I love drawing mandalas. I love the symmetry, the flow, the sense of calmness that they bring when being drawn or coloured. I am fascinated with the never-ending possibilities of mandala design. They also make it easier for me to arrange motifs and patterns when my head is filled with pink fluffy and sparkly fairy dust (all due to prescribed medication).
This one was fun and a bit different, with some new kinds of motifs in it. The colour palette is soft and soothing, with the splashes of gold give those sunshiny-joyful accents that lift it.
Yes, I know I’ve not finished adding colour. But I really, really need to finish the social media stuff and then go and get something to eat!
Today’s art is a mandala with hearts and flowers as the main themes. I’ve only used three colours – red, green and gold! That’s surprising to me; usually, I go to town on colour. However, in this case, it gives a coherency to the design I prefer.
One thing I may do is to revisit it and add textures to the spaces between the design elements. And a drop shadow would help to lift it off the paper a bit more.
Mandalas are really soothing and meditative to draw and add colour to. And I certainly need that today.
The last few days have had me intensely inking in colouring pages and adding colour to some of them. Yesterday I was determined to get the last couple done, and I overdid it a bit; my damaged muscles/tendons/ligaments between two ribs are rather stiff and sore. But I got it done! Whimsical Houses is complete, and the cover and back art for the next book is also done. So, now I can take a bit of a breather and spend some time on personal projects.
I’m also so tired today. My mind was working twenty-nine to the dozen last night. I woke before 4 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I see a nap not too far in the future. But before that tea. Lots of tea. Probably some lunch too!
I absolutely love Halloween; it’s the only yearly celebration that isn’t filled with triggers for emotional upsets. If I could change the date of my birthday, it would be Halloween! It’s not the horror-filled aspects that grab me, it’s the fun and laughter I associate with this time of year.
I love creating whimsical art all year round, but changing the scary for cute is a lot of fun at Halloween. It makes me smile and fills my heart with joy. As far as I’m concerned, skulls and pumpkins, ravens and potions, ghosts and ghoulies and all the other wonderful things associated with Halloween are not just for Halloween!
I’m not at all sure about this design. It started fairly well with the hand-lettering and corner designs. But it went a bit downhill from there, in my opinion. In hindsight, the use of pink metallic pen was a bit of a mistake too. Seemed a good idea at the time though!
By the end of the drawing process, I think it is more a melange of heart-themed tangle patterns than anything else. That is how I’d describe today’s video for sure.
I finished drawing this Entangled-Doodleworlds template this morning (and videoed the process too).
It’s full of whimsy and cuteness, patterns and critters, plants and other items. I always enjoy drawing templates like this, ones that have little stories in them (or so I discovered yesterday while videoing!).
The nicest thing, however, is that there are lots of areas, so it’s easy to choose one place, one arch, one motif to colour if you don’t have much time or are just overwhelmed by the overall task. This way, you get the satisfaction of completing one part of the design – whether it be a tiny heart, or one of the little worlds under the arches.
I enjoyed adding colour to just a few sections today. It’s always a good thing for me to work with Clip Studio Paint regularly so I can become familiar with the tools, and to learn new ways of working with it.
I always look forward to seeing how people use colour to bring my templates to life.
Here’s today’s video. It’s over an hour long … just a little warning!
I’m still on the seed-pod kick as far as Sketchtember goes. Today, I sketched out some lovely heart-shaped nuts/seeds.
After drawing and adding colour to the first couple with Arteza EverBlend markers, I re-drew more stylised versions. Finally, I had a go at designing some Zentangle style ribbon patterns. I particularly like the one on the bottom right.
A quiet Sunday morning has been had, and the afternoon is likely to be pretty much the same.
As I was coming around from yesterday’s headache, I plopped yesterday’s drawing into Repper to see what geometric patterns and tiles I could create.
Repper is a browser app that is great fun to play around with and makes the creation of tiling patterns from my artwork so simple.
Rather than save the patterns, I saved the tiles as so many of them looked like perfect inspiration for mandalas.
So, I chose one design, popped it into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and used it to inspire this particular pattern.
I chose a colour palette of soft pinks and greens, colours that are related to self-love, self-care, balance and harmony. Perfect for how I was feeling yesterday!
Today, I’m still feeling somewhat tired and fragile. That’s mainly due to a really poor night’s sleep. Emotionally, however, I feel a lot better than I have the past few days. There was an emotional storm brewing and it the headache was the torrential downpour that was needed to clear the skies by forcing me to take care and shelter myself.
So, the rest of today is going to be a quiet. nurturing kind of time to shake off the lingering wisps of stormy clouds.
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.
This week, the design has one big focal point motif of a zentangle-inspired Christmas Tree. It’s cute and whimsical, and is surrounded by holly, mistletoe, gifts, stars and baubles. Of course there’s some hearts there too.
Although the drawing is quite detailed, it’s split into smaller sections. This is great if you only have a bit of time or feel overwhelmed by the whole image. This way you can do one section at a time.
There’s a couple of reasons I usually only colour part of the template. One is a question of time when I have other things that have to be done. The other is that it shows the difference colour makes to the drawing, how it brings it to life.
I love to see how colourists bring my drawings to life with colour and how unique each person’s approach to colouring is. Every time I see one coloured it brings a smile to my face. I have so many colouring books published, so many templates drawn that I don’t have time to colour them all myself.
But when I see a template I wasn’t happy with all coloured in and how wonderful it looks, it not only makes me smile, but it gives me a little confidence boost that my drawings may be just good enough after all.
Yes, I suffer with imposter syndrome and a lack of self-confidence still.
For the rest of the day I really do need to get on with my Christmas card design for this year and get the moonpig ones sorted out and sent off.