Christmas comes early to the Porter household!

My advance copy arrived this morning!

Oooh! Excitement!

A knock at the door, a Fed-Ex delivery driver asking me for a signature before handing over a parcel. I saw it was from Lydia at Quarto so knew it would be a copy of ‘A Dangle A Day’. So excited to open the package and see the book in a solid, tangible form.

A Dangle A Day is due for release on 8 January 2019.

I’ve seen the pdf versions of the book as it was put together before going to print. But, it’s never, ever the same as having that book in my hands.

Even more so today as this is my first book with words and art done by myself. I trust it won’t be the last.

About the book

I had a lot of fun creating this book. I’m so excited about helping others to create their own dangle designs and to gain confidence that they, too, can create lovely designs for use in all kinds of ways – BuJo pages and spreads, greetings cards, note cards, framed pictures, scrapbooks, planners, journals, bookmarks, place cards, and more.

I’ve done my best to show you how to create monograms and dangle designs in easy steps both visually and with some supporting words.

Suggestions about how to approach hand lettering is scattered throughout the step by step instructions for the dangle designs.

Examples of dangle designs in use in bullet journals and more are included – with all their imperfections. Remember, work created by each of us will be perfectly imperfect. It’s those imperfections that make it uniquely ‘you’.

There’s lots and lots of examples of designs and dangles and charms that you can use as they are or as inspiration for other designs. There are designs for all seasons and many, many different events throughout the year.

I’ve included suggestions for color palettes, media to use.

A short primer for bullet journals is included; I’m no expert on bullet journaling but I do make use of one and find it very useful not just in organising my tasks for the day but in recording ideas, reflections, memories and more. 

This has put a big smile on my face this morning, and that smile will continue for a long while. I never thought I’d write and illustrate an art tutorial book. I’d thought I’d like to, but didn’t have the confidence to think it would be so. 

Why I chose to use digital tools

I made great use of my Microsoft Surface Book and Microsoft Surface Studio along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to draw many of the designs. Working digitally made editing designs, breaking the design process down into simple steps so easy. 

I used to think, as many do, that digital art is simpler, easier than traditional forms of art.

It’s not.

The skill set required is different. I wanted my digital drawing and coloring to look like I’d done it with traditional media.

Digital drawing is no easier than drawing on paper.

What is easier is correcting mistakes, smudges and removing pencil lines. It removes the frustration I experience in scanning images in and spending a lot of time cleaning the image up for the publishers. Scanning can be a frustration for me too, which would’ve been worse if I’d had to scan in step after step after step. And having to re-draw if I’d missed a step out, or re-scan would’ve driven me nuts.

What I didn’t want was artwork that looked too perfect, too inhuman. I wanted digital drawings that looked like I’d drawn them on paper. So, I worked hard to set up pen ‘brushes’ that would mimic how my favoured drawing pens would look when drawn on paper.

Also, I rarely used any line smoothing tools for any of the work so it has that slightly ‘wobbly’ line appearance that my pen and ink linework has. I also kept the design elements, called charms, imperfect just as they would be if I’d drawn them with pen on paper.

In fact, each and every design started out as either a pen or pen drawing on paper which was scanned in so I could re-create it, step by step, digitally, saving a file for each step to the computer.

There were plenty of revisions/edits required and colour changes. Again, working digitally make this a less onerous task than if I’d had to do everything with pen and ink on paper, scanning in each step all the while worrying I hadn’t missed a step as I got engrossed in the process of drawing.

Working digitally did not make the drawing any easier or simpler, what it did was allow me a different way to draw the steps.

Coloring the designs digitally was no quicker than with traditional media, in fact it took me longer! I learned a lot about this process by doing this book, and I think it was the book that allowed me to become more comfortable with digital art and how to make it look like I’d drawn with pen on paper, in my own style.

Of course, I can print out the line art and colour it with any media I choose. I also can redraw any using traditional media. And of course, adjusting the size is so easy. 

Inktober 2018 Day 12 ‘Whale’

Angela Porter Inktober Day 12 Whale

Today’s Inktober drawing has turned out differently, a lot differently, to how I thought it would while sketching in Hay on Wye yesterday.

I woke up this morning and had some fond memories both of my white pusscat Cuffs and a sweet, large, cuddly (read overweight) ginger and white cat called William who was also known as ‘Willie the Whale’. He was a huge cat, even without his extra weight, but he had this sweet, high-pitched purr that was totally incongruous with his size.

So, today’s drawing had to be about Willie the Whale, who also loved to sniff flowers and definitely enjoyed his food.

As it’s Friday, it’s also #dangleday, so the drawing also needed to be a dangle design. And that’s what’s above.

This time, I sketched the design out on Rhodia Dot Grid paper, scanned it in, then did the inking digitally, as well as the colouring. My digital tools are a Microsoft Surface Pen along with a Microsoft Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Regardless of any skill or not skill in the design, it makes me smile, lots, even if there are still tears and heartache, with memories of William, Cuffs my beautiful furrpurrball who passed away last May and who I still miss terribly, and other cats who have chosen to spend their lives with me – Gormless, Spotty Baby Girl, Tabitha, Whiskey and Toby. Quite apt as it’s furbaby friday across the interwebs, including on the facebook group ‘Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans’.

Just a little reminder that my book ‘A Dangle A Day‘ is available to preorder. In the book I show you how to draw and design dangle designs for yourself for use as greetings cards, notecards, bookmarks and framed pictures, as well as spreads for bullet journals, planners, scrapbooks and more!

Bookmarks

Angela Porter 25 August 2018

I’ve been playing around with a different kind of material and techniques and created these bookmarks. I’ve had a bit of fun doing them, something different, the same kind of drawings but different techniques.

I’ve used parchment paper and various ball tools to draw the images and Tombow Dual Brush markers to colour them.

I like the one on the left a lot. Surprisingly, the more muted, pastel tones really appeal to me.

I do have other bits and bobs of parchment here that I’ve tried things out on, and there’s some skills to develop for sure; but it’s a nice way of working, to draw in white on white then add texture and colour. I don’t think the textures show well on the photos though.

A nice way to spend a Bank Holiday Saturday – being quietly creative and learning new stuff at the same time.

 

Bookmarks – #makeitmonday

Angela Porter Bookmarks 30 July 2018

Amongst other things, I’ve had a lovely crafty time over the weekend drawing tall and think designs that make lovely bookmarks, and here they are!

I love black and white line art, but I thought I’d try working in colour too with a mid-blue and a dusky kind of purple. Not too sure about the coloured drawings; I think that’s because I do like high contrast.

The first task was to cut paper (Winsor and Newton Bristol board and Claire Fontaine Paint On mixed media paper) into strips that are 30.1cm x 5cm or 30.1cm x 5.5cm in size. For each, I drew a pencil border around them that is approx 3mm wide.

Then, came the inky drawing. Usually, I start with one motif and let the design grow out from that one. However, with these I scattered large motifs across the space, then slightly smaller ones. Finally I used small patterns and even plain colour, to fill in the gaps.

I tried to keep to just three or four patterns in each design (a self-imposed challenge); some have just two patterns, others have 4 or so.

I really enjoyed doing these!

Now, I have to decide what to do with the originals. Do I scan them and then gift/sell the originals? Do I use them as the focal points for some mixed-media work? Do I use them to created some printable pages for people to make their own book marks? Do I scan and re-colour them in the way I have my recent quotes? Do I scan, print and set small parts into bezels to create my own custom jewellery? Do I turn them into greetings cards? Do I add shadows/shading to them?

So many possibilities and I feel quite overwhelmed.

I do know I need to turn my attention to my next coloring book for the Creative Haven series from Dover Publications Inc; I need to get a few templates done in the next couple of weeks, with one to be coloured as the cover illustration.

All #makeitmonday projects!

Talking of #makeitmonday; I uploaded a bonus colouring template to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group yesterday. It is a group exclusive, so if you’d like to print and colour it and share it with the group, pop along and join in with the lovely group of people over there.