Entangled garden scene

Entangled Garden Scene © Angela Porter 2019
Entangled Garden Scene © Angela Porter 2019

This took me a bit longer than I expected this morning. I did, however, enjoy creating this card.

First, I drew the design out on a piece of paper that is 10cm x 14cm using various sizes of Uniball Unipin pens.

I copied the image using my Brother Laser printer. I didn’t scan it in at this time, but will do later on. All I needed was a copy to play around with.

The next step involved the use of Chameleon Duo Tone and Color Top markers to colour the design elements in. Even though some areas were quite small, I still managed to get bits of shading there.

Once the colouring with the Chameleon markers was done it was time to hot foil the design, and you can see where the gold foil catches the light in places as I took the photo. A friend of mine saw some of my foiling yesterday in person and she was said she was wowed by it. She thought it was good in the photos, but the photos really don’t do it justice at all.

After foiling, it was time to colour the background. I used a selection of Distress Inks, starting with mustard seed in the centre to give a subtle glow, then tumbled glass, crushed olive, peeled paint, pine needles and evergreen bough. I used a piece of cut and dry foam and a very light touch to add the colour.

I was worried that the Distress Inks may muddy up the colouring done with the Chameleon markers. Yes, they subtly changed the colours in some places, but I was careful to choose colours that wouldn’t make mud. Also, so little Distress Ink is added it barely alters the colours.

I can tell you I was well relieved by that!

Distress Inks are water reactive, so I gave the image a light spray of water knowing that only the Distress Inks would be affected. After a short while I dabbed the water off with a piece of paper towel. This lifted some of the colour leaving a subtle background texture.

As this point, after letting the paper dry completely, I could’ve added more Distress ink. Instead, I decided to use aged mahogany, again on a small piece of cut and dry foam, to edge the paper, to give it a border, and also to add a darker layer at the bottom of the design to ‘ground’ the image.

When I can find my Wink of Stella pen from Kuretake I’ll add some very subtle shimmer to the dragonflies, maybe to the seeds in the seedpods too. I also think some gold dots in small clusters would enhance the background.

I also need to think about adding a bit more shading to the bottoms of the laves to give a more dimensional look to them I think. I could definitely do the same to the dragonflies’ wings too.

Those are simple and quite minor changes that will make a difference I think. It’s only as I’m looking at the finished image now that I can see how those things would help. I often don’t think to step back and give myself time to look at the image with fresh and kindly critical eyes, seeing what I could do to improve my work.

In hindsight, the dragonflies may have worked well as black silhouettes in the design, which would then become totally covered in foil. Or just outlines that would be foiled. That’s something for me to try another time and see if I like that idea more.

I think you can tell I’m really enjoying this branch of my artistic journey. I’ve concentrated a lot on digital art of late. I’m not going to abandon my digital art journey at all; I can do things digitally that I can’t with traditional media.

However, it is showing me that working with traditional media is also a pleasurable and successful activity for me to do.

What am I going to do with this? I don’t know. Part of me wants to add it to my BuJo. Another part wants to mount it on a blank greeting card to send to a friend. Another part of me wants to put it into a reference sketchbook or folder for inspiration in the future.

Monogram ‘Q’ dangle designs

Monogram ‘Q’ Dangle Designs – ©Angela Porter 2019

Following on from yesterday’s blog post (One dangle design, four colourways) I thought I’d do another monogram dangle design, but this time adding some embellishments.

The design for the Q monogram comes from my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ (published on 15 Jan 2019). I printed the design out on heavyweight printer paper and used a combination of Chameleon markers, Copic Markers and Chameleon pencils to colour the designs. The original drawing was hand drawn using a Microsoft Surface Pen on a Microsoft Surface Studio using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Once I’d finished the colouring, I then added some embellishments. I’m not a good photographer and sparkly and shiny elements are not easy to photograph, and even worse to scan!

Here’s the details of the embellishments I added:

  1. Aqua coloured Nuvo Glitter drops can be seen dotted around and within the design. These really sparkle and catch the light; they also dry raised, like a sparkly water drop. I also used a Wink of Stella brush pen to add subtle sparkle to the hearts and flower. Then, I realised that the Q was lost in the blue background which was similar in tonal value to the letter. So, I used an extra fine fountain pen to add a pattern made of various sizes of tiny circles to the background.
  2. I just used gold Nuvo drops to embellish the design as well as Wink of Stella to add some subtle shimmer to the hearts and flower.
  3. I used a Spectrum Noir clear sparkle pen to add shimmer and shine to the letter and the hearts. Dots of silver Nuvo glitter drops were added around the design. I also used a gold glitter Uniball Signo pen to add dots to the letter and the centre of the flower. Finally, I used an extra fine fountain pen with black ink to add the patterns in the frame. This helps the letter to stand out in the design. I also used Sakura Stardust Gelly Roll pens to colour in the arrow feathers. These pens allow the underlying colour to show through in a subtle way.
  4. Orange-gold Nuvo glitter drops were added around the design. The clear Spectrum Noir sparkle pen was used to add shimmer and shine to the letter and the dark blue ‘bars’ in the frames around the Q. Finally, I used the extra fine fountain pen with black ink to add patterns to the bars and the letter as well as a solid drop shadow to the left and bottom of the design elements to help them stand out.

These designs could be used for note cards or greetings cards, bookmarks and more. However, they’d make a beautiful ‘drop capital’ at the start of a quote or message.

Of course, it would be easy to substitute the Q for another letter or numeral, or even a cute doodle drawing. Instead of a drawing, you could affix an object such as a dried flower, a metal charm, a dimensional sticker, an inchie, or anything else you can think of. You could even put a small photograph in the frame instead of the letter, and this would make a unique, charming card or feature on a scrapbook, journal or bujo page.

Your options are only limited by your imagination and creativity!

Christmas Dangle Design

©Angela Porter
Design from ‘A Dangle A Day’, authored and illustrated by Angela Porter

It’s Friday so it’s #dangleday. Today, I wanted to share a Christmas Dangle with you from my book ‘A Dangle A Day’. In the book I show how this design was drawn, step by step.

When I created this design, I first drew it in pencil on dot grid paper. The next step for me was to scan it in to the computer and then re-draw it step-by-step, saving each step as I went. For the book, the final step was to colour the design and then write the instructions to go with the images. My tools for this were a Microsoft Surface Book, a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I wanted to include as many Christmas-themed charms to create the dangles as I could and still keep the design balanced. I also kept the length of the dangles uneven. The waviness in the ends of the dangles echoes the waviness of the fairy lights above the hand lettered word ‘Christmas’.

What I did this morning was to print the black and white line art design on an A4 sheet of paper. Then I used Chameleon Duo Tones and Color Tops markers to colour it in.

These pens make it easy to create gradations of colour, such as on the hand lettering. These gradations add ‘dimension’ to the charms and dangles. I keep the darker shades to the left and bottom of the designs so that there’s a consistency across the whole image. I also used a pale grey marker to add drop shadows to the left and bottom of the design elements; again this helps to add dimension to the design.

Finally, I added some highlights with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. I also added some sparkles around the fairy lights and individual stars with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some sparkle!

Used individually with a monogram or Christmassy image the dangles would make lovely book marks. Printed at A5 in size, the design would make a fabulous BuJo page for the big day itself. It would also make a lovely design for greetings cards or note cards.

Of course, it would be easy to change the word at the top to, perhaps, Winter or Yule and use fewer dangles to suit the length of the word. Personally, I like to use an odd number of dangles wherever possible – it gives a more balanced design.

Abstract Entangled Art 17 November 2018

I’ve worked on this image over the past three days or so. Adding the shading took a surprisingly large amount of time.

I really enjoyed creating this one. I say that about all my art though, but this one was particularly enjoyable as it helped me to calm and relax after the crazyily emotionally exhausting week I’d had.

It reminds me very much of work I used to do before I had so much work to do for colouring books, not that I’m complaining about that, not one bit. I love doing the drawings for them as much, but I can’t work in this kind of detail for them. I can’t put in all the fine line shading and shadow for them, nor the teeny-tiny details in the patterns as they’d be nigh on impossible to colour the gaps individually.

In my past couple of drawings like this, I haven’t added any shadow to them in the way I have in this particular design. The shadow really helps with that sense of ‘dimension’, though I do think I could have added some deeper shadows in some places.

Though it reminds me of the kind of drawings i used to do a lot pre-coloring books, it’s also shows a change in perhaps sophistication of line but also in the variety of patterns and design elements I like to include in my designs. I’ve even left some ares not heavily patterned so they give the eye spaces to rest without being overwhelmed with pattern and design.

Now to the nitty gritty of how I drew this.

After yesterdays discussion about digital vs traditional art I’d like to say I did this digitally, but I didn’t. I used Unipin Uniball and Sakura Pigma Micron pens on an A4 sheet of Bristol Board from Daler-Rowney. Pencil lines were sometimes used, especially for the circles, which I used stencils to draw them in lightly before inking them in free-hand. I’ve noticed I’ve not erased the pencil lines before scanning the artwork in.

To add the shading I used Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops in shades of cool grey and neutral grey.

Today, I plan to do some more drawing similar to this before my new bullet journal arrives to replace the one I wrecked by spilling mocha over it and my lovely flowery bag. Thankfully, the notes I need to keep from the media training and events this week are still readable so I can transfer them across, as well as edit them in the process.

Nature always wears the colours of the spirit

Angela Porter 5 July 2018

I’ve spent all day working on this, and a pleasurable day it has been.

When it came to choosing a quote to hand letter on the image, this one by Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed perfect to me.

To colour my drawing I used my Chameleon Marker pens. I haven’t used alcohol markers in quite a while. There was a point when I’d coloured a lot of the outline art in and really didn’t like the colours I’d used and nearly gave up on it.

However, I persevered in adding the patterns and highlights and it’s worked out quite nicely I think, even with a not very good photo of the image.

Artwyrd at Etsy

Last night I bit the marker pen and uploaded two sets of small greetings cards to my Etsy shop, Artwyrd.

Each set has ten cards featuring a coloured flower/mandala design stored in a small, custom made box along with matching envelopes.

The flower/mandala designs I drew myself in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface book.  I printed out multiple copies of the designs and then used my Chameleon Markers and Copic Markers to colour them.  Distress Ink was used to add colour around the designs.

The next step was to create colour mats for the designs; I used my marker pens to colour some Centaura Pearl card.

Before mounting them on the 3″ x 3″ (7.5cm x 7.5cm) card blanks, I embellished the designs with dots of metallic and pearlescent acrylic paint, as well as adding coloured gems.

Of course the cards sparkle!

The boxes are made from cardstock with the lids decorated with designer series paper; the colour ways chosen are complementary to the colours of the cards. I also used Distress Inks to distress the edges and corners of the boxes.   I’ve yet to embellish the boxes.

These are my fifth and sixth attempts at making the boxes.  I had to purchasing a new paper cutter that’s more accurate than the one I had been using.  I had used a template for a box that would take ten 3″ x 3″ cards, but wasn’t big enough for the envelopes.  So, I also had to work out and adjust the measurements needed for the base and lid so that the envelopes would fit in the box!  Frustrating, especially as maths isn’t my strong point …but I got there in the end.

I do have a couple of jobs to do to the cards/boxes; the boxes need some embellishment, and I need to add makers labels to them too.

The boxes will be nice for other things once the cards are used up – the lids are a snug fit.

All of the designs I have stored and may, in the fullness of time, put them together as a pack of digi-stamps so people can use them to create their own cards!

Mixed media cards – shells and fish

AngelaPorter_Cards1_10June2017AngelaPorter_Cards2_10June2017AngelaPorter_Cards3_10June2017AngelaPorter_Cards4_10June2017

Over the past few days I’ve been drawing shells, flowers, fish and fungi and sorting them out to be digi-stamps, work all done on my Microsoft Surface Book.  Some have been printed, coloured using my Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops pens, cut out and mounted on mixed media backgrounds.  The photos above show the fruits of my labours.

Apart from the Chameleon markers, the media I have used are:

  • Distress and Distress Oxide inks
  • Iridescent and metallic paints from Liquitex and Pebeo.
  • Perfect pearls sprays
  • Stencils
  • Stamps
  • Black Archival Ink
  • Inktense pencils
  • 3D Crystal Lacquer
  • Alchemy Wax

I think that’s the complete list of media.  I used mixed media paper for the backgrounds, and the paper was cut out using rectangular dies.  Behind the backgrounds, I used silver mirriboard as a mat.

I’m quite pleased with them.  No so sure about the kraft card bases (which are 5¾” x 4″ in size), but they were what I had.

Now, all I have to do is work out a price for them and pop them into my Etsy shop, though I think I will have to take better photos for that!