Today is the last day of astronomical summer; tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, the first day of astronomical autumn. Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the warm, balmy days and the cooler, snuggly evenings cwtched up under a warm blankie. The changing colours are glorious – nature in her fiery finery!
I’m hoping that the glories of autumn will entice me out from home a bit more often, camera in hand. I can hope. I’m still finding it hard to go out and about. But little by little, I am getting out a bit more, from time to time.
Anyhoo, today’s colouring page is an autumn-themed mandala. Now I know that for those south of the equator, spring is incoming for them, but Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving and other celebrations take place according to the calendar rather than the seasons. So though I’ve coloured this template in rich autumn tones, it could be coloured in any way you wish.
I love to draw mandalas, and this one was no exception, especially the cute, whimsical mushrooms and pumpkins! And not forgetting the acorns and oak leaves too. I even managed to sneak a few hearts in there. And of course, stars and moons, berries and botanicals are always most welcome!
This week, I’ve designed a mandala full of layers and patterns. I’ve chosen a limited colour palette of soft greens, pinks, reds, oranges and browns; a softer, calmer selection of colours that have that late summer, early autumn feel.
I love drawing mandalas. Seeing the repeating pattern building up is both fascinating and relaxing. Adding colour to bring out the layers and breathe life into the design is a magical process. I’ve not done much with high contrast to bring out the dimension today. Gentleness is the approach needed today both to my art and to myself.
I find it fascinating how my colour choices are often softer, more muted and in limited palettes nowadays. It does make a change from the riotous colours that I so often used not all that long ago, and still do when it comes to the more whimsical and cute colouring books that I create for Creative Haven.
Seeing how others choose to add colour to the colouring page designs I create is also endlessly fascinating and varied.
I decided that I’d like to turn the sunflower and wheat elements of yesterday’s drawing into a mandala. And this is the result.
I’m fairly happy with it, though I think some parts lack contrast to really give them some visual volume. But it will do, for now. I like the hint of a suggestion of the whole mandala being sun-like. it also reminds me a little of hand-coloured etchings or prints. It would have looked more like a woodcut if I’d used heavier lines and more texture. These are things to try to remember and put into practice in my next mandala like this.
This week it’s a mandala. Why? Well, I just really wanted to draw a mandala!
I enjoy the calming, meditative process of mandala drawing. And as I didn’t want to disturb that calm space I found myself in by making a right mess of adding some colour, I decided to go with an analogous colour scheme. Soft blue, teal and green are also very calming colours.
As it’s a colouring template, I’ve not added lots of textural patterns. However, that is something I can always play around with at another time. For now, the high contrast that brings a feeling of volume and dimension to the design is good enough.
I’ve had a funny couple of days, not necessarily in the funny ha-ha way, though!
I had a migraine yesterday, so no video nor post was possible. I’m feeling better today, just still very, very tired.
Today, I had plans. I was awake around 5am, again, and so did some pencil lettering ‘sketches’; the finished result of one is in the photo.
I thought I’d start to digitally ink the lettering in and add colour before turning my attention to a YouTube video. And the phone rang, and it was a friend. So, during the over two-hour-long chat, I managed to mostly get this done! Yup, I can ink in a sketch and so on while chatting. I just can’t chat and sketch, generally.
My plans to record a video this afternoon were then scuppered as I couldn’t keep my eyes open! So, on waking, I completed this particular piece of lettering and doodling.
It really is practice for me. I’m not only practising my lettering skills, but I’m also trying out new brushes and tools and so on in Clip Studio Paint. That is a constant practice for me. I tend to learn how to do something when I need to do that something!
This one is probably as good as it’s going to get. Time to move along to the next mini-lettering project and learn and practice more!
Mandalas are mesmerising to me. There is something so soothing about their rhythmic, symmetrical design. Creating volume in the design is always part of the fun! Choosing colours is always a bit tricky for me, however. So today I’ve gone with golds, yellowy greens and turquoise blues. A fairly analogous colour scheme, which means the colours will always work together.
I’ve not finished colouring the mandala, and it’s likely to sit unfinished somewhere on my hard drive. But it’s fulfilled its purpose of making me smile; a contented half-smile that is accompanied by a soft, warm, glow in my heart. That’s such a lovely feeling, and it took me many years of EMDR therapy to discover what contentment was. That glow, my touchstone of contentment, is always there. I can sense it even when the dark storm clouds of some emotional upset gather. It’s like a gently glowing lantern that leads me on through the storm back to contentment. It’s an amazing thing for sure!
This is part of a mandala design for a colouring page. And it is just part, though this would stand nicely as a design all in itself. Thursday, tomorrow, is the day I’ll release the template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
Stop Motion Animation
Do you ever wake in the morning with an idea you just have to try out straight away? Yes? I often do, usually for a drawing. Today, however, it involved stop motion animation.
First job was to download Stop Motion Studio and check it would work with the document camera I use for filming. And it does! Well enough for now that’s for sure.
Then I played with the software and decided to do a stop motion drawing. Then I thought I’d animate the paper and pen too. It took me the time it took to drink my morning mug of tea to create a simple little video lasting about 23 s (without intro and outro)
I have some things to think about – lighting, background, keeping my hands out of the way, holding the paper down in a different way, and sound effects perhaps. I’m going to try my best not to run before I can crawl with this. I have no idea what I can do with it, or what to make. But, I’m sure ideas will come to me.
Hmm, I wonder if Saturday’s will be Stop Motion Saturday from now on. Maybe, eventually, I dunno.
It was a lot of fun for an hour or so this morning.
Anyhoo, I like to share the fun, so here’s the video for you to enjoy! I’d appreciate it if you could click on the “Watch on YouTube” button in the video 🙂
I’ve learned a new ‘trick’! New to me that is. I’ve finally worked out how I can use grey shadow underpainting to increase contrast in my artwork! It’s new to me, but not new to the art world I’m sure.
I’m really happy with the result. Digital art makes it so easy to try things out in layers. So, this is the way for me to go.
Yesterday morning, I started adding shadows to some pen drawn motifs with marker pens. I wanted to see what that would look like. I prefer these shadows to those done with graphite or chalk pastel pencils.
Then, I added colour using watercolour pencils and a damp brush, just to see what would happen. I liked the result! Lots!
I filmed part of this process today, and here’s the video on YouTube