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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Wednesday is #wipwednesday around the interwebs and sometimes it manifests itself on this blog.
This is my current work in progress, well just a part of it. I drew the design using various pens on paper and then scanned it in. I’m part way through colouring the image. It’s going to take me many hours to finish it, but that won’t be today. I have appointments this afternoon.
I am coloring it digitally with the usual tools – Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I’m trying to keep to a winter/yule/christmas kind of colour scheme. That means the purple coloured ‘berries’ may have to be changed, but that’s easy enough to alter when working digitally.
I did use some circle, oval and hexagon templates to help me design the wreaths and snowflakes. The dot grid paper helped me draw mostly straight lines for the dangles.
I did sketch them in pencil first before inking them in with a Uniball Unipin pen. Colouring was done with various Tombow dual brush pen markers and some sparkly elements added with Uniball signo sparkle gel pens.
These would look lovely as greetings cards. In fact, I’m thinking of redrawing them digitally and using them to make my own christmas cards this year. Printing out the black line work and then colouring them with traditional media. In the past couple of years I’ve designed my christmas/winter/yule cards digitally and had them printed professionally. This year, I think I’ll do it the way I suggest in my book ‘A Dangle A Day’.
They’d also look great as note cards or as pages in a BuJo, planner, scrapboook or journal. They’d lend themselves to cute bookmarks too.
These relatively simple and small dangle designs are perfect for practicing hand lettering too. And in these four dangles I’ve used four different lettering styles.
I’ve also kept the finished designs simple by not adding any drop shadows, except around the ‘HO! HO! HO!’. Not only that, a lot of the colouring is very simple too.
I do hope you’ll have a go at designing your own, maybe using these as a bit of a guide. If you do, I’d love to see what you’ve created.
I drew this a few days ago and have only got around to coloring it today.
The hand lettering and drawing was done with Uniball Unipin pens on paper. In black and white it has an almost vintage linocut feel to it.
I did scan it in and print it out on paper more suitable for alcohol markers. I used Chameleon Duo Tone and Duotop markers. Highlights were added with a white gelly roll pen from Sakura. I then added more black lines to add more dimension in places using a Staedler Mars Matic technical drawing pen.
Not sure I’ve done too good a job with the colours. Or line shading. Or the highlights in some places.
I’m quite pleased with the black and white line drawing however.
It’s Friday, so that means it’s #dangleday! As it’s the last day of November it seems appropriate that I design a dangle design that would look fantastic as the monthly title page for a BuJO, journal, planner or just a fun design to color and frame or, printed out smaller, used on a greetings card.
As usual these days, I sketched the design out on dot grid paper and then scanned it in. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a technical drawing pen ‘brush’ to ink the design, as well as make adjustments to the design.
The final steps were to add a background colour and watermark it for sharing on the internet.
Naturally, I used my Microsoft Surface Pen along with my Microsoft Surface Studio to do the digital drawing. I think I’m going to print this design out so it will fit in my BuJo and colour it with traditional media.
This is quite a complex dangle design to look at, but it’s not that complex to create. In my book ‘A Dangle A Day’, released on 8 January 2019, I take you step by step through the process with loads and loads of examples of monograms and dangle designs for all seasons and all occasions, along with ideas of how to use them. There’s also a fair number of tips and encouraging words within the book.
If you do download, print and colour this design, I’d love to see how you’ve coloured and used it! You can find me on twitter, Instagram and facebook.