‘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.
‘Tis the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere, astronomically speaking. The day started bright and sunny, but the clouds have closed in, the breeze has picked up and the temperature has dropped a little.
Even though today may not be a typically autumn day, today’s arty offering has warm, fiery tones reminiscent of autumn leaves and bonfires. Of course there’s a black and white, graphic moth illustration.
This moth is an iteration of the first moth I drew a few days ago. it’s fun to work with images, alter and change them and create something new and different each time. It’s also a good way for me to experiment with line to achieve volume and texture in the illustration.
Having the mandala of acorns, leaves and berries become a texture upon the background means it doesn’t detract from the moth. It does add interest and another hint that I created this with autumn in mind.
Moths are becoming a bit of a thing with me at the moment. They’re great for practicing my line work. They’re also surprisingly cute, in a buggy kind of way.
Of course, I’m still working on the first moth entangled drawing/illustration, so adding a mandala behind this drawing is a quick and easy way of adding to the moth. Mandalas are kind of my thing to do.
Again, I’ve used that spot of highlight behind the moth to draw attention to the centre of the design along with the main motif.
Today, a terracotta background seemed to be just right. Perhaps because it’s quite an autumnal colour. This morning there’s a definite nip in the air that I associate with autumn and we are just a couple of days away from the equinox.
Terracotta is a deeper shade of orange and is comforting in it’s warmth and earthiness. I find it quite soothing.
I’m also enjoying floating the graphic black and white elements of my artwork above a simple coloured background. That way I have some colour in my art, but the colour doesn’t distract from the design elements.
I have been working on the moth drawing from yesterday. It’s a long, laborious, yet enjoyable process. So, this afternoon I thought I’d create a mandala to sit behind my moth illustration.
I’m quietly pleased with this one. I like the choice of colour for the background, even though it’s an unusual choice for me. The central glow and shadow helps to lighten the background a little and brings attention to the moth, which is the main motif in this design.
I decided to use just black and white for the moth and mandala, though there are places in the mandala where I’ve let the background show through.
I will continue to work on the other design, it’s just going to take me a couple, or even a few, days to complete.
I really enjoyed creating this mandala this morning! I used some of my favourite motifs in this one. it was lovely to use white on the kraft background, to bring out some highlights and add dimension here and there.
I love to use Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to draw my mandalas in. It streamlines the process and allows me to focus on creating the design rather than the mechanics/geometrics. Of course the design is drawn by hand, just as it would be on paper. That’s the beauty of having a Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen – I can draw with the pen on the screen just as I would with pen on paper. The advantages are that if I mess up, it’s easy to correct, and the symmetry tool saves time, allowing me to focus on the fiddly details that I love so much.
This week I chose to create a mandala, which I’ve partly coloured in fiery autumnal colours. Looking at it now, I can see where I’ve used colours that are too similar so that the layers are a little lost. But the warm colours warmed my heart and soul this morning.
The background to the mandala is really unusual for me; I’m not sure where it came from, but there it is. It has just a bit of an Art Deco feel – do you agree? I’m looking forward to seeing how people add colour to it.
It’s free to join the group, and the template is a freebie for members of the group.
This week, I created a mandala design with a background of geometric, repeating patterns.
I’m still recovering from the stress of my first trip out since March 2020. Drawing (and colouring) mandalas is an incredibly peaceful, relaxing and mindful activity. So, it was natural that I drew one.
The mandala design is based on some of the abstract art I’ve been doing of late. It’s a bit unusual for my mandalas, but I really do like the organic flow of the lines.
Even though the design is abstract, the repeating symmetry of a mandala bring some structure to the design. I am looking forward to seeing how members of the group add colour to the design.
The geometric patterns in the background also result in a soothing, repetitive rhythm for colouring; a rhythm that results in soothing and calming ones mind and emotions.
I have been totally shaken by the level of anxiety/stress that resulted from my trip out on Tuesday. I am beginning to feel more my contented and calm self. However, I find I’m still irritable and grumpy and have withdrawn from social media and the like for most of the day.
It was a sobering thought when I realised I’d lived most of my life constantly at elevated stress levels, often as higher than what I experienced in the past couple of days.
It’s also a wonderful realisation that I can recognise this now, and I also am able to allow myself self-care time to let all the stress hormones leach from my body. It’s been a long time since they peaked in this way.
It makes me extremely grateful to my therapist for her years of patient work with me. Experiences like the Tuesday Trip remind me of how I used to be and show me how far I have come in recovery from cPTSD.
Yesterday, after my social media post, I binged watched the Harry Potter films from The Order of the Phoenix. I found I was irritated by crochet. I tried cross-stitch, which irritated me too. Eventually, I settled on knitting, which, oddly, soothed me. I think it’s because I could knit and watch the film. Knitting allowed me to channel my irritability into something creative. As I can knit without looking at the knitting, I could also watch and immerse myself in the films at the same time.
My fingers are itching to knit again, now I’ve thought about it.
Even though I slept well last night, I’m still feeling really tired today. This happens as part of the post-stress come-down. It can last a few days. I’ll not be rushing to nap, however. Napping has a knock-on effect on my ability to sleep at night when I’m like this. My naps tend to end up as periods of deep sleep, so I try not to take them unless it’s absolutely necessary.
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.
One of my ideas is to create a digital library of designs of things that interest me and that may be useful in my journal making, card making, or just other kinds of art.
For some reason, I decided on dragonflies. So, I sketched out some ideas and then inked the drawings in digitally. I also added details and patterns ot the designs that weren’t present in the sketches. The dragonflies are in my signature entangled style for sure.
I still have a few sketches to work on, and some alternatives of the wing shapes and body designs. I also want to do them as silhouettes. I like silhouettes on coloured backgrounds, like the one I’ve used today.
I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to ink in the designs. I also used it to add the background, shadows and typography.
The background is one of my own made using Distress Oxide inks and water. I love that I can recolour the image digitally; the original was in shades of pink and purple, but I thought that blues and greens would suit the dragonflies much more.
I’ve left the dragonflies uncoloured, for now, though adding colour will bring the designs to life and add some dimension to them.
I don’t have a colour printer anymore, just a black and white laser printer. I may consider getting a colour printer in the future, however, as I think being able to print my own digital art would be useful, especially for using in journal making. An inkjet printer would be the most useful; it would allow me to print on many different kinds of paper and lightweight card.
I’m also thinking of putting together digital collections of backgrounds and ephemera and/or digi stamps for sale via my Etsy shop. Let me know if you think that’s a good idea by dropping a comment.
The weeks are flying by! It seems like hardly any time at all since I posted last week’s coloring template. I decided at the start of the Covid-19 quarrantine that I’d design a weekly coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. And so far I’ve managed to do that.
And here, partly coloured, is this week’s offering. I look forward, as always to seeing the coloured templates by members of the group. I love the way that they use different colours and interpret the design differently!
The template is only available in the facebook group, and is for free. I know how much colouring and creativity can help people manage their emotional and mental health. Creating art and being creative certainly helps me, especially if I have a good audiobook on or uplifting music!
I created this design digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.