I was without broadband from early Thursday morning until late yesterday afternoon. Hence the reason why this is late and I’ve not posted for a couple of days.
I did have internet access via my mobile phone and I used a mobile-hotspot so I could get online on my ‘puter. But, even on 4G, it was a tad slow on uploading and I have no idea if it would have coped with Zoom.
This week it’s another typically ‘Angela’ entangled style of drawing. I used a Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen and A4 Bristol paper to draw this. After scanning, I added the background and some shadow and highlight.
This has been drawn with a Sakura Micron 05 pen on smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper (acid-free of course). I’ve added the background and colour digitally, keeping to a wintry, night-time kind of theme. Of course, this will work for any season at all, and any time of day.
As always, I look forward to seeing all the amazing, colourful interpretations of this template.
Taking a big of a break
I may not be as active on social media over the next few days. Christmas and New Year are difficult times of year for me emotionally and mentally and I know taking myself off into a largely Christmas-free bubble helps me drift through this time, as well as deal with anything that may creep in and cause some upset in me.
I know I’m not the only person who has difficulties with their emotional and mental health this year. Given all that has happened in the world this year, the huge number of people who have passed away during the pandemic and measures taken for people to keep themselves and their families free of Covid at this time, many more than usual will be struggling.
Being by myself at this time of year is not new to me, nor is withdrawing from the world at this time. I find it exhausting to keep up a mask of seasonal jollity when I feel anything but that. I find it easier to deal with whatever finds its way into my safe-bubble. It’s easier to deal with being alone if I do my best to carry on as normal.
I’m aware of what things I can do to self-care and self-soothe. Art. Music. Books, Films. TV. Naps. Nice food. Meditation.
Do you have a list? Have you learned to give yourself permission to take care of yourself, give yourself time and space to self-soothe?
Learning to give yourself permission to look after yourself, even if it means saying ‘no’ or setting limits, is one of the hardest things to do. And it takes a lot of practice. But it is one of the most important things we can learn to do.
I remind myself this is for just a few days a year, and that soon after the celebrations are done, life returns to ‘normal’, whatever that is in these pandemic times.
Over the past week or so I’ve been gradually adding to this sketchbook page. It is entirely what a sketchbook should be, in my opinion. Pages full of ideas, sketches, unfinished drawings, practice of techniques, written notes… a visual zibladone for the creative soul!
It is a reflection of what is catching my attention in my world. That world encompasses the inner worlds of imagination and emotion, as well as the outer world of books, nature, architecture, photographs, and so on.
This page includes inspiration from Mayan glyphs/sculpture, rocks, nature, mushrooms, magic wands/staves/sceptres, pen textures and some inspiration from Hundertwasser.
Everything on the page is a bit wonky (not perpendicular), and I’m OK about that – it’s a sketchbook! But then wonky art, particularly colouring pages, seems to be part of my signature style. Perfectly straight lines just don’t look right to me, nor do sharp corners. Perhaps that’s why I like Hundertwasser so much.
The English gardener William Kent said, “Nature abhors a straight line”. Hundertwasser said, ” The straight line is godless and immoral.”
A sketchbook is always a work in progress (WIP), even when every page is full, it’s full of incomplete drawings and ideas, sketches and notes, jottings and doodlings. Nothing has to be perfect. Not a single thing.
A sketchbook is a place to try things out, experiment, just see what happens. With that comes an acceptance that not everything will work out, and where surprising things happen and discoveries are made that may otherwise never happen.
Sometimes the gems of ideas and colour combinations and ways of using media remain hidden until much later. A sketchbook is a place to practice and learn, to note down what is of interest at this time, what needs to be expressed, without any pressure to produce a finished, polished artwork.
That doesn’t mean, however, that a sketchbook can’t be something interesting to look at, even with it’s own kind of beauty. They are a reflection of the artist that creates them and so is a window into their arty heart and feelings. They are very personal things.
A sketchbook encourages me to use media that are gathering dust because I do so much art digitally. In a physical sketchbook, if I want any colour, then I have to use some of these media.
On this one page I’ve used Pilot Hi-Tec C4, Pilot Maica, Rotring Rapidograph and Uniball Unipin pens. To add colour, watercolours, Tombow Dual Brush pens, Derwent ColorSoft pencils, Derwent Procolour pencils, Derwent Inktense pencils have been used.
This morning I woke and picked up the workload for the latest colouring book I’m working on. I completed drawing one template – first a sketch on paper, then inked digitally. After that, I thought it would be fun to colour a section in and share. So I’ve done so.
I’ll be quietly arting for the rest of the day. I had a broken night’s sleep back and forth to the toilet to either vomit or …well, I don’t need to detail that! My tummy feels better at the moment, but I’m tired.
Having quiet time is not a problem. I live alone. We’re on lockdown here in Wales, so staying home as much as possible is a requirement. I tend to stay home as much as possible anyway.
Anyway, I’ll be quietly researching references for the templates for the next book and creating my own reference sketches, as well as writing down ideas as they occur to me, and, hopefully, thumbnail sketches of ideas for templates, for as long as I can keep awake, anyway.
A fun, quirky, cute Hallowe’en themed mandala was what was needed on Monday morning.
I started with the skull, without any clue as to what I was going to do with it. Then I thought about adding a mandala around it, and I wanted it in eerie, almost glowing colours.
As I drew the skull without any outlines, I thought I’d do the same for the rest of the mandala. I also kept a pretty simple colour palette – violets, teals and blues.
It’s worked out OK. It certainly is a bit different. The most important thing is that I enjoyed drawing it, and that is most probably the most important thing of all.
Sunshine and mood
Today, there’s some sunshine and that helps to keep my mood up. I did feel a bit better yesterday – sleep and Star Wars really helped! I may have felt better, but settling to art just didn’t happen yesterday.
I’m still so tired. I think it’s all to do with some anxiety at this time. There’s nothing specific for it, just general anxiety. I think it was triggered by my boiler breakdown and then the engineer fixing it, and the increasing cases of Covid combined with a national lockdown in Wales.
I’m not sure I can drive less than a mile to the cemetery I like to walk around. I feel safe there in a way I don’t walking around the streets and town I live in at this time.
Of course, worrying about whether I’ll be breaking the rules to take a walk adds to my anxiety.
What a pickle!
It may be that I baulk and just stay home, and check the rules carefully before I do venture forth for a walk.
Knitting pumpkins while watching Star Wars. Guaranteed to reduce my anxiety. And knitting, unlike crochet, is something I can do without having to look at my fingers.
Also, I’ve found it really relaxing and the feel of the knitted fabric in my fingers is soothing and pleasurable. As I’ve been kintting in stocking stitch, it’s a very smooth fabric. Crochet tends to have more texture to it. I think I’ll be doing more knitting and less crochet for a while.
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!
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.