Work in Progress

Yesterday turned out to be an incredibly stressful and tiring one. By the time a crisis was sorted out, it was late evening and, try as I might, art just wasn’t going to happen.

So, I did what I do when I’m emotionally overwhelmed – watched a Star Wars film or two! Sadly, I had no Ben and Jerry’s in the house, and just couldn’t be bothered to order any in as a take-away order. But Star Wars always soothes me.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night, so a nap may be in order shortly. However, when I finally came around enough to turn my attention to art, I knew I wanted to try a digital art version of the watercolour painting “Seeking Calm” that I posted yesterday.

I’ve been working on the image for the last four hours, give or take a half hour. It’s been lovely to work digitally once again, and fascinating to workout how to achieve a similar kind of ‘feel’ to this as I had in “Seeking Calm”.

I know that, for now, I’m not going to be able to replicate digitally the way watercolour paints move and blend. I need to work out how to set up and use brushes that will let me at least capture a flavour of that. My head isn’t working well enough this morning to work on that.

Watercolors are transparent, but I didn’t want to work with transparent colours today. I have worked with rather delicate colours, just as I tend to do with watercolors, which is odd for me given that I usually love bright, vibrant colours.

Today, I think the soft, gentle, warm colours are just what my soul needs to soothe my frayed emotions. I even have ClassicFM on, which is unusual for me. I started by listening to the audiobook version of “Shatterpoint”, a Star Wars novel about Mace Windu. However, I realised I wasn’t really listening. So, I switched to ClassicFM.

Anyway, I also used white ‘ink’ to draw in details on the shapes along with various brushes to add shadows. The white ink adds to the delicate feel of the image; black would be just too stark and heavy I think.

I’m not sure if the background will remain as it is. I like how the colours almost glow against it, but it’s not the right colour or tone yet. But it’ll do for now.

I’ve made a bit of a mess of the colours in the centre of the bottom right motif, I think. I need a break from that to work out how to correct them. It may be that the colours are just too saturated and I need to desaturate them a tad.

I’ve had quite a serious break from digital art over the past couple or few weeks. It’s nice to return to it with fresh ideas for ways of working digitally.

So, I look forward to finishing this image sometime soon. But for now I’ll need some tea and I fancy some toast to nibble on, and maybe I’ll take a nap as my eyes feel really heavy.

Template Thursday

This week’s coloring template is a series of bookmarks. A member of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group said they’d like some designs that could be used as bookmarks, and so I went with the suggestion.

The designs are typically ‘Angela’ and ‘entangled’. I used a Tombow Fudenosuke along with an 04 Pigma Sakura Sensei pen to draw the designs. After scanning and cleaning up, I’ve partially coloured the designs, as well as adding a pale kraft paper background.

To use them as bookmarks, I suggest printing them on some card. If that’s not possible, then gluing the whole sheet to some card and then cutting out the book marks would make them sturdier. Of course, a laminator could prove most useful in preserving your beautiful coloring, as well as making really long lasting book marks that could be given as beautiful gifts, or used to mark the coloring page you’re working on too.

Template Thursday

Template Thursday – 23 April 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another week in lock-down has gone by. Thursday has arrived again and that means a new coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Floral designs, an entangled garden was my fancy this morning and this is the result, not fully coloured though.

Coloring is a great way to find some calm and peace during troubled times, such as the times we find ourselves in. Scientific studies have shown it has a similar effect on the brain as meditation.

I have a number of templates available for free in the facebook group, including this one.

Template Thursday

Coloring Template 2 April 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

A week has gone by since my last coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, my offering harks back to my ‘Entangled’ style of drawing – abstract, with swirling lines, spirals and organic motifs. And fairly detailed with zero or little white space. It’s still a style I like to return to; it’s one of my comfort drawing styles.

For this one, I worked digitally – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with a Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio, both by Microsoft.

I started to add colour to it, and the colours are softer, more muted than is usually the case for me. I think those represent my mood at the moment, as well as it being spring time.

If you’d like to download a copy and colour this template, then you do need to become a member of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free and all I ask is that you follow a few reasonable terms and conditions for use! I’d love to see how you’d colour this one in.

Coloring Template 24 Mar 20

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the art.

Yesterday, I spent some time drawing with a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on ClaireFontaine mixed media paper. The result was this coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Last week, I said I’d do a template a week during the Covid-19 crisis to help people take some time out of worrying and fretting to relax with coloring.

If you’d like to grab the template, just pop along to the group, join, and it’s completely free! All I ask is you follow the terms and conditions of use.

The Fudenosuke pen has a flexible brush nib so I can produce lines of varying thickness. This isn’t something I do often for coloring templates. However, I do like the effect that I get. It’s so easy to give an illusion of depth and dimension.

Of course the template has a white background, but the version I’m sharing has a blueish-grey background which helps the colours to glow against it.

The design is typically my ‘entangled’ style. Abstract but with stylised motifs from nature and architecture and more.

So, how are you doing Angela?

I’m OK. The sun is shining. I have windows open to let some fresh air into the home, but they’re upstairs windows so no one can get within six feet of them! I also live in a very quiet, small, dead-end street (cul-de-sac if you want to be posh) so there’s very little foot fall here.

Reports are that people aren’t heeding the instructions to stay home here in the UK. That makes me fearful that the NHS will soon be overwhelmed by their selfishness and thoughtlessness.

The situation is surreal and feels unreal to people who’ve not had Covid-19 touch them personally – someone developing the disease, being hospitalised, or, sadly, dying. I hope that’s the reason that they’re playing russian roulette with everyone else’s health and well-being. I hope they don’t think that it’s a hoax, or that they’re invulnerable because of whatever reason they think they are.

Sadly, these people are helping to spread the virus. There’s sound reasons to follow the advice, instructions, orders to stay home.

Anyway… I’ve not yet had a text, email or snail-mail to tell me I’m counted as ‘vulnerable’ and will need to ‘shield’ for at least twelve weeks. I don’t know if I shall get one, but it will be in the next day or two if I do. Even if I don’t get one, I’m staying at home, as frustrating as it is on gloriously sunny spring days like this one here in the Welsh Valleys.

Please, all of you stay home and stay safe.

#Inktober52 Week 7 – Dinner

#Inktober52 Week 7 – Dinner ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

The art…

What else could I do for dinner other than have the etymology of the word along with a collage of just a few of my favourite foods! And I do mean only some.

I looked up the etymology of ‘dinner’ on Etymology Online, did a little bit of typography using Affinity Publisher.

I then drew the foods on Claire Fontaine dot grid paper using an 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.

I scanned the drawing in and removed the dot grid and removed smudges and so on in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

My next step was to add a coloured background and some colour to some of the drawings. Only to some, as this was a ‘for fun’ project as part of the #Inktober52 challenge organised by Jake Parker, the founder of Inktober.

Missing in action…

It’s been a couple of days since my last blog. It seems that life and demands on me have taken over arty pursuits. And when I wasn’t seeing to the life demands, I was taking some time out by needlefelting.

I managed to needlefelt a cute rabbit and owl over the last two or three days. I’ll post pictures of them in another post.

Flowery

Flowery© Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today, I’ve been drawing little flower motifs and borders to go along with a lovely quote about flowers and hope.

The line art was drawn using Tombow Fudenosuke pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. Colour, typography and background texture have been added digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Flowers are some of my favourite things to draw, whether they be highly stylised or more realistic.

My snowdrops and crocus have the feel of being wood cut or lino cut and printed, that kind of vintage feel. The flexible nibs on the Fudenosuke pens help me achieve this look. Also, the fairly simple colouring and addition of texture help too.

I’ve left the colouring as is, maybe for now. However, I now have these motifs ready to use in other projects, as they occur to me. Colour certainly helps to lift them off the background and bring them to life.

Inktober52 – Weeks 3, 4 and 5

Inktober52-Weeks 3, 4 & 5 © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I managed to miss #Inktober52 weeks 3 and 4 so I thought I’d combine them into a sketchbook page along with week 5.

The prompts were
*week 3 – brick
*week 4 – snake, and
*week 5 – balloon.

I’ve not been imaginative with those prompts. I’ve included some sinuous snake borders and bricks. Some classic brick patterns. I’ve only added a smattering of balloons, and a repeating balloon pattern.

Of course, I’ve also practised my hand lettering.

I hand lettered and drew this page on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper and I used Uniball Unipin pens to do so.

I added the kraft paper background and colour digitally. It never ceases to amaze me that, as much as I love my line art, colour really brings it to life. I especially like the way the colours seem to glow against the kraft paper.

I’ve just had a giggle. I realised I coloured the balloon that is hanging down in leaden greys, almost like it’s filled with mercury. That was a totally unconscious decision of mine!

We have hope.

Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the quote

I love Star Wars. It’s one of my go-to self-soothing, self-care kinds of series of films to watch. I’m also steadily working my way through the books related to the films, that fill in the gaps and build a rich galaxy of tales, myths, and great deeds. I can lose myself in them, and escape from everyday life into realms where good eventually overcomes evil.

The same is true for Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for me too, amongst others. Worlds where there seems so little hope of overthrowing evil, yet hope remains kindled and the underdogs overcome an overbearing, cruel order.

There are so many wonderful quotes from these books and films.

Of course, I’m on the side of the rebels, the underdogs. The Jedi, wizards and witches, the fellowship and all the free peoples of Middle Earth.

I can apply the metaphor to my own journey to recovery from cPTSD. I’m rebelling against all the programming I had from a young age that made me believe I was stupid, useless, weak, a failure, unlovable, ugly, friendless, worthless and more.

For a long time, I held on to the hope that EMDR would help me overthrow the dominion of my past. Now, that hope has turned int a trust that I have done that and will overthrow the last vestiges of the erroneous and harmful views and beliefs I have of myself.

I’ve been a rebellion of my own, rebelling against my past and becoming the person I was always meant to be and not limited by the self-serving beliefs of others who sought to control and manipulate me.

About the art

I used one of the borders from yesterday’s collection to decorate the background for the quote, which I typeset in Affinity Publisher.

I do like a dark, grungy background, and this one just felt ‘right’ to use. I chose colours from the background to add colour to the border design. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to add the colour and highlights/shadows to the text and border. The border was drawn with Uniball Unipin pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper.

I made sure I had plenty of places where light was being gathered and reflected, representing the hope that is always there if we look for it, even when everything is covered in shadow.

I’m actually quite pleased with the border and the depth and dimension I’ve achieved. I could’ve made the highlights even brighter, but I wanted it to look like hope was being kindled, gently gathering in the shadow.

I do have to say I also like the limited colour palette I used for the border. I used white and four other colours (dark shades of green, raspberry, blue and purple). This isn’t something I do easily, but I think it’s really worked out well here.

Entangled Borders 02

Entangled Borders 02 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another day and another set of entangled borders! I’m enjoying drawing these. There’s something pleasing about creating small designs. Whether it’s the speed at which I can draw them, or their cuteness, different shapes and sizes to my usual art, or something else, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m enjoying it!

The pens I used to draw the designs were Uniball Unipins and Tombow Fudenosuke pens. I used dot grid paper by ClaireFontaine.

To remove the dot grid, edit some smudges and errors, add a background colour and some colour, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.