Monogram A – Finished!

Finished Monogram A ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Finished Monogram A ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Yup, that’s right; I’ve finished it!

It’s definitely a sampler of patterns, ideas, and playing around with digital techniques.

It is, however, quite an accomplishment – at more than one point along the way I just wanted to give up on it.

Looking at it now, there are parts I’d want to change, such as that ‘waterfall’ of green scales in the bottom centre of the A.

I have learned quite a few things, and put together other stuff too in a simpler way.

I’ve also learned that starting with a sketch may be a good idea in future – a sketch with at least the main beams of the supporting structure and main design elements in place, even if just in outline shape form.

At one point, I’d had an idea about continuing some of the ‘tubes’ to the edge of the canvas, maybe making them appear as if they were diving down into the paper, and popping up along their path, acting like laces holding the crazy A down.

However, I didn’t do that this time. Matching up colours, shading, patterns etc would be a tad awkward and frustrating for me, especially if I just wanted to carry the ‘tube’ on from the edge of the letter.

It is, however, something I can consider trying to do in the future.

Despite me thinking it yesterday, I haven’t left any white space in the letter itself, just leaving the white space around it. I tried, but it just didn’t feel quite right in this particular design.

I have no idea how many hours I’ve spent on this – many tens of hours I would think – with very few frustrations along the way.

I think I have some fish to finish along with the ‘Be Brave’ design I was working on before I wandered off to have a go at this idea for a crazily entangled monogram.

So, between them and work for the next colouring book I have quite a bit of stuff to keep me busy for sure.

All I need to say now is that I used my usual trio of tools – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Monogram A WIP

Monogram A WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Monogram A WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Easy listening playlist on Spotify, creating art. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning!

I’ve been working at this monogram now for several days. It is coming along.

It really feels like a an embroidery sampler where the learning embroiderer would try out different patterns and shapes and still create something beautiful.

For me, the sampler is more about out different ideas as they come to me and increasing my knowledge and understanding of the digital art tools available to me in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Of course being able to draw directly on the screen of my Microsoft Surface Studio with a Surface Pen makes creating digital art a dream for me; it’s like working with pens and pencils and so on on paper. However, I’m able to do things I don’t think I’d ever be able to do with traditional media.

I still love working with pen on paper; I currently have one drawing on the go and I may convert it into a digital artwork when it’s done.

Exploring the realms of digital art has opened doors to me that have expanded my creativity in ways I never could have imaged previously.

Yes, I learn by doing myself rather than following tutorials. My experience of watching tutorials is that I end up more confused than I started.

Don’t get me wrong, the ones I watched were excellent. However, they are by people who really know the software and what everything does, and they speak to people who have some idea of it all.

Besides, I want to do art my way, and these artists tend to show how they do things and that often doesn’t make any sense to me.

I’m grateful they share, and one day I may watch some more, but for now the exploration in my own realms of creativity is what is best for me.

As I look at my sampler monogram, I can see how I’m developing my own digital art voice in terms of techniques and effects that suit my style of rather intricate, abstract art based on patterns, curves, swirls and arches, along with a lot of motifs based on nature.

The plain curves in this monogram are adding some much needed scaffolding or girders to support and separate the patterns. Some of the fancily patterned curves are getting lost in the crazy intricacy of adjoining sections.

There are no individual sections that I really don’t like. However, some combinations of sections don’t seem to gel well, at least not to my eye.

What I do love is the layers of diversity of colour and pattern. Each glance reveals something new, whether it’s the way I’ve played with light and shadow, the way patterns look together, or the way colours I’d not normally put together seem to work together.

However, as this is turning out to be a sampler, then that’s fine. It’s all learning for me, and that’s good.

I’ve noticed I’ve not left any white space in this design, so far. I may do that in the area that is left to complete, just to contrast with the pattern-dense areas done so far.

It is a fascinating journey for me, and while this may not be an artwork that I’d offer for sale at redbubble.com or zippi, it’s something that is worth its weight in gold for me in terms of lessons learned and also gaining some confidence in my style of digital art.

Entangled Monograms

Entangled Monograms © Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
Entangled Monograms © Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

One of the things that is really nice about being between contracts is the opportunity to create art just for the fun of creating art and not having to stay within the limits of the contract. Not that drawing to fulfil contracts isn’t fun, it is. It’s just that I have to work within the remit of the contract.

Yesterday evening and this morning I’ve been having a contented time creating some entangled monograms. I’ve cut some Winsor and Newton Bristol Board down to approx 15cm x 15cm (approx 5.75″ x 5.75″).

I penciled in some guidelines for the edges of the artwork and for the position of the monogram.

First job was to hand letter the monogram. I did start with pencil guidelines for each letter, then used a hard Tombow Fudenosuke pen to ink them in.

Then, the real fun begins, which is the entangling of the space around the monogram. I used the Fudenosuke pen along with a Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 and Uniball Unipin 0.2 and 0.1 pens.

All done in plain black and white, with just the weight and concentration of lines adding depth and dimension to the finished design.

I do want to add colour to these at some point. I love pure black and white artwork, but colour can bring them to life as well. Digital colouring is my favourite way of adding colour these days, but I may print copies out on to marker friendly paper and then use Chameleon Duotones and Color Tops to add colour. I’ll see how I feel about that.

As is my wont, I had no preconceptions of how the entangling would unfold. I just let it flow. Some of my favourite motifs and patterns have been used. I did refer to my visual BuJo for ideas/inspiration from time to time too.

Visual BuJo

Yes, a visual BuJo (bullet journal). Or, rather, it’s a collection of motifs and patterns that are being organised using ideas from the Bullet Journal system of keeping a journal. It works for me. I have a way to help me find continuations of collections, or to start a new one, and not worry about a collection being on consecutive pages.

My visual BuJo is an A5 sized, dot grid notebook from Claire Fontaine. It’s a soft back one so isn’t quite as weighty as Leuchtturms and the like. It is also a little less bulky in size, which helps when I want to travel light on a day out.

Mind you, when fill this present visual BuJo I may use a Leuchtturm for my next one. We’ll see…

It is also something that encourages me to seek out new patterns and motifs to add to it, as if I didn’t have enough already! Doing this is a good way to just practice my drawing skills and observation skills, as well as analysing a motif or pattern, breaking it down into simple shapes and steps to draw a stylised version.

I do tend to favour more stylised motifs and patterns in my art, that’s for sure.

So, I now no longer feel the need to try new ideas out for keeping my reference material, constantly redrawing them again and again. The visual BuJo is working for me for sure.

When I’m having a tough time emotionally/mentally with my CPTSD and/or EMDR it can be soothing, comforting for me to use the familiar, and of course I can still do that. I just don’t need to spend a lot of time drawing and redrawing and redrawing again the same things in my search for a perfect record keeping system for patterns and motifs.

The BuJo inspired system may not be perfect, but it works for me.

One other positive that has come from me using a BuJo is that I’ve had to learn to let mistakes go and just leave them in the notebook. The mistakes are what I need to make in order to understand how to draw a pattern or motif. Sometimes, though, a new pattern or motif arises from the mistakes.

Something else I’m starting to do is to make notes alongside the patterns with where to start, the order in which to draw the parts of the pattern or motif, and ideas for varying it.

Abstract Entangled Art 19 November 2018

I drew this triangular design a couple of days ago and I knew I wanted to add some words around it, but I just didn’t know what I wanted to add.

Well, today was counselling/therapy day for me. A fair number of issues came up in the past week, connections/realisations being made, awareness of my negative self-talk, and awareness of me talking care of myself a little more than I have done.

So it seemed appropriate that I should add words related to today’s session :

  • Nurture myself
  • Believe and trust myself
  • Have compassion for myself

Maybe not the best worded, but relevant to myself.

I drew the design and hand-lettered the words with Uniball Unipin pens on white acid-free paper. Shading was added to the design with a soft drawing pencil and a paper tortillon.

Abstract botanical drawing

Angela Porter 8 August 2018 coloured 01

Happy times drawing! I drew this one with a Lamy Safari fountain pen with black ink on some mixed media paper from Claire Fontaine.

The colours are digitally added after scanning the drawing in, just for a bit of fun. I have ideas I want to try out digitally, but I’m going to wait for my Surface Studio to arrive for those explorations.

My own piece of wisdom for #WednesdayWisdom is that when you get to a point in a creative project where you think it just isn’t going to work out, don’t give up. Push past your own doubts. It can help to put the project to one side and come back to it later with ‘fresh eyes’ and a ‘fresh mind’, but don’t give up on it.

When you think you’ve finished the project there may be bits you don’t like, but there will be parts you really do like about it. The bits you like are ones to take forward and work with further.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that sometimes it’s the bits I wasn’t sure about that are the ones I really like when the project is completed. Often, the bits that are ‘mistakes’ end up being ‘happy accidents’ or ‘creative opportunities’ – discoveries of new things to try out again in the future.

I’ve most probably said this before, but I’ve been getting a lot of self-doubt lately in work I’m doing. As I often work directly in ink on to paper, my mistakes are permanent, so I have to work with them and incorporate them into the design. That’s what happens when you’re an intuitive artist; I’ve learned to trust to the process and that I can work with whatever happens.

You too can do this! I promise you, you can!

It’s also #wipwednesday over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Plenty of people show their works in progress, but there is always, always room for more! We all love to see what people are up to.