Joy – hand lettering

Angela Porter Joy 13 August 2018

I did hand-letter this one, though I did do it digitally using a Surface Pen on my new Surface Studio.

I love my Surface Book, which was a joy to use most of the time. However I was beginning to become a little frustrated with turning the screen around and losing the use of the keyboard and not being able to see the whole image I was working on at the actual size it would be printed.

So, as I officially take my teacher’s pension early today as I reach the illustrious age of 55, I decided to invest some of the lump sum in a shiny new Surface Studio for my business of art, illustration and writing.

The Surface Studio isn’t without it’s frustrations, not least of which were the hours and hours it took to download and install all the upgrades for Windows and the Surface system, and then installing the software I used (not done all of it quite yet).

I did get a Surface Dial with the Surface Studio, and it works interestingly with the free Autodesk Sketchbook, but it doesn’t work at all with the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro version, which is the one I prefer, perhaps because I’m familiar with it and find it easier to access the functions I make use of.

These are minor things, the Surface Studio is a joy to use (though I do need to remember to change the tip on the surface pen to one that glides more easily on the screen!)

So, it seemed appropriate that today, the day I turn 55 and become a semi-pensioner, that I hand letter the word Joy, in my own inimitable style.

I actually quite like the neon colours on the black background. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more like this now my mind has worked out that I can do stuff like this digitally.

Will I be turning my back on more traditional art? Not at all! If anything, I treat digital art as if it is traditional art – the pen means I draw like I would on paper.  All it means is I have access to tools that make some styles a little easier, the ability to use colours and textures that would be difficult for me in traditional media possible, and the ability to edit without frustrating use of white inks a dream!

Don’t forget, I do tend to work directly in ink on paper, often with no pencil lines at all.

Joy is also an appropriate word as I share my artwork because I share my joy in creating it with others, and I trust that viewing it (and hopefully my witterings like this one) joy for you.

What doesn’t bring me joy is when I find my artwork is shared or used without my permission, particularly when people use it to make money for themselves without any regard for the creator of the work. I try to protect my work by watermarking it, signing it, sharing at a low resolution, but still I find people steal my work.

That is not joy. Not joyful at all.

It is stealing too. I don’t know where people get the idea that artwork shared by artists on the interwebs means the artists give up their copyrights.

We DO NOT give up our copyrights in any way.

I sometimes create ‘freebies’, but even then there are limits to how they can be used – personal use, not for resale either coloured or uncoloured, not for inclusion in publications, and so on.

People who steal work like this, and let me be clear it is stealing, make me feel very un-joyful and on the point of removing all my accounts where I share art so people can view it and enjoy it, sometimes even buy it, or prints of it or products with it on, but not to steal it and use it without my permission.

I’m sure those of you who read this will agree with me on this and don’t need to read it, but if my words reach just one person who takes the work of others for their own personal gain in someway, without asking permission of the artist, without even crediting them or providing a link back to where they got it from, stop to think about the harm and upset they are causing to those of us who want to share our joy in our vocation with others, then my words will have done some good. Pricked a conscience or two maybe.

Perhaps then the days of me getting upset and writing emails that go unanswered to websites where I find my artwork offered to others will stop, and there will be more joy.

I can hope this will happen.

Returning to the theme of joy rather than not-joy, I do hope you find my little artwork of today brings you some joy too. Do let me know if you’d like to see more like this, or if you have suggestions of words that you’d like to see in this kind of style!

Finally, do have a joyful day yourselves. Do something that brings you peace and joy, be it art, coloring, baking, reading, dancing, playing music, a sunset walk in nature … whatever it may be, do something joyful every day.

Abstract botanical drawing

Angela Porter 8 August 2018 coloured 01

Happy times drawing! I drew this one with a Lamy Safari fountain pen with black ink on some mixed media paper from Claire Fontaine.

The colours are digitally added after scanning the drawing in, just for a bit of fun. I have ideas I want to try out digitally, but I’m going to wait for my Surface Studio to arrive for those explorations.

My own piece of wisdom for #WednesdayWisdom is that when you get to a point in a creative project where you think it just isn’t going to work out, don’t give up. Push past your own doubts. It can help to put the project to one side and come back to it later with ‘fresh eyes’ and a ‘fresh mind’, but don’t give up on it.

When you think you’ve finished the project there may be bits you don’t like, but there will be parts you really do like about it. The bits you like are ones to take forward and work with further.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that sometimes it’s the bits I wasn’t sure about that are the ones I really like when the project is completed. Often, the bits that are ‘mistakes’ end up being ‘happy accidents’ or ‘creative opportunities’ – discoveries of new things to try out again in the future.

I’ve most probably said this before, but I’ve been getting a lot of self-doubt lately in work I’m doing. As I often work directly in ink on to paper, my mistakes are permanent, so I have to work with them and incorporate them into the design. That’s what happens when you’re an intuitive artist; I’ve learned to trust to the process and that I can work with whatever happens.

You too can do this! I promise you, you can!

It’s also #wipwednesday over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Plenty of people show their works in progress, but there is always, always room for more! We all love to see what people are up to.

Bookmarks – #makeitmonday

Angela Porter Bookmarks 30 July 2018

Amongst other things, I’ve had a lovely crafty time over the weekend drawing tall and think designs that make lovely bookmarks, and here they are!

I love black and white line art, but I thought I’d try working in colour too with a mid-blue and a dusky kind of purple. Not too sure about the coloured drawings; I think that’s because I do like high contrast.

The first task was to cut paper (Winsor and Newton Bristol board and Claire Fontaine Paint On mixed media paper) into strips that are 30.1cm x 5cm or 30.1cm x 5.5cm in size. For each, I drew a pencil border around them that is approx 3mm wide.

Then, came the inky drawing. Usually, I start with one motif and let the design grow out from that one. However, with these I scattered large motifs across the space, then slightly smaller ones. Finally I used small patterns and even plain colour, to fill in the gaps.

I tried to keep to just three or four patterns in each design (a self-imposed challenge); some have just two patterns, others have 4 or so.

I really enjoyed doing these!

Now, I have to decide what to do with the originals. Do I scan them and then gift/sell the originals? Do I use them as the focal points for some mixed-media work? Do I use them to created some printable pages for people to make their own book marks? Do I scan and re-colour them in the way I have my recent quotes? Do I scan, print and set small parts into bezels to create my own custom jewellery? Do I turn them into greetings cards? Do I add shadows/shading to them?

So many possibilities and I feel quite overwhelmed.

I do know I need to turn my attention to my next coloring book for the Creative Haven series from Dover Publications Inc; I need to get a few templates done in the next couple of weeks, with one to be coloured as the cover illustration.

All #makeitmonday projects!

Talking of #makeitmonday; I uploaded a bonus colouring template to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group yesterday. It is a group exclusive, so if you’d like to print and colour it and share it with the group, pop along and join in with the lovely group of people over there.

Angela’s Adventures with Resin – part 1

Angela Porter Resin 26 July 2018

I’ve spent a couple of hours this morning experimenting with UV resin, and these are the results.

First off, I thought I’d try Yupo paper with various pens – Sharpies, Posca Paint pen and alcohol markers (Chameleon Duotones). You can see the results of these on the top three experiments, left to right.

The Posca pen gives lovely dark lines which I like. The Sharpie is more grey.

For some reason I expected the alcohol markers and Sharpie to bleed with the resin; they didn’t. Neither did the Posca pen.

The flower on the bottom left I drew on Yupo paper with Chameleon pencils. They gave a lovely, soft colour, but all the imperfections were magnified with the resin.

The last experiment, on the bottom middle, was a flower I drew on some paper I’d coloured with Distress Inks. I drew the flower with a UniPin pen. I was pleased that the pen didn’t bleed and the colour of the Distress Ink didn’t seem to bleed into the resin either.  I had to try a layer with some glitter in it (that inner raven of mine just loves glitter and shimmer!), which works nicely, but did obscure the drawing a little. You live and learn, and that’s why I’m experimenting!

One thing that happened with some of the experiments the Yupo or paper warped as the resin cured under the UV lamp. I think that’s because the resin contracts as it cures; it was more noticeable with the smaller pieces of Yupo and the paper .

So, I had fun, learned a bit more about resin, and have more ideas to try out another day.

One thing I did find very useful were some of my colour shaper silicone ‘brushes’ with tapered ends. They are perfect for adding resin to the pieces and helping it to spread out to the edge. I had used toothpicks on the hearts I did the other day, but they were so fiddly and a bit of a pain to use. So, my colour shaper silicone tools are the way to go!

Now, I need to go source some bezels I can use to set little drawings into. I do have some silicone moulds that I can play with too, but not today. Time to turn my attention to other matters I think.

Another Terry Pratchett Quote…

Angela Porter 25 July 2018

I am enjoying doing these quotes, as I’ve said before.

I enjoy the intricacy of the drawing/design/illustration.

I quite like taking a black and white line drawing and turning into a rainbow line drawing too.

Today is WIP over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group – you’d be made very welcome if you pop over and join in!

Decorated Terry Pratchett Quote and Chameleon Pencils first impressions

Angela Porter 23 July 2018

Another quote from Terry Pratchett. This one from one of my favourite characters – Death. Death tries so hard to understand humanity, yet he gets it both very wrong and quite right at the same time.

I like the way I’ve added colour to my black and white line art in this example, but one day I hope to get around to colouring in the black and white version.

Maybe I’ll print the art out and then colour it in using Chamelon Pen’s ColorTone Pencils, which arrived yesterday.

I have spent some time  colouring with them and so far I quite like them.

They are softer than Polychromos and others, but not quite as soft as Prismacolours. They blend quite nicely, and a little help from a blending pencil results in really nice blends.

I like the colour palette; the colours are nice and bright and just the colours I love to use in my art, which is a huge, huge bonus! As I often struggle to choose and use colours in a sensible manner when I have a huge choice, the limited palette of 50 colours is really useful for me, as are the double ended pencils. Being able to flip to add shadow or light is a nice touch, though I would like a bit more contrast between some of the colours as some are a bit too similar.

The leads are a bit thicker than other pencils, such as Prismacolours. However, this makes the barrels of the pencils a bit too thick for a standard pencil sharpener. My Staedtler pencil sharpener – the ones with the handles that you turn around – should cope well with them though.

At a price point of £45 on Amazon.co.uk with free prime delivery I think they’re good value for money, even though you essentially have 50 half-sized pencils. However, the thicker colour leads make up for that to some degree.

I’ve not been able to find out if you can buy individual pencils when some wear down. However, I can’t see that being a big issue as I suspect that I’ll use most of the pencils fairly equally.

 

#Weekendvibes

Angela Porter 21 July 2018As you  may have guessed, I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. I’ve used a few quotes from them of late, and there’s more to come.

After printing out the quote, I drew the designs around it with Uniball Unipin pens. After scanning and printing again I added colour with Chameleon marker pens.

Drawing and colouring is definitely something that brings me #weekendvibes, which means I have those all week! I am so grateful that my job is doing something that doesn’t feel like work.