Abstract Watercolour WIP

What a grey, cool, windy and showery/rainy, changeable day it is here in the Valleys of South Wales, UK. Such a huge contrast to the three days of a heatwave earlier this week. Mind you, I’m one of those people who prefers to be cool rather than too hot, and on Wednesday and Thursday it really was too hot for me!

I’m still not quite right in terms of mental focus and emotional balance. After the rollercoaster rides I’ve had over the past month, it takes a while for the stress hormones to leach from my system. Each time they had started to lower, I found myself on that rollercoaster once more.

This is nothing that is affecting me directly, other than emotionally. However, it’s the emotional stuff that makes it difficult to deal with, despite me meditating and self-soothing and losing myself as much as I can in creativitity. That’s hard when I can’t settle to anything.

I do find I can settle somewhat more today, but I am still tired and my mind still feels fuzzy and unfocused. So, I won’t be chancing doing any work that requires my absolute focus, not today.

I was up early-ish this morning for a delivery. While waiting for it, I cut up a sheet of St Cuthbert’s Mill Bockingford watercolour paper and washi taped a 5½” x 4″ piece of it to an old cutting plate. I then took a 3mm mechanical pencil and sketched out an abstract design based on clouds, believe it or not.

I’m now part way through adding colour to it with White Knight’s watercolours and a size 2 Graduate round brush by Daler-Rowney.

Yesterday, I thought that this Bockingford paper was the one I’d used for the first of these abstract watercolours. It turns out it isn’t. I’m begininng to wonder if it was some mixed media paper as it is a brighter white than either Bockingford or Canson Moulin du Roy. It definitely wasn’t Daler-Rowney aquafine paper nor Tim Holtz’s watercolour paper. Nor was it the 100% cotton paper either. How curious.

I have enjoyed the process of drawing the design and starting to add colour. The colours are softer than yesterday’s watercolour, but more vibrant than the one I did earlier this week. Perhaps the change in colours is a sign I’m continuing to settle back to my usual chilled out, calm and content state.

So, I’m going to take a break from arty stuff for a little while. My concentration is wavering and I’m tempted to go back go sleep. However, I know that will prevent me from sleeping well tonight.

Pretty Art WIP

I’ve had a lovely couple of hours working on this particular piece of art. It is an abstract pattern, but the emphasis will be on shape and colour.

I drew the design out on paper and scanned it in to complete the artwork digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I was inspired by the work of Shell Rummel, and it reminded me of the type of art I did in my early arty exploratory days.

I wanted a watercolour feel to the art, so I’ve chosen to use rather soft colours and to try to keep the palette relatively limited. I also want to keep the extra patterns/lines to a minimum, though I do want some more detailed interest in places, such as the dots along the centre line of a leaf motif. This is going to be hard for me to do; I usually insist on filling every space with pattern and colour.

It’s also odd for me to work from a pencil sketch, usually I’m straight to pen on paper (or pen on screen). I do find it a lot easier to get my ideas/outlines onto paper than I do on the screen, and my lines flow. I think it’s because I get a better idea of the overall design as I do have a habit of zooming into whatever area I’m working on.

Overlaying a watercolour paper texture takes the art from the rather mechanical feel of digital art to something more textured and interesting, warmer and ‘human’ in feel.

This will take me a long time to complete, most probably over several days as I do have to do other stuff at this time. But it’ll be a nice thing to do as my ‘warm up’ art in the morning.

WIP

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I woke at stupid o’clock with a migraine/stress-come-down-headache. It took a couple of hours before I could get back to sleep. I’m still headachy and so tired. However, before I try to sleep off the dregs of the migraine-headache I wanted to do something artistic, and this is what I started. Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface and Surface Slim Pen.

No idea of what to create, just went with the flow.

Mandala WIP

Mandala WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Yesterday, my day was taken up with phone calls and I didn’t get a chance to do any social media postings at all.

While I was taking the phone calls, however, I was able to continue to do art, which was the reworking of the mandala I started the other day.

This time, I chose a colour palette of vintage dusky pinky-purple, teal, moss and creamy colours, and I’ve stuck to it.

I absolutely love the motif in the centre of the mandala! Yes, you read that right, there’s a bit of art of mine I can say I love!

I was worried about the different sized rings around that motif being too simple, but I think they’ve worked out well. In the full resolution and size artwork, you can see pattern and texture on the rings that adds interest to them.

The last ring out I’m fairly pleased with. I’m sure it will settle better into the design once I’ve done some more work on it. I hope that will be later on today. For now, I need to run some errands and as the sun is shining I feel the need to use my DSLR again.

Digital art created using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen from Microsoft.

Butterfly WIP

Butterfly WIP 11 March 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

A little more work done on this design this morning. I’ve been working at it for around three hours, making it a total of around eight hours so far.

I like the shapes of the details added around the body, not so sure about the colour choice, yet. I can always change the colour once I’m happy with the shapes. I prefer them to the glowing zentangle type patterns yesterday. They’re taking the butterfly from something that is earthly to something else – alien, magical, partly mechanical perhaps.

I’m feeling a bit better today. My tummy had a major upset yesterday afternoon and that left me wiped out. This morning, I managed some porridge for breakfast and it’s not made me feel ill. I’m still tired though, but slowly on the mend.

I’ve reached my limit of focusing on art, for now. So I’m going to take a break. I finished the cross stitch design I was working on yesterday and gave it a quick iron while my porridge was cooking.

In the evening, I started a crochet wrap, using some Sirdar Jewelspun in the setting sun colour way. Gorgeously warm, autumnal colours make up this yarn. It’s soft and a pleasure to work with, especially on a 5.5mm hook as this is giving a flexible fabric. I’m following a gentle and slightly lacy chevron pattern which has a one row repeat – my favourite kind of pattern when it’s hard for me to focus!

Oh, and I’ve continued my binge watching of Criminal Minds too.

Butterfly WIP

I’ve been experiencing a tummy bug the last day or two and so have had to take time away to rest and take care of myself. It’s making me feel very tired, though I do have a little appetite back, which is good.

I started work on this butterfly yesterday morning, and have continued this morning. I think I’ve spent about 5 hours on it so far.

It’s giving me a chance to explore and familiarise myself with features of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro I’ve not used much. Tools such as the selection tool and different types of layers, for instance.

The butterfly is definitely not finished; I’m trying out ways to add pattern to the various sections on the wings. I’ll get there eventually I’m sure. At the moment I’m adding entangled/zentangle patterns to the sections using a ‘glow’ layer. Not sure if it’s working, yet. But I’ll keep trying things out until I’m happy.

But not today. I still need to take some time out for self-care. That means cwtching up, keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids, and cross-stitching while binge-watching Criminal Minds! Maybe I’ll even see if I can do some reading too – I have a couple of books about Craftivism I want to read and digest.

Talking of craftivism, I do need to order some knitting/crochet yarn made of natural fibres to create some butterflies with for a yarn bombing project I’ve volunteered to help with. My yarn stash consists of yarn made of synthetic fibres.

Oh, back to the cross-stitch thing.

I used to cross-stitch years, and years ago, quite avidly. I always avowed that I’d never take it up again. However, as I searched for books on craftivism, a cross-stitch book popped up that was just way too intriguing! So, I ordered the book and some materials to cross stitch with.

The materials arrived yesterday, but the book won’t be here until tomorrow. So, I did a quick hunt around Etsy and found a cross-stitch project or two that were perfect! Both were quite simple, small, and had words and images and would work so well for craftivism as well. I do need quite small, fairly quickly finished projects in terms of needle felting, crochet, or cross stitch at least. When it comes to drawing, art, I can work happily on a piece for a long time quite happily. But not so with other crafts it seems.

Perhaps the satisfaction at finishing a craft project quickly gives me that little hit of achievement that helps me push through with projects, like this butterfly, that will take me a number of days to complete.

Even though I’ve left therapy, my healing continues bit by bit. I’m finding myself returning to crafts and activities that I once enjoyed, but as the CPTSD worsened and depression deepened I abandoned them

I am someone who needs variety in my artistic, crafty life, so I’m embracing this as much as I can. I need a change from time to time, and that change allows a freshening up of my other skills/talents. Doing different techniques adds new ideas for my artistic pursuits too.

So, I’m now going to sort myself out and settle down to finish the cross-stitch thingy I’m doing. And let my body recover from the tummy bug.

Monday Mandala WIP

Monday Mandala WIP 02/03/2020
©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I woke a bit earlier than usual this morning, and while I was coming around I watched an Autodesk Sketchbook Pro tutorial by Trent Kaniuga – Sketchbook Pro for Absolute Beginners and came across an explanation and use of a tool I’d not worked out for myself.

This is the selection tool, and it’s a great way to select areas for adding colour, texture and/or effects to as well as copying, pasting, moving, rotating, resizing and so on. It does mean I need to use my keyboard along with my Microsoft Surface Slim Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio. That means using the screen at a different angle to my usual, which is a good thing I think as I now can’t hunch over the screen.

It was the way that when an area is selected and colour or texture is applied, the colour/texture only applies to that selected area, or areas. It masks the rest of the image from the selected areas.

This is going to be so useful for me going forward, now I’ve played with the techinique. It’s given me an elegant way to do something I’ve previously achieved by the use of layer after layer after layer.

I’ve been working with it to add colour to this mandala design from a collection of mandalas I’m working on.

The colours and textures remind me of polished stones, perhaps mosaic pieces. I’ve used fairly complementary colours, but they don’t quite play off each other as much as I’d like. I am, however, going to work with these colours going forward to complete the mandala.

Entangled Frame – WIP

Entangled Frame WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I wanted a circular frame in which to put quotes. So, I started by drawing some pencil guidelines for the circle and the outer borders on some dot grid paper.

I used 08 and 02 Uniball Unipin pens to draw the circle of flowers and foliage. Then, to start filling the space around the flowers with entangled designs.

It’s very much a work in progress. Part of me thinks I could’ve left an empty border around the circular flower and foliage arrangement to separate it from the background. The other part of me likes it as it is.

I want to try to get a balance of less detailed areas with the more densely detailed sections so that there’s space for the eye to rest.

I also suspect I’ll be adding colour or, at the very least, shadow and highlights to the design to bring it to life.

Reef WIP

Reef WIP ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve had a busy day today. It started with therapy late this morning. Then, I took myself off to the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne for a walk and to look at, photo and draw some flora and foliage. I must admit I took more photos than I made sketches.

If you’d like to read more about my trip then please visit Curious Stops and Tea Shops, my other blog which is all about my trips out and about.

I have been working on this artwork where I’m working on a dark background with a soft pastel type effect upon it.

The colours are a lot brighter on my monitor than on wordpress. However, I’m sure you’ll get the idea. I like the floaty, fuzzy, ethereal feel the soft edged ‘pastels’ give the art. I also like the way I can get colours to glow against each other – very coral reef I think.

I’m still finding my way through this way of working. I’m not sure that it really is ‘me’; part of me thinks that it’s quite childish. I will persevere though and see where it leads me.