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.

Coloring template

Here in the UK, along with many other countries around the globe, the hatches are being battened down in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

I thought people might like some colouring templates to download, print, and colour for relaxation, stress-relief and mindfulness.

So, via the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, I’m going to make one new template available a week, in addition to the many that are already available.

You do need to be a member of the facebook group (it’s free to join) to get the template, and there are some terms and conditions about how the template can be used, but otherwise they are free for purely personal use.

If my creating some coloring templates to help people during this worrying time, then it’s worth it.

This particular drawing harks back to early days of entangled drawings. It’s purely abstract, but with some design elements taken from architecture and nature.

If you do download and colour, I’d love to see the results of your work. Post them in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, or tag me on social media.

Happy coloring!

Flipbook Sketchbook Page

This morning I needed to do something arty to give me a bit of a break from the butterfly. So, I decided to create a digital sketchbook page in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It dawned on me that I could record the steps I took to create this page as a flipbook, which is what I did.

The little drawings include just a few of my favourite motifs/patterns that crop up in my colouring book pages or templates quite often, as well as in my artwork in general.

Creating little blocks of colour to draw on that aren’t perfect shapes is different for me, and not so easy for me to do it turns out.

I find creating flipbooks fun, and it’s a nice way to share a little of my process with people too. It’s also a nice way to shake up my creativity a little, to do something a bit different, especially when I need a break from a project I’m working on.

I used Movavi Video Suite 2020 to slow the flipbook animation down so it can be followed as a tutorial, as well as to add the intro/outro screens and music.

As always, my digital tools are Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Mandala Drawing Flipbook

This morning I had a lot of fun drawing a mandala using the flipbook tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I made a flipbook animation by recording each step in the process, so element by element you can see how I draw mandalas.

It took a bit of getting my head around the process, even after watching a youtube video about how to do it, but I got there.

For this short video I left the mandala without any shading or colour. I’m just learning how this could work for me.

I think it would work really, really well for creating little tutorial videos on how to draw patterns and design elements. If you’d like to see videos like that, then leave a comment!

Of course, I had to edit the video by adding intro and outro screens, music and transitions. I also slowed the flipbook animation down. I used Movavi Video Suite 2020 to do this.

I have to say that editing a flipbook animation is a lot easier than editing a video taken with my phone or by recording my computer screen as I create!

I do need to be brave and add some voice overs in the future, or subtitles including hints and tips. However, for me this is a little by little process and I will get to a place that I’m happy with, and that hopefully any viewers will be happy with too.

Oh, along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, I used a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and a Microsoft Surface Studio.

Mandala 04 March 2020

Mandala 04 March 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Finally! I have this mandala finished. Life events conspired over the past couple of days to keep me from paper and pen (digital or traditional) and the aftermath left me with a blinding headache and bone-deep tiredness this morning. Still, I did what I’d arranged to do today, and when I came home I had a late lunch and retired to bed to sleep the lingering effects of the extreme stress/introvert hangover off.

Before I left home this morning, I managed to get a little more of this mandala coloured. I’ve now finished it this evening.

The colours took an unexpected turn in places, as did the contrast betwixt light and shadow. The resulted in the outer rings of the mandala being more dimensional in appearance than the inner rings, less like decorative mosaic in a grand entrance hall and more organic, alive, vibrant.

I’m also glad that I’ve changed the background. The darker, richer colours really help the mandala to glow.

The colours aren’t my usual kinds of colour choice, that’s for sure. If I were to re-work this mandala, I’d most probably use a different palette. However, the colours kind of work.

Although I like the more mosaic forms of the inner rings, the dimensional nature of the outer rings really makes my arty heart smile.

I remember when I did my A level art and I produced three oil paintings, the only three oil paintings I’ve ever done and will ever do. I really disliked working with the slimy paints, despite the vibrance of the colours. These paintings were three abstracts – one from the folds in a Romanesque sculpture, another from some kind of worm screws from a steam locomotive, and the last from rusty gears from a diesel locomotive. Each was a monochrome study, focusing on highlights and shadow.

At the exhibition of students’ work (mine included), I was puzzled why people kept touching my oil paintings. I eventually asked someone why they’d done that. The answer was that they looked so three-dimensional they just wanted to touch them and were surprised that they were flat. I hadn’t seen the paintings that way myself, but when it was pointed out to me I could see the illusion I’d created.

Part of me would love to see mandalas of mine created as mosaics, to see people surprised that they’re not dimensional as they appear.

Working on this mandala today has reminded me of how much I love to create this kind of illusion. It may be stylised, not realistic, but it’s part of my artistic melody, a theme deeply embedded in my heartsong.

I created this mandala in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro running on my Microsoft Surface Studio and with a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Monday Mandala WIP

Monday Mandala WIP 02/03/2020
©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I woke a bit earlier than usual this morning, and while I was coming around I watched an Autodesk Sketchbook Pro tutorial by Trent Kaniuga – Sketchbook Pro for Absolute Beginners and came across an explanation and use of a tool I’d not worked out for myself.

This is the selection tool, and it’s a great way to select areas for adding colour, texture and/or effects to as well as copying, pasting, moving, rotating, resizing and so on. It does mean I need to use my keyboard along with my Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. That means using the screen at a different angle to my usual, which is a good thing I think as I now can’t hunch over the screen.

It was the way that when an area is selected and colour or texture is applied, the colour/texture only applies to that selected area, or areas. It masks the rest of the image from the selected areas.

This is going to be so useful for me going forward, now I’ve played with the techinique. It’s given me an elegant way to do something I’ve previously achieved by the use of layer after layer after layer.

I’ve been working with it to add colour to this mandala design from a collection of mandalas I’m working on.

The colours and textures remind me of polished stones, perhaps mosaic pieces. I’ve used fairly complementary colours, but they don’t quite play off each other as much as I’d like. I am, however, going to work with these colours going forward to complete the mandala.