.

I am going to make this template available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to join and there’s a lovely lot of people there who enjoy coloring too!

This design would make a lovely monthly cover page for a BuJo, or in a planner, diary, journal or on a greeting card or note card.

A jolly day out

Yesterday I had a lovely jolly day out with my friend Liz.

We visited the stone circle at Stanton Drew. I’ve been there before, but Liz hadn’t. It’s bigger in diameter than Stonehenge but smaller than Avebury. It did have several concentric rings of timber posts inside the stones when it was in use, but they have long rotted away.

After that we headed to Wells. Again, I’ve been there but Liz never had. We had a walk through the town and spent some time buying lovely shoes from Moshulu, mine being rather sparkly and lovely!

Cake in the Cathedral cafe, with plenty of tea in my case, coffee in Liz’s, and then it was off to visit the Cathedral. Always nice to see the scissors arch there and the wobbly wonky steps going up to the chapter house.

It was sunny and warm and I managed to get sunburn! Mind you, that happens easily as I’m quite fair-skinned. In the past I’ve even managed to burn and blister through sunblock. I seem to be a bit more resilient. But who would’ve thought I’d’ve got sun burned in February in the UK!

I’ll be putting photos and a few more words on my travel blog – Curious Stops and Tea Shops in the next couple of days.

My mental and emotional health

The sunny, mild weather is helping my mood an awful lot. Leaving EMDR on monday having completed processing a trauma that was really painful to me has also helped. I’m still feeling a bit light headed from it today, but that’s a good thing – a change from the low moods, emotional distress and upset I have felt.

Being out and about and spending time with a friend was also a good thing for me. Lots of laughter and silly conversation along side more serious topics too. That’s what happens when you get two quirky, retired science teachers together.

February dangle design

©Angela Porter 2019

Friday is dangle day here in my arty world, and as it’s the first day of February the dangle needs to relate to that!

I created this design for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group (where today is furbaby friday). If you pop over then, join, then you can download the template to colour yourself.

The world is still in the grip of winter; I woke up this morning to a coverlet of snow covering everything. Yet again, I’m am so grateful that I work at home and don’t have to go out until it clears, even if that takes a day or so.

I wanted the colours in the dangle to reflect winter, but I also made Valentine’s Day a focus for the design, and I used that as an opportunity to include some more bits of hand lettering.

I did sketch the design out on Rhodia dot grid paper then scanned it in. I then re-drew the design digitally using my usual trio of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Book.

Today, I have a template or two to create for a colouring day at the Welsh Office in Cardiff on Time to Talk Day next Thursday. Time to Talk Day is the day where we’re encouraged to talk to people about mental health and well being. I don’t have anything to do on this day for Time to Change Wales, yet, or at any point in the week. I do have other projects to work on as well.

My own anxiety seems to have slid back to it’s usual constant background level after a stressful time earlier this week. It takes time. Mindfulness meditation helps somewhat, but it does take time for those stress response chemicals/hormones to leach out from my body even when I calm myself down.

Doing art does help too.

My book that takes you through drawing and designing dangles step by step – A Dangle A Day – is now published. Lots of ideas and examples of dangle designs are included in the book.

Monogram J Dangle Design

©Angela Porter 2018

Yesterday I said I wanted to turn one of the J monograms into a dangle design, and that’s exactly what I’ve done here!

I do seem to be favouring teals and pink as a colour combination for these letters lately. The colours were added using a combination of Copic markers and Chameleon Color Tones pencils. Again, I chose to use Copics simply because I wanted a ‘wash’ of pale colour to which I could add shading with the pencils. I also used a metallic silver pencil to add some subtle silver elements as well as a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen to add some white dot embellishments.

For the charms in the dangle, I drew inspiration from my recent delving into things Medieval to create some that are a bit different to my usual kind. A heart seemed to be an obligatory charm for me to include.

I worked on Daler Rowney Marker paper and used Uniball Unipin pens for the black lines.

There’s quite a nice juxtaposition between the sharp, angular lines of the monogram and the rather softer, rounded shapes of the charms.

I also could’ve dug into my neglected stash of media from my days of mucking about with mixed media and card making and so on to find Stickles, NUVO drops, foil glue and foil, sequins, sparklies and so on to add more sparkle and shine to the design. Something I need to think about again in the future. I’d also have to work on sturdier paper than the Marker paper.

I feel that the dangle could be a bit longer to give a more elongated and elegant design. However, I ran out of paper! I may have been able to squeeze one more charm in at the bottom … but it would’ve been a squeeze!

Note to self – when doing monogram dangle designs on A4 paper, make the letter a little smaller so the dangle(s) can be longer!

Today, my attention must turn to colouring the 2019 templates I designed for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Fans facebook group for the New Year’s Day Color Explosion event, starting at midnight as 2018 turns into 2019. I think some may jump the gun on that though! Still, it’s a bit of colourful fun.

It’s only just over a week until ‘A Dangle A Day’ is published. In the book, I take you step by step how to create over 100 dangle designs for yourself, as well as giving some advice about hand lettering, using dangle designs, and creating your own using elements in the book, or your own too. I really do hope you will all give drawing dangle designs a go – they look complex, but, as I show in the book, they only take a few simple steps. They also suit my rather intuitive way of designing, drawing, creating. However, they also work for those who like to plan things out first.

Another, possibly the last, version of ‘B’ monogram dangle design

©Angela Porter 2018

The previous and latest version of the monogram dangle design. The variation is the background paper colour as well as a drop shadow for the design.

I had a lot of fun as well as some frustration when I found it difficult to do what I wanted to do, though I got there in the end, I think.

I certainly have a few more tools in my digital art toolbox.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro really makes it easy to create art like this. Though this may have been simpler for more accomplished, learned digital artists, for me it was a bit of a process. However, I have managed to create something I could only dream about doing in traditional media, I think. 

The skills required are, in my opinion, equally as demanding, whether working digitally or traditionally. Don’t forget, this started out as pen and ink line art on paper – very traditional! I just made use of digital tools to develop it into something that definitely has a medieval feel to it but in a modern medium. Indeed, all the lines/patterns were re-drawn digitally using a pen and the screen as ‘paper’ to arrive at these final versions. I did make use of the color-fill tools to colour these ones in, but the addition of textures makes them less digitally perfect and more ‘perfectly imperfect’.

This certainly has inspired me to create a whole series of such monograms over the coming days, weeks or months. Goodness alone knows what I can do with the digital versions as having them printed wouldn’t result in any sparkle where there’s sparkle. However, I do have an idea about foiling my line art, as well as working with metallic inks once more. Indeed, I had a deliver of Encres A Decorer by Herbin yesterday and dug out my glass pen to use with them. So some experimentation with those is likely (as well as digging out my dip pens and nibs too). I think I have some calligraphy ‘parchment’ or ‘vellum’ paper lurking somewhere in my stash as well.

Finally, I think I’m getting comfortable with my style of hand lettering. It sure ain’t perfect. It’s sure ain’t as slick as that of others. But it’s mine, not theirs.

Of course, some of the ideas/tools/techniques I’ve used here I can make use of in my more usual style of art. For today, I want to work on a design for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook page to help celebrate the changing over of the calendars at midnight on New Year’s Eve as it turns into New Year’s Day. A liminal point of time between one thing and another. A boundary between the old year and the new. 

So, finish my toffee nut latte mocha morning drink I will, then it’s to some hand lettering and drawing, while keeping warm and dry on a chilly, rainy and windy day.

‘A Dangle A Day’ is released on 8 Jan 2019.

Winter design

I drew this a few days ago and have only got around to coloring it today. 

The hand lettering and drawing was done with Uniball Unipin pens on paper. In black and white it has an almost vintage linocut feel to it. 

I did scan it in and print it out on paper more suitable for alcohol markers. I used Chameleon Duo Tone and Duotop markers. Highlights were added with a white gelly roll pen from Sakura. I then added more black lines to add more dimension in places using a Staedler Mars Matic technical drawing pen.

Not sure I’ve done too good a job with the colours. Or line shading. Or the highlights in some places.

I’m quite pleased with the black and white line drawing however. 

I am going to make this template available on Friday 7 December 2018 in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group as an exclusive to members. Terms and conditions in it’s use apply.