Strata 02

I had so much fun making an abstract design based on strata yesterday, I thought I’d do another today, this time adding a quote.

I’m not so sure I’ve done a good job on either the typography, the background or the artwork. I may have too much contrast, but also shrinking the size of the image for posting to social media along with the games WordPress plays with colours has affected how it looks here.

No matter, I enjoyed the process of creation, so that’s all that matters. It’s all about experimenting, trying things out.

It was a quick bit of art as I was up early for my weekly organic food delivery, to find it was already delivered. So, after breakfast, I went back to bed.

I have other things that I need to focus on today, so a quick project was in order.

Strata

Arty musings

I’ve been awake since silly o’clock. I have a delivery due before midday, so while awaiting it I have been arting.

This started off as a simple line drawing of patterns from the strata of rock formations of Raplee Ridge, Utah. Then, I added some patterns between them, zentangle or entangled style. I used fineliner pens on paper to do this drawing (left image).

My next job was to scan the drawing in and tidy it up digitally. Then, I thought I’d colour the design in. I kept to fairly earthy tones for this (middle image).

Finally, I thought I’d do a pure colour study of the line art. And I really like this one. I’ve played with shadow and light to give a sense of dimension to the artwork (right image).

I’m really pleased with the pure colour image. Not just for choosing a fairly pleasing palette, but for finally discovering how to use textured brushes to draw, colour and texture the different areas.

I’ve done work like this with traditional media, but have never really had much success digitally. It seems I have found some confidence here.

It does remind me of work I did some 15 or so years ago while studying for A level art as an adult, and how much pleasure I got from that. Now, as back then, I used simple colour palettes.

I suspect I’ll be doing more work like this – line art of patterns, followed by a coloured interpretation of those patterns. My mind is ticking over whether I could include some typography in these kinds of artwork too.

Moody mutterings

My mood is better today, I’m pleased to say. I’m not sure if it’s rest, self-care, Star Wars, knitting, art, or a combination of all these things that has helped lift it.

I know that my mood has weather, just as the world does. And in Wales, the weather can be changeable and varied! But like all weather, the gloom passes and sunshine returns. Though I wouldn’t say I’m sunshiny, I am content with a soft glow within. That is good enough for me, and for today as it’s rather wet and gloomy outdoors.

Monday Mandala

Eerie and spooky?

A fun, quirky, cute Hallowe’en themed mandala was what was needed on Monday morning.

I started with the skull, without any clue as to what I was going to do with it. Then I thought about adding a mandala around it, and I wanted it in eerie, almost glowing colours.

As I drew the skull without any outlines, I thought I’d do the same for the rest of the mandala. I also kept a pretty simple colour palette – violets, teals and blues.

It’s worked out OK. It certainly is a bit different. The most important thing is that I enjoyed drawing it, and that is most probably the most important thing of all.

Sunshine and mood

Today, there’s some sunshine and that helps to keep my mood up. I did feel a bit better yesterday – sleep and Star Wars really helped! I may have felt better, but settling to art just didn’t happen yesterday.

I’m still so tired. I think it’s all to do with some anxiety at this time. There’s nothing specific for it, just general anxiety. I think it was triggered by my boiler breakdown and then the engineer fixing it, and the increasing cases of Covid combined with a national lockdown in Wales.

I’m not sure I can drive less than a mile to the cemetery I like to walk around. I feel safe there in a way I don’t walking around the streets and town I live in at this time.

Of course, worrying about whether I’ll be breaking the rules to take a walk adds to my anxiety.

What a pickle!

It may be that I baulk and just stay home, and check the rules carefully before I do venture forth for a walk.

Pumpkin knitting

Knitting pumpkins while watching Star Wars. Guaranteed to reduce my anxiety. And knitting, unlike crochet, is something I can do without having to look at my fingers.

Also, I’ve found it really relaxing and the feel of the knitted fabric in my fingers is soothing and pleasurable. As I’ve been kintting in stocking stitch, it’s a very smooth fabric. Crochet tends to have more texture to it. I think I’ll be doing more knitting and less crochet for a while.

Saturday arty day

Artsy ramblings

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.

Polymer clay

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.

Purple Entalged Art WIP

I’ve been working on this drawing for a few days now and I finally managed to finish it this morning. That means I scan the drawing in, tidy it up digitally and then start to add highlight and shadow to bring out the design against a fairly dark background.

Today, I chose a lovely purple-magenta colour for the background. It seems to go with my mood today. I’m tired. I had a stressed-out day yesterday as my cental heating boiler was repaired and serviced. That meant letting someone into my home, something I’ve not done for months and months.

My ever present social anxiety has been ramped up during the pandemic, and yesterday it was given a huge boost. I know what the repercussions of this are for me – tiredness, upset digestive system and heightened startle response. These symptoms can persist for days, depending on the intensity of the experience.

So, today will be more of a self-care day than anything else. I’m now flagging after four or so hours focus on art.

I want to get my focus and oompf back. I am expecting a delivery of Sculpey polymer clay along with tools and accessories.

I’ve been watching videos on YouTube of makers using polymer clay to cover books. The videos have remined me of how much I liked to work with clay when I was doing my AS/A level art many years ago. So, I thought I’d give it a go, using polymer clay to sculpt my style of drawings in 3D and then paint them.

I don’t know if it’ll work out for me, but there’s no harm in trying it out that’s for sure. I have used polymer clay in the past for making jewellery and it wasn’t all that successful in many ways. Perhaps working on a bit larger scale and being able to add plenty of detail and texture will make it a better experience for me. As well as using a polymer clay that is softer than the Fimo I used way back then. Conditioning that stuff was murder on my joints!

Template Thursday

Thursday comes around once again, so it’s time for a coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, it’s a hallowe’en themed mandala design. Lots of cuteness and whimsy in the design, as well as a geometric background and a funky border.

I enjoyed drawing this, and I’ve enjoyed the partial coloring. Sadly, I don’t have time for more colouring today. I have a chap coming to sort my central heating out in a short while and my anxiety is heading through the roof now I need to get showered and tidy up the house a bit.

I have some social anxiety at the best of times, but the increasing prevalence and transmission of Covid19 and having contact with anyone is having it skyrocket. Hopefully, I’ll be able to calm down quickly enough after he’s done what he needs to do.

Anyways, if you’re not a member of the facebook group you’d be made most welcome. Membership is free, as are the templates I create for the members of the group.

Autumn

How true those words are. How I look forward to a walk where trees are dressed in their fiery autumn finery. How much the colours glow in sunlight and against a leaden grey sky. They lift my heart and fill my mind with warm memories to last the long, dark nights of winter. The bright colours are a reminder from nature that spring will return again, after the well-deserved rest over winter.

My clunky arty design today is just that – clunky. Awkward. But it will do for now.

Borders

This morning I’ve focused on work for my next Creative Haven coloring book and I wanted to create some borders I could use for the templates.

These are all approx 2cm (about ¾”) wide. When I was colouring templates for Entangled Gardens, I realised how much I enjoyed not only colouring the border but the finished feel it gave to the templates.

So, I want to build up a library of ready-to-go borders.

Some are organic, others geometric. Some more ornate than others. they are all devoid of any guide as to shadow as that then leaves it entirely up to the colorist how they approach the template.

A nice, if different, way to start the day.

Monday Mandala

Teals and five-fold symmetry for this Monday’s Mandala.

I was going to draw a much bigger mandala, but realised that this is just perfect as it is, although I can always go back and add to the mandala at a late date.

I’m still working out the best way to get highlights and shadows the way I like them, and I’m happy with today’s mandala. However, I think I’m realising that there is no one single, perfect way to add shadows and highlights. I think it depends on the design and the effect I’m looking for.

All the experimentation isn’t a waste of time. I’m learning new things all the time about digital coloring.

Entangled WIP

I finally finished this drawing, and now it’s time for me to add shadow and highlight to it to bring it to life.

This is very much a work in progress. It will take me some time to achieve the look and feel I’d like.

Drawn with fineliner pens on marker paper. Background, highlights and shadows added digitally.