Today, I woke with the idea to create an ATC (Artist Trading Card) using a monogram from one of the hand lettered alphabets I’ve been drawing in my lettering sketchbook.
The monogram is a simple one, with some of the spaces filled with tangle patterns. The background is formed from the tangle pattern A-Frame by Angie Gittles CZT. When I chose it, I wasn’t fully aware it was based on the letter A; I really can be a bit dense at times!
Some indigo chalk pastel and a tortillon to add shadows and some gold watercolour paint to frame the monogram and all was done!
I enjoyed the process of drawing. I’m fairly happy with the end result. However, I think a more organic background may have worked better with such a strongly geometric shape. It’s all a experimenting, exploring, experiencing and learning.
I may end up doing a series of monograms. It’s a good way to work with lettering and to get some practice in of figuring out how patterns and letters/words can work for me.
Today’s YouTube video is a step by step tutorial of how you too can create this ATC.
I’ve enjoyed doing these! The squares are 3.25″ x 3.25, 3.5″ x 3.5″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The circles are almost 3.5″ in diameter.
The tiles were cut from a variety of papers – watercolour, bristol vellum and heavyweight smooth cartridge paper. I used Distress Inks to colour the paper tiles before drawing on them.
I’ve used Sakura Pigma Micron pens (05 and 01), along with some brown and one blue-green Stabilio fineliner pens.
I like them all, But my favourites are the ones that are much more geometric in nature – my initials and the A in particular. My least favourite is the E; the background to the letter just feels disjointed. I think that’s why I like the more symmetrical, geometrical designs more.
I’ve enjoyed using one or two tones of colour to add variety, interest and ‘dimension’ to the tiles. I’ve not added any shadow or highlight to these. That’s when things tend to go wrong for me as far as traditional media is concerned!
It also occurred to me that if I were to draw these on a different shaped paper, I could add dangle designs to them. (My book “A Dangle A Day” is still available). Maybe I’ll try that out in a while. Of course, I’d like to get a full set of monograms done too.
As it’s Friday it’s time for a dangle design, and here it is. All in monochrome, well nearly. I added some subtle colour to the photograph.
If you’d like some ideas and step by step instructions on drawing your own dangle designs then my book “A Dangle A Day” is a good place to start. Just saying like.
I decided to use one of the images from the ‘Photobooth’ collection in the Idea-ology range by Tim Holtz. I thought that around it it would be nice to create an entangled frame, and to add a simple dangle design to this frame.
With the vintage nature of the photo I thought that the hand lettered sentiment of ‘golden memories’ would be a good one to add.
In keeping with the vintage design I thought a monochrome colour scheme would be appropriate. Mind you, a color palette of subtle vintage colours would work quite nicely too. It would be nice if I’d changed the colours from greys and blacks to sepia tones.
I drew the design and did the hand lettering with Unipin pens on Winsor and Newton Bristol board. I then cleaned up the scanned image, and added the subtle colours to the photo, using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I also added some subtle grey shadows to the design.
This would look absolutely charming framed, a lovely way to display cherished photo-booth images. I drew this image on a sheet of A4 paper (approx. letter size).
However, this would work on a smaller scale for a scrapbook, journal or even a BuJo. It would also make a lovely greeting card or note card for someone too.
It’s also an idea that can easily be altered for a more masculine tone, perfect for father’s day or a male birthday.
A cute, whimsical dangle design today to say hello Friday, the gateway to the weekend.
Sunshine and grey clouds fill the skies today in the Valleys of South Wales, so if it rains there’s a good chance of rainbows. That’s why I chose a rainbow and sun design to hang the dangles from today. I love rainbows!
A bit of hand lettering in the ribbon banner to proclaim Friday is welcomed. Hearts feature simply because I like hearts and i used little gold beads as spacers.
I also included a bluebell. The hedgerows, shady spaces and woodlands are coloured blue at the moment with all the bluebells that are still flowering. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and every year I’m always wowed by their appearance.
Behind I’ve put pale blue and a little drop shadow so the dangle designs appears to float a little.
A lovely little design that would look rather pretty in a BuJo, planner, journal, diary, scrapbook, greeting card, notecard…the list is as endless as your imagination or needs!
I did draw and hand letter this one using digital media – Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. However, it’s a cute and simple design that would be easy to draw on dot grid paper for sure.
Just a little reminder that my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available from various outlets. It’s my tutorial book that takes you step by step through creating your own dangle designs.
A year has passed me by …
A year ago today I picked up Binky, my then brand new Smartfortwo SmartCar. Just five days before that I said goodbye to my furbaby companion of just over sixteen years – Cuffs the whoosh kittencat.
A year. One whole year. We have so many days in our lives that mark the end of one cycle of time and the start of another.
I still have and greatly enjoy driving Binky.
I still miss Cuffs. I’m still not ready to have another cat yet, for lots of complex reasons, a lot to do with me becoming so attached to my furbaby companion that I’d not do the exploring and travelling that I want to be able to do as I progress in my CPTSD healing journey.
This morning, I’ve spent a pleasant four hours or so drawing this A5 design for the month of May.
It combines some hand lettering along with my signature style of entangled art. I’ve included plenty of floral motifs as here in the Northern Hemisphere the world is filled with flowers, especially on the trees.
Of course I’ve included more abstract motifs that are inspired by seedpods and patterns found in nature and architecture and so on.
I drew the design on white Bristol Board by Winsor and Newton. My pens of choice today were Tombow Fudenosuke, Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 and 0.1 Unball Unipin. Also, I’ve used some digital wizardry to add coloured paper as the background, along with my watermarks.
This would be lovely in a BuJo I think. I think it would be lovely in a planner, a journal or diary.
It’s perfect for colouring, as long as you’d be happy to colour across sections that have fine lines in them.
I think if I was more confident with metallic inks and either dip nib pens or fine brushes I’d’ve liked to do the lettering in metallic gold or copper. Of course, I could’ve done the lettering, scanned, laser printed it and then added the patterns around the lettering. I didn’t think of that until now though! Duh!
I’m fairly happy with adding ‘auras’ around the lettering to separate it from the entangled design around/below it.
I’m not sure I’m happy with the design spilling out over the edge as it has done; it doesn’t feel balanced to me, but other than that I’m quite happy with the design. Of course I could edit the image to even up the edges, but it is what it is for now.
EMDR was quite gentle yesterday but lots of body work occurring. During EMDR stored trauma is released through pains and other sensations in the body. Yesterday I had eyes that hurt, part of my head, my throat, my thumbs and wrists. I had a lot of pain where I broke my leg when I was six. Lots of prickling as well as electric shocks in various parts of my body.
I actually felt quite upbeat, if a little tired, when I left the session. But by late evening I was really tired and feeling a bit teary and lonely.
I’m tired today. I didn’t sleep too well last night. I had hoped to go out for the day today, but I really wanted to stay home and draw and I think I’ll be back in bed before too much longer. I really am tired.
One thing that I was asked about, without me mentioning it first, was what I was going to do about getting out and about a bit more! I’m sure my therapist must read my blog. Just joking, I know she doesn’t!
I need to make a list of places I’d like to visit. Familiar places to revisit to ease me back into getting out and about by myself. Then ones not so familiar that could involve some time away from home too.
I will be going out later this week. I have something to do this evening and tomorrow, however. Another reason I am having a quiet day today. I’m not just tired; I know that I’m also emotionally fragile still.
I am determined to heal as much as I can from the CPTSD and to do the things I’d like to do that the inner critic sabotages way too often.
Yesterday was a day where I was out of sorts for some unspecified reason. Drawing little, intricate bits of art was the only thing that helped to soothe me and calm me. Along with comfort eating, which was not good way to cope.
I get days like this. I have no idea what triggered this response. It may have been a visit to my accountant on Tuesday and the tax bill to pay – I have absolutely nothing to worry about with either, but dealing with finances is a trigger for the anxiety and depression that are part of my cPTSD.
I know I was on edge about the meeting, even though I knew there would be nothing to worry about. The anxiety had been gradually growing through the previous few days. This anxiety provoked the warning signs of an incipient migraine/stress headache on Tuesday morning. Luckily I caught it in time with painkillers so that it didn’t develop into a full blown migraine and after the meeting I was left tired but feeling more at ease.
Yesterday, the anxiety ramped up again as I went to get the paperwork and bank card to make the payments. So, yesterday I needed to manage my anxiety and tiny, intricate drawings were what was needed.
Today, I know I have to do these things, and I will. I don’t have the anxiety I had about them yesterday. I think yesterday was just too close to a few days of spiralling anxiety as accounts day approached closer and closer.
cPTSD can make doing the simple things in life far more difficult to do. I do get things done, though I do have to be kind to myself at times, making sure I have plenty of time before the deadline.
I used fountain pens on white paper to draw the designs. The M is on paper that is around 4″ x 4″, the G is a little narrower than 4″ for some reason.
After scanning them in, I did a bit of digital wizardry to fill the letters with a gold foil texture, just to see what it would look like, and they look OK to me. I’m not too keen on the black line around the G though. I do like the contrast of the golden letters and the black and white designs around them.
Today, I have to colour the cover for my next book for Dover Publications Creative Haven series. And keep warm and safe. I woke up to a lovely sunrise with a frosty world – everything was covered with white. I know the temperature was down to -3ºC last night as I came home around 10:30 pm, and it would only have got colder as the skies were clear and starry. It’s beginning to go now, but clouds have covered the sky.
The frost is beginning to disappear now, but clouds have covered the blue skies. Snow is forecast for a bit later on today. I like to see snow. I like the way the world falls silent in heavy snow as it seems to muffle the usual background noise of modern times. I’m wise enough to know that for me to go out in snow is never a wise idea; I tend to slip and slide and fall and hurt myself. So, as I have nothing pressing that requires me to leave home, I’ll be staying safe and warm indoors! Once the cover is coloured, my attention will go to February’s templates for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group. Someone there has asked for some simpler templates like my dangle designs, so I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
What a troublesome letter J is! Well, as far as creating a monogram. Early sketches showed me that if I add too much fanciness outside of the letter, the letter gets lost in the embellishments! So, here are a few that I’m vaguely pleased with.
I used Daler Rowney Marker Paper to draw these letters on, with a mixture of black pens. I used Copic Markers to colour some of the letters. Others I used to experiment with Tombow Dual brush pens and a blender pen. Chameleon Color Tones pencils were used on a couple more.
The Copics work really well on the marker paper – no surprises there!
The Tombows tend to cause the pen I use to draw the designs with – Uniball Unipin and Sakura Pigma Sensei pens – to smear. I keep forgetting the Tombows do that. So, I tried drawing a J with the Tombow Dual Brush pen and then add the lines and patterns after it had dried. That worked. But white space needs to be created outside of the letter, and again, if I got too intricate, entangled, ornate with the embellishments I would’ve lost the letter. Or perhaps not if it was only the letter that was coloured in.
I was surprised at how easily colour from the Chameleon Color Tones coloured pencils laid down on the marker paper. Surprised because I’d forgotten how nice it is to colour on the marker paper! I did need a good layer of padding paper beneath the 70g/m² or 48lb marker paper.
I foresee similar problems with the letters I, L, and S. Not sure about the other letters I’ve not tried this kind of decorating with yet. Time will show!
What I can see here is that the style of embellishment I’ve used, while not always successful, such as the heart and arrow one (where did that idea come from? Sheesh!), it is different to the previous letters I’ve played around with. That is all down to the shape of the letter and the edges I have to play around with, while keeping clarity of the letter too.
What to do today? Well, I do have the 2019 template to colour for the colour explosion over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group set to run through New Year’s Day. I’m also aware that I haven’t done a cutely whimsical cat monogram dangle design for a few weeks. I also have three templates to colour for ‘Entangled Forests’ so that book can be put to rest ready for publication, before I start on the next one.
Yesterday, after completing the basic hand-lettering reference sheet and my blog musings about believing in myself, I was inspired to hand letter something. So the natural choice was the word inspire. I also added a little dangle to the initial letter.
I used dot grid paper to help me keep the letter sizes and heights consistent, though I can see there are places where the width of the letters has varied. I’m working on telling myself that is fine, that it is all part of my hand lettering style and journey, that it adds that ‘human’ quality of perfectly imperfect to the design.
I scanned the design into the computer and used GiMP to remove the dot grids and then create a transparent background.
I could’ve printed the word out and used traditional media to colour it, but I decided to use Autodesk Sketchbook pro along with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio to digitally add colour, a drop shadow for the image and a colourful background. Today, I chose to use the gradient tools as I have a limited amount of time before I head out for an appointment.
I drew this triangular design a couple of days ago and I knew I wanted to add some words around it, but I just didn’t know what I wanted to add.
Well, today was counselling/therapy day for me. A fair number of issues came up in the past week, connections/realisations being made, awareness of my negative self-talk, and awareness of me talking care of myself a little more than I have done.
So it seemed appropriate that I should add words related to today’s session :
Believe and trust myself
Have compassion for myself
Maybe not the best worded, but relevant to myself.
I drew the design and hand-lettered the words with Uniball Unipin pens on white acid-free paper. Shading was added to the design with a soft drawing pencil and a paper tortillon.
I started drawing this yesterday when I was feeling emotional. I was even more so during and after EMDR therapy and woke this morning with an emotional ‘hangover’. Some painkillers for this headache and a couple of hours later and I finished this off with a quote about kindness from the Dalai Lama when I found out today is World Kindness Day.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
I think it needs to be World Kindness Day every single day. I can’t find the words to express myself why I think this, I just know if everyone on this planet was kinder and had more empathy not just for friends and family, but for others, no matter of their social status or religious, ethnic, cultural background or nationality it could help to bring a better understanding which could lead to a kinder world for us all.
And of course there’s the animals and plants that we share this planet with, along with the ecosystems they co-inhabit with us. There’s too much animal cruelty, damage to the environment going on, and we are dependent on a healthy global ecosystem and need to be a lot kinder to the world around us.
There’s feelings and thoughts drifting around my head here that just can’t find their way out of the maze of the lingering pain and fuzziness from the headache that characterises my emotional ‘hangover’. Still, some words did appear.
I used Pigma micron pens, some circle stencils to draw the design on dot grid paper. That meant I needed to scan it into my Microsoft Surface Studio so I could use GiMP to remove the dot grid and create a transparent background.
My next step was to add the hand lettered quote. I used my Microsoft Surface Pen in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to do this.
The final step was to add the watermarks and a gentle pink gradient background colour.
I can see how I could add some shading to intensify the 3D illusion of the design elements, as well as adding some more pen details. However, it will do as it is…for now.