I’ve been drawing this over the past couple of days, little by little. The drawing is now done and it’s time to add shadow and highlight.
I like the colours I’m using for this, though I’m not too crazy about the slapdash way they seem to have been applied. That’s a function of me trying to alter digital brush settings to get the texture I like. I’ll get there, maybe when I’m more awake and with it. I’ve had a very disturbed night’s sleep and have been up since stupid o’clock.
Anyways, I have so many of these kinds of drawings to complete with shadow/highlight, yet I keep drawing more and more! The lure of pen and paper is irresistable at times; they’re also a lot more portable than the Surface Studio! I like drawing mandala’s digitally. I’m happy to ink in sketches digitally.But when I try to darw like this digitally, I lose all sense of proportion and perspective. I have no idea why that is. Perhaps because it’s all too easy to zoom in to work on an area. I don’t know.
As hard as I try to create pen brushes that mimic the way pens draw on paper, the lines look too perfect. I’m still working out what is the best way for me to work and I keep circling the idea of using both traditional drawing with digital wizardry. I really am unsure as to what I’m doing is ‘right’. It’s like I need to give myself permission to work this way, to reassure myself it’s art so it’s fine to work however I want.
What I do know is that I will eventually work it out. I will.
Yesterday I had a godawful migraine-y headache. I managed to get some drawing done for Entangled Starry Skies. However the headache scuppered my plans to complete the templates.
I woke this morning, after a broken night’s sleep due to overheating and some hot ‘flashes’, my first night time ones. So, though I’m a bit tired, the headache has, thankfully, gone and I was able to focus on work. All the templates are complete, apart from any edits on the new ones and a couple of the very first ones drawn. So, the next job will be to colour in three of the templates that the editorial team will choose. I let them have that difficult job as I find it so hard to choose just three out of the thirty-one templates.
So, to celebrate I turned my attention to my Christmas ‘card’ for this year. I do need to get a design done sooner rather than later for the cards that need printing and posting. I suspect that Moonpig will be used this year for those.
The design above is the next iteration of the Christmas/winter tree idea I have. I’ve got as far as trying out some color palettes for the final design. Green would be traditional, but I rather like the opalescent colours at the top right of the test area.
After doing my social media posts, I’m going to go and sort a late lunch/early tea out for myself. It’s a tad late to organise myself to go out for a walk – with the skies growing darker with clouds dusk will fall early. Ho hum, perhaps tomorrow!
A little drawing this morning, used to embellish a quote that describes my artistic journey, well part of it.
The quote also describes the long journey I undertook to heal CPTSD enough that I found a touchstone of contentment inside me. That touchstone was something I’d never experienced and it is a very precious part of me.
Part of the healing process through EMDR was learning to trust myself, my memory, my emotions (which I discovered in the process).
The wonky motifs that form the border are perfectly imperfect. The imperfections in my art are part of my artistic expression. I’ve learned to recognise when my art is good enough.
I accept that my art is often perfectly imperfect, much of the time. I’m still learning how to not be so hard on myself, to recognise when something is good enough with me. It’s a work in progress for sure.
The motifs were drawn with Uniball Unipin pens on Canson Marker paper. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Affinity Publisher to create the ‘meme’.
I decided to do Slowtember. I like having prompts to challenge me, take me a little outside of my usual style. However, Inktober can be a bit full on with daily prompts. Slowtember gives that breathing space, and I can work it in around my other commitments.
Thanks to @megaelod on twitter for the idea and prompts!
So, the first prompt was a choice betwixt pothos and chill. I decided to combine them! I like foliage, and the word gives me a chance to try out some hand drawn typography/hand lettering.
I sketched the quite stylised design on dot grid paper, inked it with Unipin pens and then scanned it in. after some digital clean up and slight adjustments, I added some simple colour and shadow.
You’d think adding simple colour would be easy, yes? Nope! Choosing the right greens wasn’t easy for me. And then there was the typography. I lost count of how many times I tried different ways to colour the letters. Eventually I decided enough was enough and the gradient I had was good enough.
As I think now, after breakfast and some mocha, I could’ve done the word as a flower pot, or used it to add shadow to a flower pot. Maybe I’ll give that a go for the next prompt (monstera and water).
Complex drawings are my stock in trade. Going simple and stylised is not quite so easy! Still, it was fun to do, a bit frustrating at times, but the result is perhaps good enough, though I’m not sure about that.
The calendar page turns over and we’re into a new month.
August always heralds the end of summer and start of autumn, my favourite season. It is the last full month of summer here in the Valleys of South Wales. The evenings come noticeably earlier, always a sign that the year is continuing on its endless cycle of seasons.
We have a grey, damp and blustery start to the first day of the month. There are shafts of sunlight finding their way through gaps in the clouds, but there’s a deliciously refreshing snap to the cool and fresh air after the night-time rain.
I thought I’d create a really simple mandala design for the start of this month, one that is full of warm colours, but that hint of autumnal tones in the background.
I kept things simply stylised in the design. If nothing else, working on it made me smile, inwardly as well as on my lips.
I woke early-ish today and did some work on one of the typographic portraits I’ve been doing. Then, in my rush to get to the shower, I clicked the wrong button and lost my work. Thankfully, it’ll be easy enough to do it again. I also think that with the version I’m working on, I’m finding my way with the process. I have a lot of the portrait left to do, but I feel less frustrated with it and have a clearer idea of what I’d like to achieve now I’ve taken a few days break from this kind of work.
Before I settle back to the typography, I am going to take a walk in the fresh air of the morning. Well, after I’ve done my social media posts!
I’ve never drawn a hammer before, of any kind. I thought I’d have a go though and try my hand at a fantasy style, possibly dwarfish one.
Not only was designing one a problem for me, adding colour, dimension and texture were some other problems.
I think I’ve left areas a bit bare of line and pattern. Others I could’ve done a better job of creating highlights and shadows. However, overall I’m ok with this, especially as it’s not something I’d usually draw.
Next week’s prompt is ‘dinner’. Sheesh…
I made use of various tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to help me design the hammer, some of the them tools I’ve not used before.
I did consider making a drawing of the hammer from a different angle, but this one has taken me so long that I now need to do some other stuff today.
I have a life-long fascination with words and facts that appeal to my curious, squirrel-y mind. I like unusual words. I also like etymology – the origins of words.
Since my first episode of severe mental ill-health due to burnout and cPTSD, I’ve found it difficult to read and retain information as I once used to as well as to recall information that was once on the tips of my neurons.
I’m finding it much easier to read and retain some of what I’ve read, thank goodness! And with that comes a desire to seek out interesting words and facts once again.
Lalochezia comes from the Greek ‘lalia’, meaning speech, and the Latin ‘chezo’, meaning to relieve oneself.
I admit, quite freely, to lalochezia. Not just for physical pain, but emotional pain too. There’s nothing quite like a swear word full of hard consonants to express the pain, frustration or upset verbally.
A friend of mine is constantly amused by my use of swear words even though I sound ‘quite posh’, according to her anyway. I thought of her when I found this particular word and just knew I had to use it for one of my ‘quote’ artworks.
The floral motif is influenced by Art Nouveau. It is highly stylised but there’s also the influence of Celtic knotwork in the way the foliage intertwines and overlaps.
The typography was completed using Affinity Publisher. The artwork was completed in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. In both cases I used a Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pen.
Today, I have a simple dangle design greeting card along with a coordinating envelope. If you’d like some more ideas, inspiration and step by step instructions for drawing dangle designs then my book, A Dangle A Day, is a good place to start.
Materials and dimensions
4″ x 4″ Strathmore Bristol paper with a vellum finish 5″ x 5″ acid-free white card blank White envelope that card will fit in Distress inks in Tea Dye and Rusty Hinge Small piece of foam and a mini foam blending tool A piece of card with a 1.5″ x 0.75″ window cut in it to use as a stencil. Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens in F, S and XS Ruler and pencil Adhesive Glass pen and coppper ink by J Herbin
Making the card.
Use the card stencil and a small sponge dauber to apply a rectangle of Distress Ink in the top left of the 4″ x 4″ top layer. I used Tea Dye to colour the whole rectangle in, followed by a subtle gradient of Rusty Hinge from the bottom up.
Use a mini foam blending tool to add Tea Dye Distress ink to the edge of the top layer.
Use a pen to draw the rectangles around the colour block. I like to do this free-hand as it gives a more organic, human feel to the design.
Draw the sprigs and add the lines to the border. Dots help to add some interest to the more empty parts of the design.
Use a ruler and pencil to lightly draw a vertical line as a guide for the dangle. Also, draw pencil lines as guides for the position and size of the hand lettering. Sketch in the letters of the greeting.
Draw round and diamond shaped beads to form the dangle. I like to finish my dangles with a ‘heavier’ or larger bead.
Ink the letters in. I did some faux calligraphy where I made the down-strokes thicker. I added some lines and shading to the top line.
Carefully erase the pencil lines.
Attach the top layer to the card blank.
I used a glass pen and copper ink to add copper dots to highlight the dangle design and the hand lettering. I also drew a box just inside the top layer and another just outside it on the card blank. Again, I free-handed the lines, embracing the wobbliness.
Making the envelope
I used Tea Dye Distress Ink and a mini foam blending tool to edge both the front and back of the envelope.
I then used a sponge dauber and the card stencil to add a rectangle of Tea Dye ink in the top left.
I drew the design on the envelope as I had on the card, including adding a line border in copper ink.
Finally, I drew similar sprigs on the envelope flap, using the glass pen and copper ink.
Once I’ve addressed the envelope, I’d apply a thin layer of Distress MicroGlaze to the front and back of the envelope to protect the Distress Ink and drawing from the elements. I’ve done this to other cards and they have traversed the UK and US postal systems with no problems.
Ideas for using the design.
Although I’ve presented this dangle design as a greeting card, which is, I think, a lovely way to share a little bit of artistic loveliness with others, there are many other ways the design could be used, with or without any hand lettering.
In a BuJo, journal, planner or diary it would make a lovely little design to fill in a blank space.
This is a design that would work really well as a bookmark.
I’m sure it would look charming as part of a scrapbook spread.
I also think it would look lovely on a ‘with compliments’ slip or decorating the edge of a hand-written letter.
I’m sure there are many other ways and media that this design would be suited to.
I’m really enjoying drawing these kinds of dangle designs. They’re simple and elegant, to my mind anyway. They’re also quite easy to draw.
I do prefer to free-hand the lines and let the wobbliness be part of my signature style. It gives that human, hand-made, hand-crafted feel to the finished project, and a warmth to the finished project.
I work hard at finding a way of drawing digitally that lets me keep this uniquely ‘Angela’ way of expressing myself through line and pattern. I’m still working on it and sometimes get frustrated that, to my eye, my digital art seems too, well digitally perfect.
It’s all part of the process though – learning, developing, experimenting, trying out new ideas, techniques and methods. That’s what helps me grow as an artist.