What isn’t typical is, perhaps, the colour palette. I chose the colours rather intuitively, letting my emotions guide me. I started with cool, calming blues and greens in the centre. All the colours are quite soft and gentle, until I got to the outside border where I used brighter yellows and oranges and complementary blues and purples. The brighter colours appeared as my anxiety ebbed and the clouds parted to let some sunshine through.
I had a weird night’s sleep with both hot flashes and disturbing dreams. I often feel out of sorts for a long while after such dreams and they may be the source of my anxiety. I’m feeling calmer now though. Art has worked it’s magic, and the intermittent sunshine is helping.
I think it’s forecast to be cloudy with sunny breaks for the rest of the daylight hours, so I may very well get myself out for a walk in a short while.
This week, it’s a bold, entangled design. Lots of botanical motifs and some geometric patterns in there. I chose to fill the image with flat colours this week. The color palette I’ve used reminds me of the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau.
It’s both unusual of me to use flat colour, or colours that are also muted. Some shadow and highlight would serve to add dimension to the design, but there’s something quite nice about it as it is. Something that I can’t put my finger on.
If you’d like to print and colour it, you do need to be a member of the facebook group. Membership is free, as are the templates to members. There’s just a few reasonable terms and conditions that need to be followed to use them.
In the past few years, there’s been a flurry of coloured templates appearing on the page throughout New Year’s Day, always something beautiful and wonderful to behold. Many members post their templates close to midnight when the year changes.
I’ve not coloured the template yet. I hope my focus continues over the next couple of days so I can get it done to join in.
I had a right ‘mare of a time getting the image above done. I think I tried four times in total, with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro crashing before I could save it. Sketchbook pro has always been very, very stable, so I guess the gremlins of 2020 got to it today. But I finally got it done. That could be a very perfect metaphor for 2020, perhaps.
Drawn with a fine Uniball Eye pen on acid-free cartdridge paper. Backgrounds added digitally.
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.
This week, the design has one big focal point motif of a zentangle-inspired Christmas Tree. It’s cute and whimsical, and is surrounded by holly, mistletoe, gifts, stars and baubles. Of course there’s some hearts there too.
Although the drawing is quite detailed, it’s split into smaller sections. This is great if you only have a bit of time or feel overwhelmed by the whole image. This way you can do one section at a time.
There’s a couple of reasons I usually only colour part of the template. One is a question of time when I have other things that have to be done. The other is that it shows the difference colour makes to the drawing, how it brings it to life.
I love to see how colourists bring my drawings to life with colour and how unique each person’s approach to colouring is. Every time I see one coloured it brings a smile to my face. I have so many colouring books published, so many templates drawn that I don’t have time to colour them all myself.
But when I see a template I wasn’t happy with all coloured in and how wonderful it looks, it not only makes me smile, but it gives me a little confidence boost that my drawings may be just good enough after all.
Yes, I suffer with imposter syndrome and a lack of self-confidence still.
For the rest of the day I really do need to get on with my Christmas card design for this year and get the moonpig ones sorted out and sent off.
This week’s template is a combination of dangle designs and little pictures. Not one large and often intricate image to colour this week, but a series of little ones so that the template can be coloured in one little bit at a time. This is great for people who get overwhelmed by large, overly-complex colouring pages.
Just as a note, my book “A Dangle A Day” is available. It’s a tutorial book showing how you too can create your own cute and whimsical dangle designs. The dangle designs in the book are a lot smaller than this template!
This design was drawn on Rhodia Dot grid paper using a “F” Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen and then cleaned up digitally. I then added a wintry background and added some colour to some of the motifs.
I always love to see the many different and unique ways colorists bring my designs to life. Colour really does make all the difference to the templates.
I create templates for the members of the group as my way of saying ‘thank you’ for supporting my work. I am thankful that I am able to bring some joy and peace into others’ lives through my colouring books and my art.
If you’d like to download and print the template for personal use, head on over to the facebook group. Some simple terms and conditions of use apply.
I’ve chosen warm, autumn colours for my version of the template. How would you bring yours to life with colour? I love to see how people colour my templates, and I can be tagged on twitter and instagram as @artwyrd.
Today in South Wales
It’s a beautiful late autumn day. A hard frost this morning has now melted. The dragons-breath mist flowing down the valley has dissipated leaving the air filled with a silvery mist that diffuses the bright sunlight beaming from the pale blue sky. Trails of smoke and steam trickle through the fairly still atmosphere, making a statement that the colder months are now upon us.
Once I’ve completed all my social media posts, I’m going to put some sunblock and boots on, wrap up warm, and go for a much needed and long-put off walk. It’s time for me to face some of the social anxiety that has built up in me during another lockdown.
Then, it’ll be settling down to ink in some coloring templates for Entangled Starry Skies. I was going to do some yesterday. Unfortunately, I was overcome by the intense fatigue that plagues me from time to time, which hasn’t been helped by a few insomniac nights. I slept lots yesterday, and fairly well last night, so feel better today than I have done for a while.
Thursday again, and as I’m feeling better and able to focus more on work each day, I managed to create a colouring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to members and free to join – just a few, reasonable terms and conditions are attached to use of the template.
I am feeling better today. Yesterday, the day took unexpected twists and turns that meant I just wasn’t able to write a blog or do social media posts. I do need to get focused on work today – once I’ve had breakfast that is. But it’s nice to be feeling more my usual self after the latest bout of recurrent illness.
This week’s offering is a typically Entangled design, with some inspiration from Hundertwasser – the lollipop trees and pillars particularly.
I bore in mind my musings yesterday about me and straight lines and left a wiggly, wriggly, wobbly border around the design. I also made some of my arches deliberately wonky and wobbly too.
I drew the design with Rotring pens on cartridge paper. After scanning in, I edited and coloured the design in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
It was a nice way to spend some time yesterday. I didn’t feel too good when I woke up, but as the day went on I distinctly felt unwell. The recurrence of the fatigue, upset tummy, lack of focus. Overnight, my sleep was really disturbed by dashing back and forth the loo.
As I’m finding it hard to focus for a couple to a few days at a time, thanks to these recurring bouts of illness, I’ve decided to take a break from the weekly templates until the end of the month. The book I’m working on is due to be finished by then and I need to use what energy and focus I have on that.
I’ll try to blog daily, perhaps with sneak peeks or sketchbook work, or blasts from the past. But if I miss a day, it’s because I’m either overwhelmed by work or fatigue as I go through another cycle of this illness.
I do think it has everything to do with the illness I had back at the end of December 2019. Sickness, diarrhoea, extreme fatigue, loss of taste and smell, brain fog, loss of appetite. I get repeats of the illness, albeit it much less severe.
I know it’ll pass in a day or two and I’ll be back to my usual self. But for now, I need to look after myself, and make sure I get my work done too.