Inktober 2018 – Day 8 – Star

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 8 Star

Migraine gone, slept well, started this around 7am and have just finished at noon!

I drew the black line art on Rhodia Dot Grid paper, scanned in it, removed the dot grid and created a transparent background in GiMP and then coloured it in Autodesk Sketchbook pro.

My tools were – Sakura Micron pens on the paper, and a Microsoft Surface Pen on the Microsoft Surface Studio screen.

I did pencil in the letters before handlettering them, and I also penciled in the outer border for the artwork.

I did make use of gradient tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, as well as a glow airbrush tool and layers.

I did want to try to colour it in in a more traditional style with the digital tools, but it just didn’t happen this time …

Now, I need to get my shower and sort myself out for the remainder of the day, which does include starting work again on my next Entangled book for Dover Publications’ Creative Haven series of adult coloring books.

The Inktober 2018 challenge has helped me to get my hand/eye coordination back in some kind of shape after a week or more away from drawing when I took my trip oop t’Yorkshire Dales.

Oh, I just knew I had to include a quote about stars! Goes without saying.

My hand lettering does need some working on, but it’ll do in this instance.

‘Believe’ bookmark

Angela Porter believe bookmark 15April2018Believe … in yourself.

I thought I’d spend sometime today finishing off this bookmark design.

I’m not too happy with the colours, a bit too dark, but I can always re-colour at some point.

Digitally drawn and coloured, though I did sketch the writing out and scan it in to help me write it on my Microsoft Surface book with my Microsoft Surface pen.

#fundaysunday #sundayfunday #weekendvibes

 

Colorist Windows App – announcement and review

Colorist

First, the announcement!  I’m doing some coloring templates for the Colorist App, and my first book of ten pages – called DoodleWorlds – is now available for it!

 

Review of Colorist

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Colorist is the only app that lets you color with exactly the same feel as coloring pencils! Relax on the couch and enjoy coloring a complex design, a vacation spot, or a crazy cartoon cat – tons of pages to choose from. Even color the same picture more than once, to see what else you can do with it. No need to worry about losing your coloring pencils in the couch anymore!

I have tried the Colorist app out, and here’s an honest review of it.

I had a quick look at the app before I agreed to do any design work for Faction Apps as I’d not want to have my artwork on any platform that I didn’t think was a good thing.

I’ve given it a test run using my Surface book and the Surface pen.  I haven’t tried it out in touch mode with my finger. You can see what I did in the image above, which is one of the free downloads as my own weren’t available at the time I did this test.

Here’s a close up of the section I coloured in.

colorist-fish1.jpg

 

The colour palette

There’s a large number of colours available in the palette, and the bar that appears beside the image retains the last eight colours you’ve used, which is really useful and makes colouring in areas you want in the same colours easy to do.  It also means it’s easy to use many colours to get a smooth colour gradation, something that you can’t do with other colouring apps I’ve seen.

The pencil tool

There’s a slider bar with the tool so you can select the width of the pencil stroke, which is great.  The finest settings allowed me to add patterns to the image.  This is something that sets the app apart from others I’ve seen, which only allow a flood fill.

The finer lines and the ability to zoom in to the area you’re colouring mean you can get into the tiniest areas to colour, which at the original image size may have been a challenge, especially when printed on paper and coloured using coloured pencils.

The line isn’t a solid line, it has texture to it just as if you’re colouring on paper with a ‘tooth’ (texture).  This means that optical mixing of colours is possible, as well as adding texture to that mixing.  It also means that a smooth blend of colours is achievable.

The colours lay nicely on top of each other, thanks to that bitty texture; one colour doesn’t obsure the other, unless you use a lot of pressure and it’s what you want.

Oh, the colours don’t obscure the black outlines of the colouring page, no matter how hard you press.

My surface pen is pressure sensitive, and that makes the colouring experience a lot more comparable to colouring on paper with pencils, but without the mess!  I don’t know what it’s like on a screen that isn’t pressure sensitive, or how it works if I use my finger instead of the pen.

I am really impressed with the results and how the pencil tool works.

Also, I can get a bit irritated when I’m colouring with physical pencils; they often make my arthritic joints ache.  No such problem here; indeed, I wanted to carry on colouring but had to put it aside so I could get on with other things.

Eraser tool and Undo Button

It works!  However, I preferred to use the white from the palette to erase small areas to add highlights as I could control the thickness of the line being used to remove colour.

The undo button would be really useful too.

Together, they are things you can’t do when you’re colouring on paper, well not easily.

Saving your art

You can save your work at any time by using the save button on the app. You can also colour each page in as many times as you like in as many different colour schemes as you like too.

Final thoughts

I like this app, very, very much.  I found it easy to use, quick to master, and it gives really lovely results.  It’s a well thought through app, it does what it says it does, and the experience and results are a lot like using coloured pencils on paper!

I just want to repeat that although I have done some artwork for the app, these views are my own and not influenced by me working for them; if hadn’t htought the app was a good product I wouldn’t have agreed to do work for them!

Rainbow verdigris

I really need to learn to take better photos!  This doesn’t do the artwork justice at all, neither does the curled paper.  If I manage to take a better photo I’ll update it.

*Update*  The image on the left is a scanned image – the iridescence and metallic sheen are lost in the scan, but the image is clearer.

There are patches of textures ‘verdigris’ which has a rainbow iridescence on them, as well as similar colours and patterns elsewhere.

The background shimmers with copper and other iridescent colours, over a soft, chalky coloured surface achieved by using Distress Oxide inks.

I loved the background so much that I really didn’t want to work over it. However, this morning I decided to be brave and to wield a Pebeo Posca black pen to draw circle patterns on it, with the aim of adding colours that would be reminiscent of verdigris on copper.

I think I’ve achieved that in some small measure, and perhaps in a different way.

I learned a lot of things along the way, not least of which is to paint the circle BEFORE I add patterns to them with a pen!  What I may do is prepare sheets of paper with the colours on I want in the circles, draw the patterns on them, cut them out and then collage them on the background to give a more 3D look to the art.

Art is all about experimentation, learning when things don’t work out as you’d like.  However, when things don’t turn out or you think you’ve made a mistake, learn to accept it as a ‘creative opportunity’ and work with it.  There are many ‘creative opportunities’ in this mixed media piece!

Media used:

  • Distress oxide inks
  • Perfect Pearls
  • Liquitex, Decoart Media and Pebeo Dyna iridescent and metallic acrylic paints.
  • Posca pen
  • Stencils by Prima
  • Fresco paints by PaperArtsy
  • Rusty Patina paints by Imagination Crafts
  • Inktense pencils from Derwent

 

My latest art

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#angelaporterillustrator #lineart #zentangle #doodle #doodleart #a3

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#angelaporterillustrator #doodleart #doodle #zentangle #lineart

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Microsoft Surface Book, a dead printer and other stuff

angela-porter-colouredonehalloween-2016
My first digitally coloured and drawn line art created using my Surface Book.

The image to the left is my first digitally coloured drawing I’ve done with the Surface, but not the first drawing I’ve done with it.

The image to the left is my first digitally coloured drawing I’ve done with the Surface, but not the first drawing I’ve done with it.

I went and did it.  I really did.  I thought long and hard about it, I considered my various options, but after a lot of help and a play with a Microsoft Surface I decided that I was going to get one so I could explore the world of drawing digitally and digital art.

So, I ordered a Surface Book, it arrived and I picked it up from the shop at a time when the young chap who helped me with information about them was there so he could see it and try it out – my thank you to him. Apparently it caused a ‘nerdgasm’ as a fair few of the assistants came over to have a look and lust over the Surface.

That was around 3 weeks ago and I’ve certainly been giving it a good try out, and learning as I go, and I really do have a lot to learn! I will learn too, as and when I need to simply by exploring and playing.

One awkward task has been finding a program/app that will let me draw on the surface almost as if it is pen on paper.  So far, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is my most used app.  I’m having to learn about using layers, the type of ‘brush type’ and thickness and the other settings to get my drawings to look the way they do.

One little tool that has been invaluable has been the ‘smooth’ function; the Surface screen is so sensitive to movement and there is such little friction between the SurfacePen and the screen that my usually smooth lines were all over the place!  This has solved it though, without making my drawings look like they’ve been computer generated.  I’d like some choices of amount of smoothing applied, however, and maybe that’ll be something the app designers will add to it in future updates.

I have already found it of great help as I had some small amendments to make to a couple of images for Color Me Grateful.  It was so easy to do these, once I’d worked out how to make the texture/randomness/spacing of the line drawn mimic the lines drawn with the pen I’d used on paper.  No messy white-out liquid, no dusty eraser mess, no awkward editing to do with a mouse.  I can do the editing and tidy up of lines as I work, easily erase ‘mistakes’ or alter elements wholesale.  That alone makes the Surface worth it’s weight in platinum!

Add to that that if I am going to do all my future drawings on the beauty then I’ll not need to do the rather tedious task of scanning in and then cleaning up the images laboriously, then it’s worth double its weight in gold-pressed latinum!

Oh, I know I’ll still have to scan in a few images – ones I’ve printed out and coloured using traditional media – but they will be far fewer than the numbers I’ve had to do.

I did consider a Wacom Cintiq, however I couldn’t find anywhere to have a ‘test drive’ of one, and that I really wanted to do before I bought one.  I was able to play with Surface and work out quite quickly that it would work for me, especially as there was software loaded on it that would do what I wanted to do with one.

Of course, it will lead me to exploring the world of digital art and how it will work for me and my style of art, but I also know it will open up new ways of working, new techniques and effects for me.

Printing

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Playing with the Surface

I have a fair few drawings I want to print out to colour in traditional media, and also to check the line thicknesses and detail of the drawings as I’m still in the process of getting used to drawing on a screen that is smaller than A4 paper, and a lot smaller than A3.  However, the more I use it, the easier it is becoming for me to adjust to this way of working.

So, I went to print out some art yesterday, to find my printer had died on me.  I can’t even get it to turn on!

The hunt for a new printer began, and I chose an Epson printer that uses the DuraBrite Ultra ink as it’s supposed to be at least water resistant and someone has posted somewhere that it isn’t affected by alcohol markers such as Promarkers or Copics.  That would be great if that’s the case!  I also understand that the printer will take fairly hefty papers/cards too, which is even better considering I’ll want to put watercolour paper and mixed media paper through it.  My dead Brother printer coped well with both of these, though the watercolour paper had to be fairly lightweight in comparison to some I have in my stash.

The new printer should be with me the middle of next week…

Other things…

I have a break for a while from working for publishers.  I’m using the time to explore the Surface book, to visit places to gain inspiration, and to get my head around ideas I have for books and illustrations and so on.  I also need a break from the wonderful, crazy but overly busy time drawing for so many publishers and books.

Crazily busy, yes, but something I’m so grateful for as it’s all allowed me to leave teaching and become self-employed.