Today I’m feeling a tad ‘meh’ to say the least. I’m tired despite sleeping plenty last night and yesterday. The weather is gloomy – leaden grey skies and rain. At least the autumn colours are glowing a little in the gloom.
So, today I just needed some arty fun. Nothing too big and overwhelming, something with a little whimsy, and no pressure for anything other than making art for art’s sake.
Hallowe’en is my favourite festival, so that’s where I started, along with pen and paper.
The drawing isn’t all that big – 8cm x 10 cm approx (3.25″ x 4″),s o it was relatively quick to complete. I scanned it in to tidy it up, but decided to add a spooky border around it, which I did digitally.
Then, I set to colouring the image, in Hallowe’en colours, mostly.
I played with texture brushes and how I can work with colour. I’m pleased to get some areas that seem to glow eerily. My brain won’t let me fully process that or go back to the image to add this effect to other design elements.
It was, after all, a few hours of fun, arting for art’s sake, and to do what I can to lift my mood.
I spent sometime yesterday afternoon playing with polymer clay. The Sculpey clay I purchased is soft enough to work with almost straight out of the packet, which is a good thing.
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to work with it. What I thought would work just didn’t for me. So, I’m going to let the ideas rumble around my subconscious and come up with how I could work with the clay my way.
I was disappointed with myself, but worked hard be easy on myself as this is a new skill to learn and develop. It won’t happen overnight. Also, there’s no rush or panic to get it done either.
In the meantime, I’m wrangling with myself as to whether I should invest in a pasta machine to roll out the clay or whether that’s a decision that can wait until I work out if polymer clay is for me or not.
It was drawn on marker paper using Unipin pens. Shadows were added using cool grey Copic markers. Next, it was scanned in and a kraft paper background added. Finally, highlights were added digitally to help bring out some sense of dimensionality.
I like the way the highlights and shadows work. However, in future I need to add the shadows digitally along with the highlights.
It’s a very typically “Angela” style of art – intricate, detailed, and full of botanical motifs, arches and geometric patterns that I enjoy using so much. I even managed to leave some areas that are not so busy with line and pattern!
So, it’s on to the next one, once I’ve designed the coloring template for Template Thursday!
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.
‘Tis coloring template day for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Each Thursday throughout the pandemic, I’ve created a coloring page for members of this facebook group. The template is free to members, and it’s free to become a member!
This week’s features an iteration of one of my moth drawings, this time drawn with colouring books in mind. I just had to pair the moth with a mandala as that’s been my ‘thing’ for a few days now. Naturally, the mandala is less detailed than my drawings and the page is mostly filled with pattern and interest, as is my style for colouring templates.
I have autumn on my mind and in my heart, so the motifs reflect that – acorns, seed pods, berries and leaves. I’ve chosen autumnal colours to partly colour the template, but any colour scheme would work – a good thing for those of you in the southern hemisphere where spring is on it’s way.
I re-drew the moth from yesterday to try out some ideas I had when reflecting on the artwork. I’m not entirely sure if it’s an improvement, but it is what it is.
I also have drawn a new mandala-style pattern for the background. This time, I’ve added it as a subtle design. I think it works quite well as the moth really stands out.
Mossy green today, no idea why other than it appealed to me. It may mean a desire to be in nature to have my mood uplifted. I’m not feeling the brightest or upbeat this day. A headache isn’t helping. A walk is required in a while. It’s a sunshiny peri-autumn day, so a good day to walk I think.
This morning, I wanted to start a new entangled drawing. But what to draw? I wasn’t in the mood to do another monogram, especially as there are some ideas on the periphery of my conscious mind about monograms. I thought about drawing a skull, something I find interesting, but that didn’t feel right either. But the idea of a moth flittered into my mind, so that’s what I went with.
I drew the moth digitally, in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, simply because I wasn’t quite sure how my pen work would work on a moth, and I also like to use the symmetry tool. I’m fairly happy with the results. I started to add my entangled style motifs around the moth, and came up against two issues.
The first issue was that I would lose the detail around the head and antennae and I needed to come up with a way to preserve that. I came up with the idea of a simple circular border below the moth. This will also give me the option of adding colour to the central circle when I’ve finished the artwork.
The second was more of a problem – the sense of proportion. I have no idea why it’s so hard for me to work digitally on entangled drawings like this with a proper sense of proportion compared to the main motif or the printed size.
It has to do, I think, with the ability to zoom in to draw small details, which results in me adding too much detail. The only solution was for me to print the moth and circular border out and then for me to draw on that.
The only thing I wasn’t happy about in doing this is that I have a laser printer. That affects the surface of the paper in a way that my Unipin pens don’t like it. Also, I can’t print on marker paper.
So, I’ve started to add entangled artwork to the design. I can now see that leaving edges of the upper wings white would help them to stand out. That is something I can adjust digitally when the design is finished.
I feel so much happier working on the printed image. I do need to consider changing my printer, however. Though the laser printer is quick and economical, the print quality of line art isn’t the best. There’s also the issue of the way the surface of the paper is changed once it’s been printed on. I shall think on this in the coming weeks and before the toner needs replacing.
This morning I needed a quiet, slow, simple time with some arty stuff.
Firstly, I get so frustrated working in a bound sketchbook. The binding always gets in my way even though I like the paper. I much prefer working on loose sheets of paper. I want to keep a sketchbook, or series of sketchbooks. So, the pennies dropped that I needed to put together a discbound sketchbook filled with acid-free cartridge paper and bristol board, and other papers I may wish to draw on.
Yes, I know I’ve got a disc bound sketchbook filled with papers coloured in many ways to draw on. But, my recent forays into art, the realisation that black and white line art is my favourite way of working, needed a solution too.
So, after a while of sorting out such a discbound sketchbook, I thought I’d like a cover page for the Slowtember part of my this sketchbook. It gave me a chance to practice some hand lettering, and to mess around with Tombow Dual Brush markers.
I also added drawings for pancake plant, the prompt for days 10 to 12 which I missed out and went straight to rubber plant!
I suspect that by the end of the month I will have a visual reference for leaves of these indoor plants.
Naturally, I messed up the numbers for the dates for each prompt. My hand lettering isn’t wonderful, nor are the leaves around the title. Let’s not mention the colouring. However, it will do; after all it is a sketchbook page not a finished, polished piece of art. That means no pressure on myself to get it perfect, or as near as I’m happy with. It’s about trying things out and if they don’t work then it’s an opportunity to reflect and learn more about my skills and artistic voice. It’s also a chance to use media that I wouldn’t normally use, and possibly to remind myself why I don’t usually use them as well!
I decided to do Slowtember. I like having prompts to challenge me, take me a little outside of my usual style. However, Inktober can be a bit full on with daily prompts. Slowtember gives that breathing space, and I can work it in around my other commitments.
Thanks to @megaelod on twitter for the idea and prompts!
So, the first prompt was a choice betwixt pothos and chill. I decided to combine them! I like foliage, and the word gives me a chance to try out some hand drawn typography/hand lettering.
I sketched the quite stylised design on dot grid paper, inked it with Unipin pens and then scanned it in. after some digital clean up and slight adjustments, I added some simple colour and shadow.
You’d think adding simple colour would be easy, yes? Nope! Choosing the right greens wasn’t easy for me. And then there was the typography. I lost count of how many times I tried different ways to colour the letters. Eventually I decided enough was enough and the gradient I had was good enough.
As I think now, after breakfast and some mocha, I could’ve done the word as a flower pot, or used it to add shadow to a flower pot. Maybe I’ll give that a go for the next prompt (monstera and water).
Complex drawings are my stock in trade. Going simple and stylised is not quite so easy! Still, it was fun to do, a bit frustrating at times, but the result is perhaps good enough, though I’m not sure about that.