Given how unsettled my maelstrom and tsunami stricken inner being is, I really needed to draw a mandala.
I love the soothing creativity that drawing a mandala brings. This one, partly coloured in monochrome greens with those little dashes of purple-ruby, looks like some weird succulent or an alien sea creature of some kind. Maybe a jellyfish.
This week, I’ve designed a mandala full of layers and patterns. I’ve chosen a limited colour palette of soft greens, pinks, reds, oranges and browns; a softer, calmer selection of colours that have that late summer, early autumn feel.
I love drawing mandalas. Seeing the repeating pattern building up is both fascinating and relaxing. Adding colour to bring out the layers and breathe life into the design is a magical process. I’ve not done much with high contrast to bring out the dimension today. Gentleness is the approach needed today both to my art and to myself.
I find it fascinating how my colour choices are often softer, more muted and in limited palettes nowadays. It does make a change from the riotous colours that I so often used not all that long ago, and still do when it comes to the more whimsical and cute colouring books that I create for Creative Haven.
Seeing how others choose to add colour to the colouring page designs I create is also endlessly fascinating and varied.
This week’s colouring page for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group is intricate. Still, it uses only three motifs – spirally furled leaves, starry flowers and stripey, plumptious seed pods.
I drew the design using a fine nib TWISBI eco fountain pen, filled with Documentus ink, on an A4 sheet of Artway’s Eco paper. To add colour, I used various Arteza Everblend markers. The pattern, textures, and highlights have been added with various Arteza Inkonic, Uniball Signo and Sakura Gellyroll pens.
This week it’s a mandala. Why? Well, I just really wanted to draw a mandala!
I enjoy the calming, meditative process of mandala drawing. And as I didn’t want to disturb that calm space I found myself in by making a right mess of adding some colour, I decided to go with an analogous colour scheme. Soft blue, teal and green are also very calming colours.
As it’s a colouring template, I’ve not added lots of textural patterns. However, that is something I can always play around with at another time. For now, the high contrast that brings a feeling of volume and dimension to the design is good enough.
I’m feeling a tad delicate today. I ate something that disagreed with me yesterday it seems. So, some soothing art needed to be done, with no pressure involved.
Mandalas are drawings I turn to when I need soothing. I know they’ll work out for me, that I can indulge myself in abstract patterns, and even if the colours are a bit of a mess, they kind of work out in the way a kaleidoscope always does.
Having said that, I’m fairly happy with my colour scheme! The only thing I’d change is the saturation of the colours in the centre; they look a tad insipid next to the next few rings!
I really like the way the Zentangle pattern Tripoli looks all bumpy at the top and bottom too. That playing with shadow and highlight is something I really, really love.
One of my ideas is to create a digital library of designs of things that interest me and that may be useful in my journal making, card making, or just other kinds of art.
For some reason, I decided on dragonflies. So, I sketched out some ideas and then inked the drawings in digitally. I also added details and patterns ot the designs that weren’t present in the sketches. The dragonflies are in my signature entangled style for sure.
I still have a few sketches to work on, and some alternatives of the wing shapes and body designs. I also want to do them as silhouettes. I like silhouettes on coloured backgrounds, like the one I’ve used today.
I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to ink in the designs. I also used it to add the background, shadows and typography.
The background is one of my own made using Distress Oxide inks and water. I love that I can recolour the image digitally; the original was in shades of pink and purple, but I thought that blues and greens would suit the dragonflies much more.
I’ve left the dragonflies uncoloured, for now, though adding colour will bring the designs to life and add some dimension to them.
I don’t have a colour printer anymore, just a black and white laser printer. I may consider getting a colour printer in the future, however, as I think being able to print my own digital art would be useful, especially for using in journal making. An inkjet printer would be the most useful; it would allow me to print on many different kinds of paper and lightweight card.
I’m also thinking of putting together digital collections of backgrounds and ephemera and/or digi stamps for sale via my Etsy shop. Let me know if you think that’s a good idea by dropping a comment.
Last week, I said I’d do a template a week during the Covid-19 crisis to help people take some time out of worrying and fretting to relax with coloring.
If you’d like to grab the template, just pop along to the group, join, and it’s completely free! All I ask is you follow the terms and conditions of use.
The Fudenosuke pen has a flexible brush nib so I can produce lines of varying thickness. This isn’t something I do often for coloring templates. However, I do like the effect that I get. It’s so easy to give an illusion of depth and dimension.
Of course the template has a white background, but the version I’m sharing has a blueish-grey background which helps the colours to glow against it.
The design is typically my ‘entangled’ style. Abstract but with stylised motifs from nature and architecture and more.
So, how are you doing Angela?
I’m OK. The sun is shining. I have windows open to let some fresh air into the home, but they’re upstairs windows so no one can get within six feet of them! I also live in a very quiet, small, dead-end street (cul-de-sac if you want to be posh) so there’s very little foot fall here.
Reports are that people aren’t heeding the instructions to stay home here in the UK. That makes me fearful that the NHS will soon be overwhelmed by their selfishness and thoughtlessness.
The situation is surreal and feels unreal to people who’ve not had Covid-19 touch them personally – someone developing the disease, being hospitalised, or, sadly, dying. I hope that’s the reason that they’re playing russian roulette with everyone else’s health and well-being. I hope they don’t think that it’s a hoax, or that they’re invulnerable because of whatever reason they think they are.
Sadly, these people are helping to spread the virus. There’s sound reasons to follow the advice, instructions, orders to stay home.
Anyway… I’ve not yet had a text, email or snail-mail to tell me I’m counted as ‘vulnerable’ and will need to ‘shield’ for at least twelve weeks. I don’t know if I shall get one, but it will be in the next day or two if I do. Even if I don’t get one, I’m staying at home, as frustrating as it is on gloriously sunny spring days like this one here in the Welsh Valleys.