Monday is, usually, mandala day. I have at least one mandalas-in-progress, but I started a new one today, primarily because I wanted to try out some different brushes in Clip Studio Paint Pro.
It took me a few experiments to settle on one brush to work with for this mandala – a coloured pencil brush.
It also took me quite a few goes to work out how I wanted to lay down colour for this mandala too. Eventually I settled on highlight on one edge, shadow on the other, and quite a sharp delineation betwixt the two.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but the effect I was achieving reminded me of the abstract oil paintings I did many, may years ago. The abstract patterns came from Romanesque architecture and rusty parts of steam and diesel locomotives. I remember myself playing with light and shadow. I also remember at the AS level exam exhibition I was puzzled as people kept touching the paintings. I asked someone why they had. They answered that they wanted to see if the paintings were 3D in nature. I hadn’t seen that illusion at all, but once it was pointed out to me I could see what others could. I put it down to having worked so closely on the paintings.
This was around 17 years ago now, and I still tend towards working with highlights and shadows, and the resultant illusion of volume or dimension in my work.
I’ve also finally worked out that I tend to use light and shadow as part of the patterns in my work instead of related to a light source. I think that penny dropped when I was listening to a Zentangle video on youtube.
As lovely as it is to work with varied colour palettes, for this one I wanted to return to a simpler palette. I’ve chosen just two colours and various shades of those colours.
I can see how my colour blending technique has developed from the centre outwards! The difference between highlight and shadow has increased a tad.
I have so many works in progress at the moment, and I tend towards creating new all the time. I think I really do need to learn perseverance and get works finished more often!
Mandalas are so much fun to do. In this one are lots of zentangle patterns – can you spot them?
Soft blues and greens play against the coppery tones used in the structure of the mandala. Soft, yet not washed out with plenty of contrast betwixt the highlights and shadows. I’m actually really happy with the color palette I’ve used here, as well as some subtle texture patterns that may not be visible on this smaller, lower resolution image.
What I do like is the light, almost lacy feel to the outermost ring.
A lovely way to spend a few hours on a Monday morning. Indeed, I got so engrossed in this that I’ve not had breakfast yet and it’s gone midday!
Yet again, a lovely way to start a Monday. Mandalas are always a pleasure to draw/paint/create. I particularly love creating them digitally for many reasons, not least is the opportunity to experiment and learn new skills. It removes the worry of making a ‘mistake’ on paper and either having to start again or try to make that ‘mistake’ a part of the work. Often, that ‘mistake’ will be worked into the drawing, but not always and if I know it’s there, it bothers me, even if no one else can see it. The perfectionist in me gets a tad upset at it.
Having said that, there are a couple of things I’m not happy with in this mandala, but I can live with them.
One thing I do like is the colour palette of copper/bronze colours and that steely blue-grey. Vintage colours seem to be my thing at the moment for sure.
Finished! The addition of coppery tones was a bit of a surprise, even to me. But it seemed the right thing to do. I do like the combination of copper and the verdigris tones of teals, greens and blues.
I spent some time darkening the shadows in the inner rings of the mandala, as well as adding some depth of colour. They looked so washed out against today’s additions.
Also, I changed the colour of the background. Everything was so lost against the teal background.
Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro – Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.
Seven plane symmetry, using a flexible nib pen to carve through black to reveal the design in copper. Done digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio.
I really have been enjoying creating this kind of design lately and I make no apologies for showing so many that seem to be similar. I find creating these so soothing and calming.
Here, I wanted to see how a metallic background texture would work, and it does really well, just not on WordPress and how the website shows images. The colours never seem to be as vibrant as they do elsewhere.
What I love about this process is that I have no idea of what the end product will be. It’s all about being in the flow, working intuitively, and trusting my skills and creativity.
Often, I’m so zoomed in to the section I’m drawing I’m not aware of how the overall design is looking and working. That means I really do have to trust my instincts, and trust that it will all fit together to create a satisfying end result, and I am happy with it.
I’ve woken to a grey, wet, fresh day here in the Welsh Valleys. The coolness is actually quite delicious on my skin. The rain is freshening the air and world up, clearing the dust away. What a way for the weather to see out August!
It’s a perfect morning to do some artsy crafty stuff. For me, that meant finishing off a pair of cards with coordinating envelopes.
Making the larger entangled seed pods card.
The top panel measures 3″ x 3.75″, mounted on an A6 card (UK sizes).
I coloured The envelope, top panel and the border of the middle panel envelope and the edge of the middle panel with Crushed Olive, Forest Moss and Shabby Shutters Distress inks. I used a mini foam blending tool to achieve a gradient.
I sprayed water onto the top panel. Distress Inks react with water and results in some interesting textural patterns. I didn’t spray water onto the envelope; the paper is too thin to take such treatment.
My next task was to draw the entangled designs; I chose to go with some seed pods, leaves, a geometric pattern and some little flowers too. I added some ‘sparkle’ patterns around the main elements to give the illusion of little things floating in the air.
Next, I added some sparkle and shine with some gold and copper ink. I placed ink inside the sparkles, the seeds inside the larger seed pods and the flowers too.
I used a brush and Distress inks to add some depth of colour to the design on the card. I decided not to do this on the envelope, again because of the quality of the paper.
Once I have someone to send the card to, I will address the envelope and seal it with Distress Micro Glaze so that moisture won’t damage the envelope.
The colour choice on this card is unusual for me, but it’s worked out nicely, particularly with the gold and copper accents.
The tiny floral card.
This card is tiny, measuring just 2.25″ x 3.25″. It’s envelope is a little larger than needed, but the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board didn’t have measurements on it for a card this size, so I just used the closest available.
The panel on the card measures 1.75″ x 2.375″. It is one of the panels from the Foursquare background frames I messed up while making yesterdays cards.
I used one of my ideas from yesterdays musings on the cards I’d made. I drew a simple design on both the card panel and the envelope front and flap using Uniball Unipin pens and then coloured it with Copic markers. I added some gold glitter dots with a Uniball Signo gel pen.
Once all was dry, I used a Versamark Pen to colour over the flowers, leaves and gold sparkles. Versamark ink is colourless and sticky and is made by Tsukineko; it comes in ink pads but also in double-ended pens – a bullet point at one end and a brush tip at the other. The ink takes a little while to dry.
I covered the sticky areas with WOW super fine clear embossing powder and used a heat tool from Ranger to melt it, giving the design elements a glossy, protective and slightly raised finish. It also intensifies the colours somewhat, which I rather like.
So, I could now colour the background and envelope with Distress Inks without affecting the colours of the flowers, leaves and gold dots. I used a mini foam blending tool along with Pine Needles, Mowed Lawn, Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean Distress Inks.
The final task was to glue the card panel to the card blank as well as the envelope flaps.
Again, once I’ve addressed the envelope, I’ll use Distress Micro Glaze to seal the inks and prevent any damage to the artwork while journeying to the recipient.
Reflecting on the cards.
I enjoyed making these cards. I particularly like the simplicity of the small card and the effect of the embossing powder. There’s something about teeny-tiny cards that really pleases me. I think it’s that their size makes them just so darned cute!
The larger card I am also pleased with, particularly in my use of colours that are unusual for me. I’m glad I added colour to the seedpods on the card; it helps them to stand out. I do love the copper and gold ink on this darker background too and how well they stand out.
Making envelopes that coordinate with the card is also something I enjoy doing; hopefully, the recipients see them as something a bit special dropping through their letterbox.
So, what’s on the cards for today?
It’s the last day of August, so I need to get a wiggle on to create a September colouring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. I feel the need to include some autumn imagery in this one as we are in the dog days of summer for sure.
Tell me, Angela, how are you feeling today?
I’m tired but feeling quite content and optimistic again. I slept well last night; the weighted blanket really is working wonders for me as far as sleep is concerned. One problem is that I don’t want to get out from under it in the morning, so it must be comforting or soothing me.
I seem to have turned in a magnet for people who have escaped narcissistic abuse of all kinds. It’s nice to be able to help others by giving them space where I will believe their experiences, and I can help them, hopefully, to understand that they are not at fault but are victims.
Synchronicity pointing out to me how much I have learned and understood and healed and am now able to help others, perhaps?
I love the combination of teals and coppery tones so I chose to use them as part of the colour scheme in this mandala. A simple black outline mandala with no crazily intricate detailed patterns included. I’m not so sure about the purple-ish I used for the ‘crystals’ in the other most rings of the mandala though.
Drawn and coloured in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Microsoft Surface Pen on the screen of a Microsoft Surface Studio very, very late last night and into the wee small hours of this morning.
Today is likely to be another self-care day. I thought I was in a place where I could do loving kindness meditations again this morning. I’m not. So much emotional distress and even physical pain during the part of the meditation that involves bringing loving kindness to myself. I have no problem sending loving kindness to another being I feel love for. I have no problem sending it out to all of the Earth. Still, the nasty messages of the inner critic are fodder for EMDR. And it’s such a lovely sunny, late winter day here in the Welsh Valleys.
With the new year design, I’ve asked that those who colour it (or another template if they have no access to printers) as close to midnight between 2018 and 2019 at their local time as they can. It will be lovely to see a flurry of colour throughout the day as the world gradually moves into 2019.
I’ve come to a standstill on this one. I don’t think it’s finished but I don’t know what is missing.
The focal point is a small sketch I did of a Romanesque bird; I used coloured pencils on coloured paper followed by Pitt Artist pen. I also ‘distressed’ it with Distress Inks and water spray. It is a very, very sketchy drawing, but I feel I need to be a bit more confident in using my own drawings/art in such mixed media art.
I just don’t know what else this needs, though. I’ve tried out the idea of using wire spirals wrapped with finer wire and beads, and that doesn’t feel it would work, not unless it’s one of the first things I make and use. Flowers don’t work, neither does foliage…
So, I’ll leave it be for a while and come back to it at a later time…sometimes that’s the best thing to do.