Whimsical, Imaginative, Stylised Sea ‘plants’.

I say ‘plants’ as they all have seeds inside them. They could, however, be critters of the sea urchin family, albeit a bit on the alien side!

I drew all five designs in today’s Draw With Me video on YouTube. I added colour to the first two on the video. But as YouTube was taking its own sweet time to upload and process the video, I decided to complete the group of designs.

There are a few favourite patterns that I tend use to add texture to my drawings these days – tangle patterns tipple, between, and diva dance. I do make use of other patterns involving lines and dots.

I think I went overboard with the tipple on the middle sea plant! Still, you learn by doing…hopefully eventually in my case!

Oh, I used alcohol markers to add colour and shadow. I chose yellow-green, yellow and yellow-orange colours today. Keeping to a limited colour palette really helps me work with colour in a way that is pleasing to me.

It was really enjoyable to do, as drawing always is.

I followed this up with work on my next colouring book. The style of drawing is different to what I’ve been doing of late, so the first template I’ve inked in and added colour to so I can see what it will look like coloured. Well, I’ve partly coloured it. Colour really does make all the difference. I do love black and white drawings/lettering. But for these stylised, whimsical, imagined kind of drawings, like my colouring templates, the colour is what really does bring them to life.

Draw With Me – Part 2 – Adding texture, pattern and colour to circle motifs

Click on this link to view the video that accompanies this image on YouTube.

I felt the need to spend some time adding more pattern and texture to some of these abstract, stylised circular (ish) motifs. First, however, I added some colour to most of them. I used Ecoline Brush Pens which contain Ecoline watercolour ink. The colours are very intense and vibrant and so I use a water brush to add them to my drawings. I listened to Andy Serkis’ reading of Lord of the Rings while colouring before starting to video.

Water-based media do vex me somewhat. However, I’m beginning to see how the textures that can be achieved with them make interesting backgrounds behind the patterns/textures drawn in pen.

It was fun to experiment with dropping colours and/or water into the first layer of watercolour ink and watch them spread and mix. It’s a kind of magic and is totally mesmerising. The paper I’m using, Canson Imagine mixed media paper, isn’t the best for this, but it’s adequate. Time to dig out the watercolour paper again for sketchbook exercises like this I think.

It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours this Saturday morning. I don’t know when I’ll add more pattern/texture with pens, or possibly metallic inks or paints with fine brushes, to the remaining motifs. What I do know is it will be both explorative and intriguing and mesmerising and magical, and I’ll work out my relationship with all these mediums a little bit more.

And, perhaps, have a better relationship with colour!

This is one of the important functions of sketchbooks. Yes, I often do complete, polished, finished drawings in them. But finally working out that I can also practice, experiment and ‘art’ just for enjoyment in them is a bit of a revelation. One that I’m enthusiastic to share!

It’s also lovely that, through the medium of YouTube, I can ‘teach’ and encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, I make things clear and simple. And increasing someone’s confidence, the willingness to give it a go and see what happens without judgement, just learning from the experience. Sometimes the lesson to be learned is that it’s a relaxing process, a break from the outer world that can bear down on us. Other times it is trying out media or colour schemes or just practising.

I’m sure I’ve not given a comprehensive list! One of the most important things is that, just like a diary, no one ever has to look inside your sketchbook, unless you choose to share.

Creativity is part of being human. Working out the ways to express that creativity, what expresses a part of the inner self, is part of who we are. Art is one way to do that, and the only person we need to compare ourselves to is ourselves! As we journey and try things out we find out who we are by discovering who we are not. And it’s a journey that never ceases!

Draw With Me … Adding texture, pattern and colour to circle motifs

Today felt like the right day to start jazzing up these simple circle motifs with some texture and pattern before adding colour.

I kept the methods of adding pattern/texture really simple – just lines and circles combined in different ways. It’s amazing how just small, simple patterns can make a difference to the motifs, making them look a lot more intricate than they are.

It’s sketchbook work, so this is a pretty messy page, but that’s fine. I’m learning that getting ideas down quickly as a reference/resource for future work is a good thing. And if they’re messy, then that’s fine! Even with the messy bits, the ideas are clearly seen.

Colour is still the thing that vexes me, and the sketchbook is where I can explore colours and, perhaps, find my confidence in them.

Of course, there’s a video tutorial to go with this sketchbook page, which is only partly done. You can view the tutorial by clicking on this link.

Template Thursday

It’s Template Thursday once again. This week’s template is an entangled sampler kind of thing. Sometimes, the whole image is overwhelming, or perhaps there’s just not enough time to do a large area. These kinds of samplers have lots of smaller designs within them. Choose one of a size you can manage or for the time you have. Complete it one motif at a time, just as a stitcher would complete a sampler one stitch or motif at a time.

If you’d like to access this template, for free, then you need to be a member of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The group is free to join and the members are lovely. There’s a monthly color palette challenge and I’m trying to get my head around time zones to organise some get togethers on zoom.

The template was drawn with pen on paper. I’ve added colour digitally.

Tuesday – time for self-care

Well, I pushed on yesterday and finished this particular drawing. Lots of texture/patterning has been added. I’ve also temporarily added a pale grey-blue background until I decide how I want to add shadow/highlight/colour to this particular drawing.

I won’t be doing that today, however. I’m still feeling all out of sorts and I really don’t trust myself with colour, shadow and highlight. I’ll get frustrated and irritated with myself. I also woke with a headache that isn’t clearing up anytime soon it seems.

So, today is likely to be another day of binge watching stuff. Yesterday it was The Killing on Disney+. A dark tale of murder and the crazy awful ways humans tangle their lives with others it seems.

It’s an American version of a Danish noir murder/mystery series. I started watching the Danish version, with subtitles, quite a few years ago, but mislaid the DVDs. It’s full of twists and turns in the story line, and a surprising ending to the first story line – the murder of Rosie Larsen. And it’s nice to be surprised by such a tale for a change.

So, I think I’ll spend a fair amount of today finishing watching season 3 and making a start on season 4, the final season.

Once the headache clears, I may turn my attention to some arty stuff. I’ll see how it goes. Self-care is important, not just physically but emotionally too. I know from bitter past experiences that if I push myself to do things when I’m not up to it, whatever I do usually ends up disastrously. I still feel the guilt of giving myself time and space to return back to a point of balance, but I know that when I do return to that point the guilt will fade away and be replaced with relief and a sense of gratitude that I didn’t give into to the guilt. There’ll also be a touch of pride that I’m strong enough, now, to recognise when I need this time to just lose myself in fiction, do nothing else, and let whatever is the cause of the imbalance work itself through.

I suspect the headache is an expression of that imbalance and is the way my mind, body and soul have of telling me, “Woah there Angela! You have to stop and take a break from this, now! You’ve pushed yourself too far, so I’m going to get you to stop and do other things for a while.”

I am learning to listen to what I need, rather than what I think I should be doing. So, today, I will listen to them.

March Color Palette Challenge…

At the start of March, along with the weekly template, I set a color palette challenge for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans. I asked for all of you who took part to hold off sharing your wonderful colorations until the last Wednesday of the month, which happens to be tomorrow!

I’ve finished colour the template using the rather spring-like colour palette, and here is a fragment, a snippet of my completed template.

Hello Spring!

It’s the Vernal Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere – Autumnal Equinox to those of you south of the equator, so hello autumn to you!

And, typically of me, my arty offering today isn’t really all that springline, apart from the nesting birdies that is!

Some more Zentangle cartouches have been done by me. The central images are all from packs of Tim Holtz’s ephemera – Field Notes or Botanicals. I gave these a bit of a shiny glaze with some gloss medium; it helps to bring out the colours.

I’ve used a variety of media and paper for these. The squares are either 3.75″ x3.75″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The rectangular cartouche is 3.3″ x 5.2″ in size.

I quite like all of them, though part of me is irked by the lopsided box around the beetle!

These take a surprisingly long amount of time to complete. It’s very pleasurable time, especially as I lose myself in the process.

Friday entanglement – WIP

I always relax, feel my whole body let out a sigh of relief as I work on drawings like this one. Purely abstract, line and pattern being the focus, with healthy doses of black giving a very graphic feel to the design.

Playing with line width and pattern to bring layers and depth to the design is always something I’ve enjoyed.

I start with one single line, shape or motif and go from there instead of having an overall plan for the design all sketched out and ready to go. I like this organic, intuitive way of letting the design grow, developing it one pen stroke at a time.

I’m learning, slowly but surely, that areas of white space can be a powerful part of the overall design. It’s been a long journey to realise I don’t have to fill the whole sheet of paper with line and pattern.

I need to have a lot of trust in the whole of this process; that something pleasing will be created after hours of work with very fine nibbed pens.

What next when I’ve finished the pen-work? Do I add shadows, colour, highlights with traditional media or digitally? Do I just add a background coloured/textured paper? Do I leave it in it’s very graphic black and white?

Working digitally with a scan of the finished drawing allows me to experiment, though I’ve yet to work out how to add shadows in the way a blended graphite or pastel pencil would do. And I do have a tendency to use much brighter, saturated colours than I would with traditional media.

Perhaps it’s time I sorted out my own digital colour palettes from my traditional media. That is something for another day, however. For the rest of the day, I’m going to lose myself in completing this drawing.

Monday Mandala 30 Nov 2020

A mandala in my entangled assemblage style. I really enjoyed drawing this, not least because I proved to myself I can transfer this way of drawing to digital art.

Unusually, there’s not a single botanical element in this artwork. Not one leaf, not one flower, nor any seed pods. It’s purely abstract.

I think I may have used up too much of my time this morning (a deadline is about to go whoosh past me), but it has given me ideas for some of the remaining templates I need to complete.

Sketchbook / Journal Pages

Sakura white, metallic and starlight gelly roll pens in a black Sakura journal/sketchbook. I had a lovely few hours last night, sat in bed, settling down for a good sleep.

What you can’t see in the photos is how the matt white and shiny blue/green inks create interesting weirdness visually. By weirdness, I mean a strange kind of 3D effect that I can’t put into words. That was totally unexpected.

I haven’t decided what to do with these pages yet. Will I fill them in completely with colour/pattern, or will I leave the pages as they are. If I leave them as they are then they can be used for journaling, writing, and I quite like that idea to be honest. As the writing is likely to be very personal, I’m not likely to share that, but maybe I’ll mock something up digitally, see for myself what it’s like and then decide.

And with that last sentence, I may scan these in and use them as templates for a digital journal, which would then take away my worries about making a mess of the page by writing on it!

Of course, they’d work quite nicely as frames for quotes too.

Too many possibilities!

Whatever I decide to do – and it may be all of these things – there is something satisfying about working with shimmer and shine and the contrast with the matt white ink on black. The sparkle and shine makes my arty soul rather happy.

Just a note on the black Sakura sketchbook / notebook /journal. I like it! It has a LOT of pages in it of acid-free, sturdy enough, smooth paper.