Doodly Saturday

©Angela Porter 2019

It’s been a weird kind of day today for me. I’m quite open about my mental health, and today has been one where it’s not been completely tickettyboo. I’m out of sorts. Unsettled. Nothing I’ve done seems good enough to me. I’m quite teary and that really set in during a loving kindness meditation this morning.

Loving kindness meditations are always difficult for me. It’s easy for me to send out love and good wishes to all people. It’s not easy for me to accept the same for myself. Today, it was more difficult than usual, including some physical pain along with it. Traumas from my past kept rising up. Things I didn’t think were traumas, just stupid decisions made by myself. Seems I have work to do on those too in EMDR therapy.

I did colour some mixed media paper with distress inks and quite small pieces at that. I drew on two of them, as above. I’m really not happy with either of them. I really don’t know why I put the words on the left hand one. Growth is a funny word there.

I’ll just put it all down to me being out of sorts. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day for me to focus on art.

This is odd for me as drawing or creating usually helps me to feel better. Today it hasn’t.

I received a book in the post today – “The Wild Remedy’ by Emma Mitchell. It’s a diary she’s written over a year of how she finds being in nature and drawing and painting helps her with her low moods. She’s subtitled the book ‘How Nature Mends Us – A Diary’. I’ve read the introduction and the first month in the diary, which is October. Both interesting reads.

I almost was inspired to go out for a walk, but I just couldn’t pull myself together to do this during the daylight hours. The Sun has just set here in South Wales in the UK. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll manage to get out for a walk at some point.

I know my moods don’t linger for long. I do have low days which can linger for a couple or few days. Nowhere near as bad as they used to be, but enough to result in me being unsettled and out of sorts and hypercritical of myself and anything I do. I’ve become aware enough that it’s best to do other things that draw for publishers on days like today as I’ll just get more and more frustrated with myself and my efforts.

On other days, whatever I draw I may consider good enough. But on days like today …

Still, the sun will rise again in the morning and it’ll be a new day. My mood may be better then and I’ll accomplish work I consider to be good enough. Now all I need to do is try to find something that I can settle down to do today. I’ve been back and forth all day between drawing, reading, knitting, fussing around. The only creative thing I’ve enjoyed today has been colouring paper with distress inks. Not sure I want to spend the evening doing that though.

Maybe I need to go out for a drive. Sometimes driving with upbeat music on can shift my mood, especially when I feel anxious and restless as I do now, for no reason either.

Thinking of you – a dangle design card

© Angela Porter 2019

This little card and envelope took me around 3 hours to make. I had to remember how to do various things and find my supplies to do them with!

My first task was to make the sentiment banner. I had the idea for this one after someone asked me for recommendations of good books for learning hand lettering as they’re not at all happy with their handwriting.

Hand lettering and handwriting are not the same thing. Hand lettering is something you unconsciously do. Hand lettering is the conscious and deliberate drawing of letters, one by one. Practice, like everything else you want to learn and become good enough at, is important. I suggested that they try printing the sentiments out on their computer or using words cut out of books or magazines or stickers or stamps and ink pads used by card makers until they’re comfortable with their own lettering style.

That led me to thinking that rather than writing the sentiment directly onto the paper that I’m going to draw the dangle design on, what about if I hand lettered it on paper again and again until I’m happy with it and then cut that version out. I could then layer it onto coloured card to make a border, or onto the paper or or or…

So, that’s what I wanted to use here. A variation on what I’ve done in previous cards. I cut two trips of mixed media paper, one around 1cm wide, the other around 0.7cm wide.

On the narrow strip I wrote my sentiment. I did this confidently as I knew if I got it wrong I could always write it again – I’d not ruin my dangle design in any way. I then trimmed the strip close to the start and end of the sentiment.

Next, I coloured the wider strip of paper with victorian velvet Distress Ink. I trimmed one piece so it was just a little longer than the sentiment. Then, I cut two rectangles from the coloured strip. I cut triangular notches into one end of each of the rectangles. I used the sponge applicator to make sure the edges of the coloured pieces, including inside the notches, and the sentiment strip coloured. By doing this, there’s a darker edge to the pieces and this defines them against the background. The final step in making the banner was to glue the pieces together as shown in the photo.

I cut two pieces of mixed media paper for the front of the card. The smaller one I made a little narrower than the sentiment banner; I wanted the ribbon to hang over the edge a little. I used a pencil to mark where I wanted the banner to sit on the card. I then used a pencil to mark out the centre of the card so I could position my dangle centrally.

Above where the ribbon would sit I wanted to place an arrangement of pot plants – succulents and a cacti. Below I wanted a fairly simple dangle, but one that had elements that appeared in the arrangement of pot plants. I drew these with a 05 Uniball Unipin Pen.

I then wanted to colour the two pieces of mixed media paper before I coloured the designs in.

For the larger one I used Peacock Feathers, Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks to colour the whole of the paper panel. I edged this panel with Faded Denim Distress Ink. Then, I lightly sprayed the panel with water so that I’d get some faded watermarks as a texture in the colour.

For the upper panel, I used a very light hand to add the same Distress Inks to the paper, but in a much paler shade. I also edged this panel with the Faded Denim Distress Ink. I realised it hadn’t erased the pencil guidelines before I added the Distress Ink so when I went to erase them they wouldn’t fully erase. I’d forgotten that I had to do that! Still, it adds a bit to the distressed feel of the cards, that and the damage marks that were on the larger panel too.

To colour the dangle design I used Mitsubishi Uni coloured pencils. I used a fairly limited palette across the design.

The last two steps before assembling the card were add dots of gold ink and some shiny adhesive crystal gems.

To assemble the card I used glue to adhere the lower panel directly to the card. I then used foam squares to adhere the dangle design panel to the lower panel and the sentiment ribbon to the dangle design panel. This card has quite a bit of dimension to it.

My final job was to decorate the envelope. I decided to draw some pot plants and some of the daisies along the bottom. I added some butterflies to the left as the area above the pot plant seemed empty, unbalance. I haven’t coloured the envelope in as I’m in two minds whether to or not. Also, it would be nice to edge the envelope with the Faded Jeans Distress ink too, maybe even colouring the envelope with the same Distress Inks as the card. There’s also the back flap of the envelope that would benefit from a little potted succulent drawing I think.

Distress Inks are water-reactive, so if I do this, once the envelope is addressed a light application of Micro Glaze would seal the colour in so it wouldn’t be damaged in the mail.

I’m actually quite pleased with this card. It’s got me thinking about how to do more of this kind of stuff – card making the ‘Angela’ way!

If you give making cards like this a go, I’d love to see what you create! Happy art-ing, lettering and crafting!

Lots of ideas for dangle designs are shown in my book
‘A Dangle A Day’.

‘Hello Friend’ – A Dangle Design Card

‘Hello Friend’ ©Angela Porter 2019

‘A Dangle A Day’ is released on 15 Jan 2019. I show you how, in easy steps, you too can draw your own dangle designs!

A couple of days ago I was musing about using a photograph instead of a monogram in a dangle design. That idea stuck with me and so I set out to make a card.

I had seen somewhere the Photobooth Ephemera by Tim Holtz and I was able to source a set at a sensible price. This pack contains thirty strips of three passport-sized, vintage, copyright free photos. Perfect for me as I have very few photos and none are a small enough size to be used in this way. Also, the photos are printed on fairly sturdy card.

I first started by trimming the photo and then tracing around it on a sheet of thick white printer paper. It was then easy to draw pencil lines to give a border or two around the photo as well as a pencil guide line for a central dangle.

My next job was to draw the flowers at the top of the design. I started with the big central blue flower and worked my way out, adding leaves and swirls as I went. The design here is symmetrical, but not perfectly so. I had to add some butterflies to finish this part of the design off.

My next steps involved drawing the borders. I wanted a black and white chequerboard pattern around the photo. I also added a thinner border around it.

My next step was to create a ribbon for the hand lettered sentiment ‘Hello friend’. I drew a pencil box, added some pencil guidelines for the height of the letters, then wrote the greeting in pencil so I could get the placement of the letters good enough.

My next step was to ink in the letters using a black Sakura Pigma PN pen, which I used for the rest of the drawing. I wasn’t concerned about perfection here. I wanted a kind of cutely whimsical feel to the lettering. For some reason, I always think adding wonky and uneven serifs to the letters helps a little with this. The final job was to draw the ribbon box with the cute ends.

I then needed to decide on the charms I’d use to build the dangle. Hearts are a foregone conclusion. When I think of time I spend with friends, tea and cake are often involved, so adding a coffee/tea cup along with a cupcake (or fairy cake as we used to call them here in the UK) was perfect. I joined the charms with small beads and a circular charm containing another heart.

To colour the dangle design I used copic markers. I did use two shades of pink for the greeting and the cupcake case. Everywhere else I used just one flat colour.

I used a fine brush and some black ink to fill in the square at the centre of the design. Next, I trimmed the paper around the design. I then used a foam ink applicator with Vintage Photo Distress Ink to edge the paper. I always feel that edging paper in this way not only gives a little bit of a vintage feel to it, which is in keeping with the photo, but it also gives a finished edge to the paper.

To mount the photo here I used some adhesive foam squares. These lift the photo above the paper, adding a little bit of dimension to the card. The photo was a little bit smaller than the square I’d drawn and so the black background gave black border around the photo. I then used a golden yellow copic marker to colour some clear adhesive gems and I attached three of them to the photo, just to add a bit more sparkle.

I used Chameleon duotone pencils to add shadow to the design elements. I also used a dip pen and gold FW ink to add some little dots here and there around the design as well as on the photo. Not sure that on the photo was such a great idea though. But once the dots were there, they had to stay there. The gold dots, however, did match the gold gems I’d added to the photo.

The final step was to affix the design to a blank card. I didn’t think to cut my paper to the size of blank cards I had in my stash before I started to work on the dangle design. I found that my design was too long. So, I just took a piece of A4 bristol board, folded it in half along the short edge. I burnished the fold and then attached the dangle design to the paper using strong double sided sticky tape.

To add a bit more dimension to the card, I could’ve used foam squares or a piece of fun foam cut to a little smaller than the paper the design is on. Fun foam would support the paper better, especially as I had a relatively weighty photo adhered to the paper already.

Instead of foam, I could’ve cut a piece of metallic card a little bigger than the design to give a metallic edge to it.

I decided, though, that there was enough dimension on the card with the photo.

I also could have used a Wink of Stella brush pen or a Spectrum Noir sparkle pen to add some shimmer to the design elements, but I decided that the gold dots were enough. However, I may go back and add some to the butterfly wings; butterflies should always shimmer and shine wherever possible as far as I’m concerned!

The only other thing I’d need to do is to make a custom envelope to fit the card.

I enjoyed making the card. My card making skills aren’t brilliant, but I kept it fairly simple, as I did for the dangle design itself and the colouring.

Oh, the patterned background for the photo is one I created from one of my mandala designs using Repper Pro, just in case you were curious! I thought it’s vintage feel would go nicely with the card.

On the whole, I’m quite happy with this card. I had serious doubts that it wouldn’t work out. It has, better than I thought it would. I think I need to make more of these in the future!

Inktober 2018 Day 14 ‘Clock’ WIP and a letter to intellectual property thieves

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 14 Clock WIPIt took me a couple or three hours to draw this design using Faber Castell pens on paper. Then I scanned it in to the ‘puter, gave it a transparent background so I could colour it digitally. After several hours work this is as far as I’ve got!

I may get back to it later on or in a day or three…we’ll see!

The yeuchy coloured background is only temporary; trying to protect my work, don’tcha know.

A rant about intellectual property theft…

Yesterday I discovered that someone has stolen work from a published coloring book of mine (Entangled Dragonflies) and republished it as their own! Not only that, they’d also done the same with other authors from the Creative Haven series of books from Dover Publications Inc. I’ve reported it along to my editors.

So, you can understand why I’d want to try my best to protect my work. There are some very unscrupulous people out there with very low to no moral standards. They obviously only think of themselves not of others, such selfish people that they are. They should be ashamed of themselves, however I doubt they ever feel shame for anything they steal.

I don’t want to let them get to me, so I’ll still show bits and bobs of my work at a low resolution with watermarks to try to protect it, as well as coloured backgrounds if nothing else.

I do know, however, that some will stop at nothing to steal if it’s something they want to steal.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’m ‘talking’ to those who understand, that just because something is shared on the internet doesn’t mean it’s free for anyone to copy or use or re-sell in any form they wish. Just because I show you my work doesn’t mean I give up my rights to my work – I most definitely do not!

All my work is mine thanks to intellectual property rights and I will never relinquish those rights just because I show work here, on deviantART, on facebook, on Instagram, and on twitter.

I share my work because I get a lot of pleasure from creating it and I’d like to think people get some pleasure in seeing it.

Obviously, there’s a small number who only get pleasure from stealing other people’s work to profit from themselves. It’s no different to breaking into someone’s home and stealing their property – the thieves profit while the owners miss out.

If any such thieves do happen to read this, consider this. How would you feel if someone broke into your home and stole your treasured belongings for their own ends? Would you be upset? Would you see anything wrong in it?

I bet you would.

Whenever you are stealing from the internet for your own gain it is exactly the same as breaking into someone’s home and stealing from them.

I suspect you intellectual property thieves would only care about yourselves, however. I don’t think you thieves have any empathy for anyone else.

You’re not committing a victimless crime, you’re not stealing from big business, you’re stealing from the little people like myself and profiting from me, my talents, my skills, skills I’ve worked long and hard at to develop, and you just take advantage of that, of my good nature that I share things on the internet.

And worse, you steal from published books, that are covered by copyright law too, and republish them as if it’s your own work! This is illegal, it is breaking the law. You are stealing from myself and from other artists too.

You are horrible, horrible people – the intellectual property thieves that is, not you lovely people who support my work by buying my books and writing nice things and saying you like to see what I create.

I won’t let the small numbers of truly horrible people spoil it for other people that’s for sure. However, I want them to know a little of what I think of them – and I’m keeping it very, very polite. Trust me, I can swear worse than a pirate!

Back to Inktober…

So, to go back to Inktober Day 14 which has the prompt ‘clock’ And what I can say is that hopefully time is up for some of you unscrupulous, barefaced intellectual property thieves!

For the rest of the lovely world of people who support us artists/illustrators, how do you like to spend your time?

 

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!

Inktober 2018 Day 11 ‘Cruel’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 11 Cruel

Another day, another drawing!

I couldn’t draw anything cruel – not in my nature to do so, it upsets me so much. So, I chose to go with a quote about ‘cruel’ that is a positive one:

‘Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.’ – Katherine Henson

I see too much cruelty in this world and I really do not want to add to it.

So, I drew something pretty, with whimsically cute critters and monsters and design elements and patterns that make me smile.

I drew this design on Frisk Bristol board using Faber-Castell Broadline and Fineline pens, scanned it in and then just added a background gradient in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I’ll get around to colouring it in properly later, I hope…

I really do need to spend some time today on the Entangled coloring book that I’m a little more than half-way through.

Doing these Inktober challenges is helping remind me of where I think some of my drawing skills and my style or ‘voice’ lies. I hope I can translate this into some templates for the coloring book in progress. I can’t work in the cute critters/monsters as I have in this and some other previous Inktober challenges, but I can work with the other elements I’m sure.

I’m also feeling more confident with my line drawing skills after feeling distinctly wobbly and out of practice after a week away without any drawing being done.

I’m also a little less emotionally tired today. I’m surprised yet not surprised at how much the anti-stigma talk and EMDR therapy drained me this week.

 

Inktober 2018 – Day 9 ‘Precious’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 9 PreciousInktober 2018 Day 9 – What’s precious to you?

That’s what I thought I’d go with once I started drawing this one.

Yes, it’s another doodleworlds type image. I’m quite enjoying them as a change from my usual style of art.

I drew this on Frisk Bristol Board with Sakura micron pens. Scanned it into Gimp so I could create a transparent background. Then, I threw it (not literally) into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and added colour and texture there.

I actually finished drawing this this morning. I had to leave it uncoloured to go out to do an anti-stigma talk for Time to Change Wales this morning. That left me feeling emotionally drained.

After the talk I had to make my way to Neath for a spot of lunch before my counselling/EMDR therapy appointment. That drained me even more and I’m still reeling from it now. A very intense session today.

I came home shell-shocked from it and I had to sleep. Which I did. On waking I turned my attention to colouring this in.

The colours aren’t quite as vibrant and bright as others I’ve used recently. I think that reflects my state of tiredness and emotional exhaustion.

All the same, I had fun coloring, which I don’t get to do often.