Ardent Shadows

Gothic Fantasy paintings by Jemima Mantle



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Mindfulness Monday #9

This week I’ve decided to give you an insight into how I build up the two pages. I try and start each weeks drawing in a different place on the page. This just helps me stay mindful whilst drawing so I can really focus on what I’m doing. As you can see I move around the page and try not to finish one page ahead of the other. I like to work round in a spiral as much as possible.


This week I’ve also continue to play with the pens I use to draw with. Last week I was struggling to get used to using my two new pens and it took me a very long to complete two pages because I was using the smaller pen for all the construction lines. I therefore decided to buy more of the original pen that I started with. Using all three types of pen has really improved my technique and I’m pleased with how this has worked. So for those who want to know, that means I’m using the following:

  • Pentel: EnerGel 0.7
  • Pilot: Pure Liquid Ink 0.5 (V Ball)
  • Pilot: Pure Liquid Ink 1.0 (V Sign Pen)

The downside to this is that I now have to carry my book and three pens with me. I have been taking my mindfulness drawing to anywhere I might need to do some stress busting. I really have been able to achieve a total state of calm by doing these drawings and find that picking it up just for 5 or 10 minutes at a time is very beneficial for me.

Additionally this weeks’ drawing is also a ‘spot the panda’ by request of my sister. I invite you all to spot the panda and as I’ve uploaded this one in a special large format, why not print this one and have a go at colouring it yourself to enhance your mindfulness. If you do, make sure you share them with me – I’d love to see them!

Emelye Evans, this one’s for you:


Mindfulness Monday #6

This week’s pages were started in a different way. The binding shows on these pages and I thought that instead of trying to hide them or work round them, that it would be interesting to highlight them using negative space. I then used these shapes as the starting point for the whole design. It was fun to work on something that grew from the central point of the double page. I always try to start in a different place so that I vary the experience I get from the exercise. I’m very keen to avoid these drawings becoming in anyway planned or predictable. I want to ensure that they continue to demand my full attention. I feel that if my approach becomes systematic, I will lose a lot of the freedom and mindfulness which I’m currently enjoying.

The choice to draw more hearts is something that I think has come out of allowing myself to add my husband’s name last week. It’s always something I’ve doodled absent minded in notebooks but it was lovely to incorporate it into a mindfulness drawing and reconnect with what it really symbolises. If mindfulness is about calm and focus, shouldn’t we also find a way of celebrating love and happiness. I don’t know why it’s only just occurred to me. Of course these things go hand in hand. Is there anything in this world which makes us feel more calm, and more ‘in the moment’ than love. Whether that’s love for a partner, your family, your pets or just looking at a stunning view and connecting with how that makes you feel. I certainly feel that love is something I will be connecting with a lot more in my mindfulness drawings from now on.


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