Template Thursday

Thursday seems to come around both quickly and as if it’s been an age since last Thursday. As it’s Thursday, that means it’s time for a new colouring template /coloring page for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week’s template is a typically ‘Angela’ entangled style drawing. A stylised dragonfly floats above an entangled background containing arches and seed pods, flowers and foliage, along with various patterns and an intricate border.

I’ve chosen to part colour the template in a monochrome scheme of greens. I don’t really pay attention to light source much. mostly I use light and shadow as part of the patterns and a way to introduce a sense of depth and dimension to my art. This is something I realised only recently.

Copper and teal mandala

Finished! The addition of coppery tones was a bit of a surprise, even to me. But it seemed the right thing to do. I do like the combination of copper and the verdigris tones of teals, greens and blues.

I spent some time darkening the shadows in the inner rings of the mandala, as well as adding some depth of colour. They looked so washed out against today’s additions.

Also, I changed the colour of the background. Everything was so lost against the teal background.

Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro – Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.

Monday Mandala – WIP

Monday dawns and along with it is the desire to create a mandala.

This one is a work in progress for sure. I’m still playing around with various brush settings to get the depth of contrast I desire. It’s working out fairly well so far, especially as I’ve chosen a limited palette of blue, teal and green. Also, my favourite seedpod, leaf and arch shapes are very much in evidence here. There’s also lots of little orbs. It never ceases to amaze me how such a simple collection of shapes can result in a fairly complex design.

What is unusual for me, like last week’s mandala, is the lack of black lines in the design. I think that’s a bit of a rebellion by me to all the pen drawing I’ve been doing of late. Also, I love colour, but find it so frustrating to add to my pen drawings.

When I work digitally, colour seems to work differently for me. I think it may be the ability to work and rework the colour endlessly until I get something that suits me. Maybe it’s the ability to get the depth of contrast I like. Or maybe it’s something else entirely, I really don’t know.

This part of the mandala, about a quarter to a third, has taken me around three hours to do so far, thanks to the symmetry tools available to me in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Mandala 13 Jan 2021

I realised that I haven’t drawn a mandala in quite a while. So, that’s what I did! Intricate, geometric and organic repeating patterns. It was a pleasure to do.

I’m quite happy with the highlights and shadows on this one, and keeping it all monochrome works for me today as well. A calm and soothing green – just what I need today as I’m still recovering from the stress from earlier in the week.

Tools – Microsoft Surface Slim Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Winter Solstice 2020

All the best of the blessings of the season to you one and all!

Today, the Sun passes into Capricorn, marking the astronomical start of winter. It’s one of the shortest days of the year as well, and so it seems right that as the days get longer, the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere strengthens, that it is seen as the ending of one orbit around the Sun, and the start of a new one.

Of course, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Summer Solstice!

That Friday feeling …

Mandala

Today’s art is a simple mandala. A cool grey, black and white colour scheme on a soft, calming green background.

Drawn in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Confusion

I am emotionally drained, confused and overwhelmed again today. I don’t have much in the way of focus. I was surprised I could complete even this quick and simple mandala.

I don’t have the focus or energy to reflect on the choices of colours and symbols in the mandala and how they relate to messages bubbling up from my unconscious mind.

I feel trapped, caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. The stress of it all is giving me a migraine, upset digestive system and is dragging my mood downwards.

Heck, even the mandala looks like it is either sinking down, pulling itself up or hanging on by the chains of teardrops. That is how I feel, and I had no idea that was how the mandala would appear when finished.

Dragonfly 06 March 2020

Dragonfly © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I had a hankering to create a dragonfly this morning, and this how far I’ve got after 4 hours of work.

I’m fairly happy with the colours I’ve chosen; teals and purples are a favourite combination of mine. I do like the areas of green, magenta and blue in the background.

I’m not sure if the spiral bits work – they look a bit clunky to me. I will, however, let the artwork sit quietly for some time until I work out what to do to improve, or rework it. I may carve out some shapes to lighten the spirals. I don’t know for sure yet.

It’s very stylised, and I’d like to add some details to the wings in particular. I’m not sure what though. Again, I need a break from this particular artwork and come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.

One of the best things about digital art is the ability to edit work, to make changes without having to re-work everything.

I’m trying to work more without the black line art being visible in my finished work. It’s taken me a long time and lots of trials and errors to become comfortable with work that hasn’t got those outlines. I love to work with light and shadow, and learning how to use these instead of line art is a slow but enjoyable process.

This doesn’t mean I’m turning my back on line art, far from it. I do love to draw with pens on paper (either traditional or digital media). However, digital art is allowing me to explore different ways of expressing myself artistically, ways I’d never manage with traditional media. I think I’ve said that often, but it’s still as valid now as ever.

My digital media are, as usual, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

I now really do need a bit of a break from art and computers and I really do need some tea. I’ve not yet managed to shower and dress and I think I may go out this afternoon with my camera, maybe, if it stays dry.

Friday floral

Friday Floral 28 Feb 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Yesterday, I was out with the DSLR and my friend Liz. We had a need to visit the sea. As we live in the Valleys of South Wales in the UK, we’re not far from either the sea or mountains, towns or country. So, we paid a visit to The Glamorgan Heritage Coast, specifically Southerndown and Newton in Porthcawl. If you’d like to read more about our day out and see some of my photos, visit Curious Stops and Tea Shops.

Today, after a busy week with people and errands, I need a day at home. I also needed some time to just create.

I turned to my folder of photos from my trip to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales last August and found a picture of flowers that inspired me to create this floral design.

I started with the line art with the intention of using it as a guide for painting each petal. However, once I’d completed the line art and added the base colour and some of the brighter tones, I realised I wanted to keep the white lines because it was reminding me of batik or silk painting, particularly as I’d chosen a black background to work against.

I love the vibrance of the colours against the dark background, again very reminiscent of silk painting/batik.

I reined in my usual inclination to intricate, detailed mandalas and kept this particular one quite simple. I decided to echo the golden tones of the stamens in the centre of the flower, and I think that has worked out really, really well.

If I were to try to change something in this artwork, I may try a gold outline – metallic gold. But I like it very much, just as it is.

My tools were Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Be an encourager

Be an encourager © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Be an encourager © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve had a busy day learning new things to do with video and so on. The concentration has taxed my brain just a bit, and I needed some time in an arty happy place.

My first task was to find a quote that appealed to me today. This one is quite apt I think, for many reasons. I’m not entirely sure my typography is right for the quote, but it will do for now.

I then knew I wanted to do a mandala as a background. I find this style of mandala very soothing to draw, and soothing was just what I needed today.

Once I’d finished the mandala, I added colour in greens and teal. Calming, soothing, balancing colours for today. Colours of calm contentment, which is just how I feel at the moment. Also hopeful colours. That green reminds me a lot like the first leaves showing themselves at the tail end of winter, spreading hope that the warmer, lighter days will soon be here.

Calming Mandala

Calming Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd

A bit of a calming time was needed this morning before attending to my business of the day. I thought a mandala in blues, greens and purples would hit the mark.

I enjoy using a flexible ink pen ‘brush’ to achieve the varying line widths. This allows me to build up abstract patterns and textures quite nicely I think. I have a way to go to find my ‘voice’ with this style of art. The more I do, the more will become clear to me I’m sure.

I’m not sure that the design flows as much as in yesterday’s mandala. I wonder if that’s because I only put one rather geometric series of rings in the centre of the design.

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

I had a tough EMDR session yesterday. Today, I feel content and upbeat but I’m realising just how tired I am mentally, despite 10 hours sleep. Yesterday’s session had a lot of body processing going on. That means stored trauma is processed via physical sensations. Yesterday those included electric shocks in my leg/foot, side, arm, pains like hooks in my shoulders, a blunt pushing/stabbing force from my stomach up towards my heart, pain in my eye. Those are just a few I remember. The pain/sensations weren’t more than I could bear, though some came close to it!

30 or 40 minutes of this is enough in a session I find, and that little amount of time out of my day is worth it for the long term benefits it brings of helping me recover from CPTSD. The tiredness I feel will pass in a day or so.