This morning was a morning that I needed to do some art that was familiar, calming, soothing and intricate enough that I could lose myself in it. A mandala always fits that bill. Always. It doesn’t matter if it’s drawn with pen and ink on paper or digitally. The mindful, calming effect is the same. It’s the process that matters, the repetitive shapes and patterns that are drawn that contribute greatly to the soothing effect.
I do tend to gravitate towards digital art, and I find the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro helps to save a lot of time. The ability to erase ink removes the frustration that a mistake creates for the hyperperfectionist part of me.
Other than those time-saving (and frustration-saving) tools, the process of mandala drawing is the same for me.
It starts by using a compass, protractor and ruler to set out the circular grid. Then, it’s digital pen on screen to draw the mandala in exactly the same way as I would on paper, just without so much repetition of sections.
However this was created, it has served it’s purpose – given me some time and space for inner peace and contentment.
Drawing done with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens. Arteza Mixed Media Paper coloured with Distress Oxide Inks (Stormy Skies, Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord, edged with Hickory Smoke). Paper measures 3″ x 8.25″ (8.3cm x 21cm).
“I make art to show my soul I am listening.” “This, too, shall pass.”
Art is my solace, my form of expressing my soul, my inner self.
This morning I created some tall, thin (or short and wide) backgrounds using Distress Oxides on some Arteza Mixed media paper. The paper is 8.25″ x 2.87″ (21cm x 7.2 cm) in size.
I chose this one to draw on for no other reason that it was the one that appealed to me at this time. I started with the seed pods and foliage at the bottom, and worked my way through some hand lettering / hand-drawn typography to more abstract line-art.
I drew with a M Pitt Artist Pen from Faber-Castell, though I added the stippling with an XS Pitt Artist pen.
No glitter or glitz on this one, nor any highlights. Not yet. I’m not in the mood for any, not today.
The calendar page turns over and we’re into a new month.
August always heralds the end of summer and start of autumn, my favourite season. It is the last full month of summer here in the Valleys of South Wales. The evenings come noticeably earlier, always a sign that the year is continuing on its endless cycle of seasons.
We have a grey, damp and blustery start to the first day of the month. There are shafts of sunlight finding their way through gaps in the clouds, but there’s a deliciously refreshing snap to the cool and fresh air after the night-time rain.
I thought I’d create a really simple mandala design for the start of this month, one that is full of warm colours, but that hint of autumnal tones in the background.
I kept things simply stylised in the design. If nothing else, working on it made me smile, inwardly as well as on my lips.
I woke early-ish today and did some work on one of the typographic portraits I’ve been doing. Then, in my rush to get to the shower, I clicked the wrong button and lost my work. Thankfully, it’ll be easy enough to do it again. I also think that with the version I’m working on, I’m finding my way with the process. I have a lot of the portrait left to do, but I feel less frustrated with it and have a clearer idea of what I’d like to achieve now I’ve taken a few days break from this kind of work.
Before I settle back to the typography, I am going to take a walk in the fresh air of the morning. Well, after I’ve done my social media posts!
A good three or four hours have been enjoyably spent on creating this little abstract watercolour painting.
The painting itself is approx 3″ x 3¼” on a small piece of Arteza professional watercolour paper, which is made from 100% cotton. I used Graphitint paints by Derwent. These paints have a more subdued, earthy range of tones. They are also quite granular in nature, and duller on the paper than other watercolour paints, which is to be expected as they are made from water-soluble graphite. That also means that they are more opaque.
I used to have a set of Graphitint pencils, which can be used as you would ordinary drawing pencils, but they have a subtle colour to them. When water is added, the colour is activated and becomes more apparent. I enjoyed using them, but I have no idea where I have put them, after searching high and low for them. I saw the Graphitint paint set, and so was intrigued by it. So, yesterday I had to have a go with them, and this is the result.
I usually go for much more vibrant colours in my artwork; I struggle mixing colours and making less bright tones. I also struggle with having a huge choice of colours and remembering to use a limited palette isn’t something that yet comes easily to me.
There are only twelve colours in the the Graphitint paint set, so that limits my colour choice immediately. I’m sure I can mix them with other watercolours, something I intend to experiment with.
It’s Thursday again, so that means it’s time for a new coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. I said that during the pandemic, I’d create a template a week for group, free of charge, to help people relax, calm and take their mind off all the awful things that are happening in the world for a short time.
This week, I’ve combined some typography my familiar entangled style of drawing. Botanicals, crystals and stars along with some repeated ‘zentangle’ style patterns. Some of my favourite things to draw.
To draw this template, I used Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens (F and S), Copic Fineliner SP pens (05 and 025) and a Uniball Signo DX 0.38 pen with Rhodia dot grid paper.
Although lockdown has largely lifted in the UK, we still need to practice social distancing and wear face coverings when it’s not possible to do that, or in enclosed spaces. The Covid-19 virus has not gone away, and though the number of cases are falling, as are deaths, that’s due to people being sensible and following the guidelines for limiting the spread of the virus.
I’m very, very anxious about going out and about, and I know I am far from the only one. I mostly stay safe at home. Mind you, that’s not unusual for me. Even before the pandemic I wasn’t someone who was out and about all the time. I did pop out and about more often than I realised, however. But I’m still usually quite happy to stay at home and focus on my arty, creative activities. But, I know that’s not the case for everyone, and not everyone is able to work from home either, nor wants to.
This was a perfect, small and quick project to do this morning as I was waiting for my weekly delivery from Able & Cole.
Some practice of hand-lettering /hand-drawn typography practice, starting with roughing the design out in pencil on dot grid paper. Then, inking it in digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
The addition of a rainbow background was the perfect way to bring a smile to my face this morning. When don’t rainbow colours cheer a person up? The bold, black letters on top of it really make the colours glow bright.
The quote is a perfect bit of wisdom for Wednesday, not that it’s a bad day for me at all. Apart from me suffering from a lack of sleep once again. The morning sunshine has lifted my mood, and the cool air flowing in through the open window is both beautifully fresh and wonderfully refreshing. I have bright and happy music on as I work, just to add to the upbeat start to the day.
This morning, I decided to leave portraits alone for a little while. I woke with the idea of using typography to fill some typography!
So, I drew the outlines of ‘Nye’, for Aneurin Bevan. I then used wavy lines to split the outlines into interesting sections. Then, I pencilled in some quotes by Aneurin Bevan. This let me adjust size/ spacing so that the quotes fit and made sense. In some places I’ve stretched the letters as there wasn’t enough space for the next word. I could’ve made all the letters in the line wider, but thought the wider letters would add some interest and flow. Of course, I now realise I could’ve stretched some letters at the start of the lines too, but I can always do that as I ink in the lettering.
Anyway, my next step was to scan the sketch into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro so I could do the inking digitally, and you can see what I’ve done so far. I do need to adjust some letters, like the B at the start of the line I’ve started to ink. I will also need to go back and clean up some of the edges of letters.
It’s a nice project for me to do today. I didn’t sleep at all well last night; I was up and down to the loo. I had a sudden attack of anxiety yesterday, a really intense one. The pilot light on my boiler had gone out and I couldn’t light it, so I had to arrange for a breakdown visit. There was the stress of ‘what if they can’t fix it’ as well as a stranger in my home for the first time since most probably February.
Panic mode! And it didn’t abate all day, no matter what I tried to do. This kind of anxiety/stress always hits me in my digestive system, so it was an unpleasant night for me.
All needless of course. The gas engineer arrived this morning and he lit the pilot light first go. And it’s stayed lit. I felt like a right numpty. However, all is well, as I have now booked it for a service too.
I’m still feeling on edge, as well as really tired. So, working on a portrait wouldn’t be the best idea for me as at the moment they are frustrating and overwhelming me.
So, I thought I’d go for some hand-lettering or hand-drawn typography practice. Just practice. No pressure. However, the idea I had may turn out to be a fairly good one. Maybe.