Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mindfully Coloring Those Enchanting Mushrooms

I noticed that I start a page by coloring the most interesting object in it. I need to see something come alive in the otherwise flat image to get me going up to the end.

With this page in Johanna Basfor'd book Enchanted Forest, it has always been the three mushrooms in the middle that caught my attention. They were in fact the first one I colored using a three colors from my Polychromos colored pencil set. I forget which colors they were exactly but I would assume there's a red, a brown, and yellow somewhere, with Payne's Gray for the shadows.
I didn't stop layering until the mushrooms seemed real and popping out of the page.
This other mushroom, the one I colored pink below, was maybe more dramatic because I slowly found myself introducing creases as I colored it, rather lightly at first. By the way, to those I have coached before I always tell them that I've developed a technique where I color lightly and purposely at the start. This, I found out, gives my mind time to adjust to the shape of the image, to see it as a three-dimensional object, and for it to be able to reveal its shape and texture to me as I color on it. I don't believe the images communicate quickly to my mind how it wants to be colored. More often than not it is when my pencil is shading it that I understand with my mind how it wants to appear, which parts need to be highlighted, which parts need to be recessed. That's coloring mindfully for me.

Someone noticed before that my leaves are not just green, there are different layers in each that reveal different colors. That's quite true. More often than not my leaves in Basford's books are colored with three, even four layers. Life is more exciting that way.

The finished product has a very light background in which I also attempted (and failed) to make the light appear to be coming from behind, from the farthest part of the forest. Oh well, at least I tried I told myself. The final product didn't look so bad after all.

The geometric shaped leaves looked rather strange to me so I decided to put lighter shades on them so that it won't be emphasized that much. The lightly shaded plants also were supposed to signify distance, the darker ones proximity to the observer.

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