This version is totally digital. I used the pen and ink drawn version to re-draw the design in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, making use of a glitter texture.
I think I got my head around how to do this, and colour the images in and I’m kind of pleased with it, though I’d like a bit more of a highlight/shadow on the glitter bits. That will take some thought and experiments as to how to achieve that, but for now my head is overloaded with working in layers and with digital art techniques I’ve barely used before.
I’m pleased with how it looks rather medieval in style – medieval drawn using modern technology. This version doesn’t even exist in physical form, which is crazy!
I have no idea how this would print out as, say, a book mark or note card. As it’s a fairly high resolution file on my computer it would print as a photograph. Of course, there wouldn’t be any real glittery sparkle and shine.
Yes, I’m fairly pleased with this and for myself for figuring it out how to do it, though there’s lots of improvements that could be made.
I think I’d like finer ‘glitter’ on the texture background I used – that’s just a matter of creating another tiled image via GiMP. However, until I do something I never quite know how it’s going to work out, nor do I know if it’s going to be a good idea.
It certainly satisfies a part of me that likes glitter and sparkle and shiny things.
All I have to do now is try to remember how I did this so that I can repeat it in the future, if I’m so inclined.
I am waiting for some metallic inks to be delivered today, so no doubt I’ll be drawing with them on paper.
One monogram dangle design, three different versions.
The first is just the black and white line art. This was drawn with Uniball Unipin pens on dot grid paper then scanned in so the dot grid and faint marks could be removed as well as making a transparent background. This dangle design is much more ornate in terms of pattern than is in my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ but is still easy to do if a bit time consuming.
The second is the line art coloured digitally with some texture added.
The third has the coloured line art floating on a golden sheet.
I’ve not quite managed to get my head around how to convert the black and white line art into golden line art where I can add colour. I suspect it’ll have to be re-drawn, which I’ll most probably do while I’m waiting for a delivery.
I kind of like the gold background, but it is a bit too much as well.
Which version do you like best? Let me know your thoughts!
It’s stupid o’clock here in the UK and just as I was getting ready for bed I had an idea that I just had to try out. So, this was a very quick mandala where I used a gold texture background and drew on top of it.
Digital art this time. Had to try it out. My idea kind of worked out. Now how to figure out how to use this with dangle designs! But I think I may have to sleep first!
Microsoft Surface Studio and Pen, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a texture I found lurking in my files.
Here’s my take on a dangle design monogram using the Lombardic Capitals lettering style.
I drew the design in pen using Uniball Unipin pens on dot grid paper. After scanning the pen and ink design into my Microsoft Surface Studio I removed the dot grid and created a transparent background.
Then, I coloured the design digitally, using a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
The Lombardic Capitals are very medieval in style and so I wanted my dangle designs to reflect this. I spent some time yesterday researching medieval, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic jewellery, floor tiles and ornamentation, which I then used as inspiration for the dangle designs.
I chose jewel-like colours for the design – these colours are often used in medieval manuscripts.
I must admit I’m not sure either about the blue background behind the letter A or the green border to it. Working digitally means I can easily change my colour choices here once I work out what I’d like to do with them.
The final step was to add some texture to the colours, some drop shadows and to create a background in colours and pattern reminiscent of vellum.
I say it every time but I mean it – I really did enjoy creating this one!
I always have fun when drawing and creating, including this design. In it I’ve combined some of my entangled design elements along with winter/Christmas doodles.
To start, I hand lettered ‘Noel’ using a guide for the shape of the lettering I wanted. Then, I printed it out so I could add the black and white line art using a 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.
Once that was done, the finished lineart was scanned back into the Microsoft Surface Studio, a transparent background created and some smudges cleaned up.
Finally, I could colour it. Today, I chose to use the color gradient tools, which does make the job of colouring a bit quicker, but it also results in a rather ‘shiny’ look too. Or perhaps that’s simply due to the colours I choose for the gradients.
I had fun adding the glowing stars and sparkles to this one, though I’m not sure I’ve got that right.A nice way to spend the morning and early afternoon as the weather has been wet and very windy at times here.
It’s Friday so it’s #dangleday. Today, I wanted to share a Christmas Dangle with you from my book ‘A Dangle A Day’. In the book I show how this design was drawn, step by step.
When I created this design, I first drew it in pencil on dot grid paper. The next step for me was to scan it in to the computer and then re-draw it step-by-step, saving each step as I went. For the book, the final step was to colour the design and then write the instructions to go with the images. My tools for this were a Microsoft Surface Book, a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I wanted to include as many Christmas-themed charms to create the dangles as I could and still keep the design balanced. I also kept the length of the dangles uneven. The waviness in the ends of the dangles echoes the waviness of the fairy lights above the hand lettered word ‘Christmas’.
What I did this morning was to print the black and white line art design on an A4 sheet of paper. Then I used Chameleon Duo Tones and Color Tops markers to colour it in.
These pens make it easy to create gradations of colour, such as on the hand lettering. These gradations add ‘dimension’ to the charms and dangles. I keep the darker shades to the left and bottom of the designs so that there’s a consistency across the whole image. I also used a pale grey marker to add drop shadows to the left and bottom of the design elements; again this helps to add dimension to the design.
Finally, I added some highlights with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. I also added some sparkles around the fairy lights and individual stars with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some sparkle!
Used individually with a monogram or Christmassy image the dangles would make lovely book marks. Printed at A5 in size, the design would make a fabulous BuJo page for the big day itself. It would also make a lovely design for greetings cards or note cards.
Of course, it would be easy to change the word at the top to, perhaps, Winter or Yule and use fewer dangles to suit the length of the word. Personally, I like to use an odd number of dangles wherever possible – it gives a more balanced design.
A knock at the door, a Fed-Ex delivery driver asking me for a signature before handing over a parcel. I saw it was from Lydia at Quarto so knew it would be a copy of ‘A Dangle A Day’. So excited to open the package and see the book in a solid, tangible form.
I’ve seen the pdf versions of the book as it was put together before going to print. But, it’s never, ever the same as having that book in my hands.
Even more so today as this is my first book with words and art done by myself. I trust it won’t be the last.
About the book
I had a lot of fun creating this book. I’m so excited about helping others to create their own dangle designs and to gain confidence that they, too, can create lovely designs for use in all kinds of ways – BuJo pages and spreads, greetings cards, note cards, framed pictures, scrapbooks, planners, journals, bookmarks, place cards, and more.
I’ve done my best to show you how to create monograms and dangle designs in easy steps both visually and with some supporting words.
Suggestions about how to approach hand lettering is scattered throughout the step by step instructions for the dangle designs.
Examples of dangle designs in use in bullet journals and more are included – with all their imperfections. Remember, work created by each of us will be perfectly imperfect. It’s those imperfections that make it uniquely ‘you’.
There’s lots and lots of examples of designs and dangles and charms that you can use as they are or as inspiration for other designs. There are designs for all seasons and many, many different events throughout the year.
I’ve included suggestions for color palettes, media to use.
A short primer for bullet journals is included; I’m no expert on bullet journaling but I do make use of one and find it very useful not just in organising my tasks for the day but in recording ideas, reflections, memories and more.
This has put a big smile on my face this morning, and that smile will continue for a long while. I never thought I’d write and illustrate an art tutorial book. I’d thought I’d like to, but didn’t have the confidence to think it would be so.
Why I chose to use digital tools
I made great use of my Microsoft Surface Book and Microsoft Surface Studio along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to draw many of the designs. Working digitally made editing designs, breaking the design process down into simple steps so easy.
I used to think, as many do, that digital art is simpler, easier than traditional forms of art.
The skill set required is different. I wanted my digital drawing and coloring to look like I’d done it with traditional media.
Digital drawing is no easier than drawing on paper.
What is easier is correcting mistakes, smudges and removing pencil lines. It removes the frustration I experience in scanning images in and spending a lot of time cleaning the image up for the publishers. Scanning can be a frustration for me too, which would’ve been worse if I’d had to scan in step after step after step. And having to re-draw if I’d missed a step out, or re-scan would’ve driven me nuts.
What I didn’t want was artwork that looked too perfect, too inhuman. I wanted digital drawings that looked like I’d drawn them on paper. So, I worked hard to set up pen ‘brushes’ that would mimic how my favoured drawing pens would look when drawn on paper.
Also, I rarely used any line smoothing tools for any of the work so it has that slightly ‘wobbly’ line appearance that my pen and ink linework has. I also kept the design elements, called charms, imperfect just as they would be if I’d drawn them with pen on paper.
In fact, each and every design started out as either a pen or pen drawing on paper which was scanned in so I could re-create it, step by step, digitally, saving a file for each step to the computer.
There were plenty of revisions/edits required and colour changes. Again, working digitally make this a less onerous task than if I’d had to do everything with pen and ink on paper, scanning in each step all the while worrying I hadn’t missed a step as I got engrossed in the process of drawing.
Working digitally did not make the drawing any easier or simpler, what it did was allow me a different way to draw the steps.
Coloring the designs digitally was no quicker than with traditional media, in fact it took me longer! I learned a lot about this process by doing this book, and I think it was the book that allowed me to become more comfortable with digital art and how to make it look like I’d drawn with pen on paper, in my own style.
Of course, I can print out the line art and colour it with any media I choose. I also can redraw any using traditional media. And of course, adjusting the size is so easy.