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

Joy – hand lettering

Angela Porter Joy 13 August 2018

I did hand-letter this one, though I did do it digitally using a Surface Pen on my new Surface Studio.

I love my Surface Book, which was a joy to use most of the time. However I was beginning to become a little frustrated with turning the screen around and losing the use of the keyboard and not being able to see the whole image I was working on at the actual size it would be printed.

So, as I officially take my teacher’s pension early today as I reach the illustrious age of 55, I decided to invest some of the lump sum in a shiny new Surface Studio for my business of art, illustration and writing.

The Surface Studio isn’t without it’s frustrations, not least of which were the hours and hours it took to download and install all the upgrades for Windows and the Surface system, and then installing the software I used (not done all of it quite yet).

I did get a Surface Dial with the Surface Studio, and it works interestingly with the free Autodesk Sketchbook, but it doesn’t work at all with the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro version, which is the one I prefer, perhaps because I’m familiar with it and find it easier to access the functions I make use of.

These are minor things, the Surface Studio is a joy to use (though I do need to remember to change the tip on the surface pen to one that glides more easily on the screen!)

So, it seemed appropriate that today, the day I turn 55 and become a semi-pensioner, that I hand letter the word Joy, in my own inimitable style.

I actually quite like the neon colours on the black background. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more like this now my mind has worked out that I can do stuff like this digitally.

Will I be turning my back on more traditional art? Not at all! If anything, I treat digital art as if it is traditional art – the pen means I draw like I would on paper.  All it means is I have access to tools that make some styles a little easier, the ability to use colours and textures that would be difficult for me in traditional media possible, and the ability to edit without frustrating use of white inks a dream!

Don’t forget, I do tend to work directly in ink on paper, often with no pencil lines at all.

Joy is also an appropriate word as I share my artwork because I share my joy in creating it with others, and I trust that viewing it (and hopefully my witterings like this one) joy for you.

What doesn’t bring me joy is when I find my artwork is shared or used without my permission, particularly when people use it to make money for themselves without any regard for the creator of the work. I try to protect my work by watermarking it, signing it, sharing at a low resolution, but still I find people steal my work.

That is not joy. Not joyful at all.

It is stealing too. I don’t know where people get the idea that artwork shared by artists on the interwebs means the artists give up their copyrights.

We DO NOT give up our copyrights in any way.

I sometimes create ‘freebies’, but even then there are limits to how they can be used – personal use, not for resale either coloured or uncoloured, not for inclusion in publications, and so on.

People who steal work like this, and let me be clear it is stealing, make me feel very un-joyful and on the point of removing all my accounts where I share art so people can view it and enjoy it, sometimes even buy it, or prints of it or products with it on, but not to steal it and use it without my permission.

I’m sure those of you who read this will agree with me on this and don’t need to read it, but if my words reach just one person who takes the work of others for their own personal gain in someway, without asking permission of the artist, without even crediting them or providing a link back to where they got it from, stop to think about the harm and upset they are causing to those of us who want to share our joy in our vocation with others, then my words will have done some good. Pricked a conscience or two maybe.

Perhaps then the days of me getting upset and writing emails that go unanswered to websites where I find my artwork offered to others will stop, and there will be more joy.

I can hope this will happen.

Returning to the theme of joy rather than not-joy, I do hope you find my little artwork of today brings you some joy too. Do let me know if you’d like to see more like this, or if you have suggestions of words that you’d like to see in this kind of style!

Finally, do have a joyful day yourselves. Do something that brings you peace and joy, be it art, coloring, baking, reading, dancing, playing music, a sunset walk in nature … whatever it may be, do something joyful every day.

Glorious

Angela Porter 8 June 2018

Isn’t glorious a wonderful word? I decided, after much experimentation with geometric, gem-like decoration, black outlined florals, to go with a much softer, gentler almost chalky flowers and leaves. I think the lettering looks a tad perfect, stark, against the flowers. Let me know what you think?

I’ve had a day of it with things of a computery nature. After installing the latest updates for Windows 10, my Surface Pen started to misbehave dreadfully. It took me a goodly amount of time to sort it, the fix being a simple pairing of the pen via bluetooth. Seems the updates knocked the pairing off, though not for any other of my bluetooth devices connected to my Surface Book.

It was a frustrating, and more than a tad scary, time as I panicked that the Surface and pen wouldn’t work, more so as I have a deadline for Entangled Butterflies looming.

Thank goodness I managed to find the fix, which was an obvious one, if you know about it that is!

So, I can now breathe, return to drawing entangled butterflies (I have seven illustrations left to do for the book) and calm down.

Wishing you all a #gloriousweekend #weekendvibes and #thatfridayfeeling.

Friday quote

Angela Porter 1 June 2018

I am so lucky being self-employed, doing something that brings me pleasure and never feels like work; it always feels like the weekend for me!

I sketched the words and part of the design on paper, photographed it and opened it in Autodesk Sketchbook, then used my Microsoft Surface Pen on my Microsoft Surface Book to hand-draw the letters and flower wreath.

Yes, it is hand-drawing, even though it’s done in a digital environment. I use my Surface Pen as I would any pen or pencil. I do make use of some of the tools in Autodesk Sketchbook to speed up the drawing – such as the symmetry tool, and the ability to move elements in the hand-lettering around (I’m learning not to be too fussy about size and arrangement in the sketch; that just gives me the general idea of lettering styles and sizes).

All the same, it’s a nice way to start a Friday with a decorated #fridayquote, just to get those #weekendvibes going with #thatfridayfeeling #fridayfeeling.