Monogram “a”

I got this monogram finished yesterday evening. I think I may have been a bit heavy handed with shading in some places. However, overall I like it and I like the volume or dimension that the shading adds.

I definitely enjoy working in such a detailed, intricate and organically intuitive kind of way. Having the monogram as a design to work around does help quite a bit.

On a kind of related point, I had a new A5 dot grid notebook delivered yesterday so I can start to make a collection of motifs and patterns as I use them or create them. The idea is I can winnow out those that I never/rarely use. The reason for this is that the dot grid notebook I’ve kept as a visual dictionary for the last couple of years is just about full! I will keep it as a reference, but it’s time to start a new, more relevant one I think.

I have a snazzy, teal coloured notebook, covered in vegan faux-leather. It has 218 numbered white pages that are a tad thicker than the usual dot grid notebook pages, The paper is velvety smooth and a pleasure to write/draw on. It’s made by Wordsworth & Black and I came across it on Amazon. Oh, the ink doesn’t feather, bleed through or ghost on the pages. I paid £15 for it and I’m very happy with it so far.

A little entangled

A little entangled ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today’s arty offering is this little bit of entangled art. It measures 4″ x 3″, so is small in size, but big in detail, I think.

Distress Oxide inks were used to colour a 4″ x 3″ piece of Claire Fontaine mixed media paper, with water to add extra texture to it.

I drew the design using 08 and 02 Unipin pens. To bring the design out of the background, I used Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush pens. Dots of gold and white finished the embellishment.

My final step was to apply some Distress Microglaze to add a subtle sheen that brings out the colours and layers of texture, not just to the Distress Oxide ink, but to the Pitt Artist Pens too.

I thought I’d try the Pitt Artist pens with this background as it seemed more dull and dusty, and that’s how I find the colours in the Pitt Artist Pens. Initially, I was going to keep it monochrome. However, I liked the nature of the colours in the pens, so experimented with them.

I enjoyed creating this little work of art. Now, it’ll find its way into my sketchbook-journal, with reflective notes for future reference.

Entangled Borders

Entangled Borders ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve enjoyed creating this sketchbook sampler page. I drew the designs with a mixture of Uniball Unipin pens, Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens, a medium nib Schaeffer fountain pen, and an extra-fine nib Faber Castell fountain pen. I used dot grid paper from Claire Fontaine.

After scanning the page in, I removed the dot grid and added a grungy paper background. I then decided I’d like to add some colour and shadow/light to the designs. To do this, I used a messy chalk brush, so my colouring isn’t as precise as I usually like it. However, it’s loosened up my expectations of myself as I went with it.

Pastel colours were my palette of choice as I like the way they seem to almost glow against the grungy kraft background. I also like the way they help to enhance the 3-D appearance of the designs. I do enjoy playing with shadow and light.

Some of the designs are examples of my organic, entangled style of drawing. Others are repeating, geometric zentangle-style patterns. And then there’s some inspired by Medieval illuminated manuscripts.

I also enjoy working within a clear border. I like the sense of structure it brings to my work. It also satisfies some kind of aesthetic need within me. Every now and then I try work without a border, but the artwork I produce just never feels quite right to me. So, it’s time for me to accept the need for borders is part of my artistic voice.

There is a purpose for me creating these borders. I’m building up a library of them that I can use to embellish quotes and other projects.

Some of these borders would look fab as greeting cards note cards, bookmarks, and to use in other paper craft projects. They’d also work well as embellishments for BuJo, planner, diary, scrapbook and journal pages.

Others would be a great foundation for dangle designs (my book “A Dangle A Day” is a good place to start drawing dangle designs).

What I do know, is that I find drawing soothing and relaxing. So, I’m going to be spending the rest of my Sunday drawing more borders.

Entangled flora

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

One of the nice things about being between contracts is being able to indulge myself in art. It’s also a chance for me to do ‘comfort art’, art that is in a familiar style that I don’t often do.

This is an example of ‘comfort art’. Art that is soothing to do, is intuitive and surprising in how it turns out. I start with pen and paper (dot grid in this case), and just start with a single motif. I then let the design grow from that point, organically and intuitively.

There are always sticking points where I want to give up as it doesn’t look right, or I’m not happy with what I’ve just drawn. However, I’ve learned to persevere past these points and the end design is usually one I’m happy enough with.

There were many sticking points in this one, some of which I thought were going to be shatter points.

Although I’ve deemed this illustration ‘done’, as I reflect on it now, I can see places where some added line texture would help the design be less homogeneous in places and would add some contrast.

Also, some shadows would help add dimension to the illustration. Having said that, colour would really bring the drawing to life too.

For now, though, this design is finished. Whether I work some more on it remains to be seen.

I used Uniball Unipin pens to draw this design, along with ClaireFontaine Sketch dotgrid paper. The only things I did digitally were to scan the design in, remove the dots of the dot grid, and add the background colour and texture and watermarks.

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.

Mandala in succulent colours

Mandala in succulent colours © Angela Porter 2019
Mandala in succulent colours © Angela Porter 2019

I do struggle with colour schemes at times. I either go crazy overboard with bright, vibrant, rainbow colours or monochrome. For this one, I took the colours from some images of succulents and used small colour palette of just five basic colours, with varying tones of those colours to achieve the depth I like in my artwork.

The colour palette is also a bit different for me, much more muted, subdued. That may reflect my current emotional and mental weather. I’m not as gloomy as I have been over the past few weeks, but it certainly isn’t as bright and sunny as it can be.

I always find creating soothing to my mind and emotions. It’s my main self-care activity. It’s not the only one, but it’s the main one. Others include crochet/knitting, reading, napping. I’d like to add going for a walk to that list, but on days like today that can be difficult for me to do. Weekends tend to be more peopley than I can cope with even on the best of my days.

I have invited my sister over for a meal this evening. However, I’m not up to facing the craziness of a Saturday supermarket to do the shopping, so I’ll take her out for a meal instead. That would do me some good too, a change of scene and someone else cooking for me. It will also allow me to conserve what energy I have at the moment. I’m so tired all the time after a few very draining weeks through EMDR and Time to Change Wales anti-stigma talks.

Sunday Morning Art

Abstract wip 24 March 2019 Copyright Angela Porter Artwyrd.com
Abstract wip 24 March 2019 Copyright Angela Porter Artwyrd.com

Spending a lazy Sunday morning (and early afternoon) digitally colouring this drawing and using it as an exercise in learning more about different kinds of brushes in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio are my other tools for this, though the image was drawn with a Lamy Fountain pen on Rhodia dot grid paper.

I’m finally feeling more settled than I have been all week. Just in time for EMDR tomorrow! Typical. Still, it’s nice to feel settled for sure.

Mandala

Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
Mandala © Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com

I worked on this mandala over a couple of days. it has a whole range of new motifs in it and is rather organic in nature, with plenty of pods and seeds included. I’m quite happy with it. I think there’s a kind of flow of design and the colours are vibrant enough to please me.

I really wasn’t at all sure about my colour choices as I added colour to the mandala. The beauty of digital art is that it’s much easier to change the colour, which I did do in just a couple of sections. The colour changes means I’m a lot happier with it.

It has no name as I’m not very good at thinking up names for my artwork. Perhaps I should just find some kind of quirky way of lettering or numbering the designs in future.

Drawn and coloured using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

Mental Wellbeing

Today I’m feeling really tired and I don’t feel I have many words at the moment – despite what my blog may suggest.

My fingers, hands and wrists are also rather achy which is making typing or drawing (either digitally or traditionally) rather painful. I don’t know what’s caused that. Yesterday I did do a lot of drawing with pencil on paper – sketches for my new book – and a lot of digital art too. No more than I often do though.

I suspect a bit of self-care is needed. I am feeling a bit low. Tiredness doesn’t help, but I’ve slept really well the last couple of days.

Maybe it’s the grey, wet, windy day.

Maybe it’s just emotional weather with no real cause.

Maybe it’s the start of the buildup to EMDR on Monday.

I just know that like the weather my mood will change and brighten.

Decorated Terry Pratchett Quote and Chameleon Pencils first impressions

Angela Porter 23 July 2018

Another quote from Terry Pratchett. This one from one of my favourite characters – Death. Death tries so hard to understand humanity, yet he gets it both very wrong and quite right at the same time.

I like the way I’ve added colour to my black and white line art in this example, but one day I hope to get around to colouring in the black and white version.

Maybe I’ll print the art out and then colour it in using Chamelon Pen’s ColorTone Pencils, which arrived yesterday.

I have spent some time  colouring with them and so far I quite like them.

They are softer than Polychromos and others, but not quite as soft as Prismacolours. They blend quite nicely, and a little help from a blending pencil results in really nice blends.

I like the colour palette; the colours are nice and bright and just the colours I love to use in my art, which is a huge, huge bonus! As I often struggle to choose and use colours in a sensible manner when I have a huge choice, the limited palette of 50 colours is really useful for me, as are the double ended pencils. Being able to flip to add shadow or light is a nice touch, though I would like a bit more contrast between some of the colours as some are a bit too similar.

The leads are a bit thicker than other pencils, such as Prismacolours. However, this makes the barrels of the pencils a bit too thick for a standard pencil sharpener. My Staedtler pencil sharpener – the ones with the handles that you turn around – should cope well with them though.

At a price point of £45 on Amazon.co.uk with free prime delivery I think they’re good value for money, even though you essentially have 50 half-sized pencils. However, the thicker colour leads make up for that to some degree.

I’ve not been able to find out if you can buy individual pencils when some wear down. However, I can’t see that being a big issue as I suspect that I’ll use most of the pencils fairly equally.

 

If you want to know what a person’s like – revisited

Angela Porter 16 July 2019

I thought I’d revisit the previous quote, alter the words a bit and this is the result.

I used an oldy looking type-writer font for the quote and printed it out, I used a Sakura Pigma Micron PN pen to draw the design around it. I then scanned it in and altered the colours in Autodesk Sketchbook.

I learned a new ‘trick’ when using sketchbook, completely by accident, and it’s one I want to explore a little more in the future, especially for adding gradient colours to black and white work.

This would look lovely printed out and added to my BuJo, or even framed and hung on my wall.