Not a lot of time for physical art since I last showed WOYWW (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday) but in between different activities I have done a bit more on the iPad and drawn some more mandalas. It’s great being able to take the iPad with me, and do drawing while I am waiting for hospital appointments, etc. It’s so much less hassle than taking physical paper and pens etc. and I am actually doing more drawing now than I did before.
One of the great things about drawing on the iPad is that you can work in layers. This means that you can draw an outline and save that as an image, and then add further layers for the colour. You therefore preserve the original and can colour it again and again in different hues, creating endless variety. Also, if you make a mistake and need to erase anything (like going over the lines!) you can do so without destroying the original drawing.
This one, which I have called “Fleur de Lys Mandala” is just the outline so far.
Here are a couple more. The first one is “Floral Mandala” – first the outline, then coloured with a mixture of pinks and purples. You will see that the central Zengem is surrounded by smaller drop-shaped Zengems.
Finally, “Spiral Mandala.” This one started out as a demonstration, as I was showing someone the cool mirror technique in the PaintStorm app, and I liked what I’d done, so I developed it further. It’s not so intricate as the previous ones, but I like its boldness.
You will see that on the coloured ones, I have added a bit of background. I did this by creating a new layer and dragging it down beneath the outline drawing layer, and painted gently, using a large soft airbrush with about 50 percent opacity. Because the layer is beneath the others, when you colour, the background goes “behind” the drawing. Working in the Procreate app, all the layers are transparent so you can achieve this effect with ease.
You can also see that I have shaded some areas of colouring. In the first one, “Floral Mandala,” I have painted the base of the leaves only, and then “pulled up” the colour using the smudge tool. In the “Spiral Mandala,” I have coloured the two areas with different colours and then used the smudge tool to blend the junction between two adjacent colours. The Apple Pencil is a joy to use, and so intuitive – it feels like a normal pen or pencil or marker, and you soon forget that you are not working with regular media.
Also over the past few weeks, I have been working on the visual aids for my Bible study group – we are studying the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at the moment, as detailed in the Book of Exodus, and I have decided to revamp my original simple line drawings and render them in full colour using Procreate, and also to create some new ones. There is quite a preponderance of shiny metal to be rendered, and I have always struggled with this, so I have been working on the technique, following some tutorials on Youtube. Following along with one and following the artist more or less stroke by stroke for practice, I drew this beetle and rendered it in metallic gold. He was working with coloured pencils, but you can achieve the same effect on the iPad.
Drawing the pillars at the entrance to the Tabernacle, I came up with this:
which I hope look sufficiently shiny and gold! With this project, I am killing two birds with one stone – producing new artwork for the course, and honing my drawing and painting skills. I am planning on doing a series of studies in shiny and reflective surfaces because it’s an area that’s always fascinated me, and which so far has eluded me. I am learning that it’s more a question of looking, and painting exactly what you see, and trying to forget that it is gold and shiny – painting areas of distinct dark and light with quite a hard demarcation between them gives a better illusion of shininess. Hopefully I shall improve as time goes on!
I saw the stoma nurse last week and she confirmed the GP’s opinion that I have developed a hernia. She agreed that repair is not really an option, and that the way forward is support, and this afternoon a young lady from a company specialising in support garments for ostomates (people with stomas) came to the house to fit me with something suitable – she was absolutely delightful and we parted with a hug – she is originally from an African country and is petite and quite beautiful, and rejoices in the name of Moreblessing!! I certainly felt blessed by her presence. We tried various samples she’d brought along and found that belts are no good for me – they just roll up, so pants it is. I am having some bespoke ones made up, medium size with a smaller waist and larger legs. Even trying on a pair which didn’t fit properly, I could immediately feel the benefit of the support. I have chosen a beige pair with lace – they look really pretty and not like medical equipment! To start with they will just make up one for me, and if I am happy with it, I can order more. I am allowed three in one year on prescription, and I don’t want to waste the prescription by ordering three all at once and then finding that they are no good. They will take a maximum of four weeks to arrive but it should be quicker than that.
When I saw the stoma nurse she told me I had “textbook skin” and “whatever you are doing, keep on doing it!” which was very encouraging. She was pleased with Kermit’s appearance and then said they were preparing a training booklet for the staff, and were including a series of photos of parastomal skin from worst to best – and she wants a picture of Kermit and his surrounding skin, to feature as the best!! They will call me in when they want to do it. So Kermit and I are going to be famous! Someone on the forum said Kermit would want to make celebrity appearances from now on, in shows like “Dancing with the Stomas,” and “Stoma’s Got Talent” haha!! She added that if Kermit wanted to autograph the book, then things could get a bit messy…
So things are looking up on all fronts. I am feeling much better now.