Medieval Monogram Dangle Design ‘C’ – 18 December 2018

©Angela Porter 2019

I’ve spent around two and a half hours on this monogram. I’m still playing with metallic/glitter textures rather than black line work.

I still haven’t ‘cracked’ how to achieve a more dimensional look to the gold lines/beads. No doubt I’ll have a bright idea to try sometime soon.

Medieval, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Romanesque art and architecture has long been an inspiration for me, though it’s not often I express it in such an obvious way. This definitely has a medieval ‘feel’ about it, but there’s also a more modern take with the rectangular dangle charms and the very  contrasting gradient colours that fill the patchwork pattern inside of the letter.

I was thinking of adding more complex patterns inside some of these patchwork sections. However, I decided that could be way too busy and went with the dots.

Dots are  a very common embellishment in Anglo-Saxon and Celtic manuscripts. After adding dots to those patchwork panels, I had to go and add them elsewhere. Such a simple thing, the humble dot, but how much it can add to a design.

I love the plain blue panel behind the C, so the letter doesn’t get entirely lost in the background pattern – my favourite little spirals. I like the thicker lines around the letter too, but they’re too ‘flat’ for my liking at the moment. The little square-ish gems in the main outline help to break that thick gold line up, adding a bit more opulence in the process.

I love the dimension in those rectangular panels, particularly the lower one. The high contrast gradations in colour really give it some dimension. I wasn’t at all sure about using the pale yellow to orange color gradations anywhere in the design, but once I’d completed this particular ‘charm’ I absolutely loved it!

Although I don’t show such complex monogram dangle designs in my book ‘A Dangle A Day‘, this design really isn’t all the complex to do. 

Talking of ‘A Dangle A Day’, Lydia at #quartocreates sent me a link to a nice review of the book by Funky Frugal Mommy.

This is a piece of digital art using my Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and some texture files purchased via Creative Market.  I did start with a pencil sketch of the monogram and dangle design which was then redrawn digitally.

Another, possibly the last, version of ‘B’ monogram dangle design

©Angela Porter 2018

The previous and latest version of the monogram dangle design. The variation is the background paper colour as well as a drop shadow for the design.

I had a lot of fun as well as some frustration when I found it difficult to do what I wanted to do, though I got there in the end, I think.

I certainly have a few more tools in my digital art toolbox.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro really makes it easy to create art like this. Though this may have been simpler for more accomplished, learned digital artists, for me it was a bit of a process. However, I have managed to create something I could only dream about doing in traditional media, I think. 

The skills required are, in my opinion, equally as demanding, whether working digitally or traditionally. Don’t forget, this started out as pen and ink line art on paper – very traditional! I just made use of digital tools to develop it into something that definitely has a medieval feel to it but in a modern medium. Indeed, all the lines/patterns were re-drawn digitally using a pen and the screen as ‘paper’ to arrive at these final versions. I did make use of the color-fill tools to colour these ones in, but the addition of textures makes them less digitally perfect and more ‘perfectly imperfect’.

This certainly has inspired me to create a whole series of such monograms over the coming days, weeks or months. Goodness alone knows what I can do with the digital versions as having them printed wouldn’t result in any sparkle where there’s sparkle. However, I do have an idea about foiling my line art, as well as working with metallic inks once more. Indeed, I had a deliver of Encres A Decorer by Herbin yesterday and dug out my glass pen to use with them. So some experimentation with those is likely (as well as digging out my dip pens and nibs too). I think I have some calligraphy ‘parchment’ or ‘vellum’ paper lurking somewhere in my stash as well.

Finally, I think I’m getting comfortable with my style of hand lettering. It sure ain’t perfect. It’s sure ain’t as slick as that of others. But it’s mine, not theirs.

Of course, some of the ideas/tools/techniques I’ve used here I can make use of in my more usual style of art. For today, I want to work on a design for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook page to help celebrate the changing over of the calendars at midnight on New Year’s Eve as it turns into New Year’s Day. A liminal point of time between one thing and another. A boundary between the old year and the new. 

So, finish my toffee nut latte mocha morning drink I will, then it’s to some hand lettering and drawing, while keeping warm and dry on a chilly, rainy and windy day.

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

Monogram B – another version

©Angela Porter 2018

This version is totally digital. I used the pen and ink drawn version to re-draw the design in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, making use of a glitter texture.

I think I got my head around how to do this, and colour the images in and I’m kind of pleased with it, though I’d like a bit more of a highlight/shadow on the glitter bits. That will take some thought and experiments as to how to achieve that, but for now my head is overloaded with working in layers and with digital art techniques I’ve barely used before.

I’m pleased with how it looks rather medieval in style – medieval drawn using modern technology. This version doesn’t even exist in physical form, which is crazy!

I have no idea how this would print out as, say, a book mark or note card. As it’s a fairly high resolution file on my computer it would print as a photograph. Of course, there wouldn’t be any real glittery sparkle and shine.

Yes, I’m fairly pleased with this and for myself for figuring it out how to do it, though there’s lots of improvements that could be made.

I think I’d like finer ‘glitter’ on the texture background I used – that’s just a matter of creating another tiled image via GiMP. However, until I do something I never quite know how it’s going to work out, nor do I know if it’s going to be a good idea.

It certainly satisfies a part of me that likes glitter and sparkle and shiny things.

All I have to do now is try to remember how I did this so that I can repeat it in the future, if I’m so inclined.

I am waiting for some metallic inks to be delivered today, so no doubt I’ll be drawing with them on paper.

Mongram B

© Angela Porter 2018

One monogram dangle design, three different versions.

The first is just the black and white line art. This was drawn with Uniball Unipin pens on dot grid paper then scanned in so the dot grid and faint marks could be removed as well as making a transparent background. This dangle design is much more ornate in terms of pattern than is in my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ but is still easy to do if a bit time consuming.

The second is the line art coloured digitally with some texture added.

The third has the coloured line art floating on a golden sheet.

I’ve not quite managed to get my head around how to convert the black and white line art into golden line art where I can add colour. I suspect it’ll have to be re-drawn, which I’ll most probably do while I’m waiting for a delivery.

I kind of like the gold background, but it is a bit too much as well.

Which version do you like best? Let me know your thoughts!

Hand lettering all done!

©Angela Porter 2018

I finished this up this morning, now the migraine has lifted. I completed the embellishment of the letters. The next task was to scan the work in and remove the dot grid background in GiMP, as well as tidy up any smudges and so on.

Once I was happy with the result, I printed out the words so I could colour and add metallic highlights.

To colour, I used Chameleon Color Tone marker pens. For the metallic highlights (dots) I used a mixture of Uniball Signo glitter gel pens and metallic Sakura Gelly Roll pens.

Adding colour really helps with the read-ability of the letters. I chose to add simple color gradations and kept to one colour for each day of the week.

I really enjoyed doing this – it started as a sketch and I’ve ended up with some hand lettering that looks quite nice.

I will, at some point, do a sampler of this hand lettering style. That would be a great reference for myself, but perhaps a source of inspiration for others.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I really want to create a dangle design monogram for at least one of this style of lettering. I think that’s the next thing on my list of ‘to do’s’ on a day where I’m taking it all a bit easy; although the migraine has lifted I still feel a tad ‘fragile’.

Hand lettering and monograms are an integral part of my style of dangle designs. Although lettering as complex as this isn’t covered in ‘A Dangle A Day’, I still offer suggestions and step by step instructions for creating dangle designs. 

A Dangle A Day is published on 8th January 2019. 

Hand Lettering – WIP Wednesday

©Angela Porter 2018

I woke this morning with a dreadful migraine. Two emotionally draining days – therapy on Monday, an anti-stigma talk for Time to Change Wales yesterday – can cause such a reaction in me. It’s my body’s way of saying ‘Woah there Angela! Enough! Time out is needed! Self-care! Nothing else stressful for today at least, please!’.

So I’m heeding my body’s message. I was due to take all my accounts stuff to my accountant, but my vision and concentration is impaired enough that for now I don’t feel safe to drive. I know that with a quiet day and a nap later on I’ll recover. 

Even though my eyesight is affected a bit, doing art actually seems to help with the headache. I think it’s a mindful activity that lets my mind and emotions relax.

So, I wanted to complete my days of the week in a Lombardic style script, and here’s my work in progress. You can see my pencil lines, both as a guide for letter heights and for the shape and spacing of letters. By drawing the outlines in pencil first it means I can easily make adjustments as I ink them in.

Next steps, when my head has cleared a fair bit more, will be to add the patterns in the letters. This really does help to define the letter shapes I think.

I definitely want to try some of these letters with dangles on them. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do while I’m waiting for this migraine headache to shift somewhat.

A Dangle A Day’ is due for release on 8 Jan 2019