Mushrooms and Insects!

Today’s Vlog (approx 33 mins long)

Watercolour Mushrooms!

I finished the mushroom painting! I was so engrossed in the magic of watercolour and wanting to complete this work that I spent most of yesterday working on it!

I’m really quite happy with the outcome. It was very much inspired by Danielle Donaldson, but I think I may have given it some little twists of my own too.

I’m also beginning to think that I can make watercolour work for me, with a mix of ‘tight’ shapes, the magic textures achieved by wet into wet, and details with gel pens and drawing pencil.

I added the dots with a mixture of white Posca, Uniball Signo and Sakura Gelly Roll pens. I also tried adding dots of gold from a metallic Gelly Roll pen. I like the metallic dots, though they don’t photograph well.

There’s only one thing better than mushrooms, and that’s more mushrooms!

I enjoyed this so much that I thought I’d do a smaller version on some of the Canson Imagine mixed media paper. That’s the work on the top left. I used Zig Clean Colour brush pens and Caran D’Ache Supracolour watercolour pencils on this one to see how they could work. I’m happy with some of the effects I achieved, but in other ways I’m not at all happy.

Surprisingly, I rather like the softer colours of the Supracolour pencils on the mushrooms at the top. I found I could get a ‘painterly’ effect with them too.

The dye inks in the Zig brush pens will reactivate with the slightest touch of water, which meant I had some interesting colour bleeds.

I think what I like most about this experiment were the different colours, particularly those peachy pink colours! I have a lot to learn about colour mixing of my watercolour set for sure!

Insects!

Well, I thought I’d have a little play around with some cute insects, the start of which is at the bottom left.

I used a 0.3mm pencil to draw the design on Canson Imagine paper and then set to adding colour with Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. I’d forgotten that I wasn’t fussed about using them on the Imagine paper. However, I carried on working with them and worked with how they interacted with the paper. I definitely wasn’t working in the prescribed way of watercolour work. But, I ended up with some effects I rather like.

Small Art

I often revert to working on a small scale. It’s something I’ve done throughout my art journey. I’ve never really been happy with working on a huge scale, except when working with pastels and charcoal.

Even when I create A4 art, which is the biggest I do in traditional media nowadays, my artwork is full of tiny details – the size of those details varies depending on whether it is personal art or art for a colouring book.

I get a lot of pleasure from creating small, precious works of art. If I were to frame them, I’d be tempted to put the tiny art in the centre of a huge frame to give that feeling of preciousness. But that would be very pretentious of me, wouldn’t it?

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.

Template Thursday

Thursday comes around once again, so it’s time for a coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, it’s a hallowe’en themed mandala design. Lots of cuteness and whimsy in the design, as well as a geometric background and a funky border.

I enjoyed drawing this, and I’ve enjoyed the partial coloring. Sadly, I don’t have time for more colouring today. I have a chap coming to sort my central heating out in a short while and my anxiety is heading through the roof now I need to get showered and tidy up the house a bit.

I have some social anxiety at the best of times, but the increasing prevalence and transmission of Covid19 and having contact with anyone is having it skyrocket. Hopefully, I’ll be able to calm down quickly enough after he’s done what he needs to do.

Anyways, if you’re not a member of the facebook group you’d be made most welcome. Membership is free, as are the templates I create for the members of the group.

Template Thursday

Thursdays seem to cycle round fairly quickly at this time. And as it’s Thursday, there’s a new template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Here, in the Valleys of South Wales, the sun is shining, autumn is gradually taking over the land and Hallowe’en is fast approaching. So, this week’s template has some Hallowe’en elements to it. It’s also a cute and whimsical template for people to have fun with colour.

Template Thursday

How are you all doing? Keeping well I trust.

A week more of the pandemic has passed us by, and it’s one week closer to Hallowe’en! So, this week’s template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is Hallowe’en themed.

I always have fun drawing these cute and whimsical templates. They’re the kind of art that I don’t have to worry too much about my colour choices, which I’m never quite happy with.

As always, I look forward to seeing how people bring my templates to life with colour in their own way.

Monday mood

©Angela Porter

Another day on lock-down, and I started the day by colouring a Strathmore Bristol Board tile with Distress Inks, then drawing. You can see the result above, sorry for the poor photo.

The random generated tangle pattern for today is ‘BB‘, and it’s the wavy set of blocks across the middle of the design. The rest of the design is made up from some of my favourite patterns and motifs, as well as a few dangle designs.

The overall design doesn’t feel as if it flows. That may be a reflection of my emotional state, which is a mixture of anxiety, fear, being overwhelmed and exhausted.

So, self-care is in order. So that’s doing things that won’t frustrate me, or that won’t having me feel that whatever I do is rubbish.

Inktober 2019 – Day 6

Gecko skull and Stinkhorn

Inktober 2019 Day 6 © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Another day, another Inktober drawing – this time a gecko skull along with stinkhorn fungi.

No colouring, no shading, just pen work this time.

I love the skull and the leaves and spirals around it. I’m not so fussed on my fungi. The only thing I would change about the skull is the pattern around the eyeballs; the chequerboard and dots is just a tad too heavy handed.

I’m starting to struggle adding the fungi to the skulls; my drawings are all becoming more than a bit ‘samey’.

Digital art using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Surface Pen and Surface Studio by Microsoft.

I’m using Inktober 2019 prompt lists from @book_polygamist and @nyan_sun on Instagram.

Inktober 2019 – Day 4

Turtle skull and Xerocomus

Inktober 2019 Day 4 - Turtle Skull and Xerocomus © Angela Porter 2019
Inktober 2019 Day 4 – Turtle Skull and Xerocomus © Angela Porter 2019

Digitally drawn and coloured using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Surface Pen and Surface Studio by Microsoft.

Again, the symmetry is pleasing to me; however, I think I’ve gone over the top with areas of pattern on this skull! I seem to have a thing going on with fungi growing out of the top of the skull. I did add some seaweed and sea shells beneath the skull, as a nod to the oceanic origins of the turtle.

Hmm, maybe I’ll redraw this one with some dangle designs later today; after all, it is dangle day!

Inktober 2019 – Day 01 – Chameleon Skull and Amanita

©Angela Porter 2019

Inktober 2019

After hunting around Instagram for alternative prompt lists, I decided to go with two and combine them. I chose the Animal Skulls prompts from @book_polygamist and Mushrooms list from @nyan_sun.

So, the drawing above shows a chameleon skull combined with Amanita, along with some other design elements. Today’s official prompt from Jake Parker’s Inktober 2019 list is ‘ring’. I can make that fit in too – a ring of fairy toadstools, the ring of the eye-socket in the skull.

The black line work was done with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens. I then used an 8B pencil with a blending stump to clumsily add some shading. Then, after scanning the image in, I added colour digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.

It’s been a very, very long time since I did any drawing like this. My usual style is rather whimsical, cute and simplified to create a stylised form.

While this drawing isn’t realistic, it is more so than I usually do. Having said that, I have added some simplified design elements in the form of leaves and berries and the repeating pattern of arches to give a floor for the skull to rest on.

I found it interesting to add the more realistic skull with the less realistic Amanita and stylised leaves and berries.

It took me over three hours to create this drawing; I’m not sure I can spend that amount of time everyday given the work I need to do in the coming weeks. I shall see though how it goes.

So, Angela, how are you feeling?

I’m OK. I don’t feel as tired as I have lately and there’s also a contented feeling inside me. There’s also a frisson of excitement about turning my attention to work – something that has been a bit lacking over the past month or so.

I did get an early night along with a good night’s sleep last night, which always helps. The sun has just broken through the clouds, albeit briefly, and even a little sunshine helps to boost my mood too. I hope there’ll be more periods of sunshine to help my mood after the past days of heavy rain and even heavier grey skies, although we did have a break from it on Sunday with some bright sunshine in the day.

It’s only in the past couple of weeks that I’ve recognised how much the weather can affect my mood.

EMDR yesterday was puzzling, confusing and upsetting too. However, I came away not as exhausted as I usually do. Indeed, I was able to focus on art in the evening – I did most of the drawing of the chameleon skull with amanita.

My therapist and I did have a conversation about how I found it so hard to go into a cafe for lunch after my Time to Change Wales talk last week. She suggested that in future I take something with me to eat just in case I can’t go into a cafe – that way I can still take care of my physical needs and emotional needs without being hard on myself, calling myself weak and a failure for not doing such a simple thing as going to a familiar cafe for lunch.

Still have progress to make on that goal of mine, but some progress on recognising how I feel about myself not being able to do it at the moment has been made. So it’s not all bad.

So long September

October Coloring Template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group
© Angela Porter

October-eve

Can you believe that September is nearly over? I swear that the older I get the faster time seems to go.

Anyway, a new month on the horizon means a new colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. There just has to be a Hallowe’en theme for October’s page, and you can see a sneak peek of it above. I couldn’t resist colouring some of it in as a way of trying out some new digital brushes and some ideas too.

I put some of my favourite All Hallows’ Eve motifs into the drawing, including a raven, skulls, fungi and a vampire cat! I always enjoy drawing stuff to do with Hallowe’en; it’s my favourite time of year because I don’t have any past traumas associated with it.

If you’d like to colour this template, pop over to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group and become a member; each month I do one drawing exclusively for group members (terms and conditions of use and sharing apply).

About the art

I used a combination of fountain pens and fine-line pens to draw the design on dot grid paper. I then scanned the drawing in and cleaned up smudges and smears digitally.

Then, I set about adding colour digitally using my usual tools – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. I also added a background and surface texture that I had purchased via Creative Market.

I am really quite pleased with how the colour is bringing the illustration to life, especially the skull in a jar. I hope to be able to continue to add colour as the month progresses, though I do know I have quite a bit of work to do and focus on.

To Inktober or not Inktober, that is the question.

Last year, I really enjoyed taking part in Inktober. Inktober has become a really popular social media event where artists and creatives use a daily prompt to draw (or create) something based on that prompt and share it on social media.

There is an official prompt list, but people do create alternative lists and I may look at some of them as there may be variations that might be less time intensive than last years’ was!

I shall see what I find and go from there I think.

So, Angela, how are you today?

Tired. However, I’m am quite content, my mood is good enough today. I do have EMDR later on, and I often feel ‘flat’ before my therapy session. I think my unconscious mind starts to bring stuff up in preparation for EMDR.

I know that the likelihood of me being exhausted later is rather high, so I’m not planning to do loads of stuff later on. Self care will be the order of the late afternoon and evening.