As autumn has arrived, at least astronomically, As we’ve passed the astronomical point of season’s change, from summer to autumn here in the northern hemisphere, I continue to long for the fiery costume of nature. Warm memories to sustain us as the cold, architectural skeletons of nature are all that remain. A reminder burned in our minds that nature will once again blossom and bloom once the days begin to lengthen once again.
To complete the line art, I used a Tombow Fudenosuke pen. Colour was added with Stabilo Carbothello pencils and a paper tortillon.
Today’s vlog is a sketchbook flip-through showing my week in art.
This week, I was asked to create a mandala by Brett, who runs the group. So I did. And this one has a very autumnal theme to it. It is the first day of September and summer is waning away with autumn starting to make it’s way from the wings.
I’ve chosen a rather subdued palette for today’s addition of colour. No doubt I’ll have a different version for tomorrow’s posting!
Thursday seems to come around both quickly and as if it’s been an age since last Thursday. As it’s Thursday, that means it’s time for a new colouring template /coloring page for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
This week’s template is a typically ‘Angela’ entangled style drawing. A stylised dragonfly floats above an entangled background containing arches and seed pods, flowers and foliage, along with various patterns and an intricate border.
I’ve chosen to part colour the template in a monochrome scheme of greens. I don’t really pay attention to light source much. mostly I use light and shadow as part of the patterns and a way to introduce a sense of depth and dimension to my art. This is something I realised only recently.
I’ve been working on this drawing for the past three or four days. I finally finished it this morning. Here’s a list of materials used: A4 Daler-Rowney Bristol Board Copic Multiliners (05, 025, 02) Sakura Pigma Micron (01) Various shades of brown Stabilo fineliners Grey and sepia Uniball Unipin fineliners
I’m finally becoming comfortable with leaving open spaces in my art, though I still do like a clear border/edge. The spaces give a lighter, more airy feel to the design. I’m learning that I don’t have to fill every available space with pattern. I think that is a good thing.
I’m also really enjoying using shades of brown to add patterns to the design, and some grey too.
If you’d like to know where I started this drawing, it was with the small arrangement of boxes just above the blueberry-ish berries just above the left of centre. Everything else grew out from there.
I think this one is finished, though as I look at it now, I want to use a white Gelly Roll pen to add dots in places. Also, the shadows need to be tad intensified around the motifs to give the illusion of depth. I may use alcohol markers – Chameleons or Copics – to do this as the Copic Multiliners are alcohol ink safe.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.