Template Thursday (on a Wednesday)!

The template

I’ve created this week’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group a day early this week.

This has been drawn with a Sakura Micron 05 pen on smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper (acid-free of course). I’ve added the background and colour digitally, keeping to a wintry, night-time kind of theme. Of course, this will work for any season at all, and any time of day.

As always, I look forward to seeing all the amazing, colourful interpretations of this template.

Taking a big of a break

I may not be as active on social media over the next few days. Christmas and New Year are difficult times of year for me emotionally and mentally and I know taking myself off into a largely Christmas-free bubble helps me drift through this time, as well as deal with anything that may creep in and cause some upset in me.

I know I’m not the only person who has difficulties with their emotional and mental health this year. Given all that has happened in the world this year, the huge number of people who have passed away during the pandemic and measures taken for people to keep themselves and their families free of Covid at this time, many more than usual will be struggling.

Being by myself at this time of year is not new to me, nor is withdrawing from the world at this time. I find it exhausting to keep up a mask of seasonal jollity when I feel anything but that. I find it easier to deal with whatever finds its way into my safe-bubble. It’s easier to deal with being alone if I do my best to carry on as normal.

I’m aware of what things I can do to self-care and self-soothe. Art. Music. Books, Films. TV. Naps. Nice food. Meditation.

Do you have a list? Have you learned to give yourself permission to take care of yourself, give yourself time and space to self-soothe?

Learning to give yourself permission to look after yourself, even if it means saying ‘no’ or setting limits, is one of the hardest things to do. And it takes a lot of practice. But it is one of the most important things we can learn to do.

I remind myself this is for just a few days a year, and that soon after the celebrations are done, life returns to ‘normal’, whatever that is in these pandemic times.

Winter Solstice 2020

All the best of the blessings of the season to you one and all!

Today, the Sun passes into Capricorn, marking the astronomical start of winter. It’s one of the shortest days of the year as well, and so it seems right that as the days get longer, the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere strengthens, that it is seen as the ending of one orbit around the Sun, and the start of a new one.

Of course, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Summer Solstice!

Template Thursday

It’s that day again – Template Thursday!

Each Thursday throughout the pandemic I’ve designed a colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, the design has one big focal point motif of a zentangle-inspired Christmas Tree. It’s cute and whimsical, and is surrounded by holly, mistletoe, gifts, stars and baubles. Of course there’s some hearts there too.

Although the drawing is quite detailed, it’s split into smaller sections. This is great if you only have a bit of time or feel overwhelmed by the whole image. This way you can do one section at a time.

There’s a couple of reasons I usually only colour part of the template. One is a question of time when I have other things that have to be done. The other is that it shows the difference colour makes to the drawing, how it brings it to life.

I love to see how colourists bring my drawings to life with colour and how unique each person’s approach to colouring is. Every time I see one coloured it brings a smile to my face. I have so many colouring books published, so many templates drawn that I don’t have time to colour them all myself.

But when I see a template I wasn’t happy with all coloured in and how wonderful it looks, it not only makes me smile, but it gives me a little confidence boost that my drawings may be just good enough after all.

Yes, I suffer with imposter syndrome and a lack of self-confidence still.

For the rest of the day I really do need to get on with my Christmas card design for this year and get the moonpig ones sorted out and sent off.

Template Thursday

It’s template Thursday! As it’s December, my templates will have wintry, themes, all with the emphasis on bringing light and colour into our lives during the last weeks of the year.

As I live in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the last few days of autumn. However, no matter where you live in the world, there are always starry night skies, and I suspect stars will feature a lot in the templates. Not just because I love stars, but because I’m working on Entangled Starry Skies.

This template is available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans facebook group.

Season’s Greetings Coloring Template

Season’s Greetings (c) Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve created a third December colouring template for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, and here’s my partly coloured version.

If you’d like to download and print the template to colour, then all you need to do is pop over to the group and join! It’s free!

I’m flagging at the moment. I didn’t sleep much last night; I’ve picked up some kind of stomach bug and so was back and forth the bathroom. My tummy is still not well today. I was, however, determined to get a seasonal greeting out to one and all.

Drawn with Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens. Typography and colouring done digitally.

Winter Solstice 2019

Winter Solstice 2019 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve been awake since way before dawn drawing this mandala to celebrate the Winter Solstice. I’m looking forward to the increased hours of daylight, though it will be a couple of weeks, or so, before there’s any noticeable difference in the length of day.

It’s been a lovely way to spend the hours as night gradually gives way to the sun. Not that I can see the Sun itself; grey skies and patches of rain obscure the golden wonder of that glowing ball of nuclear fusion.

I created the mandala using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Merry and Bright

©Angela Porter 2018

A Christmas Greeting

Wishing everyone who visits this little space on the interwebs all the very best blessings and wishes of the season.

I also wish to thank you for visiting, for sharing my posts.

However you spend this day, whether with friends, family, at work, or by yourself, I wish you well and the best.

About this image

I woke early-ish this morning and had an idea that involved creating this mandala/wreath design, so I had to do it!

Unusually, I drew the motifs in colour! Yup. No black line, just colour.

They’re all very simple with simple colour gradations. The black lines were created by removing colour so the dark background would show through.

I think the outer ring of leaves could be a little lighter, but then it does give a sense of the outer ring bending away, with the hearts and mistletoe on the high point of the ‘wreath’.

Adding texture to the design helped to scuff up the perfection of the colours.

I really enjoyed doing this, as simple as it is.

I am really grateful that I used an insulated mug for my gingerbread mocha latte this morning – I forgot all about it for over 3 hours, so engrossed in my art as I was, and it’s now just the perfect temperature for drinking!

My tools were Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. Yes, this is a digital piece of art.

The rest of the day I intend to spend in arty/creative pursuits, including finishing off my knitted cuddly triceratops (yes, I know yesterday I incorrectly said it was a stegosaurus).

Winter Solstice 2018

©Angela Porter 2018

Winter begins! It’s the end of one astronomical cycle and the start of a new one. Winter Solstice is one of my favourite days of the year, along with All Hallow’s Eve. There’s always a feeling of excitement on this day that’s associated with ending and beginnings. Time to lay to rest that which is completed to make way for the new that replaces them as the Sun symbolically ‘dies’ on this day and will begin to ‘grow’ again in the days that follow until the Summer Solstice. It’s also a time to be grateful too.

I know there are many endings and beginnings; every moment in our lives is both an ending and a beginning. However, I feel that days like this, where we can focus on this never ending process in a bigger, more symbolic, more formal way, is important. Traditions are important as they bring a semblance of order to our rather chaotic lives.

I spent some time yesterday drawing this mandala to go with today. The dull gold represents the weakness of the Sun, relatively speaking. I’ve included mistletoe, holly and ivy as they’re traditionally associated with this day. I’ve also added berries as symbolic of the fruits of gratitude I carry for all the days since the last Winter Solstice. And, of course, there are plenty of sun-ray-like motifs and patterns. And stars. Plenty of stars, which from a distance look like snow drifting down.

Yes, I can say I’m rather pleased with this mandala. That’s not something I say often as I’m highly critical of myself and my work. But this one I really do like. I like the more graphic nature of the motifs. I like my hand lettering. I like the rhythm and flow of the design with the rings of designs radiating out.

So, I wish you all the very best that comes with the Winter Solstice, for today and all the days ahead of you and yours.

This was created using a Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a gold texture purchased via Creative Market.

Yuletide dangle design

©Angela Porter 2018

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, or Yule. So, I wanted to create a dangle design for Yuletide, and wish you all the blessings of the season.

On the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day and from here on in the amount of daylight begins to increase once again, albeit very slowly at first.

People gather at prehistoric monuments, such as Stonehenge, Newgrange and Avebury, to watch the sunrise on this day. These monuments have Winter Solstice alignments. That’s why I’ve got a pair of big stones framing the sun.

Of course I had to include holly, mistletoe and some evergreens in the design, along with stars, hears and a couple of cute robins.

It is a digital piece of art which started life as a pencil drawing on dot grid paper. The design was scanned in and re-drawn using a Microsoft Surface pen on the screen of my Microsoft Studio in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I did make use of the mirror symmetry tool to help me with the symmetrical nature of the design. I hand lettered the sentiment in the ribbon.

I did colour this quickly using gradient fills – yesterday I really wasn’t up to doing much. I am feeling a bit better today, though drained after a quick visit to my local town to run a couple of errands. I’m really easy to startle at the moment and me being jumpy at every noise and the number of people out and about was something I kind of expected but hoped I wouldn’t experience today.

I’m safely back home now and am starting to calm down a little, though I feel exhausted. So, the rest of the day will be spent quietly for sure.

I do have a Winter Solstice mandala to share tomorrow, and I’m rather pleased with this one. So, do pop back tomorrow.

‘A Dangle A Day’ is published on 8 Jan 2019.

Noel – Entangled Design

©Angela Porter, Artwyrd.com

I always have fun when drawing and creating, including this design. In it I’ve combined some of my entangled design elements along with winter/Christmas doodles. 

To start, I hand lettered ‘Noel’ using a guide for the shape of the lettering I wanted. Then, I printed it out so I could add the black and white line art using a 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.

Once that was done, the finished lineart was scanned back into the Microsoft Surface Studio, a transparent background created and some smudges cleaned up. 

Finally, I could colour it. Today, I chose to use the color gradient tools, which does make the job of colouring a bit quicker, but it also results in a rather ‘shiny’ look too. Or perhaps that’s simply due to the colours I choose for the gradients.

I had fun adding the glowing stars and sparkles to this one, though I’m not sure I’ve got that right.A nice way to spend the morning and early afternoon as the weather has been wet and very windy at times here.