I haven’t been doing a lot of drawing and painting since my holiday hiatus over Christmas and New Years. Even so, the elements and principles of art — and design — have remained a part of my life.
Along with having fun by playing my favorite piano pieces — Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is my all-time favorite to perform — I’ve been enjoying a coloring app on my phone. It’s called Happy Color, and it features hundreds of interesting pictures, mandalas, and designs to color.
I was fascinated with this design, as well as with the next:
Doing these pictures has brought back many memories, too. The reason I learned to draw and ultimately became an artist — for those who don’t already know the story — is because of a coloring book I bought back in 2015. “Grown up coloring books” are everywhere now, but at the time, they were still very new. The one I purchased, in fact, hadn’t yet been published. I pre-ordered it from Amazon and was quite excited when it finally arrived a few weeks later.
Buying that book led to buying a set of Prismacolor Premier pencils, which, in turn, led to my decision to try learning to draw.
Although coloring — especially with a color by number application — doesn’t exercise all the same artistic muscles and brain cells, I feel it’s been helpful to my development as an artist in many ways. It’s given me a chance to truly relax and have fun with shapes and colors, and it’s really made me much more aware of the concept of shapes and negative space. It’s inspired me, given me an up-close look at the design principles I’ve been studying, and it’s helped me literally see how to use colors for shadings and highlights.
Now that the winter is over and spring is finally here, I’ve been getting out more, going to more art events, and gradually spending a little more time with all those art supplies I’ve accumulated over the years.
I do have lots of fun art events to share:
- A student art show this week
- A pastel workshop I recently attended
- A sketching field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- A visit to Powell Gardens for the Frida Kahlo exhibit
- A plein air event with the Tri-County Art League
And, of course, what I’m most looking forward to is just getting outside with my pencils and sketchbooks and drawing nature.
Coloring irises and other flowers with a cellphone app is fun, but our own irises will be blooming soon. I’m also hoping to visit Comanche Acres, an iris farm in Gower, Missouri. Seeing acres of beautiful irises will be breath-taking I’m sure. It will also be very inspiring!
Nature is filled with happy colors, and I’m happy that I’ve learned to see as an artist and can more fully appreciate the beauty around me.