I’ve had a busy day so far. First, I got a few sketches done for the next colouring book for Creative Haven. Then, after showering etc, I went out to do a little food shopping. The sun was way too bright for me and my sensitive skin, even with sunblock on! Next, after a mug of tea and some lunch, I turned my mind to creating a mandala and adding some colour.
Sorting out the colours I’d like to use for this design was a bit of a trial. But, I’m quite happy with the succulent kind of palette at the moment.
No YouTube video today. My morning warm up art was drawing for the book, and I don’t show my templates in advance, usually, though I may show a sketch here and there to whet the appetite, maybe.
It’s that time of the week again – a new coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
This week, I’ve created a mandala and, as is my want, I’ve added some colour to the template to help bring it partly to life.
Early in June, it’s Brett’s birthday. Brett is the owner of the group and she looks after it fantastically. So, it’s always nice for the group to celebrate her birthday by sharing templates coloured in her favourite colours – PINK, purple, turquoise and teal. So, the group members have been asked to do this (as well as told when her birthday is).
I drew the template yesterday after having a nap in the afternoon. I’m still incredibly tired and my digestive system is a tad sensitive still to say the least, but I do feel better in myself emotionally.
Yesterday, I used one of my rather mechanical entangled drawings last week to generate some tiles and surfaces in Repper. I figured out my colour palette and how I wanted to add colour yesterday, and this morning I continued to work on the design for over an hour.
Rather than having radial symmetry, this design has two axes of symmetry – horizontal and vertical.
I did record this process, and I found myself talking about some things that are too personal to share. These were some things I needed to voice, to hear with my ears rather than my inner voice. The process was valuable to me, but not something I want to be available to all and sundry.
Instead, I deleted the audio, and replaced it with a brief voice over introduction and some music to accompany the sped up video recording. I condensed over an hour of work into about fifteen minutes.
I also learned that voice over is entirely possible to do, but that I need to find a different way to do this. The function I used in Movavi only gave me a few seconds of voice over time. I’ll work it out for sure.
Monday is definitely mandala day! I’ve been working on this mandala for the past week, on and off. It’s taken me lots of attempts to get the colours and brushes to work the way I’d like. I’m quite happy with it now.
I like the combination of warm and cool violets and teal-ish greens. They’re close enough together on the colour wheel to work harmoniously together.
I’m just adding colour at the moment. I will think about adding patterns to the various areas once the colour is all complete.
Although the black lines are quite bold in this design, the colour seems to make them almost disappear. They seem to become, almost, the darkest shadows that separate the different colour areas, deep cuts that delineate the different sections. I’ve never really noticed that before, and I think it’s a nice observation.
I’ve been enjoying, as always, adding shadow and highlight to give that sense of volume and layers to the design. It’s always fascinating to me how such simple use of colour can add so much interest.
I’ve worked out that all the youtube videos I’ve been creating are really vlogs. I can be incredibly dense at times about such things. I do talk about different things in them than I do on this blog. My thoughts are different when I write and when I talk it seems. Or perhaps the process of writing slows my thoughts down in a way speaking out loud doesn’t.
Anyway, I’m enjoying creating the vlogs. As I draw every morning just for fun and to warm up my muscles, joints and creative mind and heart, it’s nice to share that process with others. I hope people gain inspiration and insight from the vlogs.
It’s been heart-warming and humbling for the lovely comments people have left there. I really appreciate every like and new subscriber.
In today’s vlog, I draw on vellum, and then paper when the vellum curls too much to be easy to hold down.
Zoom get togethers
Saturday I hosted a Zoom get together for any members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group who’d like to join in. Last night, I was chatting to Brett, one of the founders of the group and the person who keeps everything running smoothly there. She often has trouble getting onto Zoom, and so we decided to give it a go and we worked out the best way for her to join in.
So, after a short chat, we both suggested about the same time that we could open the meeting up to the group. One member joined us and we chatted until just past midnight for me.
I’ve also set up a meeting for Tuesday tea-time, UK time and the details will be posted in the group for members to join in.
Anyway, I didn’t really settle down to sleep until around 2 am, and I’m really feeling the lack of a good night’s sleep now. I suspect another nap will be on the cards sooner rather than later. However, I do want to get out for a walk again today. I’ll be trying to time it to dodge the heavy rain showers we seem to have.
Monday is mandala day! I’ve been working on this one all morning, and you can see there’s a lot of work to be done to get it all coloured!
I’m keeping the colour to rather jewel and metallic like tones – red, blue, green and gold. Though, I just had to add some black and white into one of the areas for some variation.
Yesterday, I had a migraine and it had me away from art and stuff for the day. I’m feeling a lot better today, though I’m still a tad spacey. I’m going to wrap up all my social media posts and go out for a walk in an hour or so, when the sun has dropped from it’s zenith a tad. A walk will do me the world of good I think.
I’ve been lacking artistic oompf and inspiration in the last day or so. This morning, I remembered all those tiles I’d created in the Repper app and thought using one as the basis for some art may be a good idea to get me creating. It seems to have worked.
I’ve finished, I think, the lineart, and I’ve started to add colour along with some pattern/texture. I’m not entirely sure if the glow/shadow patterns are working. Also, I don’t seem to have that intensity of contrast/highlight in the colours. Still there appears to be some volume in the individual shapes, so that’s ok.
The choice of colours, the fussy patterns and the lack of intense contrast between shadow/highlight may just be indicative of my ‘meh’ mood today.
Still, it’s almost time for me to shower and head out for my walk. It’s sunny but very breezy outside. My window is open and I’m revelling in the cool air flowing over my exposed skin. Actually, it’s rather more than breezy, there’s quite a stiff wind blowing! Invigorating and perfect for a walk!
I’ve spent this morning finishing yesterday’s mandala.
I’m fairly pleased with the result. I love the sense of volume I have in the design. I almost feel like I put my fingers inside some of those ‘folds’ around the chains of seeds! And being able to create this intensity of volume or dimension in my artwork is what makes me smile. It’s not often I say I love my work, that’s for sure.
I’m not so happy about the background texture/colour. However, it’ll do for now, as I can always go back and change it.
I added a third colour – cool blues – to this design. The last ring of ‘seed pods’ would’ve been brown, and I thought there was enough brown in the design already. Also, I wanted the furled, stylised leaves in the other ring to be green, so blue was the colour I settled on.
I had a bit of a ‘ta-da!’ moment as I was adding colour to the furled leaves. I recognised that I was starting to use a pattern as a way of adding the highlights and shadows, a shape that could be used in all of these particular forms.
My final task, before calling this mandala done (for now at least) was to add shadow around the whole mandala. I don’t think I’ve been all that successful with it. Again, it’ll do for now until I work out a better way of doing this.
In hindsight, the choice of that coppery brown may not have been the best one I’ve made. However, this mandala really has been a fab learning experience for me – not just of the software I’m using, but of how I work artistically. I’m finally beginning to think a bit more about what I’m doing. I’m still working very intuitively, but I’m recognising the unconscious thoughts that steer me as I work.
I think this is developing as a result of me talking about my artistic process as I create YouTube videos. That’s an interesting and positive side-effect of making the videos – they force me to express in words what is fairly abstract and unconscious as I work. I guess I don’t have many opportunities to talk about my art and process with others, and YouTube, and this blog too, is helping me to discover more about my own inner workings.
Monday is, usually, mandala day. I have at least one mandalas-in-progress, but I started a new one today, primarily because I wanted to try out some different brushes in Clip Studio Paint Pro.
It took me a few experiments to settle on one brush to work with for this mandala – a coloured pencil brush.
It also took me quite a few goes to work out how I wanted to lay down colour for this mandala too. Eventually I settled on highlight on one edge, shadow on the other, and quite a sharp delineation betwixt the two.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but the effect I was achieving reminded me of the abstract oil paintings I did many, may years ago. The abstract patterns came from Romanesque architecture and rusty parts of steam and diesel locomotives. I remember myself playing with light and shadow. I also remember at the AS level exam exhibition I was puzzled as people kept touching the paintings. I asked someone why they had. They answered that they wanted to see if the paintings were 3D in nature. I hadn’t seen that illusion at all, but once it was pointed out to me I could see what others could. I put it down to having worked so closely on the paintings.
This was around 17 years ago now, and I still tend towards working with highlights and shadows, and the resultant illusion of volume or dimension in my work.
I’ve also finally worked out that I tend to use light and shadow as part of the patterns in my work instead of related to a light source. I think that penny dropped when I was listening to a Zentangle video on youtube.
As lovely as it is to work with varied colour palettes, for this one I wanted to return to a simpler palette. I’ve chosen just two colours and various shades of those colours.
I can see how my colour blending technique has developed from the centre outwards! The difference between highlight and shadow has increased a tad.
I have so many works in progress at the moment, and I tend towards creating new all the time. I think I really do need to learn perseverance and get works finished more often!