I was awake before 6 am today, so I settled to do some ‘warm up’ art. I water-coloured a couple of pieces of 100% cotton rag paper. I lightly wet the paper and then added watercolour to it and let it work it’s magic – to spread and mingle as it will. The coloured area is approx 3.5″ x 5.25″, so it’s still quite a small drawing in size, but large in detail.
After letting the paper dry, I set to it with some Sakura Pigma Micron pens (01, 03 and 05) to draw the flowers and leaves. I added some more watercolor to these areas to help them stand out a bit, as well as to add a bit of extra ‘dimension’ to them. Finally, I added an outline and the ‘bubble pattern to some areas.
Mindful. Meditative. Calming. Soothing. Just the kind of activity I needed this morning. I was really irritable and frustrated and sad yesterday, all at once. I think I’ve just been overwhelmed by the events in the world over the past few days and yesterday it boiled over somewhat.
I do feel better today, so far, the cooler temperature and the refreshing rain is helping too. I hope I continue to feel better, emotionally; yesterday was was even angry at the templates I was creating for the Entangled Gardens book. Rather, I was angry and frustrated with myself as nothing seemed to be working out well. Hopefully I’ll feel better about it today.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
Today is World Art Day. It is meant to be an international celebration of the fine arts which was declared by the International Association of Art (IAA) in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide.
Each year, on 15 April (Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday), World Art Day celebrations help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. (UNESCO)
“Our Organization would thus like to pay tribute to the solidarity shown by artists and institutions at a time when art is suffering the full force of the effects of a global health, economic and social crisis.”
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO
About today’s art
I started by choosing one of my Distress Oxide backgrounds to use for today’s art.
I woke knowing I wanted to do an arrangement of stylised poppies with a mandala for a background, and this is the result.
Poppies symbolise, among other things, a lively imagination, messages delivered in dreams, beauty and success, as well as remembrance. They, along with their seed heads, often appear in my art.
It took me many iterations of colour, shadow and highlight to get the mandala appearing as I wanted it to – lacy, light, in the background but still standing out. I think I’ve managed to achieve that fairly well.
Overall, I’m pleased with the finished artwork. I do think the poppies and mandala could be moved towards the top of the background, something that is easy enough to do as I have the layers saved. However, the artwork is good enough for now.
I suspect I’ll be creating more art using a couple of the backgrounds I’ve created through the day. It’s a satisfying process to use backgrounds I’ve created myself rather than using ones that I have purchased.
Just a quick bit of fun this morning. I thought it would be nice to create a little banner for my facebook account and page, and this is the result. Something a bit mystical in nature.
Digital art created with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with the usual Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.
I used this as an opportunity to try out some new ideas, and it’s worked out well enough I think.
Today, I’m feeling content, at ease and that inner smile is back. It’s nice, once again, to have the windows open a little and to feel the gentle flow of cooler air into my work space warmed by hazy sunlight.
Being creative certainly does help me to find and keep my sense of contentment and to keep the anxiety and fear at bay.
Now, it’s time for me to go get my breakfast. I was so determined to create this new border that I got lost in it!
Today has been a funny day so far. I have, however, managed to get this little mandala done.
The runes represent growth (the rune looks like a B), joy (looks like a P), flow (half an arrow) and strength (a bit like an n), and you are welcome to read into that what you wish.
When I started this I had no idea at all what I was going to create. All I knew was that I wanted to end up with a mandala and try out some techniques to get things to appear to glow.
The artwork started with me creating a series of my own texture backgrounds, and this was the last one I created. I then created the ring of glowing runes, then worked inward. This is an unusual direction for me to work when creating mandalas; usually I work from the centre out. I did, however, add the final ring of the mandala last.
For some reason I needed to add arrows into the design; it was just an instinctive, intuitive kind of knowing. In the same way I knew that runes needed to be incorporated into the design. Spirals are one of my favourite design motifs and they made an appearance too.
The colour palette is quite a simple one, mostly cool tones of blue, purple, teal and greys, but with a little splash of warm pink and mauve.
I do like the illusion of dimension that I’ve achieved in this mandala by using high contrast. I’ve also enjoyed using texture brushes to help with the sense of dimension too.
This is digital art, created in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and using a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen along with a Microsoft Surface Studio.
A variation on the abstract, stylised flowers of a day or two ago, with a lovely quote.
I got too heavy handed with the texturing in this one, but I just wanted to try the flower out without an outline. I’m disappointed with the texture, and it was too late for me to undo it by the time I realised it. Hopefully I’ll learn to save my work more often at points before I do something where it could go critically wrong and I can backtrack easily.
It was an enjoyable process, even though I’m more than a tad frustrated with myself. Still, it’s an experience to learn from for sure.