Abstract WIP 5 Jan 2021

The drawing

I’ve been working on this drawing for the past three days. I’m not sure if it is finished yet; I’m undecided about all the open spaces to the right. I’m beginning to understand the need for some space for the eyes to rest on, but my inner inclination is still to fill my drawing with pattern and complexity.

This one has been drawn with a black Uni Emott pen in my A4 Artway Enviro sketchbook. The Emott pen has a hard plastic tip and although it has become worn during the work of drawing, I’ve found the uneven, patchy, varying line widths that result most useful in achieving different weight and character of line in the drawing. Not that this shows up well in the reduced size and resolution image of the work. Neither does the texture of the colour applied digitally.

I’m quite heavy handed with pens and tend to wreck the more delicate Unipin and Pigma Micron pens (and others of a similar ilk) rather rapidly. The Pigma Micron PN pens weather my heavy-hand better as well. I don’t favour one over the other. I just choose what pen I feel like drawing with at the time – be it Unipins, Microns, Micron PN, Rotring Rapidograph, Tombow Fudenosuke, or traditional fountain pens.

Digital drawing is a challenge for me, even though I love the Surface Slim Pen and the way it glides on the screen of the Surface Studio. The challenge for me is the sense of scale, proportion and perspective. A sheet of paper gives me a well defined shape and size and as I can’t zoom in, there’s a limit to the tiny details I can add.

Sleeplessness

Saturday night into Sunday was another very broken nights sleep and it left me wiped out yesterday. I had various meetings to attend online during the day and evening as well. In between them, I had to sleep. I was overtired and that makes me emotional and teary. Sleep is the only cure for tiredness. Hence no blog entry yesterday.

So, this meant little time for art and stuff yesterday.

I did have a better night’s sleep last night, though I woke part way through. These night ‘sweats’ (I just get incredibly hot, no sweating as such…yet) are no fun! I wake up absolutely blisteringly hot, and it takes me ages to cool down, even though my bedroom is really cold. If these carry on into the warm/hot months when sleep is difficult anyway, I don’t know what I’m going to do! It seems perimenopause is moving along with me; age doesn’t come by itself. As well as the hot flushes during the night and day I’m finding more periods of fuzzy headedness and difficulty concentrating.

As I let the house go cold during the night in an effort to better cope with these night sweats, and I don’t know when I’m going to wake up in the morning if I do get back to sleep, I don’t have my heating turn on at a specific time. So I wake up to a cold house. Which is great if I’m in the throes of a hot flash. So, on these cold mornings, my habit is to go put the heating on, make breakfast, and take breakfast back to bed. That way I can keep warm while sitting in bed, having breakfast and faffing around with email and so on as well as my personal drawing projects.

What I’m realising is that I’m going to have to change my approach to working hours as perimenopause affects how my mind and body functions. I have no idea how long it will last; a year to many years apparently. I hope this will settle down into a pattern that I can work with, or that I can be more flexible with myself about when I work and when I don’t, and recognised when I need to take self-care time.

It won’t last forever, thank goodness. One of the plus sides of it is that I don’t feel the cold as much as I used to, at certain times of day anyway.

Monday Mandala

This week’s mandala is a tad different. I decided to take my entangled assemblage drawing from yesterday and create a ring mandala behind it. The patterns in the mandala are in keeping with the focal image.

I’ve not finished colouring the focal image, yet. But I have done a little bit more since yesterday. Just a little bit more.

I rather like the contrast of teals and turquoise with browns and coppery tones, hence my colour choice for the mandala.

All in all, a fun way to start my arty work day. It’s always nice to do some warm-up drawing before I get to drawing coloring templates.

Focal design drawn using 0.35 Rotring Rapidograph and acid-free cartridge paper.
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro used to add colour the to focal point, the background texture and to draw and colour the mandala.

Strata

Arty musings

I’ve been awake since silly o’clock. I have a delivery due before midday, so while awaiting it I have been arting.

This started off as a simple line drawing of patterns from the strata of rock formations of Raplee Ridge, Utah. Then, I added some patterns between them, zentangle or entangled style. I used fineliner pens on paper to do this drawing (left image).

My next job was to scan the drawing in and tidy it up digitally. Then, I thought I’d colour the design in. I kept to fairly earthy tones for this (middle image).

Finally, I thought I’d do a pure colour study of the line art. And I really like this one. I’ve played with shadow and light to give a sense of dimension to the artwork (right image).

I’m really pleased with the pure colour image. Not just for choosing a fairly pleasing palette, but for finally discovering how to use textured brushes to draw, colour and texture the different areas.

I’ve done work like this with traditional media, but have never really had much success digitally. It seems I have found some confidence here.

It does remind me of work I did some 15 or so years ago while studying for A level art as an adult, and how much pleasure I got from that. Now, as back then, I used simple colour palettes.

I suspect I’ll be doing more work like this – line art of patterns, followed by a coloured interpretation of those patterns. My mind is ticking over whether I could include some typography in these kinds of artwork too.

Moody mutterings

My mood is better today, I’m pleased to say. I’m not sure if it’s rest, self-care, Star Wars, knitting, art, or a combination of all these things that has helped lift it.

I know that my mood has weather, just as the world does. And in Wales, the weather can be changeable and varied! But like all weather, the gloom passes and sunshine returns. Though I wouldn’t say I’m sunshiny, I am content with a soft glow within. That is good enough for me, and for today as it’s rather wet and gloomy outdoors.

WIP Wednesday

I spent the morning, before running some errands, drawing tomorrows colouring template for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. On my return, I scanned it in, cleaned it up and started adding some colour to it.

So, today, I thought I’d share a sneak peek of part of the template. Tomorrow, it’ll be revealed in all it’s, ermm, entangledness, and will be available for members of the facebook group to print and colour.

Drawn with Unipin pens on Canson marker paper. Colour added digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Template Thursday

‘Tis coloring template day for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Each Thursday throughout the pandemic, I’ve created a coloring page for members of this facebook group. The template is free to members, and it’s free to become a member!

This week’s features an iteration of one of my moth drawings, this time drawn with colouring books in mind. I just had to pair the moth with a mandala as that’s been my ‘thing’ for a few days now. Naturally, the mandala is less detailed than my drawings and the page is mostly filled with pattern and interest, as is my style for colouring templates.

I have autumn on my mind and in my heart, so the motifs reflect that – acorns, seed pods, berries and leaves. I’ve chosen autumnal colours to partly colour the template, but any colour scheme would work – a good thing for those of you in the southern hemisphere where spring is on it’s way.

Sunday WIP

Today, I thought I’d digitally colour one of my recent drawings. I thought it would be nice to compare and contrast digital colouring with traditional colouring.

It’s been a while since I did much art digitally, I’ve been lost in traditional media this week as I slowly heal from some emotional wounds. Art helps with healing. Meditation helps too. But time is still needed for the healing to take place, and for rest to relieve the exhaustion that lingers still.

Any kind of art, digital or traditional, soothes my mind, emotions and body.

What I like about digital art is the way I can get such high contrast in colours to enhance the sense of volume the design elements have. I also like the vibrancy of colours. I also like the ability to add texture to the colour in so many different ways.

Of course, I like the ability to alter colours when they don’t work, without having to start over. I’m not sure if those leaves are going to stay that particular green-ish colour. Nor am I sure about the background colour.

As is my wont, I’ve used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to add the colour and textures. My hardware is a Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.

Making a simple sketchbook or journal pocket.

Making a Simple Pocket © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Yesterday, I said I’d like to make simple pockets for my sketchbook-journal to hold my artwork rather than gluing it to the pages. So, this morning, I started my day looking on YouTube for some ideas and this video by joie de fi was the top of the list.

While I was watching it, I thought I’d make an instruction sheet to go in my sketchbook (or my virtual one I’m making in One Note).

I picked up some quadrille paper and wrote and drew as I watched the method for the first pocket. I worked in ink without pencil sketches and I made quite a few mistakes. A Tipp-Ex mini pocket mouse was my friend.

When I’d finished the instruction sheet, I scanned it in and used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to remove the square grid from the paper, clean up some smudges, and correct minor errors.

Then, I added some colour to help bring out the drawings, but also to help with the instructions.

I’ve yet to make this kind of pocket, but I’m sure I’ll be able to do so quite easily now.

Reflecting on the artwork/illustration

This was a lot of fun for me to do. It’s something I’ve not done much since my days as a science teacher, or a learner in school and university myself. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy creating instruction sheets with my own drawings on them.

Back in those days, I would’ve used a ruler to draw straight lines, pencil for the diagrams, pen for the words, and little or no colour. Here, I free-handed the drawings, wobbly lines and all. The colour also adds life and dimension to the diagrams/drawings/illustrations.

The layout of the instructions may not be the best and easiest to follow through. That’s because I did this as I was watching the first part of the video. I think that for the next one, I need to sketch out the steps and notes first, and then work on organising them more clearly.

Yes, I’m going to do some more instruction sheets like this!

I also really need to do more hand lettering! I’ve lapsed in my writing practice, that’s for sure.

Art Quote

Artwork (c) Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This is a drawing I did late last night as I settled down to sleep. It feels quite disjointed in places, which was how my mind felt in it’s state of tiredness. Even though I was tired, I wasn’t ready to sleep.

I thought I’d work with it, adding a background and colour to it. I wonder if adding colour will resolve the disjointed areas as it breathes life into the design.

I’ve only taken a short time this morning to ad some colour. I do have to do other things today. The colour certainly helps to lift it from the background, as well as adding dimension to the design.

I’ve chosen fairly dusky, dusty, pastel colours which seem to glow against the darker background. The pinks remind me of faded Victorian velvets.

I drew the design traditionally, using a Tombow Fudenosuke pen and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. The flexible nib of the fudenosuke pen results in lines of varying thicknesses, and a drawing that reminds me of linocuts or woodcuts.

After scanning the drawing, I removed the dot grids and cleaned up the drawing digitally before adding a background.

I felt this needed quote to go with it, and this one spoke to me today. For the typography, I used Affinity Publisher. The rest of the digital work is being done in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, using a Surface Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.

My art is always ‘pretty’, it’s how I express myself artistically. Some of my inspiration for patterns and motifs comes from things that other smay not consider ‘pretty’, such as rust, run down old industrial machines, ruined buildings.

My art does, I think, speak of who I am. It shows what I’m interested in, what patterns, motifs, shapes, textures, colours, and so on that I find aesthetically pleasing. It also shows, to those who look and think a bit deeper, what things interest me, from prehistoric art to Romanesque architecture to La Tene and Celtic art to Illuminated Manuscripts to flora, foliage, fungi, and lichen to fossils and shells to nature in general, and more besides.

I work very intuitively. It’s when I think too hard about what I want to do that things go to wrack and ruin.

By letting my intuition flow, then drawings have a way of coming together in a way that expresses how I’m feeling and what is fascinating me or soothing me at that time.

This drawing is an example of how my feelings come out. It’s only now I can recognise how disjointed I was feeling within myself last night, how I was out of sorts. I think that’s why the art jars with me today as that feeling has now passed by, like clouds in the wind. It’s a drawing that shows the weather my emotions were experiencing yesterday, weather that just happened and has no real source for it.

“Shadow” – Inktober52

“Shadow” #Inktober 52, week 2
Artwork © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I finished this artwork off this morning, finding a perfect quote about shadow, this week’s prompt for #inktober52.

Border design drawn using Unipin pens on dot grid paper. Typography was done using Affinity Publisher. Colour, background and composition were achieved in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Surface Pen and Surface Studio by Microsoft.

November’s coloring template

November colouring template ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

A new month means a new colouring template exclusively for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. If you’d like to download, print and colour a template, then pop over to the group, join (it’s free!).

A few, simple terms and conditions apply. All I ask is that you follow them and mention myself and the facebook group when you share the coloured template on social media. Tag me in your posts and I’ll definitely get to see them!

Autumn is well established here in the UK, so I wanted to combine leaves, berries and some acorns in a mandala.

I used an autumnal colour palette to bring the template to life. I think mine looks like a rich, decorative rug. However, I love to see how creative you people are with your colour schemes, particularly those of you who are heading into Spring or who don’t really experience Autumn in your part of the world.

I did draw and colour this mandala digitally, using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with my Microsoft Surface pen and the paper that is the screen of my Microsoft Surface Studio.