Practice makes progress – a Dangle Design

Angela Porter Dangle Design 23 March 2018

I’ve just completed this dangle design, which features a very appropriate message.

Learning to recognise when something is good enough has been a hard lesson for me, but bit by bit I’m getting there.  The ‘practice makes perfect’ adage puts a lot of pressure on a person, so I much prefer the use of the word ‘progress’ instead of perfect.

No one has ever picked up a pen or pencil or other tool for the first time ever and created a perfectly wonderful piece of art. It takes time, patience, and, above all else, practice.

Mistakes are made along the way, or I prefer to call them ‘happy accidents’ or ‘creative opportunities’.  They allow me to reflect on what I have done, to learn, and to improve or extend myself as a result.  Sometimes, the happy accidents teach me something I never would’ve come up with, a surprisingly pleasing result which becomes part of my artistic vocabulary. Sometimes, they result in me changing what the artwork was meant to be into what it needs to be.

To be flexible and not too invested in a definite artistic outcome, is another lesson that imperfections, happy accidents, or creative opportunities have taught me. Learning to go with the flow and work with what happens instead of fighting it and trying to force it into what I wanted it to be, which often then results in a horrible mess of a work.

I’m happy with this ‘dangle’.  If I drew it again, there are bits I’d change. If I were to colour it again, there’s bits I’d change. However, it’ll do as it is.

I sketched the design on dot grid paper, scanned it and then drew it digitally using my Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface.

Next, I printed it out on watercolour paper and used some Tombow Dual Brush Pens to colour it.  I didn’t use many colours at all; the blender brush helped me to achieve colour gradients.

I did use some Copic Multiliner SP pens to add some more details to the printed image and coloured image; I regret the stippling on the centre pot, but it’ll do. I’ll remember next time to use the little lines for added shading!

My book, A Dangle A Day, due out in September 2018 and available for pre-order now, will show you how, step by step, you can create similar dangle designs.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day 2018

Angela Porter Valentines 2018

I designed this colouring template for the facebook group Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans for them to post coloured versions today.

This is my coloured version.  I drew on paper with pen, but coloured it in using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface book using my Surface Pen.

Why I’ve been so quiet…

It’s been nearly a month since my last blog post.  The reasons?  Focusing on a book at the moment.  It’s called A Dangle a Day: Lettering Alphabets and Seasonal Designs with Charms  , though there’s no cover image for the book yet on Amazon it is available for pre-order.  It’s not a colouring book per-se, it’s more of a tutorial book, but colouring does play a big part of course.

It’s a new direction for me, I’m learning new things about publishing, and enjoying the challenge.  I have to focus on this project for now, and not sure I can do ‘sneak peeks’ yet, but when I can, I will!

I do have another colouring book to do after this one …more about that later on.

The other reason is that I’ve been unwell.  Nothing serious, thought to be a ‘viral wheeze’ (which is affecting me like asthma) but it’s got worse again, and is stopping me sleeping properly and lacking energy to do more than what I need to contractually do.

 

Digi Hallowe’en Pumpkin Stamp set

I have a set of 13 digi stamps with a whimsical Hallowe’en Pumpkin theme available in my Etsy shop, Artwyrd.

The set includes :

  • 3 pumkins without faces
  • 5 faces to add to the pumpkins or any other images you wish ( spooky eyes in the dark, on monsters, ghosts, aliens…your imagination is the only barrier!)
  • 5 leaves to use to create an autumn/fall scene with or without the pumpkins

Use them to create cards, or to fill a page with images for a custom colouring page, or any other craft you can think of.

 

Etsy Listings for Colouring Pages

 

In the last day, I’ve uploaded three more colouring sheets to my Etsy shop – Artwyrd.

For each, there’s either a fully coloured, or partly coloured, version of the line art to see.  Yes, I’ve been using them to practice colouring in digitally.

I’ve also started work today on a new book for Dover, the theme for it being eerie.

Colorist Windows App – announcement and review

Colorist

First, the announcement!  I’m doing some coloring templates for the Colorist App, and my first book of ten pages – called DoodleWorlds – is now available for it!

 

Review of Colorist

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Colorist is the only app that lets you color with exactly the same feel as coloring pencils! Relax on the couch and enjoy coloring a complex design, a vacation spot, or a crazy cartoon cat – tons of pages to choose from. Even color the same picture more than once, to see what else you can do with it. No need to worry about losing your coloring pencils in the couch anymore!

I have tried the Colorist app out, and here’s an honest review of it.

I had a quick look at the app before I agreed to do any design work for Faction Apps as I’d not want to have my artwork on any platform that I didn’t think was a good thing.

I’ve given it a test run using my Surface book and the Surface pen.  I haven’t tried it out in touch mode with my finger. You can see what I did in the image above, which is one of the free downloads as my own weren’t available at the time I did this test.

Here’s a close up of the section I coloured in.

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The colour palette

There’s a large number of colours available in the palette, and the bar that appears beside the image retains the last eight colours you’ve used, which is really useful and makes colouring in areas you want in the same colours easy to do.  It also means it’s easy to use many colours to get a smooth colour gradation, something that you can’t do with other colouring apps I’ve seen.

The pencil tool

There’s a slider bar with the tool so you can select the width of the pencil stroke, which is great.  The finest settings allowed me to add patterns to the image.  This is something that sets the app apart from others I’ve seen, which only allow a flood fill.

The finer lines and the ability to zoom in to the area you’re colouring mean you can get into the tiniest areas to colour, which at the original image size may have been a challenge, especially when printed on paper and coloured using coloured pencils.

The line isn’t a solid line, it has texture to it just as if you’re colouring on paper with a ‘tooth’ (texture).  This means that optical mixing of colours is possible, as well as adding texture to that mixing.  It also means that a smooth blend of colours is achievable.

The colours lay nicely on top of each other, thanks to that bitty texture; one colour doesn’t obsure the other, unless you use a lot of pressure and it’s what you want.

Oh, the colours don’t obscure the black outlines of the colouring page, no matter how hard you press.

My surface pen is pressure sensitive, and that makes the colouring experience a lot more comparable to colouring on paper with pencils, but without the mess!  I don’t know what it’s like on a screen that isn’t pressure sensitive, or how it works if I use my finger instead of the pen.

I am really impressed with the results and how the pencil tool works.

Also, I can get a bit irritated when I’m colouring with physical pencils; they often make my arthritic joints ache.  No such problem here; indeed, I wanted to carry on colouring but had to put it aside so I could get on with other things.

Eraser tool and Undo Button

It works!  However, I preferred to use the white from the palette to erase small areas to add highlights as I could control the thickness of the line being used to remove colour.

The undo button would be really useful too.

Together, they are things you can’t do when you’re colouring on paper, well not easily.

Saving your art

You can save your work at any time by using the save button on the app. You can also colour each page in as many times as you like in as many different colour schemes as you like too.

Final thoughts

I like this app, very, very much.  I found it easy to use, quick to master, and it gives really lovely results.  It’s a well thought through app, it does what it says it does, and the experience and results are a lot like using coloured pencils on paper!

I just want to repeat that although I have done some artwork for the app, these views are my own and not influenced by me working for them; if hadn’t htought the app was a good product I wouldn’t have agreed to do work for them!

Coloured doodle-de-doo

Between a couple of ‘meh’ days, busy days with appointments, I’ve managed to colour this particular illustration of mine.

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I coloured this one using copics, and the scan has washed some colours out.

Today’s doodle

I’ve had a couple of days busy with other matters and not much time to spend on drawing.  Today, however, I’ve taken the time to relax with pen and paper.  I’m feeling a bit out of sorts today.  I think that’s reflected in the drawing.

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