So long September

October Coloring Template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group
© Angela Porter

October-eve

Can you believe that September is nearly over? I swear that the older I get the faster time seems to go.

Anyway, a new month on the horizon means a new colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. There just has to be a Hallowe’en theme for October’s page, and you can see a sneak peek of it above. I couldn’t resist colouring some of it in as a way of trying out some new digital brushes and some ideas too.

I put some of my favourite All Hallows’ Eve motifs into the drawing, including a raven, skulls, fungi and a vampire cat! I always enjoy drawing stuff to do with Hallowe’en; it’s my favourite time of year because I don’t have any past traumas associated with it.

If you’d like to colour this template, pop over to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group and become a member; each month I do one drawing exclusively for group members (terms and conditions of use and sharing apply).

About the art

I used a combination of fountain pens and fine-line pens to draw the design on dot grid paper. I then scanned the drawing in and cleaned up smudges and smears digitally.

Then, I set about adding colour digitally using my usual tools – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I also added a background and surface texture that I had purchased via Creative Market.

I am really quite pleased with how the colour is bringing the illustration to life, especially the skull in a jar. I hope to be able to continue to add colour as the month progresses, though I do know I have quite a bit of work to do and focus on.

To Inktober or not Inktober, that is the question.

Last year, I really enjoyed taking part in Inktober. Inktober has become a really popular social media event where artists and creatives use a daily prompt to draw (or create) something based on that prompt and share it on social media.

There is an official prompt list, but people do create alternative lists and I may look at some of them as there may be variations that might be less time intensive than last years’ was!

I shall see what I find and go from there I think.

So, Angela, how are you today?

Tired. However, I’m am quite content, my mood is good enough today. I do have EMDR later on, and I often feel ‘flat’ before my therapy session. I think my unconscious mind starts to bring stuff up in preparation for EMDR.

I know that the likelihood of me being exhausted later is rather high, so I’m not planning to do loads of stuff later on. Self care will be the order of the late afternoon and evening.

‘A Dangle A Day’ Dangle Design Mandala

‘A Dangle A Day’ Dangle Design Mandala © Angela Porter 2019

Dangles can be turned into mandalas! And ‘dangle-dalas’ satisfy my love of symmetry in an unusual way.

In this one, I have two rings to which dangles are attached. In the centre ring, they point towards the centre of the mandala. On the outer ring, they point out into space.

Then, there’s two central rings. One, I coloured in a pastel rainbow and added ‘A Dangle A Day’ in my weird take on hand-lettered uncials. The lettering isn’t perfect, but then neither am I, and neither were celtic/anglo-saxon/medieval manuscripts.

Ok, the manuscripts are more perfect than my hand lettering, but it’ll do. It’s perfectly imperfect. That is an idea I’m becoming to embrace more and more easily as time goes on, and an idea that I encourage you to adopt in my book ‘A Dangle A Day’.

I used rather graphic black and white geometric designs to separate the three main rings of the design. This contrasts nicely with the brightly colourful design elements.

I felt the need to draw cacti, flowers and some weird seeds today, so that’s what I did. Of course it goes without saying that I’d have to include stars and hearts in my design! There’s some beads in there too, particularly those teardrop shaped ones that remind me so much of medieval jewellery.

Mind you, medieval in character this design is not. It is rather cute and whimsical, which is one of my signature styles – the other is intricacy.

For this design, I hand drew and coloured it digitally using a Microsoft Surface Pen on the screen of my Microsoft Surface Studio. As always, my chosen art software was Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Yes, I really do draw on my Surface Studio with the Surface Pen as if I’m drawing with, say, a fountain pen on paper. Colouring I often do as if I’m colouring with traditional media, though sometimes I do use gradient fills. It just depends on the feel I want in the final artwork.

Being able to work in layers means I can do things that would be very difficult or time-consuming working traditionally. It also means that I can play with colour combinations – I love colour, but I don’t always make good choices of colour palettes, see yesterday’s Q monograms for evidence of that!

Of course, there’s so much more to digital art than this, and I’ve not discovered everything yet. But over time my experience is that I discover, workout or learn how to do what I need to do at that time when I’m ready to do that.

Noel – Entangled Design

©Angela Porter, Artwyrd.com

I always have fun when drawing and creating, including this design. In it I’ve combined some of my entangled design elements along with winter/Christmas doodles. 

To start, I hand lettered ‘Noel’ using a guide for the shape of the lettering I wanted. Then, I printed it out so I could add the black and white line art using a 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.

Once that was done, the finished lineart was scanned back into the Microsoft Surface Studio, a transparent background created and some smudges cleaned up. 

Finally, I could colour it. Today, I chose to use the color gradient tools, which does make the job of colouring a bit quicker, but it also results in a rather ‘shiny’ look too. Or perhaps that’s simply due to the colours I choose for the gradients.

I had fun adding the glowing stars and sparkles to this one, though I’m not sure I’ve got that right.A nice way to spend the morning and early afternoon as the weather has been wet and very windy at times here. 

Doodleworlds design 12 November 2018

Angela Porter 12 November 2018

After the emotions surrounding Remembrance Day and all the heart-tugging posts on social media concerning issues around veterans and families and so on, I needed to create something that was a little fun.

I drew the design yesterday and I’ve spent the past 4 hours colouring it using my set of Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops.

Not digital art this time, just some fun doodleworlds style critters and monsters and objects, along with some geometric designs as well as my trademark arches and swirls and spirals.

I love how all my critters are different and yet close together getting along, even if some of them look a bit grumpy, fierce or angry. We all have emotions, a whole range of them from ecstatic, happy to sad, angry, miserable. It’s like a weird kind of family, friendship photo. Even the single kitty to the left of the tower is part of this group, even though it’s keeping its distance.

Sometimes I need that distance from people, even groups of people I care for. I get overwhelmed so easily. I then need some quiet alone time and space to rest, recoup and recharge. I enjoy time with people I care about; the trade off is feeling drained and tired and exhausted afterwards.

It’s the same with overly emotional days. When I need to rest, recoup and recharge sometimes drawing overly whimsical, cute, simple designs with cheesily cute critters and monsters helps to soothe what’s going on inside me.

I really need a bit of that before I head out for EMDR therapy later on today.

C is for … dangle design

Angela Porter C is for 10 Nov 2018

I don’t know what’s occurring with WordPress, but the colours of this particular dangle design aren’t quite so grey and dull. I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that when I upload an image the colours change. Never used to do that…

Anyways, today’s dangle design was fun to draw and I chose to use a different color palette than is usually for me. It’s not more pastel, it’s more subdued perhaps. I actually quite like it, which has surprised me!

I do tend towards bright colour palettes, bright and vibrant. For me to choose a more subdued one is very unusual, but it’s something I think I may work with more now as I rather like this one.

Also, I’ve chosen just  7 colors that I’ve used tones/shades of – cool grey, cool violet, antique pink, a blue-green, a yellow-green, soft blue-grey and old gold tones.

Again, using just a few base colors rather than a whole host of different colours is not my usual way of working. What I’m beginning to realise about this is that it gives a much more cohesive look to the finished design. With the colours being more subtle, it also gives a much more grown-up even, dare I say it, more sophisticated look to what is a rather simple and whimsical kind of design. It particularly works well with the monogram ‘C’.

In fact, the cute kitty is really the only whimsical element of this design. The others are simple, yes, but not quite so cute and whimsical. However, I wouldn’t remove the kitty-cat as cats are the theme of this series of monogram dangle designs.

I’ve said it before that I really struggle with seeing my art as others see it. I often think my art, like this, is rather childish, simple, unsophisticated, naive with no real artistic value at all.

This is part of how I think of myself and it’s part of my CPTSD. I’m working on it. For me to recognise that I’ve done nice things, things I feel proud of is a step or two forwards. However, there’s that nasty inner critic that does its best to derail any positive thoughts I may have about myself or the things I do.

Anyways, onto the nitty gritty of how I created this dangle design.

The steps I took were:

  1. sketched out the design on dot grid paper
  2. scanned the sketch into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
  3. used a technical pen ‘brush’ to ink in the design
  4. worked out the color palette I wanted to use
  5. coloured the design, in this case using gradient fills for speed
  6. added shadows to the design
  7. created a drop shadow
  8. created a coloured background
  9. added texture to both the design and background

I sketched the design out last night, and it took me between 2 and 3 hours to complete the steps above as this is a relatively small design.

If you’d like to learn how to create your own dangle designs, then my upcoming book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is a good place to start. You can pre-order it so it’s arrives on it’s release date in January 2019.

And November begins…

Angela Porter Doodle Challenges 1 Nov 2019

I finished all the templates for Entangled Forests yesterday, so today has been a bit of an odd day for me, which has involved pottering around.

I did have a look at what challenges are going on this month; I enjoyed doing Inktober so much I thought it could be fun to continue as I can.

I found Oh So Cute Doodles (#ohsocutedoodles on Instagram) and Come Doodle With Me (#splendiddoodlenovember by @splendidscribbles on Instagram).

I thought I may try to combine them into one drawing each day.

So, the two prompts for today were crystal ball and sugar skull.

I did want to add more highlights and shadows to this image. Maybe another time. It’ll do as it is.

#createdonsurface #autodesksketchbook

Inktober 2018 Day 27 ‘Thunder’ revisited

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 27 Thunder small

Much happier with my Thunder Kitty!

Re-drawn and coloured digitally. I used my usual digital tools – Microsoft’s Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Thunder Kitty had to be ginger! I couldn’t resist some rainbow stars and raindrops either, as well as adding to the dangles on the original sketch.

Nice way to spend an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon after having had a sleep – I really was exhausted after the stress for me surrounding the craft corner at the coffee morning, doing the craft morning and an evening with people, as lovely as all the people were.

The introvert me likes spending time with arty crafty projects.

Inktober 2018 Day 28 ‘Gift’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 28 Gift small

Day 28 of the Inktober challenge and I’ve done another kitty dangle design, with a rather surprised looking kitty in a gift box with a party hat on.

How cute would this be as a greetings card for the human of a kitty?

I sketched the design in pencil on dot grid paper then scanned it into my Surface Studio. I then drew the design using a pen brush and the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. After drawing, I added colour and texture as well as a bit of a drop shadow.

This image makes me smile just a bit. It was a nice thing to do this morning. I’m tired today.

Yesterday, I was absolutely shattered after the Hallowe’en Coffee Morning and being in charge of the craft corner. The little monsters (read little darlings dressed up in their Hallowe’en finery) kept me nicely busy and they seemed to have a lot of fun making pumpkins on glow sticks and paper pumpkins and other things. I had a lot of fun too.

At the end of the morning, it was lovely to have some help to clear up; thankfully my plans on using glue dots and double sided sticky tape and paper fasteners and staples rather than glue sticks helped greatly with this. As did the washable marker pens and the like.

I came home and had some lunch and then slept. On waking I had time to have more tea, shower and get ready to pop out in the evening.

As lovely as my couple of hours out were, I was glad to get home. It was really chilly last night here in South Wales. The cold got into me even in my short journeys; I chilled right off in the morning too. So, today my hands and feet are a tad achy and stiff with arthritis.

Using the Microsoft Surface Pen on the Surface Studio certainly helps my finger joints – so little pressure is needed. The pen is a tad weighty, but it’s rather well balanced so I can cope. On days like today I could do with a slightly thicker barrel, so I need to find some grippy things that I could slide on my pen for days like this.

I do want to work on my sketch of the viking kitty that I did for yesterdays’ Inktober prompt. I need a quiet day of self-care today. Not only was yesterday a busy one for me in terms of interacting with people it was also the end of British Summer Time and the clocks went back by an hour some time during the night. This means we got an extra hour of sleep, in theory. In practice I slept the same amount of time! The change in the clocks will cause confusion for a while I think.

I am an introvert, though people seem to assume I’m an extrovert. I learned at a young age that I had to be loud and seemingly outward going like my very loud brothers to have even a chance of being noticed or listened to (that didn’t happen often). I have a fairly extrovert mask I wear when out and about and with people, until I get to know them and then the introvert can relax and come out. I like people, but I also recognise that I need alone time to recharge my batteries. Being with people both lifts me and drains me. So, today is a day for some quiet time, before I have to head out this evening for a couple of hours to be with people again.

 

Inktober 2018 Day 22 ‘Expensive’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 22 Expensive

Clumsy hand lettering again, but it is practice…always practice.

The pattern is rather bare and sparse of detail today too, though some colour would help with that for sure. However, I wanted to limit my time spent on Inktober today so I have time to turn my attention to other things.

I did draw this digitally surface pen on virtual paper on the surface studio screen.

#createdonsurface #inktober #inktober2018

The peace referred to is peace of mind and having peace of mind is priceless and so important.

Part of my CPTSD is the shame and embarrassment that accompanies many, many traumatic experiences throughout the whole of my life. The emotional flashbacks cause me to relive these traumas and the shame I feel about so many events, many I can’t even remember as the mind dissociates from the event, but can’t seem to do so from the trauma that’s stored in the emotions and body.

Add to that the belief I grew up with that I was always, always to blame for everything that everyone else did, even if I had no part in it, means that I can slip into the self-blame mode quite easily where I go over and over and over something trying to find out what I did wrong and what I can do to not make that mistake again. That’s even when I did nothing wrong or even had anything at all to do with the event being picked to pieces in this way. Even when I wasn’t even present for the event. It’s the root cause of my hyperperfectionism. I worry constantly that what I do is never good enough, even when the objective evidence is to the contrary.

So, for me to let some clumsy hand lettering remain. For me to show a piece of work that I’m not entirely happy with is incredibly difficult, leaves me open to the self-blame thing and shame and embarrassment, yet still I do this.

Why? Well, it’s nice to show that along the way to a finished drawing/artwork that I have stages where things aren’t so polished, that I have things to work on, even though I do tend to work intuitively.

Although I may be hypercritical of what I create and see every tiny flaw – real or imagined – in it, having others look at my work and comment and/or like it with either positive or constructive comments helps me to get glimpses of how others see my art. This then helps to stem the hypercritical self-blame and self-criticism by providing objective evidence that the inner critic isn’t always right.

So, even though the hand lettering isn’t right. Even though the drawing is bare of colour. Even though I can see flaws with the drawing,  I’m able to put this here, on instagram, facebook, twitter so others can see what I’m doing.

I also show my imperfect work to show people that we all make mistakes, we all start as novices and have to practice, practice, practice some skills to improve them, and this can take a lot of time. Hand lettering is difficult for me at any scale other than tiny.

It’s also so I can show that even though I don’t do wonderfully well at something, I don’t give up easily with it, and neither should you.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to persevere with something that I have no skills at such as silver smithing, which I have tried and am an absolute nightmare at! However, the experience of silver smithing led me to trying other ways to create jewellery and led me to my experimenting with textiles, wire, beads and so on to create unusual jewellery. This is something I’ve not done for years.

However, it was part of my creative journey. It gave me some peace of mind at the time I was doing it.

Peace of mind is so important. That’s why I’ve spent years in therapy in one form or another, with EMDR providing the biggest steps forward in helping me to release the stored trauma so it doesn’t return and cause problems.

This is my past. My present is I have a choice about what I do or don’t do. I’d like to think I’d make choices that will cause me to keep my peace of mind, losing that little I’ve gained would be a price to high to pay .

 

Inktober 2018 Day 18 ‘Bottle’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 18 Bottle

Not just one bottle, but several!

This was a fun one to draw – Faber-Castell Broad pen on paper. Scanned in to the Surface Studio to clean it up and print it out so I could colour it using Chameleon Color Tone and Color Tops marker pens.

I added some highlights with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen.

I’m a bit later than usual posting the Inktober image today. I had quite a few errands to run today, including a slightly worrying recall to the opticians for photographs or my eyes, even though I only had them done around 4 weeks ago. It wasn’t pictures of my retina and optic nerve the optician wanted – it was images of the front of my eyes due to me having a wobbling blood vessel in one.

I had planned on popping into the opticians as I’d managed to drop one pair of distance glasses on a tarmac floor and had chipped the lenses (which I’d had for less than a week!) and so needed to have replacement lenses. That was the easy part…

They had trouble getting the camera to work to take pictures of the front of my eyes, so I have to have the process done on Saturday when I pick up my glasses with the new lenses in as the optician will have set the camera up. If it still won’t work, she’ll inspect my eyes with a ‘slit test’ I think it was.

I’ve never had such thorough eye tests/examinations before. I’m well impressed! And it’s with Specsavers! I’ve never had an optician comment on my differently pigmented eyes before either – one eye is mostly a light brownish-green with a small wedge of brown, the other is about half brown and the rest the same light brownish-green  as t’other eye.

Someone I met a long time ago described me as having ‘mutant eyes’ and asked if he could use them for a character in a sci-fi book he was writing. I didn’t have a problem with that!

Oh, they have no effect on my vision at all. It’s just a different level of pigmentation that has been, as far as I know, always there.

I also found out this time that my optic nerves are tilted a bit more upwards than is usual but it doesn’t affect my vision, just something noted of curiosity.

Perhaps this is why there’s an eyeball or two appearing in my latest drawings!

Anyways, my eyesight functions very well, apart from the need for glasses as I’ve aged. I’m sure the wobbling blood vessel isn’t anything to worry about either.

I’ve also ordered some beaded ‘chains’ to attach to my glasses so they don’t fall off my nose when I’m looking down again!

So, an unexpectedly extended visit to the opticians along with some shopping in the local town put me all out of sync today, but if nothing else I got my Inktober challenge of the day done!