One Frosty Morning – a mandala design

©Angela Porter 2019

I’ve had a very pleasant two or three hours this afternoon creating this mandala.

It’s quite different to my usual styles of mandalas and I rather like it. I also rather like the monochrome colour scheme which inspired the title of this mandala.

Drawing in colour is a departure for me from the usual black line drawings which are then filled in with colour and/or pattern. I’m uncomfortable drawing other things in colour without that black line to define their shape/form. But mandalas are a whole different thing. They are a way for me to explore this way of working with colour.

What is exciting is that I carve into bold shapes, removing colour and adding more designs and interest. This is something that working digitally has allowed me to both discover and to begin to explore. The ability to add colour, remove colour, refine by adding more colour, and so on is what makes creating something like this a little easier than with traditional media, but it is what is allowing me to express my creativity in different ways.

I am really pleased with this design. It’s one of those that makes me smile for two main reasons. The first is I like it, lots. The second is the satisfaction of exploring something new and discovering a new, different and personally satisfying way to work.

My drawing tool was a Microsoft Surface Pen. My paper was the screen of my Microsoft Surface Studio. Autodesk Sketchbook Pro provided my colours and other tools so I could create this mandala design, which I think is lovely.

Monogram D entangled design (with some little dangles)

I had a day or two of subconscious reflection on how to pattern around a letter after not being all that happy with the lower case b design. So, I wanted to put my vague ideas into practice.

Yes, they were vague ideas, no clear idea of how I wanted things to look, but I just wanted to try them out and see where they led.

I started with a faint pencil outline of an uncial style letter d, and then used a fine nibbed Rotring Art Pen with black ink to draw the design with.

I used the pencil line as a guide to where the entangled designs would either butt up to the edge, spill over the edge or curl over it and I just let the designs flow and grow. I also left the design in an organic shape rather than working to a square or rectangular shape.

I did work on a piece of A4 paper, but the design is a little over a quarter of the size of the paper. I can’t believe I did such teeny-tiny drawings again! I really enjoyed it!

In some places I’ve made the edge too hard, too linear. In one place I tried to correct that (lower left of the d) by adding more bits to the pattern, but that linear line is still evident. However, it’s all learning.

After scanning in, I wanted to add some texture and a bit of colour to that letter to help it stand out more. I may try doing the reverse as in colouring the design in and leaving the letter plain later. I may even try using some watercolour brushes in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, using my Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

I have designated friday as #dangleday, and I did add some tiny, fine danglesto the design. Dangles don’t always have to be big and fancy or a prominent feature of designs, like in my book ‘A Dangle A Day‘.

Holly Mandala

© Angela Porter 2018

Holly is the major motif in this mandala, along with stars and geometric patterns.

Again, it’s a mandala I’m pleased with. The green metallic designworks quite nicely with the stark black background. I like the simplicity of the motifs too; they remind me of lino cuts just a little.

This one was, too, created with a Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Christmas Dangle Design

©Angela Porter
Design from ‘A Dangle A Day’, authored and illustrated by Angela Porter

It’s Friday so it’s #dangleday. Today, I wanted to share a Christmas Dangle with you from my book ‘A Dangle A Day’. In the book I show how this design was drawn, step by step.

When I created this design, I first drew it in pencil on dot grid paper. The next step for me was to scan it in to the computer and then re-draw it step-by-step, saving each step as I went. For the book, the final step was to colour the design and then write the instructions to go with the images. My tools for this were a Microsoft Surface Book, a Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I wanted to include as many Christmas-themed charms to create the dangles as I could and still keep the design balanced. I also kept the length of the dangles uneven. The waviness in the ends of the dangles echoes the waviness of the fairy lights above the hand lettered word ‘Christmas’.

What I did this morning was to print the black and white line art design on an A4 sheet of paper. Then I used Chameleon Duo Tones and Color Tops markers to colour it in.

These pens make it easy to create gradations of colour, such as on the hand lettering. These gradations add ‘dimension’ to the charms and dangles. I keep the darker shades to the left and bottom of the designs so that there’s a consistency across the whole image. I also used a pale grey marker to add drop shadows to the left and bottom of the design elements; again this helps to add dimension to the design.

Finally, I added some highlights with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. I also added some sparkles around the fairy lights and individual stars with a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some sparkle!

Used individually with a monogram or Christmassy image the dangles would make lovely book marks. Printed at A5 in size, the design would make a fabulous BuJo page for the big day itself. It would also make a lovely design for greetings cards or note cards.

Of course, it would be easy to change the word at the top to, perhaps, Winter or Yule and use fewer dangles to suit the length of the word. Personally, I like to use an odd number of dangles wherever possible – it gives a more balanced design.

E is for … Dangle design

It’s Friday so it’s #dangleday! E is for … echinacea (cone flower), envelope, earphones, Earth, eight (or eleven, or eighteen or eighty – you get the idea), eight-sided octagon, eighth-notes (semiquavers).

Purple and gold are complementary colours so I chose them for the pusscat, the monogram and the octagon with my initials in it. I chose silver as the colour for the frame around the monogram simply because it’s my favourite metal and I fancied a change from gold beads and so on. Pink hearts and earphone accents. Yes, the headphones had to have cat ears on them, and yes, I have a pair like this, but the ears are blue.

Cute kitties, cute charms and letters. Looking at the monogram now, the letter could do with a shadow around it, but it’ll do as is.

I sketched the design on dot grid paper. After scanning the sketch in, I inked it in using a Microsoft Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Studio screen. When I was happy with the line art, I added colour and texture to the dangle design. The final steps were to create a coloured and textured background and a drop shadow for the design.

A nice way to spend a couple of hours on a cool, grey, damp Friday morning.

If you like dangle designs and would like to try your hand at drawing your own then my upcoming book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available to preorder ahead of it’s release in January 2019. In the book I take you through drawing monograms and dangle designs in easy steps. The book includes lots and lots of examples and ideas for designs too.

It’s also #furbabyfriday across the interwebs, including on Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. Why not pop over and share pictures of your fur babies with the group members.

Inktober 2018 Day 29 ‘Double’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 29 'Double' coloured

This morning I wanted to do something that would be fairly quick to do as I really do have to get all the templates for my newest coloring book done before Wednesday.

So, when I saw today’s prompt for Inktober 2018 was ‘double’, my mind thought of a mandala.

Why? Well, because I used an even number of repetitions for the pattern it’s based on ‘doubling’ the designs, kind of. Maths is not one of my skills in general.

Also, there’s going to be a double take on this mandala – I really wanted to colour it more traditionally, but for speed I used the tools available in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to create gradients and layers for the coloring.

I did draw this digitally, again using the symmetry tool for speed of drawing.

I will revisit this in terms of coloring, doubling my work on it, once my work for the book is done.

So, with no futher to-do, I will post this and head off to get another mug of tea and then start the day’s work.

Inktober 2018, Day 2 – Tranquil

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 2 - Tranquil

Working on catching up with Inktober daily prompts.

For tranquil it had to be a mandala in calming shades of blue.

This one I did digitally; it still has taken me nearly 2 hours of work to complete. Mind you, if I’d done it traditionally it would most likely have taken me all day!

I used my Surface pen, Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I made use of the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook, but I didn’t use any smoothing/predictive lines. So, it was a lot like drawing with traditional pens and fineliners – the only aid I made use of was that symmetry tool.

This was drawn on one layer, though I did use a lower layer with guidelines in for the symmetry lines.

Not only does it look tranquil to me, it was a very calming process to draw this.

#Inktober2018