Monday Mandala

Teals and five-fold symmetry for this Monday’s Mandala.

I was going to draw a much bigger mandala, but realised that this is just perfect as it is, although I can always go back and add to the mandala at a late date.

I’m still working out the best way to get highlights and shadows the way I like them, and I’m happy with today’s mandala. However, I think I’m realising that there is no one single, perfect way to add shadows and highlights. I think it depends on the design and the effect I’m looking for.

All the experimentation isn’t a waste of time. I’m learning new things all the time about digital coloring.

Wednesday Wisdom | Paleotober | Drawtober

Wednesday is a day when I’m up extra early for an organic food delivery. I usually spend the time awaiting the knock at the door drawing. Today was no different.

I had an idea to try to work in layers of patterns and to add a quote to one side. The first layer contained some ammonite-style shells, surrounded by little bubbles that could represent the sediment.

The next layer has seed pods, but the pattern they create reminds me of the fossilised stems of plants found in the carboniferous coal of the South Wales coalfield.

The third layer reminds me of the limestone beds exposed on the Glamorganshire Heritage Coast, particularly Southerndown and Nash Point.

The fourth layer reminds me of some kind of fossils or sea plants, the name of which I just can’t bring to mind.

I thought a quote about fossils would finish this off nicely.

Drawn with 05 Pentel Energel and 0.38 Uni-ball Signo DX pens on marker paper. Background, shadows and quote added digitally.

Monday Mandala

It’s always a lovely way to start the day – mandala drawing. Symmetry is one of the things that I love.

There’s also plenty of detail in this one – lots of line work to add dimension, which is then enhanced by highlight and shadow.

I chose a rather muted kind of background for this mandala. Sometimes, I tend to make things too bright and colour-saturated. Today, it’s soft and dusky purple.

There’s plenty of my favourite kinds of patterns and motifs in this one – seed pods, arches, spirals, leaves and hearts. But there’s also some unusual, for me, spirals.

This morning’s art brings a warm and gentle smile to my heart, soul and my lips. As I said, it’s a lovely way to start a day and sets me up just nicely for whatever else I need to do this day, and the first task of the day will be breakfast!

Sunday Art

Today, I continued with the entangled art I started yesterday. The drawing is still not complete, but I wanted to add a background colour/texture and add some shadow and light to see how it’s working out.

The shadow and light bring the drawing to life. I’m not entirely sure about the colour I’ve chosen for the background – maybe a bit to saturated and dark. I can always alter that though. I also think there’s not enough contrast betwixt shadow and light. Again, that’s something I can work on.

I’ve drawn inspiration from various things – fossils, seed pods, botanicals, crochet-covered pebbles, architecture, nature, shells, Mayan glyphs to name a few.

Leaving some more open spaces is proving difficult for me once again. It’s something I need to consider as I continue to work on this drawing.

The design is being drawn with Unipin and Sakura Micron pens on marker paper. Background texture/colour, light and shadow are added digitally.

Weekend WIP

This drawing is very much a work in progress. It’s being worked with black Unipin and Sakura Micron pens. When it’s complete, I will scan it in again, add a background, along with shading and highlights.

There’s some motifs in here inspired by fossils, others by flora and nature, and others that are purely abstract in nature.

Art is one of my self-care activities that help me manage my mental and emotional wellbeing. I mention this as it is World Mental Health Day #WMHD #WMHD2020 and, ironically, I need to do a fair amount of self-care today.

There’s plenty of information and advice out there on the internet. If you are struggling with your mental or emotional wellbeing, or if you just want to learn more about good mental and emotional health, ideas for how to look after it, then I’d encourage you to do a google and/or seek professional help.

We all have physical health and if something goes wrong with us physically, we don’t think twice about seeking out medical help and advice.

We all have mental and emotional health too. Yet too few of us will seek out help and advice when we need it due to the stigma and/or discrimination that cloud mental and emotional health.

It is high time that seeking help and advice for mental and emotional ill health was as natural and normal as seeking help for physical ill-health.

Mandala Monday

I had no preconceived idea of how today’s mandala would work out when I started out around four hours ago. There were sticky moments along the way and until I added shadows and highlights I thought I’d made a right pig’s ear out of it. Then it all started pulling together. The final glowing centre and ring as well as the shadow around the whole design was what finished it off nicely for me. So, I’m now quite pleased with it.

I chose the mossy greens subconsciously. I took a walk yesterday and though I was taken with the first showings of fiery autumn colours, there was plenty of this mossy kind of colour around – lichens, moss, aged and fallen leaves. I guess it stuck in my mind.

Contentment and peace is the result of my artistic endeavours this morning.

As far as the typography I posted yesterday, I was getting frustrated with working digitally. So, I thought I’d work on paper. I think it’s coming along a bit better now, but only time will tell if I’ve made the right choice. I will be finishing it off digitally, once all the letters are completed, but it will be a while before I’m at that stage I think.

For now, I think I’ll finish up my social media stuff and then maybe wander out for a walk while it’s dry.

Template Thursday

The template

It’s that day of the week again – Template Thursday! It’s the day where I add a coloring template to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group for members only.

This week I’ve done a pretty yeuchy job on the colour scheme. It happens. I do struggle with colours, more at some times than others, and today is one of those days.

The template itself has lots of my favourite motifs in – pumpkins, leaves, flowers, seedpods, seeds, berries, shells, mushrooms and stones. Not to mention arches and geometric patterns along with a sprinkling of stars.

I’ve gone with a weirdly autumnal colour scheme, but I think this would work for any kind of colour scheme you’d like. I may revisit this template and add linework and keep it monochrome at some point in the future. It would be good practice to redraw it digitally and work on my digital linework skills at the same time.

I used Unipin pens and Canson Marker paper to draw the template. Next, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to clean up the image and then add the colour.

To Inktober or not Inktober? Nah, let’s Paleotober instead!

I may do an Inktober challenge this year, but again choosing an alternative prompt list. I enjoyed last year’s month of daily drawings focusing on art I’d not usually do, particularly the skulls. However, I found the pressure to draw every day a bit much and a bit manic to work in around everything else I needed to do.

This year, I’ve found Paleotober on Instagram , created by @bluemaskart.

I like that each theme covers a few days, so less pressure. I have been thinking of working on drawings of fossils, dinosaurs and so on in the way I have my recent drawings of moths. So, this is the push I need to get me to follow those thoughts!

I must admit, the sight of an ammonite, icthyosaur and pterodactyl, three of my favourite fossils, on the prompt list just did it for me!

I think I’m going to struggle with the imagined and speculative prompts, but I may just use those days to add to one of the others. We’ll see.

In other times, I’d visit my local musuems to view fossils and such like for myself, sketchbook and camera in hand. But not now.

Nevertheless, I shall have some fun with these!


Entangled WIP

I’ve completed more of this WIP this morning. It’s coming along, but it’s at that point where I’m starting to think, “What the heck was I thinking?” about various sections.

I know from lots of past experience that I often get this feeling as I work on some art, and all I need to do is to trust my instincts and intuition and to carry on working on it. And so I shall. This is the way.

Monday Mandala

Autumn is steadily creeping in; the tree-covered valley-side that I can see from my office/studio has more yellow-toned greens than the darker green of summer. I can make out some flashes of reds here and there too.

The sky is pale grey and there’s a distinct chill in the air, so warming orange tones were needed as the background to this intricate, detailed entangled mandala.

This mandala was created just for the simple pleasure, joy, contentment it brings me.

I create art because it lifts my heart, my soul. It expresses what I find fascinating in the world combined with my need for intricacy, detail and precision in my artwork. Art like this is always very personal expression of what keeps that artistic flame alight in my heart and allows me to create some beauty to share with the world. I smile when I create art like this. My hope is that my art spreads smiles with others who see it – whether on their lips or in their heart and soul.