Watercolour practice

Good news – the headache has gone! Yay! The sun is shining, I have uplifting music playing, and I’ve spent some of the morning practicing watercolour skills and working out how to subtly draw/paint on top with white.

The little tiles at the bottom have designs painted on them with white gouache. There’s a lot more variability in line width with these.

The book marks have had the designs drawn using a white Soufflé pen by Sakura. The ink goes on clear but dries a matt and opaque white.

I used som Molin du Roy watercolour paper from Canson for these. The tiles are approx 2″ x 2″, the book marks are approx 2″ x 7″.

I may mount the tiles on greeting card blanks. The bookmarks need a hole punching in the top and then some string/ribbon threaded through.

I did try out the Sakura Quickie Glue pen and embossing powder yesterday, but really wasn’t happy with it. I also tried using a variety of Sakura pens to draw the outlines before watercolouring – black Glaze, metallic siver Gelly Roll and silver Stardust. They were waterproof, but just didn’t give me the borders for the patterns that I wanted. The black was very bold and gave a rather stained-glass feel to the tile. But, white turns out to be my favourite.

It’s been nice to spend quite a few hours working with watercolours and trying out ideas without any pressure to create anything that is finished. Sometimes making art for the fun of making art is enough and much needed to soothe some rather battered emotions.

Blessings

Wibbly-wobbly sculptural columns and arches surrounded by layers and layers of abstract bubbles, ripples and swirls of thoughts, wishes, blessings. Well, that’s what came to my mind as I added the architectural details.

No highlights, no sparkle, limited pattern and texture. Just flowing line work, for the most part. I’ve even left some ‘white space’ in the design, which is becoming less unusual for me.

Rounded arches with patterns reminiscent of Romanesque architecture. The columns are, however, more delicate, which is more reminiscent of the move towards Gothic architecture. Both forms or architecture have long been a source of artistic inspiration for me.

Soothing, relaxing and meditative to draw. Circles and spirals, arches and patterns are always comforting and endlessly fascinating to me.

Drawn using Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens on paper coloured by PaperArtsy Fresco paints. The drawing is approx. 2½” x 6¾”.

Template Thursday

The pandemic continues across the world and another week has passed us by. That means it’s time for another coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, I’ve decided to do a mandala. Mainly because I find mandalas incredibly soothing and calming to draw. I have drawn and coloured the mandala digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

As always, the template is only available to members of the group. It’s free to join the group, and free to download the template. All I ask in return is that you follow the terms and conditions, don’t share the uncoloured template, and credit me with the artwork when you post your wonderful colourations online.

Template Thursday

Another week has gone by, so it’s time for a new template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, it’s another of my collections of little windows. Yesterday was a day where I needed to draw a template that wouldn’t overwhelm me, and a collection of tiny drawings and patterns is a way to break the task down into bite-size, cute, whimsical pieces. As I result, I enjoyed the process and found some contentment and peace too.

In fact, some of the colorists in the group have told me that the really like the way the page is broken down into pieces that can be finished quickly if they are limited for time. The different sizes allow them to choose something that can be coloured in the time they have available. That part can then be left finished, freeing them of the worry of leaving something unfinished.

Coloring, like any creative activity, can help calm, relax, soothe and give a break from negative self-talk, to name a few of the benefits. I know that scientific studies have shown this to be the case and that losing yourself in coloring has a similar effect on brain activity as mindfulness meditation.

I use art to help me with times when my emotional weather is stormy, dull, unsettled. As I said earlier, drawing a collection of small designs was far less overwhelming than drawing a full page illustration yesterday. Yet, I still end up with a full page of mini-templates to colour.

I feel I struggle with colours. I tend to try to put all colours available to me into one template. Every now and then I do work with a limited palette, which also has it’s own problems. My window templates take away any pressure I put on myself regarding colour. Each window is a unique image in it’s own right and I can use whatever colours I wish in it without worrying about the overall cohesiveness of the project.

These window templates are also great fun for trying out different colour combinations, for blending colours, and even for trying out new techniques. You could make notes on the template, or cut out the pictures you want to keep and start an art journal where you note down the media, colours and techniques used to get the effects/blends you like. No longer any need to remember what they are, just refer to the journal!

Talking of cutting the designs out, that is a perfect way to make use of a finished coloring page like this one. The individual images, or groups of them, can be used to make greeting cards, bookmarks or to embellish art journals, journals, scrapbooks, diaries, planners and bullet journals!

As always, I love to see what people create using my templates – share with and/or tag me on social media :
f: @artwyrd
t: @artwyrd
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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.

Are there rules to colouring in?

AngelaPorter_Color Me Stress Free_teaser1I have read many times on various facebook groups how people worry that they aren’t colouring in colouring sheets or books correctly, or they are worried that their work won’t be up to scratch compared to what they see as the amazing work done by others in the groups.

I think I may be qualified to comment on this and to offer some advice, especially as I have now created hundreds of colouring templates for Color Me Calm, Color Me Happy, Color Me Stress-free, Entangled, The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book, Japanese Patterns, Scandinavian Folk Patterns, and 60’s Patterns, with more to come!

Firstly, I’d like to ask you why do you want to spend time colouring in?  Is it for relaxation?  Is it for fun?  Is it to combat boredom?  Is it to while away the time while you are poorly?  Is it for some other reason? Is it for enjoyment?  Is it to lift your mood? Is it because you love colour?  Are there other reasons?

Notice, I ask what your reasons are for colouring, not telling you what mine are.  Your reasons can be as private or as public as you wish.

The colouring templates I have created (and continue to create) have been done with relaxation, joy, enjoyment, lifting moods, taking a break from the crazy pace of modern, technology filled life.  They offer an opportunity to take an almost meditative break from every day life, space for some ‘me time’, some self-caring time.  That was, and is, the aim behind the Color Me books.

In none of the books are there a list of explicit do’s and don’ts for the use of the book (apart from the copyright stuff).  And why should there be?  They are there for you to make your own, for you to have pleasure with, for you to find ways of expressing yourself, to go back to a time of childhood innocence where there were few rules and responsibilities.  They are there for an opportunity for you to become as carefree as you wish. Rules, do’s and don’ts, am I doing it right?, and all these other judgmental thoughts or questions have no place in these books, or similar books.

You can do no wrong!  Trust me.  You really can do no wrong! Really, you are invited to do as you wish to with the colouring templates.

Want to use coloured pencils, wax crayons, chalk pastels, oil pastels, acrylic paints, marker pens, watercolours, collage, glitter, sparkly gel pens, scented pens, stickers?  Want to use many different mediums? Go for it!  Enjoy it! Do whatever you feel inspired to do, whatever you’d like to try out.

Want to split larger sections into smaller ones?  Want to join small sections into big ones?  Great!  Do what you feel you’d like to do!  Trust your instincts, trust how the image is speaking to you.

Want to fill sections in with patterns?  Want to add words or phrases?  Want to add little drawings of your own?  By all means do so!

Worried you’re breaking some rules of art, or colour theory?  Don’t worry!  There are no rules here – if it pleases you that is all that matters!  If you’re using the colouring to get some insight into your emotions or inner thoughts, then don’t worry about all that colour theory stuff, express yourself!

Worried that you’re using the media wrongly?  Don’t worry!  If it works for you, it works for you!  If you’re happy with the result and enjoyed the process, does it really matter what one person or another says?  No, it doesn’t!  If it’s not quite working for you, don’t give up, experiment, and enjoy the process of exploration, of discovery.  You do not have to be an instant expert!  It’s ok to be a learner; in fact we all learn for the whole of our lives and what is so bad about that?  Nothing!  Do you think Leonardo da Vinci just painted the Mona Lisa one day, without years of practice and experimentation, of finding out how to express himself artistically?  Of course he didn’t!

I give you permission to play, to use different media, to shade or not shade, to blend or not blend, to simplify, to make more intricate, to break the rules.

Talking of rules, where did you learn all these shoulds/should nots of colouring?  Why do you still think they are so important? Why do you think that plants can only be green, the sky blue, rocks grey, the Sun yellow, the Moon white.

Let me give you permission to make all these things, and more, any colour you want!  I give you permission to break the rules! You want pink trees with bright purple trunks – absolutely!  You want a lilac Moon – not a problem!  You want to put fuchsia pink and lime green next to each other – what a wonderful idea!

I give you permission to express yourself with colours as a child would, with no rules, but with sheer pleasure and enjoyment!

I believe that inside each and every person there is a creative soul seeking an outlet, and colouring is one way of access things, and who knows where it will lead, what new talents you will discover hiding inside yourself, who knows how it will help you heal, to find new solutions to old problems, new insights to what is going on, as you take a break from worrying and all kinds of thoughts whirling around your head.

Now, what’s the worst that can happen?  You end up disliking something, wasting a little bit of felt tip pen, using up one piece of paper with a printed image on it.  Is that a bad thing?  Ask yourself why you dislike it, what is it trying to tell you, what lessons you can learn from it.  Write notes on the image or the reverse of it, use it to explore yourself, use it in a positive way.

Remember, no one ever has to see what you have done, not unless you wish to show them.

Worried that people will be critical of what you have done?  Don’t show them!  This isn’t for other people.  It’s not a competition.  It’s not to see who can colour the smoothest or stay inside the lines (it’s quite all right to go outside the lines or not go right up to the lines too, you do what you think is right).  It’s something that is entirely for you.  If you’re pleased and proud of what you’ve done and want to share it, then please do, but don’t feel you have to.

Remember, the whole point of this is for you to enjoy yourself, to get messy, to play with different media and images and colours the way you feel you want to at any particular time.

Remember, in art there are no mistakes, only happy accidents!  Sometimes the things we think are mistakes are actually something beautiful and wondrous in their own right, something we learn from and incorporate into our future creativity.

The only ‘rules’ there are in this are the ones you impose upon yourself.  There are no colouring-in police.  There are no international laws about how to colour in.

A last note, I would love to see what you do create and the story behind it and yourself, especially if the process is helping you heal or overcome various difficulties in your life.  That is one of the dreams I have for how my art can be used.

Believe©AngelaPorter2013

This design started with the kind of infinity loop towards the top left.  The loops coming from it eventually were seen as a letter ‘B’ and the word believe seemed to be the right one to put on this.  Everything else grew, quite literally in some cases, from this point.

There are golden stars to wish upon and golden seeds and flowers and growth and sun and rain … and hope.

Approx. 6″ x 8″.  The black lines were worked using Uni-Ball UniPin pens.  Colour was applied using watercolours and gold watercolour paint.  The paper is heavyweight cartridge.

As always, I am the owner of this creation and it may not be used, shared, distributed or altered in any kind of way without permission from me.  Thank you.

Geometric arty goings on …

 

Both worked in the last 24 hours or so.  Same media for both – Sakura Glaze pens, watercolours and Cosmic Shimmer iridescent/metallic watercolour paints.

Each ‘dot’ on the mandala has a metallic centre or ring around it.

Fun to do! Engaging to create and colour … very meditative.