Abstract Entangled Art | 03/08/’21

This is now finished! Between drawing, adding colour and embellishments, it’s taken somewhere between six and seven hours, I think.

Materials used:
* SeaWhite all media paper, 8″ x 8″ (195mm x 195mm)
* Uniball Eye Pen – micro
* Uniball Signo DX 0.38 Pen
* Derwent Graphitint pencils
* Brushes and water
* Derwent Drawing Pencils
* Cold Grey IV Pitt Artist Pen
* White and yellow Sakura Soufflé pens
* Clear Sakura Glaze pen

I actually managed to keep some white space in the design! I may have slightly overdone the dottiness. I did mess up by trying to use the Derwent Drawing pencils to add some darker tones to the green ‘leaves’.

Overall, I think this is good enough to move on to the next project, which is likely to be Thursday’s coloring template.

It’s been nice to lose myself in some art for the sake of art. Especially as my emotional weather is still damp, dull and grey and making me doubt myself. It’s been an emotional rainy spell that’s been brewing for a while, and that’s why I’ve returned to the familiarity and comfort of my entangled art.

I always circle back to entangled art, regardless of my experiments with other media and styles and getting frustrated with colour!

My tricksy emotional weather is only exacerbating my frustrations with colour. I know I need to get the coloured plates done for the Whimsical Cats colouring book, but as I am at the moment I will only get myself into a right royal kerfuffle. So, it’s time to just enjoy drawing, maybe using some colour – time for monochrome colour schemes I think.

Template Thursday

This week, my template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is a typically entangled one – full of Zentangle-style patterns, arches, a few flowers and organic motifs added, but mainly purely abstract. Great fun to add colour to!

This template was one I had doubts about whether it was ‘right’ or ‘good enough’. It wasn’t until I added colour to it that I realised it was just fine. I’ve chosen, yet again, quite a vintage colour palette, with a couple of brighter spots here and there.

This often happens to me. I’m really not happy with a drawing, but then I add colour and it magically transforms into something that I’m quite happy with. The colour is the flesh on the line-work skeleton. It’s quite magical!

The template is free to members of the facebook group, and you’d be made most welcome as a member should you wish to colour this template, or many others that are available there.

Template Thursday

Thursday seems to come around both quickly and as if it’s been an age since last Thursday. As it’s Thursday, that means it’s time for a new colouring template /coloring page for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week’s template is a typically ‘Angela’ entangled style drawing. A stylised dragonfly floats above an entangled background containing arches and seed pods, flowers and foliage, along with various patterns and an intricate border.

I’ve chosen to part colour the template in a monochrome scheme of greens. I don’t really pay attention to light source much. mostly I use light and shadow as part of the patterns and a way to introduce a sense of depth and dimension to my art. This is something I realised only recently.

Template Thursday

This week, I decided to create a coloring page / template that is in the ‘Angela’ Entangled style, similar to yesterday’s artwork.

I made the motifs bigger and less patterned for the coloring template, however. To add colour to my version of the template I used a mixture of brown fineliners by Staedtler and Stabilo. Instead of solid colour, I used patterns and textures to add colour and complexity. I did use a pale grey fineliner to add details to the snowdrops and leaves, but the scanner didn’t pick it up. Ho hum.

After I’ve had lunch, I may return to the drawing to add shadows to bring out some dimension and depth. I’m not sure what medium I’ll use, though alcohol makers may be the best option, perhaps. I’ll see how I feel when I get to it.

Of course this is the template of the week for the members of the Angela Porter’s coloring book fans facebook group. And this week there’s a challenge to colour this template, or another of their choice, in a monochrome colour scheme.

If you’d like to print the template and join in with the challenge then just pop along to the group!

Entanglement 17 Feb ’21

I’ve been working on this drawing for the past three or four days. I finally finished it this morning. Here’s a list of materials used:
A4 Daler-Rowney Bristol Board
Copic Multiliners (05, 025, 02)
Sakura Pigma Micron (01)
Various shades of brown Stabilo fineliners
Grey and sepia Uniball Unipin fineliners

I’m finally becoming comfortable with leaving open spaces in my art, though I still do like a clear border/edge. The spaces give a lighter, more airy feel to the design. I’m learning that I don’t have to fill every available space with pattern. I think that is a good thing.

I’m also really enjoying using shades of brown to add patterns to the design, and some grey too.

If you’d like to know where I started this drawing, it was with the small arrangement of boxes just above the blueberry-ish berries just above the left of centre. Everything else grew out from there.

I think this one is finished, though as I look at it now, I want to use a white Gelly Roll pen to add dots in places. Also, the shadows need to be tad intensified around the motifs to give the illusion of depth. I may use alcohol markers – Chameleons or Copics – to do this as the Copic Multiliners are alcohol ink safe.

Inking all done!

Waking at stupid o’clock meant drawing until I could go back to sleep. I got all the inking done for this particular drawing. Now, the colouring needs to be completed.

Materials:
21cm x 21 cm (8.25″ x 8.25″) piece of Claire Fontaine Paint-on mixed media paper – natural colour
Aged Mahogany Distress Ink and a piece of cut and dry foam to distress/grungify the paper
03 and brush Uniball Unipin fineliner pens
01 Sakura Pigma Micron pen
Staedtler Triplus fineliners
Chameleon fineliners
Water brush
White Sakura Gelly Roll pen

Friday work in progress

The artwork

Started yesterday evening, worked on during my hours of mid-night waking, and on waking this morning, this measures 21 cm x 21 cm (approx 8.25″ x 8.25″) The paper is natural coloured Claire Fontaine Paint-On mixed media paper coloured with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink. The design is being drawn with a mix of 03 Unipin and 01 Sakura Micron pens.

I’m using a mixture of Stadedtler Triplus and Chameleon Fineliner pens to add colour to the design, along with a barely damp waterbrush to spread the colour out. Interestingly, some of the colour lines added remain visible, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how much I work the colour with the waterbrush. Also, I’m finding that I really enjoy adding colour and texture like this.

The finishing bright white highlights are added using a Sakura Gelly Roll pen.

I find the fineliners used in this way give me much greater control over how much the colour spreads in the small areas in my drawing. They also don’t spread as much as, say, Tombow Dual Brush pens or Inktense pencils. That helps to control the spread of colour too.

I rather like the vintage-y look that the palette of browns and olive greens confers on the design, helped along by the background colour and texture of the paper.

Oh, I do intend to leave a ‘hole’ in this first layer of designs. I’m not sure I’ll do inside the space; a quote, more layers of design. For now I’m not sure. But once this first layer is done, I can scan it in and use it in different ways digitally.

There are lots of my favourite motifs appearing in this one, rather organic ones for the most part. What will appear from the tip of my pen in the rest of the design? I don’t know yet! It could be more of the same, or not. All I know is that the intricacy, detail and revisiting old favourite motifs is making my arty crafty heart smile.

Cognitive dissonance

“The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change.”

Finally, the penny dropped as to why I’m feeling so out of sorts. Oddly, it was while I was listening to a documentary about the cult NXIVM as I was drawing during the stupid o’clock hours of drawing. Don’t worry, I’m not a member of a cult! However cognitive dissonance was mentioned and that was the ‘ta-da!’ moment for me.

Cognitive dissonance causes emotional distress related to holding contradictory beliefs or values. I’ve experienced this before during breakthrough moments in therapy where I’ve had to accept that I was a victim of trauma, that I really do have CPTSD and I’m not (as my mother would tell me) making it up, for example.

I’m poised on a knife edge, wanting to make a decision to leave something, but feeling guilty about thinking that way. I need to find a way to find some clarity to help me make that decision, and it has to do with my core values and beliefs.

Recognising this doesn’t make me feel any better, but it helps me understand what is going on, and that understanding will help me work my way through it! Making a decision won’t make it any easier for me to act upon it as there’ll be a lot of guilt and the old reactive feeling of believing I’m letting other people down.

However, I can’t put other people ahead of my own mental and emotional well-being. It’s never been easy for me to say ‘no’ to people, to leave organisations or people who are contributing to emotional and mental distress in myself. But I have done so occasionally, more so in the last year or two. And I will do so this time if it’s what I need to do to find that sense of balance, harmony, peace in myself once again.

Monday Mandala

Eerie and spooky?

A fun, quirky, cute Hallowe’en themed mandala was what was needed on Monday morning.

I started with the skull, without any clue as to what I was going to do with it. Then I thought about adding a mandala around it, and I wanted it in eerie, almost glowing colours.

As I drew the skull without any outlines, I thought I’d do the same for the rest of the mandala. I also kept a pretty simple colour palette – violets, teals and blues.

It’s worked out OK. It certainly is a bit different. The most important thing is that I enjoyed drawing it, and that is most probably the most important thing of all.

Sunshine and mood

Today, there’s some sunshine and that helps to keep my mood up. I did feel a bit better yesterday – sleep and Star Wars really helped! I may have felt better, but settling to art just didn’t happen yesterday.

I’m still so tired. I think it’s all to do with some anxiety at this time. There’s nothing specific for it, just general anxiety. I think it was triggered by my boiler breakdown and then the engineer fixing it, and the increasing cases of Covid combined with a national lockdown in Wales.

I’m not sure I can drive less than a mile to the cemetery I like to walk around. I feel safe there in a way I don’t walking around the streets and town I live in at this time.

Of course, worrying about whether I’ll be breaking the rules to take a walk adds to my anxiety.

What a pickle!

It may be that I baulk and just stay home, and check the rules carefully before I do venture forth for a walk.

Pumpkin knitting

Knitting pumpkins while watching Star Wars. Guaranteed to reduce my anxiety. And knitting, unlike crochet, is something I can do without having to look at my fingers.

Also, I’ve found it really relaxing and the feel of the knitted fabric in my fingers is soothing and pleasurable. As I’ve been kintting in stocking stitch, it’s a very smooth fabric. Crochet tends to have more texture to it. I think I’ll be doing more knitting and less crochet for a while.

Saturday arty day

Artsy ramblings

Today I’m feeling a tad ‘meh’ to say the least. I’m tired despite sleeping plenty last night and yesterday. The weather is gloomy – leaden grey skies and rain. At least the autumn colours are glowing a little in the gloom.

So, today I just needed some arty fun. Nothing too big and overwhelming, something with a little whimsy, and no pressure for anything other than making art for art’s sake.

Hallowe’en is my favourite festival, so that’s where I started, along with pen and paper.

The drawing isn’t all that big – 8cm x 10 cm approx (3.25″ x 4″),s o it was relatively quick to complete. I scanned it in to tidy it up, but decided to add a spooky border around it, which I did digitally.

Then, I set to colouring the image, in Hallowe’en colours, mostly.

I played with texture brushes and how I can work with colour. I’m pleased to get some areas that seem to glow eerily. My brain won’t let me fully process that or go back to the image to add this effect to other design elements.

It was, after all, a few hours of fun, arting for art’s sake, and to do what I can to lift my mood.

Polymer clay

I spent sometime yesterday afternoon playing with polymer clay. The Sculpey clay I purchased is soft enough to work with almost straight out of the packet, which is a good thing.

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to work with it. What I thought would work just didn’t for me. So, I’m going to let the ideas rumble around my subconscious and come up with how I could work with the clay my way.

I was disappointed with myself, but worked hard be easy on myself as this is a new skill to learn and develop. It won’t happen overnight. Also, there’s no rush or panic to get it done either.

In the meantime, I’m wrangling with myself as to whether I should invest in a pasta machine to roll out the clay or whether that’s a decision that can wait until I work out if polymer clay is for me or not.

Entangled WIP

I finally finished this drawing, and now it’s time for me to add shadow and highlight to it to bring it to life.

This is very much a work in progress. It will take me some time to achieve the look and feel I’d like.

Drawn with fineliner pens on marker paper. Background, highlights and shadows added digitally.