Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Coloring in the Lines

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso, quoted in Time, October 1976

While we were out shopping, my daughter and I found a couple of those adult stress-relieving coloring books. I used to love coloring with crayons and colored pencils when I was young. In fact, one of my fondest memories of my mother is lying on the floor next to me with our feet up as she colored beside me. I believe it was from her that I learned a technique to inline the outline slightly darker than the area I was coloring; it gave it a 3D quality. Also coloring lightly with one color then coloring lightly with another color added more interest and could add to the 3D quality.

I was always a stickler for colors being natural until I was a young adult and was messing around with a quilt like pattern I made up filling it in with markers of bright, bold colors. I made several of these patterned pieces, leaving each with an unfinished look on purpose, just to see how different it could look with the same colors in different places in the pattern. It was interesting to see how the eye blended the colors and the mind filled in the unfinished pattern.

Since then I have been in love with bright colors, but my style of art, that is what I like to draw which is mostly faces, is on the realistic side. Also, although I like color in different mediums, my favorite mediums tend to be pencil and stippling with ink. Things change though....

Then came face painting with bold colors on a 3D (and often moving) canvas. I found my own style there with bright colors and I love it, but not everyone wants my art on their face; most children, particularly boys, want some superhero.

So, when we saw these coloring books, I thought it would be good for both my daughter and me. The Princess is more of a black and white cartoonist, who uses a bit of shading but she really never enjoyed coloring. In fact, it is surprising to me how good of an artist she can be even though filling in with color is still not her strong suit. Even so, she wanted these fancy coloring books and I hoped it would help her with techniques in coloring.

I was supposed to being driving her to a piano lesson today, but the alternator on Dragon Heart, my van, had been dying a slow death until today when it completely died and could not charge her battery anymore, so she was in the shop getting a replacement. I had a number of other things I could have done, should have done, but we decided to color. The Princess did three to my one, but I wanted her to see what one can do in blending colored pencils so I did this....

Thank you, my Lord, for a day of just coloring with my daughter. I hope it created a good memory for her.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.