I wish each and every person the very best blessings of the season, not just for today, but for each and every day ahead of each.
This card is now almost finished. I have learned some things from yesterday’s debacle. Mainly that I’d make a much wider border for the embossed background.
I did add Speckled Egg Distress ink to this embossed background, but it’s such a lovely, subtle colour the camera hasn’t picked it up well.
The embossed layer is so tactile! I used some Micro Glaze to seal it so that being touched won’t affect the distress ink.
Actually, I used Micro Glaze on the top layer too!
I could only find cream coloured card blanks and envelopes, and these layers really didn’t look too good on them. So, hopefully I’ll remember where my card blank stash is, or I’ll make a blank and envelope.
In the video I try embossing an envelope – a case of ‘envelope art’. I’m glad I did. The embossing works well. However, the areas where the flaps are glued together on the back of the envelope make indents in the front. Distress Ink brings these out so much. So, I’ll be sure to emboss the front of the envelope, and colour with Distress Ink, before I glue it all together!
All in all, I’m much happier with this card. Mind you, I do have ideas for others! Probably too late for Christmas now, but … there’s always lots of other reasons for sending greetings cards, including ‘just because I can’.
Winter solstice 2021 Mandala
Winter Solstice Greetings and Wishes to you all to the north of the equator! Summer Solstice Greetings and Wishes to you all south of the equator!
Some sunshine on a chilly, dull Winter Solstice day here in the Valleys of South Wales, UK.
All the best of the blessings of the season to you one and all!
Today, the Sun passes into Capricorn, marking the astronomical start of winter. It’s one of the shortest days of the year as well, and so it seems right that as the days get longer, the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere strengthens, that it is seen as the ending of one orbit around the Sun, and the start of a new one.
Of course, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Summer Solstice!
It’s Thursday so that means it’s time for a new colouring template / colouring page for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group!
This week’s template is a combination of dangle designs and little pictures. Not one large and often intricate image to colour this week, but a series of little ones so that the template can be coloured in one little bit at a time. This is great for people who get overwhelmed by large, overly-complex colouring pages.
Just as a note, my book “A Dangle A Day” is available. It’s a tutorial book showing how you too can create your own cute and whimsical dangle designs. The dangle designs in the book are a lot smaller than this template!
This design was drawn on Rhodia Dot grid paper using a “F” Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen and then cleaned up digitally. I then added a wintry background and added some colour to some of the motifs.
I always love to see the many different and unique ways colorists bring my designs to life. Colour really does make all the difference to the templates.
A Christmas Greeting
Wishing everyone who visits this little space on the interwebs all the very best blessings and wishes of the season.
I also wish to thank you for visiting, for sharing my posts.
However you spend this day, whether with friends, family, at work, or by yourself, I wish you well and the best.
About this image
I woke early-ish this morning and had an idea that involved creating this mandala/wreath design, so I had to do it!
Unusually, I drew the motifs in colour! Yup. No black line, just colour.
They’re all very simple with simple colour gradations. The black lines were created by removing colour so the dark background would show through.
I think the outer ring of leaves could be a little lighter, but then it does give a sense of the outer ring bending away, with the hearts and mistletoe on the high point of the ‘wreath’.
Adding texture to the design helped to scuff up the perfection of the colours.
I really enjoyed doing this, as simple as it is.
I am really grateful that I used an insulated mug for my gingerbread mocha latte this morning – I forgot all about it for over 3 hours, so engrossed in my art as I was, and it’s now just the perfect temperature for drinking!
My tools were Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. Yes, this is a digital piece of art.
The rest of the day I intend to spend in arty/creative pursuits, including finishing off my knitted cuddly triceratops (yes, I know yesterday I incorrectly said it was a stegosaurus).
Winter begins! It’s the end of one astronomical cycle and the start of a new one. Winter Solstice is one of my favourite days of the year, along with All Hallow’s Eve. There’s always a feeling of excitement on this day that’s associated with ending and beginnings. Time to lay to rest that which is completed to make way for the new that replaces them as the Sun symbolically ‘dies’ on this day and will begin to ‘grow’ again in the days that follow until the Summer Solstice. It’s also a time to be grateful too.
I know there are many endings and beginnings; every moment in our lives is both an ending and a beginning. However, I feel that days like this, where we can focus on this never ending process in a bigger, more symbolic, more formal way, is important. Traditions are important as they bring a semblance of order to our rather chaotic lives.
I spent some time yesterday drawing this mandala to go with today. The dull gold represents the weakness of the Sun, relatively speaking. I’ve included mistletoe, holly and ivy as they’re traditionally associated with this day. I’ve also added berries as symbolic of the fruits of gratitude I carry for all the days since the last Winter Solstice. And, of course, there are plenty of sun-ray-like motifs and patterns. And stars. Plenty of stars, which from a distance look like snow drifting down.
Yes, I can say I’m rather pleased with this mandala. That’s not something I say often as I’m highly critical of myself and my work. But this one I really do like. I like the more graphic nature of the motifs. I like my hand lettering. I like the rhythm and flow of the design with the rings of designs radiating out.
So, I wish you all the very best that comes with the Winter Solstice, for today and all the days ahead of you and yours.
This was created using a Microsoft Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a gold texture purchased via Creative Market.
Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, or Yule. So, I wanted to create a dangle design for Yuletide, and wish you all the blessings of the season.
On the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day and from here on in the amount of daylight begins to increase once again, albeit very slowly at first.
People gather at prehistoric monuments, such as Stonehenge, Newgrange and Avebury, to watch the sunrise on this day. These monuments have Winter Solstice alignments. That’s why I’ve got a pair of big stones framing the sun.
Of course I had to include holly, mistletoe and some evergreens in the design, along with stars, hears and a couple of cute robins.
It is a digital piece of art which started life as a pencil drawing on dot grid paper. The design was scanned in and re-drawn using a Microsoft Surface pen on the screen of my Microsoft Studio in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I did make use of the mirror symmetry tool to help me with the symmetrical nature of the design. I hand lettered the sentiment in the ribbon.
I did colour this quickly using gradient fills – yesterday I really wasn’t up to doing much. I am feeling a bit better today, though drained after a quick visit to my local town to run a couple of errands. I’m really easy to startle at the moment and me being jumpy at every noise and the number of people out and about was something I kind of expected but hoped I wouldn’t experience today.
I’m safely back home now and am starting to calm down a little, though I feel exhausted. So, the rest of the day will be spent quietly for sure.
I do have a Winter Solstice mandala to share tomorrow, and I’m rather pleased with this one. So, do pop back tomorrow.
Wednesday is #wipwednesday around the interwebs and sometimes it manifests itself on this blog.
This is my current work in progress, well just a part of it. I drew the design using various pens on paper and then scanned it in. I’m part way through colouring the image. It’s going to take me many hours to finish it, but that won’t be today. I have appointments this afternoon.
I am coloring it digitally with the usual tools – Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I’m trying to keep to a winter/yule/christmas kind of colour scheme. That means the purple coloured ‘berries’ may have to be changed, but that’s easy enough to alter when working digitally.
#createdonsurface #quartoknows #autodesksketchbook
I have to admit that I, like so very many others, spent the Christmas period alone (except for a couple of hours playing Trivial Pursuit at my little sisters on Christmas night). It’s not the first Christmas that this has happened, but it’s one in a very long succession of solitary Christmases.
I feel the pressure from society and the media greatly at this time of the year; the pressure to be in a happy family, showered with gifts and food and company and loving intimacy.
The image we’re sold that we can’t possibly be happy unless we’re part of a big, loving, happy family and in a meaningful, happy, loving relationship is a trigger point for my mood, for unlocking the kennel of the black dog that can nip at my heels all too often.
This year, though, I’m happy to say that the black dog didn’t visit as often or as long as it has in the past many, many years. Oh, I’ve had my moments, but I’ve survived better than I have for a very long time, most probably 20 years or so.
What helped is indulging myself in my coping strategies – creating art, making music, reading, cat cuddling and generally being creative (which currently means knitting baby blankets for my neice who is expecting twins in 3 to 4 months time). Also, avoiding social media – facebook especially – has helped too.
Reminding myself that I’m not at the point in my healing journey from the cptsd (complex post traumatic stress disorder) that I experience that I feel able to have healthy relationships has also helped. It’s a work in progress, the healing that is.
Another sign of my recovery from the trials and tribulations of the cptsd that I experience is that I made a little effort to add some ‘decorations’ for the Winter Solstice/Yule/Christmas season, which include a trio of small, knitted christmas trees, which kept me a little occupied in the days/weeks leading up to this time, as well as knitting and needle felting some bacteria and viruses for a pharmacist I met at an event I attended as a Time to Change Wales champion.
So, now the next event that can cause the black dog to find some strength is New Year’s Eve…
…which I can survive by using my super-power of being creative to help me cope.
The piece of art above has been done over the past 3 days. The black outlines were drawn first, followed by a base layer of Ranger’s Distress Inks applied with Clarity Stencil brushes.
I then used the Distress Inks as watercolours to intensify the colours in various places as well as to add the colour to the berries/seeds/buds.
Next, I used Cosmic Shimmer’s Iridescent Watercolour paints to add some shimmer in large areas, before adding detailed patterns using coloured pencils (I chose to use my Mitsubishi Uni Pencils for this).
Finally, I added metallic and ‘glittery’ sparkle using Sakura’s Gold Gelly Roll Metallic pen and a Clear Star Gelly Roll pen.
I was rather restrained for me by leaving areas just coloured, not embellished to high heaven and back! The areas I have added texture/pattern to stand out more and it’s not quite so overwhelming.
This could mean my artistic skills are maturing a little.
The most important thing, however, is that I enjoyed the process of creating this large (for me) piece of art. The paper I used is A3 in size, and the drawing is approx 9.5″ x 14.5″.
When I finally figure out how to price my art (any one wishing to offer help/advice/suggestions on this, then it will be gratefully recieved) I may put it up for sale on Etsy.
Sending each and every one of you all the very best of the wishes of the season. May each of your days ahead be filled with love, joy and all things bright and good!
Thank you to all who have supported me and sent me such kind words too.
Drawn on my Surfacebook, coloured in via Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.