Art Group. July 2016

This month I have experimented with a few different art styles, although you can probably still tell they are all produced by the same person. To begin with I continued using colour but soon went back to black and white pen drawings – partly to do with time scale. My “safe” method of sketching is to crosshatch, which I did on a couple of pictures, but I also tried to come out of my comfort zone by attempting something different.

Recently I have begun to find pointillism quite calming (except when my wrist begins to ache) and decided to try it out during a couple of art sessions. I also attempted to produce something slightly more abstract than my usual outcomes. I was inspired by a couple of things I saw online: e.g. lightbulbs containing misplaced objects. Using this idea (but not copying a design) I drew a bulb with a candle inside – an attempt at irony.

Those who read my blog last month will know that I was asked to submit a couple of drawings to displayed at an open event. I did this and have received many positive comments. I decided to send in my drawing of a dragonfly as well as the drawing I did of Donald Duck, which I am actually quite proud of. Not only were these displayed on the actual day, they are still up on the walls today. They were loved so much they have decided to keep them on display!

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Scribblicious

Scribblicious – The Works

My coloured drawings have amazed and baffled many people over the past few months. “How are you doing that?” “How are you producing shading?” “Are you using special pencils?” Well, no I am not using “special” pencils, however I am using a large variety of colours.

Many colouring pencil packs contain only the basic colours (e.g. red, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, light blue, dark blue, pink, purple, brown, black), which are usually all you need to complete a colouring sheet, or some such. In order to make artwork look more realistic or three dimensional you need many more shades.
5052089169708_zSome people, and rightly so, may assume that bigger packs of pencils are expensive; however this is not always the case. Most people living in the UK should be aware of the family friendly discount store The Works, sellers of cheap books, puzzles and art & craft supplies. Whilst browsing their Scribblicious range of art equipment, I came across a set of 36 colouring pencils for a ridiculously low price (currently £4 at time of writing).

As you can see from the picture above, there are 34 coloured pencils that include the basic colours and all the shades in between. There are also two metallic pencils – silver and gold. The Works claim that these 17cm pencils are “perfect for use at school or home, create beautiful pictures on paper, card and more,” and I completely agree.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it is difficult to find colouring pencils with which one can create amazing art work. Often I find that they either break every time they are sharpened, or they are so hard that it is impossible to produce a deep enough colour without destroying the paper in the process. With these Scribblicious pencils I have not had a single problem: they have not broken, sharpen easily, and are very soft thus producing bright, satisfying colour.

As for my own artwork, I am able to use these pencils to slowly build up the shading in my drawings. By lightly colouring in using circular motions, I gradually increase the pressure until I get the tone I want, using the darker versions of the colours where shadow is present. Obviously you need to become skilled in this technique, which takes a lot of practice: it is not as though the pencils are magic, turning everyone into artists, however you do need a considerable selection of colours as in this particular set.

Scribblicious colouring pencils are definitely the best I have come across so far. I highly recommend them to everyone, and suggest you take advantage of the low prices in The Works. When purchasing art equipment many artists buy the well-known, expensive brands, but The Works have proved that being cheap does not equate to rubbish!

Who Says Pandas are All Black and White?

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Anne Belov is a satirical cartoonist with an obsession for pandas. She has published several books in The Panda Chronicles and has now produced a colouring book to go with the series. Pandas may seem like a peculiar subject for a colouring book since they are, as Belov puts it, “chromatically challenged,” however the world around them is bursting with different tints and shades.

The pandas featured in The Panda Chronicles are not the typical bears you might see in a zoo, or endangered in the wild. Anne Belov’s pandas get up to all sorts of mischief. In this colouring book you can expect to find pandas in all sorts of locations, wearing a variety of odd outfits, taking part in highly suspicious activities. So despite monochromatic fur, there is so much to add colour to.

The Panda Chronicles Colouring Book contains approximately 60 single sided illustrations. Although the paper feels quite thin, the lack of anything on the reverse means that it is safe to use any medium you wish to fill the drawing with colour.

Belov’s drawing approach is not the typical style of the hundreds of colouring books you see in stores – i.e. thick, precise lines and patterns. Belov sticks to her sketchy manner that she has used in all the chronicles thus far. In fact there is reason to believe (although do not quote this) that many of the illustrations are from the original books. While standing out in such a niche market, these particular pages may be more difficult to colour in. Some contain many scribbles rather than clear objects, however that does not detract from the overall fun guaranteed with this book.

Pandas in unconventional settings are a great cause for hilarity and satire. Not only is it funny that these bears are parodying human life, but the things they are up to are highly amusing. One particularly comical scene contains a mother panda telling her child off for being the cause of the LEANING Tower of Pisa, to which the youngster protests, “I didn’t do it! It was leaning when we got here!” The wittiness continues throughout the remainder of the book.

I bought this book hoping it would be suitable for my “pandamaniac” friend, who on occasion tells farcical stories about her (imaginary) friend Miss Panda. Anne Belov’s colouring book is the absolutely perfect present for her. It is almost as if the scenes are written/drawn about Miss Panda herself, despite the artist and my friend having never met… Unless… oh the horror! Maybe Miss Panda IS real!

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Where’s Wally? The Colouring Book

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                                              The ultimate colouring challenge!

Everyone knows who Wally is. Created by Martin Handford, Wally first appeared in the book Where’s Wally? in 1987, and has since become famous throughout the world. The aim of the book is to locate Wally and all of his friends in numerous crowded, hand-drawn scenes.

Whilst the colouring book franchise is taking the world by storm, what better time to release a Where’s Wally? colouring book? The idea is the same as the previous Handford publications, in that the ultimate aim is to find Wally; however in this instance it is also left up to you to add the colour to the scenes.

Where’s Wally? fans will recognize many of the drawings from the original books, and therefore will already know where Wally is hiding – but it is much harder to spot him without his traditional red and white stripes being shaded in.

There are twenty-seven double-paged scenes to colour in and keep you entertained for hours. Those familiar with Handford’s illustrations will be aware of the detail he includes; and yes, you are meant to colour ALL of it! This colouring book will definitely take you a while to complete. The downside to such detailed pages is that there are so many tiny elements to add colour to. You will need to keep your pencils sharpened and sit in a well-lit area.

The pages are quite thick, but as they are double sided I would be wary of using felt-tip pens. Perhaps test them on the title page first to make sure they do not bleed through to the other side. Also, only fine tipped pens will be suitable in order to stay within the lines.

Many people believe that colouring is childish, but this book proves otherwise. You will need lots of control and patience in order to finish this book. Good luck.

Malebog

Addicted to colouring as I am, I needed a book I could easily pack in my hand luggage when I went abroad. It needed to be light weight, paper back, and full of easy relaxing patterns.

colouring-book-resized3 In Tiger I came across this beautiful book for only £2. It contains 80 pages, double sided, which is more than enough to keep you occupied, but is still a thin, easily packable colouring book. It is approximately 22.2 x 22.2cm, still quite large, but a good size for my on-flight bag.

Pictured above are nine, completed, examples of the patterns and images included in this book. It does not reveal who the artist is, but presumably it has been put together by one person as the style remains consistent throughout.

I have to admit that a few of the designs are rather peculiar. Some have completely black backgrounds with a limited amount of sections to colour, whereas others have large white spaces. There are a few that contain actual images, for instance, animals, flowers, feathers, but most are patterns, some more random than others. I like colouring in patterns as I enjoy making my own rules when adding colours, however I have come across a couple that are rather uninspiring. The 8th image pictured above is an example of this. I am unsure of the artist’s intention.

What I like most about this book is the thick lines that help prevent smudges. They are a great guide to help you keep within the lines. This makes it a suitable book for children as well as adults, although whether a child would cope with the intricate patterns is a different issue.

Whether you are looking for a lightweight colouring book, or something cheap, I suggest you take a look in your local Tiger store and see what they have to offer. You are guaranteed a bargain. However, be aware that they change their stock often, so once they are gone they are gone!