Template Thursday (on a Wednesday)!

The template

I’ve created this week’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group a day early this week.

This has been drawn with a Sakura Micron 05 pen on smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper (acid-free of course). I’ve added the background and colour digitally, keeping to a wintry, night-time kind of theme. Of course, this will work for any season at all, and any time of day.

As always, I look forward to seeing all the amazing, colourful interpretations of this template.

Taking a big of a break

I may not be as active on social media over the next few days. Christmas and New Year are difficult times of year for me emotionally and mentally and I know taking myself off into a largely Christmas-free bubble helps me drift through this time, as well as deal with anything that may creep in and cause some upset in me.

I know I’m not the only person who has difficulties with their emotional and mental health this year. Given all that has happened in the world this year, the huge number of people who have passed away during the pandemic and measures taken for people to keep themselves and their families free of Covid at this time, many more than usual will be struggling.

Being by myself at this time of year is not new to me, nor is withdrawing from the world at this time. I find it exhausting to keep up a mask of seasonal jollity when I feel anything but that. I find it easier to deal with whatever finds its way into my safe-bubble. It’s easier to deal with being alone if I do my best to carry on as normal.

I’m aware of what things I can do to self-care and self-soothe. Art. Music. Books, Films. TV. Naps. Nice food. Meditation.

Do you have a list? Have you learned to give yourself permission to take care of yourself, give yourself time and space to self-soothe?

Learning to give yourself permission to look after yourself, even if it means saying ‘no’ or setting limits, is one of the hardest things to do. And it takes a lot of practice. But it is one of the most important things we can learn to do.

I remind myself this is for just a few days a year, and that soon after the celebrations are done, life returns to ‘normal’, whatever that is in these pandemic times.

Saturday morning art

A different work in progress today. I started this one late last night and continued for a while after breakfast this morning. I used a Pilot G-Tec C4 pen, which has a very fine tip, on white acid-free cartridge paper (the camera flash has turned it a creamy colour, I have no idea why!).

It is always a pleasurable experience to draw with such a fine pen and to created such detailed and intricate designs. No real thought or planning, just trusting my intuitive creative instincts.

Purely abstract drawing, using my favourite shapes, motifs and texture patterns, along with a few new motifs that have developed as I’ve drawn this. It looks like a weird assemblage of bits and pieces, mechanical and sculptural, botanical and textural.

Assemblage is a fairly good way to describe my signature style of drawing. There are layers of all kinds of bits and pieces – flowers, mechanical tubes and pieces, textural areas, pipes, sculptural bits and bobs, seeds or berries and curls.

What is hidden beneath the various layers? Where did all the bits and pieces come from? What was disassembled or broken to liberate the pieces? Who or what did the disassembling, and why? What new things could they be assembled into? What dream fragments, story parts of my unconscious mind do they represent?

I can spot various influences in the bits and bobs present in the drawing – Mayan sculpture, dials and mechanical levers, pipes and conduits, discs and berry lights, flowers and seeds, textures and patterns, arches and columns, rocks and strata.

What do you see in this drawing? Leave me a comment, I would be intrigued to know!

World Kindness Day

Art and health

My day so far has not gone to plan! Do they ever?

I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I’m still not feeling quite right. My abdomen is still uncomfortable, though I have eaten. I’m still tired and I can feel my brain starting to get a bit fuzzy.

I had wanted to settle to drawing for the next colouring book, but other things happened and my mind is a bit scattered. I thought some art for the sake of art may help and this mandala was the result.

I had no idea what I was going to create, but warm, autumnal colours were calling to me, along with evergreen leaves and bright red berries.

It’s simple, stylised and I’ve not spent a lot of time adding shadow/highlight. It is really just a play around before I do my best to settle to drawing. It’s achieved a bit of calming and focus, though I could go back to bed.

World Kindness Day

Kindness is the thread that connects all sizes and types of communities and families. It’s what connects us all, one to each other.

This year has been a difficult one and kindness has helped people through it.

A big shout out to all those who have made the world a nicer, kinder place in such a time.

Thank you.

Template Thursday

Thursdays seem to cycle round fairly quickly at this time. And as it’s Thursday, there’s a new template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Here, in the Valleys of South Wales, the sun is shining, autumn is gradually taking over the land and Hallowe’en is fast approaching. So, this week’s template has some Hallowe’en elements to it. It’s also a cute and whimsical template for people to have fun with colour.

Template Thursday

The template

It’s that day of the week again – Template Thursday! It’s the day where I add a coloring template to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group for members only.

This week I’ve done a pretty yeuchy job on the colour scheme. It happens. I do struggle with colours, more at some times than others, and today is one of those days.

The template itself has lots of my favourite motifs in – pumpkins, leaves, flowers, seedpods, seeds, berries, shells, mushrooms and stones. Not to mention arches and geometric patterns along with a sprinkling of stars.

I’ve gone with a weirdly autumnal colour scheme, but I think this would work for any kind of colour scheme you’d like. I may revisit this template and add linework and keep it monochrome at some point in the future. It would be good practice to redraw it digitally and work on my digital linework skills at the same time.

I used Unipin pens and Canson Marker paper to draw the template. Next, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to clean up the image and then add the colour.

To Inktober or not Inktober? Nah, let’s Paleotober instead!

I may do an Inktober challenge this year, but again choosing an alternative prompt list. I enjoyed last year’s month of daily drawings focusing on art I’d not usually do, particularly the skulls. However, I found the pressure to draw every day a bit much and a bit manic to work in around everything else I needed to do.

This year, I’ve found Paleotober on Instagram , created by @bluemaskart.

I like that each theme covers a few days, so less pressure. I have been thinking of working on drawings of fossils, dinosaurs and so on in the way I have my recent drawings of moths. So, this is the push I need to get me to follow those thoughts!

I must admit, the sight of an ammonite, icthyosaur and pterodactyl, three of my favourite fossils, on the prompt list just did it for me!

I think I’m going to struggle with the imagined and speculative prompts, but I may just use those days to add to one of the others. We’ll see.

In other times, I’d visit my local musuems to view fossils and such like for myself, sketchbook and camera in hand. But not now.

Nevertheless, I shall have some fun with these!


Entangled WIP

I’ve completed more of this WIP this morning. It’s coming along, but it’s at that point where I’m starting to think, “What the heck was I thinking?” about various sections.

I know from lots of past experience that I often get this feeling as I work on some art, and all I need to do is to trust my instincts and intuition and to carry on working on it. And so I shall. This is the way.

Template Thursday

‘Tis coloring template day for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Each Thursday throughout the pandemic, I’ve created a coloring page for members of this facebook group. The template is free to members, and it’s free to become a member!

This week’s features an iteration of one of my moth drawings, this time drawn with colouring books in mind. I just had to pair the moth with a mandala as that’s been my ‘thing’ for a few days now. Naturally, the mandala is less detailed than my drawings and the page is mostly filled with pattern and interest, as is my style for colouring templates.

I have autumn on my mind and in my heart, so the motifs reflect that – acorns, seed pods, berries and leaves. I’ve chosen autumnal colours to partly colour the template, but any colour scheme would work – a good thing for those of you in the southern hemisphere where spring is on it’s way.

Autumn Equinox

‘Tis the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere, astronomically speaking. The day started bright and sunny, but the clouds have closed in, the breeze has picked up and the temperature has dropped a little.

Even though today may not be a typically autumn day, today’s arty offering has warm, fiery tones reminiscent of autumn leaves and bonfires. Of course there’s a black and white, graphic moth illustration.

This moth is an iteration of the first moth I drew a few days ago. it’s fun to work with images, alter and change them and create something new and different each time. It’s also a good way for me to experiment with line to achieve volume and texture in the illustration.

Having the mandala of acorns, leaves and berries become a texture upon the background means it doesn’t detract from the moth. It does add interest and another hint that I created this with autumn in mind.

Moth Mandala 02

Moths are becoming a bit of a thing with me at the moment. They’re great for practicing my line work. They’re also surprisingly cute, in a buggy kind of way.

Of course, I’m still working on the first moth entangled drawing/illustration, so adding a mandala behind this drawing is a quick and easy way of adding to the moth. Mandalas are kind of my thing to do.

Again, I’ve used that spot of highlight behind the moth to draw attention to the centre of the design along with the main motif.

Today, a terracotta background seemed to be just right. Perhaps because it’s quite an autumnal colour. This morning there’s a definite nip in the air that I associate with autumn and we are just a couple of days away from the equinox.

Terracotta is a deeper shade of orange and is comforting in it’s warmth and earthiness. I find it quite soothing.

I’m also enjoying floating the graphic black and white elements of my artwork above a simple coloured background. That way I have some colour in my art, but the colour doesn’t distract from the design elements.

Template Thursday

Thursday means it’s Template Thursday for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week I have a mix of my entangled art along with some cute, whimsical, doodle-characters. Something fun, light hearted to lift the spirits somewhat.

I used a 05 Uniball Unipin pen to draw this design on Marker paper. I added some colour with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

As always, the weekly templates I draw throughout the pandemic are available from the facebook group to members of the group. They are free to members, and it’s free to join!