Autumn is on the way!

Autumn Mandala 01Coloured Angela Porter

Autumn is nigh and it’s a lot more glorious because…

September has arrived at long last, along with the promise of the fiery blaze of glory that is autumn in a few weeks time.

Cooler mornings and evenings along with warm enough days, the quality of sunlight is softer, more golden too.

I really love this time of year, it’s my favourite!

Even more so that I no longer have the long fear/anxiety of returning to school as a teacher.

I don’t miss teaching one little bit!  I miss friends I had. I miss the more social interaction I had and the fun and laughter I had with colleagues and pupils.  What I don’t really miss is the constant fear, anxiety, worry, stress, pressure, bad attitudes, poor behaviour and constantly being looked at and assessed. All the things that led me to some very dark places that I found difficult to get out of.  No, it’s not ‘I don’t really miss’ these things – I really don’t miss these things, though I still get moments anxiety verging on panic when memories of various situations arise from the depths of my subconscious.

Arty pursuits

I’ve finished all the black and white line art for Eerily Entangled – my latest colouring book for Dover Publications.  I have two more to colour in for the book, but I’ll wait to see what my editor and her design team would like me to colour – there are so very many, if not all, I’d love to colour!

As well as this, I’ve spent quite a bit of time starting to organise my ‘pattern library’.  It’s something I like to do when I’m too tired to do anything else, when I’m feeling down and need a comforting not challenging activity, and when I’m lacking in inspiration; sometimes the patterns bring the inspiration I’m searching for, sometimes they just allow stuff to well up to the surface of my subconscious mind where my conscious mind can grab them and make use of them.

As a change of focus, I decided to draw some autumn themed mandalas, the one at the top of this blog entry being the first.

I’m a bit rusty at creating them after focusing on other things for a while, but the skills soon come back, often with new ideas or twists to old ideas, as well as new skills learned by my use of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with my Microsoft Surface Book, which I used to create this mandala.

Playing with colour

Angela Porter 29 August 2017Angela Porter 29 August 2018 A

I’ve been quiet around ‘tinternet for a couple of weeks – problems with my mood, instead of starting many new things I’ve been spending time organising a reference collection of my favourite patterns and designs of things like fungi and buildings and creatures and so on and its very much a work in progress!  The process of going through the familiar and organising them is comforting to me …

I have done some new drawings for the Eerie project for Dover – not many left to do for the book, then the hard work is deciding which two I would like to colour in the most, always a problem.

Plans are afoot for a change in my online presence too … more as that happens!

The above images show one artwork I started last night and finished this morning.  Most probably about 8 or 10 hours of work.  Distress Oxides, Cosmic Shimmer watercolours and a Sakura Glaze pen were used. When light strikes the artwork at just the right angle, the metallics and iridescents bring the artwork to life; it’s like it lights up all by itself.  A joyful feeling for sure as I look at it.

It was nice to work with colour and the more traditional media rather than digital art, though, yet again, I noticed how drawing with the Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Book are having an effect on my work on paper.

One thing I did enjoy was adding the sparkle and shimmer to the artwork, something I’ve not found out how to do digitally (or even if you can!).

So, I now have satisfied a need in me to work with colour and pen and I can turn my attention back to the illustrations for the Eerie book, and on to other things after that is done.

For today, I head off soon for counselling/EMDR, and to have my acrylic nails removed once again as they really do get in the way of me typing, art-ing, using my phone…and no doubt I’ll do some drawing while I have a late lunch between nail removing and counselling.

By the sea, more about digital art

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At the end of this month, a new colouring book by myself is due out.  It’s called ‘By The Sea’ and is one in the Escapes series of books from Dover Publications Inc..

Above, is one of the templates from the book, along with my work in progress based on it.

I’m using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Book to do the colouring/drawing.  It’s taking me a long time to do; if I’d used my Chameleon pens, it would’ve been all done a couple of days ago!  However, it’s all a process of learning and exploring, working with different brushes and so on.  Working in layers is a revelation to me, and I love the glowing colours I can get.

Working ‘outside the lines’, or even totally ignoring the lines’ is something very new for me to do, and I’m very uncertain about the results I’m getting.

I know from past experience with different traditional media such as oil or acrylic paints, I really don’t get the hang of them.  I also don’t like the smell or texture of them.  Watercolours are fine as long as I don’t try to get fancy with them and just colour areas in then work on top with pens and pencils…

Digital art is opening up my horizons…and shaking me out of those old, comfortable ways.

I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in colour choice.  I make lots of ‘mistakes’ in using the different brushes and textures and blending.  I end up unhappy with what I’ve done for example, I’ve tried four or five times to add the wiggly seaweed strands to the bottom right of my coloured area, and I’ve been unhappy with the five times I’ve done that.

What I do know is, that I’m not going to screw my work up and chuck it.  The beauty of being able to work in layers means it’s easy to remove what you’re not happy with and re-do it.

The other side of this coin is that it’s really difficult for me to know when to stop fussing and fiddling with things!  I sometimes end up erasing work I’ve done as I’ve gone too far and can’t undo it, and the only way to go is to start that section over again.

This is all fascinating for me, as well as frustrating, and can lead to me being hard on myself.

Backing off from it isn’t an option.  Where I get very frustrated with traditional media when I try to add colour in a way I’d like it to be there, a lot of that is taken away from me as I use digital methods.

I have a lot to learn, a lot to explore, but the more I do, the more I’m determined to acquire myself a Microsoft Surface Studio.

Doodle art

At the weekend, I finished all the illustrations for the upcoming colouring book ‘By the Sea‘, to be one of the titles in the Escapes series from Dover publications.

So, over the last couple of days I’ve been doing other things, some arty, some not.  However, after watching some videos on YouTube by piccandle, I thought I’d have a go at their particular style of doodle art, and this is my homage to them.

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I had a lot of fun drawing this I must admit. It’s full size is shy of A4 in size, and I drew it on squared paper, scanned it in, cleaned it up using GiMP, then printed it out ready to colour, most probably with Copics, Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers and Promarkers.

By the Sea

I’m busy drawing colouring templates for a book entitled By the Sea, one in the ‘Escapes’ range of colouring books from Dover Publications.

When I completed this template, I couldn’t resist printing it and colouring it in.

Focusing more on art…

It’s been a while since my last blog post. The reasons for this are many but include focusing on the art projects “Color Me Calm” and “Color Me Happy“, a return to work after a very extended period of illness, and now working on a book project called “Entangled” for Dover Publications.

It’s been a busy but exciting time with these projects, and I’m sure there’ll be more in the pipeline for me. I’m hoping that this will result in me posting to this blog more often, with updates and sneak previews from time to time of the projects I’m involved in.

I have also had to create a facebook page for myself, Angela Porter Artwyrd.

Here’s a sneaky preview of one of the Mandalas in one of the ‘Color Me’ books.

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