Duvet Day

Do you know the kind of days where it’s hard to get out of bed? Days when your body and soul need a day cwtched up safe and warm in bed? Well that was today for me.

A day spent doing very little. A bit of art. Watching geology videos on youtube. Playing games on my phone.

I’m now vertical, at my desk. I’ve scanned in one of my little drawings (approx 3¼” x 4″, or 8cm x 10cm) and digitally added a background, shadow and highlight. The shadow and highlight are a tad patchy, but they do help to bring the drawing to life.

A little entangled drawing

Simply because sometimes drawing small is just what the soul needs.

The original drawing is about 3¼” x 4″ in size. I used 05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron pens in a Seawhite sketchbook. Background colour and colour added digitally.

Today I’ve been busy with administration, inking the illustration for the cover of my next book in the Creative Haven series, so my blog was pushed down the list of ‘to-dos’ a bit. But I’ve got here!

Template Thursday!

It’s the first Thursday of 2021 and so it’s time for a template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, it’s a bold, entangled design. Lots of botanical motifs and some geometric patterns in there. I chose to fill the image with flat colours this week. The color palette I’ve used reminds me of the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau.

It’s both unusual of me to use flat colour, or colours that are also muted. Some shadow and highlight would serve to add dimension to the design, but there’s something quite nice about it as it is. Something that I can’t put my finger on.

If you’d like to print and colour it, you do need to be a member of the facebook group. Membership is free, as are the templates to members. There’s just a few reasonable terms and conditions that need to be followed to use them.

I’ve been creating one template a month for the group since it was started. Since the first lockdown here in the UK (March 2020), I’ve created one template a week for the group. Coloring is an activity that can help alleviate stress and anxiety, induce relaxation, and gives the mind a break from overthinking. It’s been shown in scientific studies to affect the brain in much the same way that mindfulness meditation does.

Happy 2021 to you all!

Happy new year to each and every one of you. May the year ahead be filled with peace, compassion, good health, the opportunities to create good memories and all that you need in life.

I had created a scheduled post for midnight, but WordPress seems to have disapparated it! Ho hum.

This is the coloring template that I created for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, all coloured in now.

Insomniac Art

What do I do when I wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep. I draw, sat all cwtched up in bed, until I’m ready to go to sleep once again. Usually I manage to get back to the land of nod again, mostly. I did last night. I find it’s better than tossing and turning and fretting about not sleeping.

This is a weird mix of zentangle-y patterns and the more abstract lines and shapes that have appeared in my work of late.

I’ve digitally added some shadow and highlight to the drawing, rather clumsily. I’ll eventually work out how to do this in a way that pleases me digitally.

Original art – A5 in size, drawn with a 05 Unipin pen on acid-free cartridge paper in an Artway Enviro sketchbook.

Abstract 28 Dec 2020

Drawn with 01 and 03 Uniball Unipin pens on acid-free cartridge paper. Approx. 16cm x 17cm in size.

Just something I drew last night whilst watching/listening to stuff on the TV. I digitally added colour quickly as I want to return to drawing and so on.

I wanted to play around with hand-drawn borders, letting my mind tick over possibilities as I do so. I’d spent much of the day doing ‘comfort art’, which meant exploring Zentangle patterns, shading and monochrome colour. I find the repetitive action of such pattern drawing meditative, relaxing and soothing.

Of course, once I was happy with the borders, I had to add something in the middle! As I have scanned the image in, if I ever wish to use the border for something else, it’ll be easy enough for me to remove the inner drawing.

I suspect much of my day will be spent in comfort art. I didn’t sleep well last night (hot flashes again) and I’m tired. I was practically falling asleep as I was adding colour to this artwork – which is why it’s simple flood-fills of colour.

The colors I’ve chosen are rather soft and muted, which is pretty uncharacteristic for me. That, too, is probably a reflection of how I’m feeling at the moment.

I can also say I’m really grateful for the spell-checking thingy too. It seems the tireder I am, the more I lose my ability to spell! I typed spell-chicken above, which is fairly humourous, but seriously wrong! The second time I tried to type spell-checking, it came out as sleep-chickpen. I think it’s time I went back to sleep!

Abstract Art – 26 Dec ’20

Today’s artwork

This is another piece of abstract art I’ve been working on over the past few days. I think most of the line work is now done, so I’ve started adding colour, shadow and highlight to it.

It’s taken a good two or three hours to colour the little bit done. I was tweaking digital brushes and effects layers to get the ‘feel’ I wanted, along with setting up a limited palette of browns and greens.

It’s working out OK.

Other arty stuff

I’ve been taking time for some ‘comfort art’ as well. Indulging myself in drawing Zentangle patterns in my sketchbook and adding colour with graphite, charcoal and pastel pencils. It’s been a lot of fun, and some of this has spilled over into my art, which is no bad thing at all.

I still have no idea why faces are appearing in my artwork at this time. They’re stylised for sure, but I always shy away from human figures, faces especially.

I did do life drawing many years ago. I enjoyed it too. But hands, feet and faces vexed me. I realised that I saw architectural forms in the shadows and highlights of the human body, and as interesting as that was, it wasn’t as interesting as my love of architecture, patterns, nature and so on. So, I stopped going. I don’t feel the urge to take it up again either.

But faces appearing in my artwork … weird. Still, I’ll roll with it as there may be very good reason why.

It may be to do with me wanting to get back to typographic portrait drawing at some point. I know my mind is working out how I can do this in my own way, but it’s not quite ready yet divulge it’s secrets to me so I can put them into action. Perhaps these faces are part of the process of reassuring me that I can ‘do’ faces, in my own way.

As always, time will tell.

For now I really need a mug of tea and to prepare myself a meal. No doubt I’ll be doing some more comfort art before it’s time for bed.

Entangled 22 Dec ’20

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.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Today’s image is a drawing I started this morning. I’m using a .35 Rotring Rapdiograph pen on Claire Fontaine PaintON paper. After scanning the drawing in, I’ve added colour and backgrounds digitally, just for fun.

After several days where the focus has been on digital art and editing, it’s a pleasure to use pen and paper, just as a change. I’ve said it before – I do love working digitally, but drawing on paper is something I also very much love. Combining the two is my ideal way of working, mostly. Mandalas are most probably the exception – I do like the way digital tools speed up the drawing process.

I have, two final edits being approved, completed all the templates for Entangled Starry Skies. I did them while I was awake in the wee small hours of the morning and stayed up until my Abel & Cole delivery had been made. Then, I was ready to return to bed, after breakfast!

Since I woke, I immersed myself in drawing, and I’ll be returning to it in a while as tomorrow is Template Thursday and I have a template to create!

Template Thursday

It’s that time in the week where I post a coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week’s offering is a typically Entangled design, with some inspiration from Hundertwasser – the lollipop trees and pillars particularly.

I bore in mind my musings yesterday about me and straight lines and left a wiggly, wriggly, wobbly border around the design. I also made some of my arches deliberately wonky and wobbly too.

I drew the design with Rotring pens on cartridge paper. After scanning in, I edited and coloured the design in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

It was a nice way to spend some time yesterday. I didn’t feel too good when I woke up, but as the day went on I distinctly felt unwell. The recurrence of the fatigue, upset tummy, lack of focus. Overnight, my sleep was really disturbed by dashing back and forth the loo.

As I’m finding it hard to focus for a couple to a few days at a time, thanks to these recurring bouts of illness, I’ve decided to take a break from the weekly templates until the end of the month. The book I’m working on is due to be finished by then and I need to use what energy and focus I have on that.

I’ll try to blog daily, perhaps with sneak peeks or sketchbook work, or blasts from the past. But if I miss a day, it’s because I’m either overwhelmed by work or fatigue as I go through another cycle of this illness.

I do think it has everything to do with the illness I had back at the end of December 2019. Sickness, diarrhoea, extreme fatigue, loss of taste and smell, brain fog, loss of appetite. I get repeats of the illness, albeit it much less severe.

I know it’ll pass in a day or two and I’ll be back to my usual self. But for now, I need to look after myself, and make sure I get my work done too.