Welcome to my Colouring Blog! 

Welcome to my new blog!  I have been blogging for a while on www.bigrollercoastercalledlife.wordpress.com which is about my health issues and life in general but thought it was about time I started one just for colouring as it was coming up more and more in my blog.

Colouring is my passion, I love it. I have always loved art but found as I can’t really draw I was never very happy with the results.  Colouring is ideal for me as I don’t have to draw, I can just colour someone else’s beautiful artwork.  I started out by buying every single book I could lay my hands on regardless of whether I really liked it or not.  I soon found my groove and now I concentrate on certain authors that have become favourites.  I have a heap of books away to charity and now only keep/buy books that really appeal to me.  I save a lot of money that way, all the more to spend on art materials!

I think this hobby is here to stay, I have dabbled in so many arts and crafts but none have lasted this long!

I have developed my own style, as I am vision impaired I tend to go for bright punchy colours that I can see easily.  It’s funny how we adapt to our disabilities to make it work for us.  I also use low vision aids as I find it very hard to see the lines without them.  Sometimes on bad eye days my colouring can be messy but I still colour unless I am in a lot of pain as I find that it really helps my mental wellbeing.

On this blog I will show my pictures, put up cool colouring videos, review products and books and generally have a good old chat about colouring.

Hope you will join me along the way for some colouring fun.

The Colouring Community is Awesome!

I had a wonderful email this morning from a fellow colourist and it really made me smile.  Thank you KJ, I’m not sure where you are in the world but it was lovely to read your message and hear your story, you are very inspiring and a wonderful artist, I really like your work.

There are so many talented colourists in Facebook groups and on Instagram who are happy to share tips and advice, offer some support and just generally have a chat.   We all colour for different reasons and we all have different abilities, and I for one really enjoy learning from people that are better than me.  I get a real buzz out of learning a new technique that may make my pictures more beautiful.  I particularly enjoy learning new techniques for backgrounds, but I am also very keen to learn more about colouring skin too as I have some lovely books with people in and I have been too scared to start one of them.

For the most part the colouring community is wonderful, but like any group of a lot of people you get the odd troll but on the whole it is a great place to hang out and meet new people.  I like to think I have made some new friends from my interest in colouring.

I am currently working on my first page from Mythomorphia.  I am taking it slow because my vision isn’t much cop lately and I don’t want to ruin it.  I have my own style of colouring, bright and bold.  I find it really difficult to use more subtle colours because I can see bright much easier.  You won’t see many pale colours in my palette.

I am working on this old bloke cliff face, and I am debating whether I want to do the stone grey or brownish.  Anyone who knows me will know that I take ages to make my mind up so this could take some time LOL  Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks to choose my next picture.  I think I am going to go with grey, maybe.  Think I will google cliffs and see what comes up then decide.  Actually I think I like brown better, so brown it is!  Hahaha wait and see I bet they end up grey!

Will post an update at the weekend!

Review on Zest-It Pencil Blender

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I was really excited to try out the zest-it.  I bought the sponge plus a small bottle of the liquid.  I’m glad I got the bottle because the sponge was annoyingly dry.

I started off by topping up the sponge with a little liquid as it was really way too dry.  This didn’t really work for me because the liquid sinks to the bottom of the sponge and the rest stays quite dry.  I had to really prod around to get my paper stump damp enough to blend properly.  I think if I had poured more liquid into the sponge it would have worked better but I only had the smallest size bottle and didn’t want to put it all in incase I didn’t like using the sponge.

The solution I have found that suits me perfectly is to pour a little bit of the liquid into a container and dip my stump directly into it.  The stump gets nicely coated and glides effortlessly over the pencil to blend it.  I wish I had saved the $11 the sponge cost and used that money to buy a bigger bottle of the zest-it liquid.   You live and learn!  This is just my opinion of course, I am sure there are many happy sponge users out there.

This stuff is amazing, forget blending pencils, you will never want to use one on a background again after trying this stuff.  I think it is particularly good for large areas; it really does make blending backgrounds effortless and much quicker than using a blender pencil.  I coloured the background below using Caran D’Ache Luminance, as you can see the colours have blended together well with no obvious lines in the gradient.

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I had to make a conscious effort to clean off the end of my paper stump when blending different colours as I forgot one time and made a little muddy mark on the picture as the residue of a previous colour came off of the stump onto my picture.

I have tried several different brands of pencils and they all perform quite well.  See test strip below of a single colour blend.  You can actually get a smoother finish than I have here because I wanted to do a really rough scribble and see how that blended.  I colour tighter than this so it is much easier to get a smooth finish as per the background picture above :

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I have seen tutorials where a brush has been used, I tried this first but I found that it was easier and I got a better finish with a paper blending stump.  It was much easier to control where the zest-it went particularly in smaller areas.  They are inexpensive, I got a pack of different sized ones for around $5 and I reckon they will last a while.

All in all I think the zest-it is a great product, I’m really glad I have it and I suspect I will use it a lot.

New Reviews Coming Up Soon

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I haven’t been very active on here lately as I have had some awful vision issues and chemo etc, when you are feeling really sick and can’t see very well it is difficult to get motivated.  When I am feeling unwell I just want to lay on the lounge (or bed) with my kindle on the biggest font and lose myself in a good book.  That really helps to distract me from the pain etc.

Anyway I am planning some stuff which I hope to start this weekend. I have a couple of reviews that I want to do: –

Zest-it.  Never used it, just bought some.  Have seen some really amazing backgrounds where this has been used, so I am going to have a play and do a review very soon.  I have the sponge, a small bottle and some paper stumps so I should have some fun with this.

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I have a set of 40 Caran D’Ache Fancolor watercolour pencils.  I’m am not sure if I am interested in watercolour pencils but I do love Caran D’Ache products.  I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on the artists range.  These were about $80.  Funnily enough even though they are more aimed at the budding artist/student they still feel like they are really good quality as I would expect from this brand.  I think I will enjoy having a play with these and who know I might come up with something that I like!

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I also want to do a piece on pan pastels but I haven’t used mine too much yet and I am finding them a little bit tricky to master.  Once I have a bit of a handle on them I will give you guys some info on them and show you a few techniques. This is my favourite pan pastel piece so far, I found it very easy to get the effect I wanted (my interpretation of the Northern Lights), but I really need to figure out a good way to get round the fiddly bits without getting it on the picture, thats really the main thing I am struggling with.

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Anyway hope you all get some colouring in, would love to see what you are up to.  Take care and check back here for some new content soon.

 

The Actions of Others & Mental Health

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As you guys know I’m a big fan of colouring for wellbeing.  I’m feeling a bit low right now as my eyes are not great and I’m finding it hard to colour.   It’s more than that though.

I think the main reason for feeling a bit low is a couple of days ago I had to leave a group (before I got kicked out). I really enjoyed the group and that has made me a bit sad.  It’s horrible how the actions of other people can affect your mental wellbeing.  I think I’m a decent person, I get along with most people and the ones I don’t I avoid so there’s never any trouble.  I’m supportive and often gift colouring things to people who are not as lucky as I am.

So what could go wrong I tell myself!  I think you sometimes get these people who want to be in a position of power and be the leader of the gang and dominate everything.   Well I didn’t like the actions of a particular person so I blocked them so I wouldn’t have to grit my teeth and tolerate their presence on my feed every day and wow did that blow up in my face!

The colouring police said I can’t block someone I don’t particularly like so basically unblock them or piss off.  Now that didn’t sit very well with me, who on earth has got the right to tell me what I can do on my own Facebook page.  We are all adults here so let’s behave like one.  It’s a fact of life that sometimes you come across someone you don’t particularly like or get on with.  It’s only a problem if you let it be one.

To be forced from a group is just stupid and wrong; we are not 12 years old in the school yard.  I feel like the nerdy kid who’s not allowed to play with the cool kids.

Anyway I have way too much on my plate with my health issues to waste any more time and emotion on this, guess I just needed to vent and my blog is the perfect place.  It’s mine and I can talk about anything I like on it.  No colouring police here!

Just want to say thank you to all my lovely supportive friends on the OZ group … you know who you are.  It’s a great group of people and I enjoy my time there.  I’m not talking about you guys!

 

Colour My Sketchbook 2, Bennett Klein

Haven’t managed to do much colouring lately as I had eye surgery to try and find the cause of my eye disease and chronic pain.  My vision fluctuates to the point that sometimes I am pretty much blind as my corneas go a hazy white so its like looking through a thick fog, so quite often I can’t colour as I can’t see the lines at all.  Haven’t had foggy blindness for a while thank goodness but at the moment my vision is quite compromised.

This picture from Colour My Sketchbook 2 by Bennett Klein is called “Wrong Horns” and has taken me about a month to complete because of the above.  It’s my first from this book and I really enjoyed colouring it.  It is a lot different to my usual style and I found the change good.

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I have Bennett’s other books so I am now really looking forward to colouring more of his beautiful images.  I buy the PDF version and print on my own choice of paper as I prefer that to the paper that the books are printed on (works out cheaper too).   Last night I printed them all off and organised the images in files.  Just need to get Dark when it is re-released in January as I missed that one!

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Plenty here to keep me going for a while!

 

Kuretake Zig Clean Color Brush Pens for Colouring

I recently ordered a set of Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens from Amazon.  They came today and I couldn’t resist a bit of a play whilst I am on my lunch break.  They are pretty cool and I think I will have heaps of fun with them once I have got the hang of them.

They are water based dye pens with a real brush tip that can be used for thin or thicker lines in one stroke.  I had had a bit of a play and what is really cool is you don’t get much bleeding over the lines.

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According to their website they come in packs of 4, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 60; although I believe there are actually 80 colours open stock.

To blend you can touch the tip of two different colour pens together to get a colour gradient.  The picture below demonstrates this.  You can also brush colour onto a palette or plastic dish and pick colour up with another lighter colour and then brush on to the paper.

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The tip of the brush is quite fine so it should be easy to get into those nooks and crannies on a colouring page.  On the paper I tested them on they did not bleed through to the back, but they need to be tested on lots more types of paper before I can confidently say that you will get no bleed through.

I have been a pencil girl up till now, and these will not replace my beloved pencils but I am really looking forward to giving these a go.  It will be nice to have the option of using something different occasionally for a bit of fun.

Colouring for Wellbeing

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I feel very strongly about Colouring for Wellbeing (or any other hobby that you enjoy).  A little bit about myself to explain this ….

I have two rare eye diseases giving me low vision and chronic pain. I have to use low vision aids to colour with and even then sometimes I can’t see the lines clearly.  I don’t let my disability stop me from doing something that I love to do.  I love talking to my colouring friends online about our pictures and new products.  There is a whole community of people out there willing to share friendship, tips and ideas.  I have met so many lovely people in the colouring community who I am proud to call my friends.

Sometimes I like to take my time, be artistic, try new techniques and try to create a piece of art that is unique that people will look at and admire, other times I just want to colour.  A lot depends on my level of pain at the time.  Colouring is a distraction; it takes my mind off of the pain and makes it a little bit easier to bear.

The feeling of satisfaction I get when I look at a picture that I coloured, despite not being able to see or being in pain really lifts my spirits and makes me feel good about myself.

It really doesn’t matter how well you colour, it doesn’t matter if you can’t stay in the lines or pick colours that go well together because if colouring makes you happy do it.  At the end of the day it’s all about our own personal wellbeing. There have been times that I have felt intimidated by some of the pictures that I see coloured on Instagram or Facebook, I can’t compete with the skill of some of these really talented people.  I felt a little bit inadequate at the time.

I had a think about it and I can honestly say that it doesn’t bother me now because over the time I have been colouring I have developed my own style and really grown as a colourist.   I like my style of colouring its bold, bright and cheerful and more importantly I like most of the pictures that I have done, it makes me happy to look at them.  Every few days I change the wallpaper background on my computer at work so I can see my pictures on a daily basis.

I guess what I am trying to say is whether you choose colouring, knitting, pottery or any other hobby do it because you love it and it makes you feel good about yourself.  I’m Colouring for my Wellbeing.