Watercolour greeting cards

Greeting cards

It was a morning for some simple art. Art just for fun, relaxation and self-soothing. So, I thought that small watercolour gradient panels with really simple drawings on them and metallic and pearlescent paint highlights would be perfect.

For the first time ever I managed to create smooth colour gradients with watercolour. The secret, for me, was using a mix of water and gum arabic to wet the paper before applying the colour. Of course, working on such small pieces of watercolour paper helped. Still, it’s a personal achievement!

Once the panels were all done, itseemed a good idea to mount the little panels on some 4″ x 4″ blank cards. So I did just that and added a few more cards to my stash.

Stress and self-care

I had a really poor night’s sleep after the stress of my trip out to the pharmacy yesterday. I woke around 2:30am with a splitting headache and found it hard to get back to sleep. When I did, my alarm went off and woke me with quite a jolt.

I’d set my alarm last night as Wednesday is my delivery day with Able & Cole, and I like to get the deliver in and stored asap.

Once the delivery had come, around 6:30am. I had breakfast and then went back to bed to sleep.

I’m feeling a bit more centred and content now, but I’m still exhausted. So, today will be a quiet, self-care kind of day for me. I’ll be doing my best not to give in to the temptation to take a nap this afternoon so that I can sleep myself our properly tonight.

Template Thursday

Another week has gone by, so it’s time for a new template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This week, it’s another of my collections of little windows. Yesterday was a day where I needed to draw a template that wouldn’t overwhelm me, and a collection of tiny drawings and patterns is a way to break the task down into bite-size, cute, whimsical pieces. As I result, I enjoyed the process and found some contentment and peace too.

In fact, some of the colorists in the group have told me that the really like the way the page is broken down into pieces that can be finished quickly if they are limited for time. The different sizes allow them to choose something that can be coloured in the time they have available. That part can then be left finished, freeing them of the worry of leaving something unfinished.

Coloring, like any creative activity, can help calm, relax, soothe and give a break from negative self-talk, to name a few of the benefits. I know that scientific studies have shown this to be the case and that losing yourself in coloring has a similar effect on brain activity as mindfulness meditation.

I use art to help me with times when my emotional weather is stormy, dull, unsettled. As I said earlier, drawing a collection of small designs was far less overwhelming than drawing a full page illustration yesterday. Yet, I still end up with a full page of mini-templates to colour.

I feel I struggle with colours. I tend to try to put all colours available to me into one template. Every now and then I do work with a limited palette, which also has it’s own problems. My window templates take away any pressure I put on myself regarding colour. Each window is a unique image in it’s own right and I can use whatever colours I wish in it without worrying about the overall cohesiveness of the project.

These window templates are also great fun for trying out different colour combinations, for blending colours, and even for trying out new techniques. You could make notes on the template, or cut out the pictures you want to keep and start an art journal where you note down the media, colours and techniques used to get the effects/blends you like. No longer any need to remember what they are, just refer to the journal!

Talking of cutting the designs out, that is a perfect way to make use of a finished coloring page like this one. The individual images, or groups of them, can be used to make greeting cards, bookmarks or to embellish art journals, journals, scrapbooks, diaries, planners and bullet journals!

As always, I love to see what people create using my templates – share with and/or tag me on social media :
f: @artwyrd
t: @artwyrd
i: @artwyrd

Watercolor and Drawing

Today’s image is a collection of watercolors and drawings I’ve done over the past couple of days.

There’s a coordinating card and envelope (mail art), along with some small panels of watercolouring (approx 1.5″ x 1.5″, so a bit bigger than inchies). I’ve also included my foxglove experiments, which I did this morning.

Sometimes, black pen looks too harsh against the delicate but vibrant watercolours, so for the poppies, I tried pencil instead. I’m really not at all sure about them.

The foxgloves are symptomatic of how I feel today – out of shape, wobbly, ill-defined with harsh edges. I woke with a stinker of a headache again, definitely stress/anxiety/worry induced, as well as a lack of sleep last night. It will pass. In the meantime, I’m watching The Clone Wars on Disney+.

I don’t know if I’ll be doing any art for a few hours; my head and emotions are all bent out of shape at the moment. I’m dissatisfied with all the above; I know that’s me being so frustrated at the moment and it stops me seeing my art for how it really is. When I’m like this, I know that drawing will frustrate me, and the fact I’m not drawing will frustrate me more, especially as I have deadlines looming. However, I logically know that if I try to do things now, I’ll just prolong the feeling of frustration and I’ll end up having to do much more in the long run than if I’m kind with myself until the headache goes and my mood lifts.

The weird thing, however, is that I can sense that touchstone of contentment inside me. It’s very confusing; on one hand my emotions are really unsettled, yet there’s contentment within. My EMDR therapist mentioned that it’s a peculiarly Western view that you can only experience one feeling at a time when I mentioned this kind of thing to her. So I know it’s possible to be both discontent and content at the same time – discontent with some parts of life yet still have an inner contentedness.

So, I wander off now to sit with these paradoxical feelings, to try to relax and let the headache ease off enough that I can sleep off the extreme tiredness it will leave me with.

Coloring Template

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd

Another week of lock-down during the Covid-19 pandemic has passed, so it’s time for another coloring template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I enjoyed drawing last week’s one so much that I thought I’d do a similar one this week. Lots of tiny templates, or windows, in each one.

I drew the designs on dot grid paper using a 04 Sakura Pigma Sensei pen and scanned it in to clean it up. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to colour some of the little drawings in.

More Botanical Mail Art

Two fairly quick, small projects this morning – small botanical cards. Simple, cute, whimsical, darling. Little treasures.

These were fun to make, relatively quick too. They’d be darling little cards to receive in the post or in person. They’d also work nicely as an addition to a journal – a place to journal or keep little memory making bits and bobs in the envelope too.

Each card is 3″ x 4″ in size and the panels are approx 3.5″ x 2″ in size. I made the envelopes to fit and decorated them with one of the motifs from the designs on each card. I did a tiny bit of hand lettering on one of them too.

#Inktober52 Week 7 – Dinner

#Inktober52 Week 7 – Dinner ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

The art…

What else could I do for dinner other than have the etymology of the word along with a collage of just a few of my favourite foods! And I do mean only some.

I looked up the etymology of ‘dinner’ on Etymology Online, did a little bit of typography using Affinity Publisher.

I then drew the foods on Claire Fontaine dot grid paper using an 0.8 Uniball Unipin pen.

I scanned the drawing in and removed the dot grid and removed smudges and so on in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

My next step was to add a coloured background and some colour to some of the drawings. Only to some, as this was a ‘for fun’ project as part of the #Inktober52 challenge organised by Jake Parker, the founder of Inktober.

Missing in action…

It’s been a couple of days since my last blog. It seems that life and demands on me have taken over arty pursuits. And when I wasn’t seeing to the life demands, I was taking some time out by needlefelting.

I managed to needlefelt a cute rabbit and owl over the last two or three days. I’ll post pictures of them in another post.

Peace

Peace © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Artistically, I’m feeling cute and whimsical this morning. So a little bit of hand lettering along with some simple, cute and whimsical wreaths have satisfied this feeling.

Pretty hearts with some spiral details that remind me of iced biscuits (cookies to you lovely people in America). Soft pink for love. Evergreen foliage for peace and compassionate love to grow and flourish around this planet. Purple berries to create a harmonious balance of awareness and peace.

Perhaps there’s more symbolism and messages in my art, something that belies my belief I’m just creating pretty things.

I did create this art digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and a Microsoft Surface Pen.

A festive dangle design video

This morning, I made a video of me drawing and colouring this festive dangle design and turning it into a card.

This video shows me drawing in real time, and I hope you enjoy it, despite the wobbliness in places.

Here’s a list of materials I used:

  • 8″x 8″ Winsor and Newton Bristol Board folded to make an 8″ x 4″ card
  • 7″ x 3″ piece of Winsor and Newton Bristol Board to draw the design on
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, medium
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Various Chameleon Color tones marker pens
  • White Uniball Signo gel pen
  • Tombow Mono glue
  • Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and a mini foam blending tool

I hope you have a go at drawing this dangle design and making your own papercraft or craft projects with it. If you do, I’d love to see them!

If you’d like to know more about drawing dangle designs, or would like more inspiration, step by step instructions, and encouraging words, then my book “A Dangle A Day” is a good place to start.

Festive Dangle Designs

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Feeling in a festive mood? Fancy getting a little creative? Well, there’s no better way than creating some dangle designs to decorate your own Christmas and holiday projects. They’re also a great way to practice hand lettering and drawing cute, whimsical and simple designs.

Being creative is also a great way to relax and take some time out of the hustle and bustle that can overwhelm us at this time of year. I always find it relaxing to sit down with some pens, dot grid paper and a big mug of tea (or mocha as it’s the last days of autumn here in the UK) and just draw for enjoyment. Mind you, all my drawing work is enjoyment, but drawing for just the pleasure of drawing, with no specific brief to work to is a different kind of joy for me.

I’m finding that I need a focus, a project to be creative at the moment. I’m in between contracts and need some time out as I’ve had a crazy few weeks. However, settling to do anything not connected to a contract can cause me some issues. I still feel the need to create for a purpose, and sometimes that simple joy isn’t enough. I still have some issues to work through in therapy it seems. However, I am now aware of them and can work towards releasing these limiting attitudes and behaviours.

Anyway, today, I’ve created a sheet of some examples of design elements, hand lettering and examples of dangle designs to use as is or just to inspire you. There’s plenty more to inspire you in my book “A Dangle A Day”.

My drawings today are a bit rough, ready and wobbly, as is my hand lettering. I coloured them in very loosely, not worrying about keeping inside the lines or perfect coverage or blending. Colour really does make a difference, doesn’t it? It brings the designs alive!

However, this is a page of sketches, ideas. Maybe I’ll use some of them another time, or maybe I’ll leave it as a page of drawing and hand lettering practice, a page that I enjoyed doing with no real reason other than enjoying the process of creating.

I had thought about doing a video of this page – if you’d like to see videos of me drawing pages like this, then leave me a comment.

I used a mixture of Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens to draw the designs on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. I coloured the images digitally.

Festive Mandala

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I needed to create a cute, whimsical, simple mandala this morning (and on into the afternoon). This is what I came up with. Plenty of bright colours glowing against the dark background.

Stars and hearts are motifs that often appear in my work, as well as arches that can be like petals, sunshine or architectural. The holly leaves and berries mark this mandala as a winter one.

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