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.
This particular abstract intuitive drawing took an unexpected turn as pareidolia kicked in and I saw a stylised figure on some weird kind of exercise bike! Well, I just had to go with it. When you see something in the purely abstract, it is hard to un-see it.
I used a 0.35 Rotring Rapidograph pen on SeaWhite acid-free cartridge paper for the drawing.
I wanted to see how I could add colour/texture to this drawing, which I think is now complete. So, I added a Kraft paper background to the image and started to add some highlights and shadows to the image.
It never ceases to amaze me how just simple shadow and highlight can add so much to a drawing. I chose a monochromatic colour scheme. I also have left my notes to remind me which colours and digital tool I was using to achieve this effect in the image.
I really want to finish adding shadow and highlight to this image, but I must turn my attention to work. I’ve been granted an extension to the deadline for Entangled Starry Skies, but that means I need to get my nose to the grindstone and get the templates done. Yesterday, I did all the edits and reworks of the templates I drew last week. Today, it’s a couple of new templates that need drawing.
I used, mostly, traditional media for the first two days, but today I decided to use digital tools.
My Surface Studio and Pen from Microsoft mean I can draw on my screen just like I do on paper, especially as I have set up pen brushes with lines mimic those left by my favourite fine liner pens.
The added bonus of drawing digitally is that I get to use tools that aren’t available to me when working traditionally. In this case, I made use of the symmetry tool. As my illustration today is rather stylised, perfect symmetry works well in the design.
Stylised, symmetrical designs do make my arty heart and soul smile and sing. Yes, I still like to be challenged from time to time to draw more realistically, however I’ve just realised how much this kind of art really please me.
Yet I still struggle with accepting it as a valid way of producing art – it always seems so simple, like I have no great skill like those who produce wonderfully realistic art, or thought provoking pieces, or abstract wonders. I still struggle to see my style of art, of expression as valid and I think that is why I flip-flop betwixt different styles and media and projects. It’s that lack of self-belief perhaps, or maybe I just have a choir of creative voices in me, each of which need expression in it’s own way.
I think this kind of reflection is part of what Inktober is about.
Anyway, after completing the line art, I added some simple colouring to the image using a marker brush and then an airbrush with the synthetic paint setting, which nicely blends one colour into another.
I am very happy with the stylised skull design, along with the higher contrast colouring that I’ve used for it, which helps it stand out a little from the other coloured elements of the design.
This is, of the three days so far, my favourite Inktober2019 artwork.
I have just two images up there at the moment – the recent Daffodil Mandala and the Dragon with Daffodils. Both are available on a range of quality products including wall art and stationery.
My Journey to cPTSD Recovery
Today, I’m feeling more content and settled than I have for a number of weeks. Even though EMDR floored me on Monday, I seem to have been able to find my balance faster than previously. This is a good thing as I do have a contract to fulfil by the end of the month.
I am writing in a journal most days, particularly any insights I have through the day. They seem to be coming more quickly now I’m working on seeing where I’ve told myself a story to avoid any emotional or mental pain. I know this is a coping strategy that people with CPTSD use to protect themselves. However realising this, that I may have avoided the truth of a difficult, traumatic experience or situation makes me feel really stupid. Realising that this is a coping strategy I learned at a very, very young age doesn’t help stop me feeling stupid. There’s also a lot of guilt too as I’m stuck between the story I want to believe, the one that is nice and pleasant, and the truth of the emotional and mental distress I was experiencing and denying I was experiencing. It’s not an easy place to be in. It also makes me quite sad and teary that I’ve done this all my life.
Realising these kinds of things, no matter how painful they are, is part of my journey to recovery from CPTSD. I won’t stop though. To do so would mean I would have to live with the pain the realisation has caused me without any way of dealing with that pain. So the only way is to face up to these things, process them in EMDR and find a way to a healthier relationship with myself, to find a way to become a friend to myself.
Can you believe there are just a few hours of February left and March is nigh? Time seems to be just flying by for me.
I’ve spent the last 4 hours or so sketching then drawing this design. It’s yet to be coloured. I need to get some other stuff done first.
I sketched the dragon loosely out on paper, scanned the sketch in, then digitally inked it in using various thicknesses of drawing pen brushes.
I just felt some giant daffodils were needed behind the dragon. Or is it a miniature dragon lounging beneath some daffodils?
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve drawn any dragon. At one time, many years ago, I used to draw them a lot. Often it was a sign that something wasn’t right with my mental or emotional health. As I’m getting better and better thanks to EMDR and some effort on my part, I draw dragons and other fantasical things less and less. Though I guess you could argue that a lot of my art is rather abstract and not realistic.
It’s going to be interesting colouring this one in. Of course the dragon has to be red as tomorrow is St David’s Day. The red Welsh dragon is iconic of Wales. Daffodils are too.
As I’ve said, I need to do some other things for a while. Not just because the other things need doing but because I need a break from this. I may very well add some more elements to the design before I get around to adding colour. I think I’d like the colour to bring up the feel of stained glass or perhaps a lino or wood cut. I’ll see when I do it. I may also use this design and add dangles to it too, as Fridays are when I do tend to post a dangle design (A Dangle A Day is now published and available – my tutorial book on how to draw dangle designs).
Tools used – Pencil and Rhodia dot grid paper. Microsoft Surface Pen. Microsoft Surface Studio. Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. Backgrounds purchased via Creative Market.