Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Living life in colour

So it turns out learning to draw and learning how to use colour are two different and almost unrelated skills.  Shocker.  Plus side, there are ways of separating them lol.   Lots of sketching / drawing / etc learning approaches online.  I've found one I like and am learning from it the basics of drawing.   But, obviously, that's a lot more work and a lot less fun than just following instructions and turning out cool stuff 😂.   The only thing getting me through it is that it asks you to do a "before" drawing that "you wouldn't mind repeating" that will have an after drawing at the end.   I drew Sasha - she's recognizable as a dog (lol significant progress over before starting the follow along videos!), possibly even recognizable as an Aussie.   Not necessarily recognizable as Sasha.   We'll see if that improves ;) 

In the interim though, since this course is working on real basics, it's about as exciting as hours and hours of up-down lessons.   So to not lose interest entirely, I figured in parallel I would learn about colours.   Turns out, people teach this as well.  I found a book that I'm really enjoying for learning about pencil crayons, bought a physical colour wheel, AND - discovered from YouTube - lots of people seem to learn to use colour through adult colouring books.   It takes the stress of "ruining your drawing" out and lets you focus on the colour alone.  

I'm enjoying this one cause it has spaces to test and learn
(aka fuck around and find out)

So I have a lovely dragon colouring book that I bought YEARS ago.  Started two or three - using markers cause I couldn't get good colour with pencil crayons - and quickly got frustrated and annoyed because it didn't look any better than anything I'd done when I was 10.  But it's dragons and other relevant things, so why not give it a try?

Fully expecting to be frustrated again, I dug out the book (the other ones have long since been donated  since colouring, rather than being cathartic, was stress inducing and frustrating), and found one that I had started but only just.  Hey - if I'm going to ruin a page, it may as well be one I've already ruined right?

So - turns out random YouTube videos have taught me stuff as I went along.   I'm super slow and this is literally the first thing I've tried to come up with colours on my own, BUT - I made a solid effort to layer colours, I made an actual colour swath the pencil crayons I own (which are, admittedly, significantly better quality than the ones I had previously lol - one of those cases where good quality can help compensate from lack of skill).   

There may or may not have been a significant amount of googling to figure out how to do things, but - the important part is - I eventually put colour on paper AND I'm pleased with how it's going.

Things I've learned while colouring:

  • I would 100% have colour paralysis if I were doing this on a drawing I'd made that I cared about, so definite win on the safety zone of a colouring book ;)
  • Conversely, I'm remarkably blasé about fixing errors; I figure this comes from the last few years of stabbing things.  I figured out how to modify on the go a long time ago.
  • While I am trying to "colour inside the lines" (just this once, I swear! ;-P), it was a lightbulb moment that that doesn't mean you can't add NEW lines and/or use multiple colours in one outlined area.   I tell you - the last time I coloured I was a little kid and still believed in following rules ;-P. This has made things So. Much. More. Interesting.
  • It's a symmetrical drawing, so I'm testing q-tip blending on the left and using a blending solvent on the right so learning + and - to both.   So far what I've learned is I like the look of the solvent more, but I need a *much* thinner brush to use it effectively.
  • What a HUGE difference good quality pencils make.  Lol I couldn't get any vibrant colour at ALL when I tried before.  I'm sure a really skilled artist could make beauty out of any tool, but I am not that person so where I can, I'm going for quality *g*. 
  • It takes a LOT longer than I would ever have imagined.  I'm not even drawing it, JUST colouring it, yet even the small portion I have complete took me literal hours.  Admittedly got faster once I had an approach in mind and my swatches made but still.
  • I learned some of this colour theory in grade school (which tells you the level of it lol) but definitely couldn't have told you what a complementary colour was or how or why to use it if my colour wheel hadn't told me ;)

Anyways - I am super amused at how disproportionately proud I was of my silly mix and match colours.  Esp when I decided that a fantasy drawing does NOT need to reflect reality, and so I wanted leaves that were blue but would still go with the greens.   For she who has no ability to mix and match colours, this was an adventure in itself.

Tonight's WIP, complete w all the notes I made while doing it ;)
The bright orange dragons and their wings were done in marker a lifetime ago.
Drawing came from a book called Mythical Enhancements by Kathryn Marlin