It’s funny how colours seem just right one day, and the next day I wonder what on earth I was thinking at the time.
Yesterday’s mandala, with it’s kind of yellow-brown background just doesn’t seem ‘right’ today.
I often mention about how I feel I really struggle with colour at times, but feel much better if I stick with simple color palettes, even monochrome ones, more or less.
So, this morning I wanted to draw a mandala, as is so often the case. They give me a chance to practice drawing digitally and using pattern and texture within them too.
The drawing was just fine and dandy, nearly always a pleasurable experience and I end up with a design I like well enough.
Then, there’s the coloured background. Today I wanted a soft pink colour. I like the colour I’ve chosen. Black lineart would look start on it, to my mind, but a soft, warm, cream was just perfect. It looks almost like lace.
And I can breathe a sigh of relief as my faith in my colour sense is restored somewhat. Monochrome is the way to go, unless it’s coloring templates. Though perhaps I should try a monochrome colour scheme for them, or at least analogous colours with a pop of complementary here and there. I’ll see what happens.
For the rest of my day, I’m going to be gathering sketches of ideas and elements for the coloring book I’m working on, and creating a mandala has got me somewhat in the right frame of mind to do this.
My favourite day of the year in my favourite season. I shall be observing it in my own way later on.
However you celebrate this day, as usual or changed as a result of the pandemic, have fun, be safe and be well and may your ancestors watch safely over you all.
It was an All Hallows’ Eve tradition in the UK to lay out places at the dinner table for those who had passed away during the previous 12 months as their one last meal before they finally go to the world of spirit, heaven, or whatever else you may call it. It was this night as it was believed that the veil ‘twixt the living and the dead was at its thinnest and loved ones could return to spend time here on Earth with their families.
This year, sadly, too many have done so as a result Covid-19, which has swept around the world taking far too many needlessly. While we no longer lay places for those who have passed, we can take time to honour their memory, their presence in our lives, how important they were and continue to be to us.
I actually finished colouring in one of my templates for this day. It has turned out both dark and colourful, and cutely spooky. While colouring today, I have been listening to a Hallowe’en playlist on Spotify.
This morning’s warm-up art is another abstract digital painting inspired by patterns in rocks and strata.
It’s a very soothing process for me to create art like this, even though it lacks the intricacy and detail of my more usual ‘entangled’ style. Simplifying and stylisation is a feature of my entangled art; this artwork takes those processes a few steps further along.
I started the day sketching some simplified patterns taken from geology in general. I scanned them in and chose one to turn into a painting.
Layer by layer, I added colour and texture, choosing earthy colours. I paid attention to shadow and highlight making sure that there’s an illusion of dimesion in the painting.
I’m still experimenting with this style of digital painting. In this one, I think I’ve chosen one or two colours too many, and a couple of them are a bit brighter than the others which makes them stand out more.
I also need to work with different color palettes, limiting the colours to produce a cohesive design.
The ragged edges created by the brush texture I used make the layers look a bit like torn paper. However, I would like to try a smoother edge in future experiments.
It’s been a nice way to spend three or so hours this morning. It’s now time for me to breakfast!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!