Entangled designs

Entangled Designs ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve had a nice couple of hours this morning playing around with drawing and paper coloured (and not coloured) with Distress Ink.

I started with drawing the border with the flower straight onto the coloured square of mixed media paper (top right).

For the middle design, I cut a rectangular panel of Distress Ink coloured mixed media paper and glued it to another piece of coloured paper. Then, I decorated the panel along with some simple patterns spilling onto the background.

The bottom right design uses a square piece of plain paper with a small rectangle cut from some Distress Inked paper. I used a die with a stitched detail to cut this panel out along with a Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine.

I’m not at all fussed on the stitched detail in this case. However, I do like the contrast of the coloured panel against the white background.

I do have a fair few pieces of paper coloured with Distress Inks, so I think some fairly quick, simple and soothing designs will be done over the next day or several.

Not sure what I’ll do with them yet. If you have any helpful suggestions, leave a comment! Also, leave a comment to let me know which design is your favourite.

Entangled 3 Dec 2019

Entangled 3 Dec 19 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Two photos of the same drawing today.

I started by colouring a 6″ x 6″ piece of Strathmore Bristol paper with various shades of green Distress Ink (Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive, Bundled Sage and Iced Spruce) and edged it with some Aged Mahogany.

Then, I drew the design using a metallic bronze Uniball Signo gel pen. Finally,I added some shading and depth with an olive green Chameleon Fineliner pen.

My photography skills aren’t good, which is why there’s two photos. The top one is a bit truer to and you can see the design more clearly on it. The bottom one shows the shiny bronze ink I used.

I think you’ll get the idea of what I’ve created.

It’s been a busy day here in the Angela studio/office. I’ve been focused on social media stuff for something I’m involved with at the moment. I had to get things done this morning and afternoon, so it wasn’t until quite late in the day I could turn my attention to art.

By then, I just wanted to draw something that was comforting, familiar, soothing. Which is why I ended up with another entangled design.

It did it’s job in soothing and calming me somewhat. Now, I can settle down, after I finish off a couple of things. I think time away from technology is required this evening.

So Thankful

So thankful ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today, I have a simple dangle design greeting card along with a coordinating envelope. If you’d like some more ideas, inspiration and step by step instructions for drawing dangle designs then my book, A Dangle A Day, is a good place to start.

Materials and dimensions

4″ x 4″ Strathmore Bristol paper with a vellum finish
5″ x 5″ acid-free white card blank
White envelope that card will fit in
Distress inks in Tea Dye and Rusty Hinge
Small piece of foam and a mini foam blending tool
A piece of card with a 1.5″ x 0.75″ window cut in it to use as a stencil.
Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens in F, S and XS
Ruler and pencil
Adhesive
Glass pen and coppper ink by J Herbin

Making the card.
  1. Use the card stencil and a small sponge dauber to apply a rectangle of Distress Ink in the top left of the 4″ x 4″ top layer. I used Tea Dye to colour the whole rectangle in, followed by a subtle gradient of Rusty Hinge from the bottom up.
  2. Use a mini foam blending tool to add Tea Dye Distress ink to the edge of the top layer.
  3. Use a pen to draw the rectangles around the colour block. I like to do this free-hand as it gives a more organic, human feel to the design.
  4. Draw the sprigs and add the lines to the border. Dots help to add some interest to the more empty parts of the design.
  5. Use a ruler and pencil to lightly draw a vertical line as a guide for the dangle. Also, draw pencil lines as guides for the position and size of the hand lettering. Sketch in the letters of the greeting.
  6. Draw round and diamond shaped beads to form the dangle. I like to finish my dangles with a ‘heavier’ or larger bead.
  7. Ink the letters in. I did some faux calligraphy where I made the down-strokes thicker. I added some lines and shading to the top line.
  8. Carefully erase the pencil lines.
  9. Attach the top layer to the card blank.
  10. I used a glass pen and copper ink to add copper dots to highlight the dangle design and the hand lettering. I also drew a box just inside the top layer and another just outside it on the card blank. Again, I free-handed the lines, embracing the wobbliness.
Making the envelope
  1. I used Tea Dye Distress Ink and a mini foam blending tool to edge both the front and back of the envelope.
  2. I then used a sponge dauber and the card stencil to add a rectangle of Tea Dye ink in the top left.
  3. I drew the design on the envelope as I had on the card, including adding a line border in copper ink.
  4. Finally, I drew similar sprigs on the envelope flap, using the glass pen and copper ink.
Before mailing…

Once I’ve addressed the envelope, I’d apply a thin layer of Distress MicroGlaze to the front and back of the envelope to protect the Distress Ink and drawing from the elements. I’ve done this to other cards and they have traversed the UK and US postal systems with no problems.

Ideas for using the design.

Although I’ve presented this dangle design as a greeting card, which is, I think, a lovely way to share a little bit of artistic loveliness with others, there are many other ways the design could be used, with or without any hand lettering.

In a BuJo, journal, planner or diary it would make a lovely little design to fill in a blank space.

This is a design that would work really well as a bookmark.

I’m sure it would look charming as part of a scrapbook spread.

I also think it would look lovely on a ‘with compliments’ slip or decorating the edge of a hand-written letter.

I’m sure there are many other ways and media that this design would be suited to.

Final thoughts…

I’m really enjoying drawing these kinds of dangle designs. They’re simple and elegant, to my mind anyway. They’re also quite easy to draw.

I do prefer to free-hand the lines and let the wobbliness be part of my signature style. It gives that human, hand-made, hand-crafted feel to the finished project, and a warmth to the finished project.

I work hard at finding a way of drawing digitally that lets me keep this uniquely ‘Angela’ way of expressing myself through line and pattern. I’m still working on it and sometimes get frustrated that, to my eye, my digital art seems too, well digitally perfect.

It’s all part of the process though – learning, developing, experimenting, trying out new ideas, techniques and methods. That’s what helps me grow as an artist.

One more piece of mail art.

One more piece of mail art ©Angela Porter
One more piece of mail art ©Angela Porter

This could be the last piece of mail art from me for a few days. I need to get focused on art that is ‘work’ rather than just ‘for fun’. I enjoy my art, no matter what it is, but I can be easily distracted by the metaphorical shiny, bright new toy.

Mind you, once I’ve spent time doing art ‘for fun’, the commissioned work then feels like fun. A change is as good as a rest for sure. Different styles and methods of working keep everything fresh for me.

Here’s a brief outline of how I created the card:

  1. Distress Ink background on watercolour paper. Use torn paper to use as a mask for the landscape. Use a circular mask for the sun.
  2. Spray with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water.
  3. Use Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens to draw the design.
  4. Add metallic highlights using a fine brush and Cosmic Shimmer Iridescent Shimmering Watercolour paints.
  5. Add a distress ink ‘frame’ to the image.
  6. Mount the design on black card. Attach the black card to the 6″ x 6″ card blank.
  7. Use a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to outline the top panel and black panel.

And here’s a brief outline of how I created the envelope:

  1. Use a white Sakura Glaze pen to draw the flower motifs.
  2. Use a fine paintbrush to add Cosmic Shimmer Iridescent Shimmering Watercolour paints.

For the envelope, I used a rainbow of colours for the flowers.

I like using Sakura Glaze pens to draw motifs when I’m adding watercolour; the ink dries to give a raised line that is waterproof. The thicker line width can also give stained glass feel to the artwork; this is particularly true for the black Glaze pens.

Seedpod Landscapes – Art and Card Making

I had a lovely time this morning making the card on the left. Before I started drawing, I added a moon or planet to the background. It really adds something to the card, I think. Something like this is needed on the card to the right I think. However, as I’ve assembled the card it’s not going to be easy to alter!

How I made the cards.

I used Distress Inks and a mini-foam blending tool to colour the backgrounds. I used a circle of paper as a mask for the moon/planet in the left-hand card. To create the land, I used a torn piece of paper to mask off part of the card.

Once I was pleased with the backgrounds, I sprayed the image with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry.

The next step was to draw the designs. I used black and grey Pitt Artist Pens by Faber Castell.

Metallic/iridescent highlights were added; I used Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paints and a fine brush.

The final steps were to adhere the top layer to a black mat, and then this to the card base. Finally, I edged the mat and the top layer with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen.

I have made coordinating envelopes for each card.

My thoughts on the cards.

I think you can tell that the card on the left is the second made. I can see how I’ve learned from the first card. I do like them both.

I would, if I could, add a moon/planet to the right hand card. It would fill that space rather nicely and give a more magical, mystical, ethereal feel to the landscape.

As to the left hand card, I wish I hadn’t done the pods all in black; they appear a tad ‘flat’. In hindsight, I could have used just black outlines and then filled the pod with a colour gradient before adding the metallic highlights.

I also am glad I didn’t try to add a spine to each leaf as I did on the right hand card. However, a highlight at the top of each leaf, suggesting the moon/planet light is reflecting from them.

Oh the whole, however, I am pleased with these cards. They are a new style of working for me. leaving open space is never easy for me, but I’ve managed it with these cards.

Would you like some happy mail?

I’ve already got some recipients in mind for these cards. However, if you’d like some happy mail then send me a message.

I had a lovely time this morning making the card on the left. Before I started drawing, I added a moon or planet to the background. It really adds something to the card, I think. Something like this is needed on the card to the right, I guess. However, as I’ve assembled the card, it’s not going to be easy to alter!

How I made the cards.

I used Distress Inks and a mini-foam blending tool to colour the backgrounds. I used a circle of paper as a mask for the moon/planet in the left-hand card. To create the land, I used a torn piece of paper to mask off part of the card.

Once I was pleased with the backgrounds, I sprayed the image with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry.

The next step was to draw the designs. I used black and grey Pitt Artist Pens by Faber Castell.

Metallic/iridescent highlights were added; I used Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paints and a fine brush.

The final steps were to adhere the top layer to a black mat and then this to the card base. Finally, I edged the mat and the top layer with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen.

I have made coordinating envelopes for each card.

My thoughts on the cards.

I think you can tell that the card on the left is the second made. I can see how I’ve learned from the first card. I do like both cards, though.

I would, if I could, add a moon/planet to the right-hand card. It would fill that space rather nicely and give a more magical, mystical, ethereal feel to the landscape.

As to the left-hand card, I wish I hadn’t done the pods all in black; they appear a tad ‘flat’. In hindsight, I could have used just black outlines and then filled the pod with a colour gradient before adding the metallic highlights.

I also am glad I didn’t try to add a spine to each leaf as I did on the right-hand card. However, a highlight at the top of each leaf, suggesting the moon/planet light is reflecting from them.

Oh the whole, however, I am pleased with these cards. They are a new style of working for me. Leaving open space is never easy for me, but I’ve managed it with these cards.

Would you like some happy mail?

I’ve already got some recipients in mind for these cards. However, if you’d like some happy mail then send me a message.

I’ve already got some recipients in mind for these cards. However, if you’d like some happy mail then send me a message.

More mail art

More Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
More Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

After a very late night talking to a friend and not enough sleep, today is a self-care day. I’m going to go back to bed soon and try to sleep some more before driving for four hours tonight.

While waiting for sleep to catch up with me again, I thought I’d make some mail art. The photo isn’t the best; I’ve said it before, I’m not a brilliant photographer. However, I’m sure you get the idea. Also, I wanted to catch a glimpse of the metallic highlights I’ve added to this card, so the angle of the photography was just plain weird!

My brain seemed to have ticked over some ideas while I was asleep and I woke with some things I thought I could try out. This card is the result of some of them.

I started by using a 4″ x 4″ piece of watercolour paper and applying Distress inks to it to create a background.

I used a torn piece of paper to mask off the bottom of the panel so that could use an ink blending tool to apply Pine Needles and Crushed Olive Distress inks to create some land.

A sky was required, so I used Broken China Distress ink to create it so that it faded from top to the land.

I then sprayed the background with a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water to create a less perfect appearance.

While this was drying, I flipped through my Zibladone (visual dictionary) and found some motifs I liked. I used Pitt Artist pens from Faber-Castell to draw the motifs on the panel. I chose these pens because they’re waterproof when dry and I knew I wanted to add colour and sparkle to them later on.

To give a sense of dimension, I used black pens for the foreground motifs and a grey brush pen to create the foliage in the background.

To help the seed pods stand out, I used washes of Dusty Concorde and Seedless Preserves Distress inks. Then, I used some Cosmic Shimmer gold iridescent watercolour paint to add the gold highlights.

Once everything was dry, I used a piece of Cut’n’Dry foam to edge the panel with Dusty Concorde Distress Ink. The design was framed nicely by this edging; it also added a sense of dimensionality.

Next, I mounted the panel on a piece of black card and then adhered these layers to a 6″ x 6″ blank Kraft card, all done with Tombow Mono glue.

Finally, I carefully used a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to add lines around the edge of the design panel and also the black mat.

I then turned my attention to the envelope. I drew some more of the seed pods before adding a light wash of Dusty Concorde and Seedless Preserves Distress Inks, being careful not to overwet the envelope. I added dots of gold watercolour paint to the seed pods and the space around them too, making sure I left enough space to write the name and address of the eventual recipient.

I’m quite pleased with the card. I’ve done this style of drawing digitally in the form of a mandala, but never like this. However, as I look at the card, it seems to need a focal motif in the space between the seedpods. I may be wrong; it may just be my constant need to fill up space with line and pattern and the difficulty I have in leaving white space in a design.

I shall let the card ‘sit’ for a while before making my mind up on that issue.

Dandelion Card and Envelope Mail Art

Dandelion Card and Envelope Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Dandelion Card and Envelope Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the art.

Materials:

  • 5″ x 2.5″ piece of watercolour paper.
  • 5.25″ x 2.75″ piece of black card.
  • 6″ x 6″ blank kraft card with matching envelope.
  • Distress Inks in Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Stormy Sky.
  • Distress Oxide Inks in Iced Spruce and Peeled paint.
  • Small paint brushes – I used a 0 for the details and a 4 for the circles.
  • Mini foam blending tool.
  • A spray bottle containing a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water.
  • Tim Holtz’s Distress Micro Glaze and a dedicated foam blending pad. (or just your fingers!).
  • A glass pen or other fine nib dip pen.
  • Gold and Silver inks from J Herbin
  • White Sakura Glaze pen.
  • Gold glitter Uniball Signo Pen.
  • Light grey 05 Unipin pen by Uniball.
  • Glue or strong tape to adhere the card layers (I used Tombow Mono glue)

Method:

I started with a 2.5″ x 5″ piece of watercolour paper and a brush. I used water to draw circles where I wanted the dandelion heads to be. I then used the brush to add Stormy Skies and Weathered Wood Distress Inks into the water, letting it spread as it liked. To ensure I had a darker area of the seedhead, I dropped the watered-down inks to the bottom and left of the circles.

While the circles were drying, I worked on the card base. I applied Peeled Paint and Iced Spruce Distress Oxide Inks with a mini foam blending tool. Then, I sprayed the card with a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry. Finally, I used Tim Holtz’s Micro Glaze to seal in the Distress Oxides – they react all too quickly with the sweat in fingers.

By the time I’d set the card base aside to dry I could return to the dandelion seed heads. I used a fine paintbrush, and some Titanium Iridescent Watercolour paint from Cosmic Shimmer to add the stems of the seeds. Once they had dried, I added dots of Enchanted Gold Iridescent Watercolour paint to the stems and set the panel aside to dry.

I wanted to add some dandelion heads and seeds to the card base. I used a glass pen along with silver and gold inks from J Herbin. I didn’t think these would adhere to the micro glaze treated surface, but they did. On a darker background, I could really see how these inks look like liquid metals as they flow onto the paper. They didn’t dull as they dried, thanks to the micro glaze acting as a barrier to the Distress Oxide ink.

Next, I wanted to add the stems and leaves to the dandelions on the watercolour paper panel. I used some Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Stormy Skies Distress inks for this. I pressed them onto a sheet of plastic, diluted and mixed them with water and a brush and then used the mixture to add the stems and leaves. I started with a lighter colour wash, adding darker colours to the left of the stem and also under the dandelion heads to add some dimension.

Once I was reasonably happy with the stems, I worked on the leaves. Again, I started with a pale-coloured wash to get the shape of the leaves in place. Then I gradually added darker tones to give a sense of dimension.

When I’d finished this, I looked at the panel, and I wasn’t happy with the stems and leaves. They looked unfinished. So, I dug out a light grey Uniball Unipin pen and proceded to outline the stems and leaves. This improved matters greatly to my mind. I like the way the stems and leaves are now defined and how they contrast nicely with the airy, ephemeral feel of the seedheads.

I then set about adding some dots of the gold watercolour around the arrangement of dandelion seedheads, added my symbol and year, and that completed the top panel.

I cut a piece of black card that was approx. 5.25″ x 2.75″ and adhered the top panel to it. I then adhered these layers to the card base.

My last task was to decorate the envelope. I used a white Sakura Glaze pen to draw some dandelion seedheads. When the Glaze pen lines had dried, I used a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to add dots.

My reflections.

I started with a 2.5″ x 5″ piece of watercolour paper and a brush. I used water to draw circles where I wanted the dandelion heads to be. I then used the brush to add Stormy Skies and Weathered Wood Distress Inks into the water, letting it spread as it liked. To ensure I had a darker area of the seedhead, I dropped the watered-down inks to the bottom and left of the circles.

While the circles were drying, I worked on the card base. I applied Peeled Paint and Iced Spruce Distress Oxide Inks with a mini foam blending tool. Then, I sprayed the card with a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry. Finally, I used Tim Holtz’s Micro Glaze to seal in the Distress Oxides – they react all too quickly with the sweat in fingers.

By the time I’d set the card base aside to dry I could return to the dandelion seed heads. I used a fine paintbrush, and some Titanium Iridescent Watercolour paint from Cosmic Shimmer to add the stems of the seeds. Once they had dried, I added dots of Enchanted Gold Iridescent Watercolour paint to the stems and set the panel aside to dry.

I wanted to add some dandelion heads and seeds to the card base. I used a glass pen along with silver and gold inks from J Herbin. I didn’t think these would adhere to the micro glaze treated surface, but they did. On a darker background, I could really see how these inks look like liquid metals as they flow onto the paper. They didn’t dull as they dried, thanks to the micro glaze acting as a barrier to the Distress Oxide ink.

Next, I wanted to add the stems and leaves to the dandelions on the watercolour paper panel. I used some Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Stormy Skies Distress inks for this. I pressed them onto a sheet of plastic, diluted and mixed them with water and a brush and then used the mixture to add the stems and leaves. I started with a lighter colour wash, adding darker colours to the left of the stem and also under the dandelion heads to add some dimension.

Once I was reasonably happy with the stems, I worked on the leaves. Again, I started with a pale-coloured wash to get the shape of the leaves in place. Then I gradually added darker tones to give a sense of dimension.

When I’d finished this, I looked at the panel, and I wasn’t happy with the stems and leaves. They looked unfinished. So, I dug out a light grey Uniball Unipin pen and proceded to outline the stems and leaves. This improved matters greatly to my mind. I like the way the stems and leaves are now defined and how they contrast nicely with the airy, ephemeral feel of the seedheads.

I then set about adding some dots of the gold watercolour around the arrangement of dandelion seedheads, added my symbol and year, and that completed the top panel.

I cut a piece of black card that was approx. 5.25″ x 2.75″ and adhered the top panel to it. I then adhered these layers to the card base.

My last task was to decorate the envelope. I used a white Sakura Glaze pen to draw some dandelion seedheads. When the Glaze pen lines had dried, I used a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to add dots.

Reflections on this project.

When I started, I only had a rough idea of what I’d like to do. I knew I wanted to use watercolour media and stylised dandelion heads.

At first, I tried to make the circles for the seed heads by using a Tombow Dual Brush pen to draw the outer circle. Then, I used water and a brush to get the ink to bleed into the circle.

The result wasn’t pretty.

So, I regrouped and tried Distress Inks and water, and I was much happier with the result, and the card grew from there.

I’m pleased that I ran with a more stylised dandelion head than I’d initially considered. One of my artistic strengths is my ability to create stylised motifs. I certainly think I managed to do that with the dandelion heads and their leaves, especially as watercolour media is not a strength of mine.

I’m also glad I used the iridescent paints to add the details. That makes my inner raven very happy. The use of metallic inks on the card base increased the happiness of the raven even further!

I was about to give up on the card when I’d added the stems and leaves with just Distress Inks; I wasn’t happy with them. However, trying the grey line made all the difference in the world. The dandelions went from almost being consigned to the waste bin to being good enough.

I’m now happy with the card and the envelope; it’s something I’ll try again in the future, maybe. After all, I do have a few more watercolour paper panels that need to be used!

So, Angela, how are you today?

Yesterday, I had EMDR therapy. The session was quite painful, physically, and a bit distressing emotionally. I felt content and optimistic going to the appointment, and I left feeling pretty much the same. However, I suddenly became exhausted when I was half-way home. And I do mean exhausted. I felt my eyes trying to cross and close.

I made it safely home and, after having a little something to eat, I collapsed into bed and slept until early evening.

I was still really tired when I woke, but a random chancing upon crochet patterns for hyperbolic surfaces and ammonites kept me up for a while. Indeed, I lost myself in crocheting hyperbolic forms.

This morning I woke feeling content and optimistic and cheerful. The sun was shining, which always helps my mood for sure.

Even though I was feeling sunny inside, I wanted to spend time on a little project or two today. I didn’t want to push myself after what turned out to be a gruelling EMDR session yesterday. So, that’s why I threw myself into creating this little card.

Now, it’s nearly 7 pm here in the UK, and I’m bone-tired once again. I’ll spend the evening either creating another card or crocheting. Either way, it’s self-care time.