Coloring Page / Template

Colouring page / template

It’s Thursday. The pandemic is still in action. That means it’s time for a new coloring page or template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

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.

De-stressing

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 However, I find I’m still irritable and grumpy and have withdrawn from social media and the like for most of the day.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.

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.

Dragonfly Designs

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd

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.

Template Thursday

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

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.

Mandala Monday

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It’s a lovely sunshiny day, so a sunshiny mandala seemed an appropriate design to create today.

The background is one of my Distress Oxides ones, though I’ve recoloured it to reflect the sunshiny nature of my mandala.

I drew the mandala digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

This was a really nice exercise for me. It’s been a few days since I’ve done much in the way of digital art. I’ve been so focused on stuff for my art journal that I’ve had an unplanned break from it.

I must say that I rather like not having a bit of a mess around me, albeit a bit of a pretty mess. Digital art is very clean, tidy, and that suits my creative inclinations quite a bit.

Talking of my art journal, my A5 mixed media sketchbook arrived yesterday. Actually, a pack of three from Arteza did. So, I started by colouring three of the pages last night. I also drew some patterns on the first page to try some ideas out. I’ll show these another time.

This morning, I affixed some tags to the first page. I hinged them so I could have some tuck-spots on the back of them. I also drew some designs and painted/coloured them. And, I finished off some more inchies!

I’ve had quite a busy arty morning!

So far, the A5 sized journal seems to be working out so much better for me than the A4 one. The smaller sized pages means I can’t put so many items on a page, not without layers anyway. That seems to make it easier for me to achieve a pleasing arrangement of elements. Only time will show if it actually does work out well for me.

The mixed media paper in the Artezea sketchbook is rather rough and very different in texture to the ClaireFontaine one I usually use. However, as it’s likely to be covered with tags, pockets, envelopes and so on then it won’t be too much of an issue.

Template Thursday

Coloring Template ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It’s Thursday again, and one more week of quarantine is behind us. That means one week of lockdown ahead of us. Feeling sad about all those who are sick or who have died as as a result of the sanctions, but the sanctions have kept others safe from Covid-19, thus reducing serious illness from the virus, or death.

As another week has gone by, it’s time for another template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

As always, the template is available free to members of the group, which is also free to join. So, if you would like to colour it, meet some like-minded people, and share your colourings with us, pop over the the group and join in!

I drew and partially coloured today’s template digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I needed to draw a mandala to soothe me. I’m tired today and feeling ‘meh’. That is reflected in my colour choices.

Tranquility

Tranquility ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Not sure I’ve captured the sensation of tranquility all that well. All I can say is that I gained a sense of tranquility whilst drawing the mandala.

I’m tired today. Again, I woke way too early and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I thought I’d try to do some art to soothe and relax me.

Background texture – Distress Oxide inks on Daler-Rowney mixed media paper.

Mandala – Digital art using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.

Zen

What is Zen? Quote – anon. Artwork ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I wonder how many are trying to keep busy, busy, busy during the lockdown? And how many are learning how to just ‘be’, relaxing and taking time for self-care?

Self-care has been a long, difficult series of lessons for me. It’s a practice and not a perfect situation. However, self-care is important.

I don’t mean personal grooming, which is important, but it means taking care of your emotional and mental needs as much as your physical needs.

Today is a day where I’ll need to practice a lot of self-care. Migraine-style headache woke me up way too early and although the pain has gone it has left me exhausted, unfocused, and needing sleep. So, I’ll soon be returning to bed to sleep the lingering effects of the migraine away.

To help me cope with the migraine, I spend a few hours working on my mosaic crochet blanket/throw, and then created the above. Both very self-soothing activities for me.

What do you do for self-care?

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.

Sunday tangling

Sunday Tangling ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This morning, I was in the mood to do a bit of tangling/zentangling. I used a random tangle pattern generator to choose the main pattern for my design and it threw ‘Purk’ at me.

Yesterday, I spent some time creating some backgrounds digitally. So, I decided to use one of those and to tangle digitally too. This is the result.

It took me a lot longer to finish than if I’d drawn with pen on paper. Mainly because I spent time adding shading and highlights to the image. That let me play around with different kinds of layers and brush effects yet again. Bit by bit I’m learning how I can make them work for me.

I need a break from this for a while. But I can see how I need to add more shadow/depth to the background patterns.

So, Angela, how’re you doing today?

I’ve suddenly come over all tired. My sleep is all over the place. Despite me feeling content, there’s still a deep seated anxiety about the pandemic and how life is at the moment. That anxiety is draining me emotionally. I feel emotionally out of sorts today, even though I can still feel that contented touchstone inside me.

I’m surprised I settled to do some drawing this morning. Yesterday, I had trouble settling to anything to the point I was going to throw out my yarn stash. Whatever I’ve tried in terms of knitting or crochet has just frustrated the heck out of me rather than settled me down.

I found myself swearing at my phone yesterday as it pinged with alerts. I’ve now put my phone on silent. I will check in on messages etc in a short while, but they are going to be silenced until I am no longer getting so angry I’m swearing and shouting at the phone. I’ve never done that before and it’s a sign of how much on edge I am, even though I feel content.

Yesterday and today I’ve not known what to do with myself. I’ve not felt that way for a long while for such an extended period of time. There was a time when I’d be like this for days or months. I’ve not often felt this way in the past year or two as my healing from cPTSD has really kicked in.

Still, I will be kind to myself about this as these are unusual times; unfamiliar with increased fear, anxiety and uncertainty. The last day or two my usual coping strategies haven’t helped me to distance myself from the overwhelming pervasiveness of constant news and articles, posts and memes about the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s not just a break from my phone I need; it’s a break from the news and views too. A retreat from the world and everything is needed. For a while at least.