Mandala

Black and white mandala.

This morning was a morning that I needed to do some art that was familiar, calming, soothing and intricate enough that I could lose myself in it. A mandala always fits that bill. Always. It doesn’t matter if it’s drawn with pen and ink on paper or digitally. The mindful, calming effect is the same. It’s the process that matters, the repetitive shapes and patterns that are drawn that contribute greatly to the soothing effect.

I do tend to gravitate towards digital art, and I find the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro helps to save a lot of time. The ability to erase ink removes the frustration that a mistake creates for the hyperperfectionist part of me.

Other than those time-saving (and frustration-saving) tools, the process of mandala drawing is the same for me.

It starts by using a compass, protractor and ruler to set out the circular grid. Then, it’s digital pen on screen to draw the mandala in exactly the same way as I would on paper, just without so much repetition of sections.

However this was created, it has served it’s purpose – given me some time and space for inner peace and contentment.

Template Thursday

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another week in lock-down has passed us by here in the UK, as well as many places around the world. That means it’s time for another weekly coloring template.

This week, the inspiration for this template has come from the pages full of capsules, pods and seeds in my sketchbook. Lots of opportunity to experiment with colour, but also adding little details to each tiny picture.

If you’d like to download and print this template, then pop along to the facebookgroup – Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans – and you can do so for free (terms and conditions for use do apply).

Drawn using Sakura Pigma micron pens (05 and 01) on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper.
Clean up of drawing, colouring and typography done digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

WIP

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I woke at stupid o’clock with a migraine/stress-come-down-headache. It took a couple of hours before I could get back to sleep. I’m still headachy and so tired. However, before I try to sleep off the dregs of the migraine-headache I wanted to do something artistic, and this is what I started. Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface and Surface Slim Pen.

No idea of what to create, just went with the flow.

Template Thursday

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

The weeks are flying by! It seems like hardly any time at all since I posted last week’s coloring template. I decided at the start of the Covid-19 quarrantine that I’d design a weekly coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. And so far I’ve managed to do that.

And here, partly coloured, is this week’s offering. I look forward, as always to seeing the coloured templates by members of the group. I love the way that they use different colours and interpret the design differently!

The template is only available in the facebook group, and is for free. I know how much colouring and creativity can help people manage their emotional and mental health. Creating art and being creative certainly helps me, especially if I have a good audiobook on or uplifting music!

I created this design digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Tranquility

Tranquility ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Not sure I’ve captured the sensation of tranquility all that well. All I can say is that I gained a sense of tranquility whilst drawing the mandala.

I’m tired today. Again, I woke way too early and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I thought I’d try to do some art to soothe and relax me.

Background texture – Distress Oxide inks on Daler-Rowney mixed media paper.

Mandala – Digital art using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.

The purpose of art…

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I often wonder about the purpose of art, the purpose of my art, and can never find the words or ideas to express. So, I’ve fallen back on a favourite quote of mine from Picasso.

It embodies how I feel about creating art. Being creative helps me to dust myself off, find myself back in the present, and to find my sense of balance and contentment. Being creative is so important to me each and every day, more so during the Covid-19 crisis and lock down.

I unashamedly make art that is a reflection of what makes my heart sing – line, pattern, abstract shapes, stylised forms, colour, intricacy. I soak up inspiration from all kinds of things and process it all unconsciously and intuitively to draw and paint things that are pretty and show what I find fascinating visually and that give me a sense of wonder and awe.

My art is, and will always be, a reflection of my heart, soul and mind.

I do, however, sometimes worry that my art hasn’t anything to say about the world, that makes people think about things. That my art is just … pretty.

What the world needs now, however, is some prettiness and beauty in it to dilute the worry and fear and ugliness that abounds. I’d like to think that my art helps in that process just a little.

Today’s mandala and typography were created digitally. I usually use a background from one of the collections I’ve purchased online, but today I used one I created. I used Affinity Publisher to produce the typography and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for the artwork. My tools are by Microsoft – Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio.

My new facebook profile banner.

Just a quick bit of fun this morning. I thought it would be nice to create a little banner for my facebook account and page, and this is the result. Something a bit mystical in nature.

Digital art created with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with the usual Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.

I used this as an opportunity to try out some new ideas, and it’s worked out well enough I think.

Today, I’m feeling content, at ease and that inner smile is back. It’s nice, once again, to have the windows open a little and to feel the gentle flow of cooler air into my work space warmed by hazy sunlight.

Being creative certainly does help me to find and keep my sense of contentment and to keep the anxiety and fear at bay.

Now, it’s time for me to go get my breakfast. I was so determined to create this new border that I got lost in it!

Floral Mandala

Floral Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

The art

I’ve finally finished this mandala. I like the design and patterns, but I wish I’d not used the yellowy greens and teals. There’s no much I can do now, however, as I collapsed all the layers as I went. Something to try to remember not to do in future. I also need to try an even more limited palette, maybe monochrome in my next mandala.

Digital art created using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and a Microsoft Surface Studio.

So, how are you doing today Angela?

I’m doing just fine today. I slept fairly well last night and the sun is shining once more today. I have windows open upstairs to let some cooler, fresher air into the home (of course everyone’s more than six feet away from the, apart from birds and the odd cat who wanders onto my windowsills at the back of the house).

It’s lovely to feel both the warmth of the radiant infrared light from the sun and coolness of the gentle air flow on my skin. Definitely one of life’s little pleasures!

Creating art is also another pleasure, which I have done this morning with my mandala. Something else that lifts my heart. And while I was finishing this mandala, I was listening to ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ audiobook on Audible. Again, something that I really enjoy – listening to a story.

My first mug of tea has been had and it was a satisfyingly comforting experience, as always. I had some dried cranberries in my delivery yesterday, so I had a sprinkling of them in my morning porridge, along with some golden sultanas. The cranberries glowed like jewels in the porridge, which was lovely to see.

I’m not quite sure what I’ll do after I’ve finished my social media posting today. I could do with another mug of tea. Maybe I’ll draw or colour some more paper to draw on. I have crocheting, cross-stitching and knitting to do. And of course there’s plenty of books I’ve yet to read, or listen to. And I’ve got a few seasons of Criminal Minds left to watch too!

As long as I’m purposefully busy, often creatively, I can keep the anxiety and fear of Covid19 at bay. As soon as I start thinking about the pandemic, the uncertainty of the present time, and of the future, anxiety and fear starts to well up again. Healthy distractions are needed to cope with the overwhelming nature of it all.

I am trying to notice all the little things in each day I take for granted – both those that I can still do, and the things that are missing from my life at the moment, such as walking in the park or countryside, day trips and cake runs, popping to the shop, going out for a meal, attending meetings with like-minded souls, being able to just go out for a drive, visiting the museum or churches and abbeys…

I know that each day we go through this pandemic we are one day closer to it’s end. Life will return to some normalcy, but I think it will also be changed in many ways too, hopefully for the better.

#Inktober52 Weeks 8, 9 & 10

#Inktober 52 weeks 8, 9 & 10 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today, I thought I’d tackle the last three weeks of #Inktober52 in the form of a digital sketchbook page.

I took it as an opportunity to try out the new techniques I’ve been learning in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, and a chance to try out different ways of using them.

One of the prompts was for ‘spider’. You can see the basic sketch I started with for one spider, and the main steps I took. I drew a cuter, face-on spider as well, trying out some other techniques.

I’m really pleased with the cute spider; I really had to figure out how to lose the line art I drew to begin with and I kind of ‘dissolved’ it into the colours.

For wave I ended up drawing some simple waves and colouring them in ‘flat’.

Elf was the most troublesome prompt. I don’t like to draw people, so did a couple of elf hats, and then I thought I’d write the word elf in different styles, including an elvish script, runes, Star Wars alphabets and some hand-lettering too. This turned out to be a good idea as I got to practice my digital hand lettering!

I would like to revisit the lettering and add shadows/highlights to the letters to help them look less ‘flat’. Maybe I’ll do that after I’ve done my ‘adulting’ that I need to get done today.

Just in case you’re interested, this sheet took me over five hours to complete. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.

Flipbook Sketchbook Page

This morning I needed to do something arty to give me a bit of a break from the butterfly. So, I decided to create a digital sketchbook page in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It dawned on me that I could record the steps I took to create this page as a flipbook, which is what I did.

The little drawings include just a few of my favourite motifs/patterns that crop up in my colouring book pages or templates quite often, as well as in my artwork in general.

Creating little blocks of colour to draw on that aren’t perfect shapes is different for me, and not so easy for me to do it turns out.

I find creating flipbooks fun, and it’s a nice way to share a little of my process with people too. It’s also a nice way to shake up my creativity a little, to do something a bit different, especially when I need a break from a project I’m working on.

I used Movavi Video Suite 2020 to slow the flipbook animation down so it can be followed as a tutorial, as well as to add the intro/outro screens and music.

As always, my digital tools are Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Slim Pen.