Autumn is on the way!

Autumn Mandala 01Coloured Angela Porter

Autumn is nigh and it’s a lot more glorious because…

September has arrived at long last, along with the promise of the fiery blaze of glory that is autumn in a few weeks time.

Cooler mornings and evenings along with warm enough days, the quality of sunlight is softer, more golden too.

I really love this time of year, it’s my favourite!

Even more so that I no longer have the long fear/anxiety of returning to school as a teacher.

I don’t miss teaching one little bit!  I miss friends I had. I miss the more social interaction I had and the fun and laughter I had with colleagues and pupils.  What I don’t really miss is the constant fear, anxiety, worry, stress, pressure, bad attitudes, poor behaviour and constantly being looked at and assessed. All the things that led me to some very dark places that I found difficult to get out of.  No, it’s not ‘I don’t really miss’ these things – I really don’t miss these things, though I still get moments anxiety verging on panic when memories of various situations arise from the depths of my subconscious.

Arty pursuits

I’ve finished all the black and white line art for Eerily Entangled – my latest colouring book for Dover Publications.  I have two more to colour in for the book, but I’ll wait to see what my editor and her design team would like me to colour – there are so very many, if not all, I’d love to colour!

As well as this, I’ve spent quite a bit of time starting to organise my ‘pattern library’.  It’s something I like to do when I’m too tired to do anything else, when I’m feeling down and need a comforting not challenging activity, and when I’m lacking in inspiration; sometimes the patterns bring the inspiration I’m searching for, sometimes they just allow stuff to well up to the surface of my subconscious mind where my conscious mind can grab them and make use of them.

As a change of focus, I decided to draw some autumn themed mandalas, the one at the top of this blog entry being the first.

I’m a bit rusty at creating them after focusing on other things for a while, but the skills soon come back, often with new ideas or twists to old ideas, as well as new skills learned by my use of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with my Microsoft Surface Book, which I used to create this mandala.

By the sea, more about digital art

EscapesByTheSea_AngelaPorter_Coloured1

At the end of this month, a new colouring book by myself is due out.  It’s called ‘By The Sea’ and is one in the Escapes series of books from Dover Publications Inc..

Above, is one of the templates from the book, along with my work in progress based on it.

I’m using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book to do the colouring/drawing.  It’s taking me a long time to do; if I’d used my Chameleon pens, it would’ve been all done a couple of days ago!  However, it’s all a process of learning and exploring, working with different brushes and so on.  Working in layers is a revelation to me, and I love the glowing colours I can get.

Working ‘outside the lines’, or even totally ignoring the lines’ is something very new for me to do, and I’m very uncertain about the results I’m getting.

I know from past experience with different traditional media such as oil or acrylic paints, I really don’t get the hang of them.  I also don’t like the smell or texture of them.  Watercolours are fine as long as I don’t try to get fancy with them and just colour areas in then work on top with pens and pencils…

Digital art is opening up my horizons…and shaking me out of those old, comfortable ways.

I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in colour choice.  I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in using the different brushes and textures and blending.  I end up unhappy with what I’ve done for example, I’ve tried four or five times to add the wiggly seaweed strands to the bottom right of my coloured area, and I’ve been unhappy with the five times I’ve done that.

What I do know is, that I’m not going to screw my work up and chuck it.  The beauty of being able to work in layers means it’s easy to remove what you’re not happy with and re-do it.

The other side of this coin is that it’s really difficult for me to know when to stop fussing and fiddling with things!  I sometimes end up erasing work I’ve done as I’ve gone too far and can’t undo it, and the only way to go is to start that section over again.

This is all fascinating for me, as well as frustrating, and can lead to me being hard on myself.

Backing off from it isn’t an option.  Where I get very frustrated with traditional media when I try to add colour in a way I’d like it to be there, a lot of that is taken away from me as I use digital methods.

I have a lot to learn, a lot to explore, but the more I do, the more I’m determined to acquire myself a Microsoft Surface Studio.