Do You Remember Colouring with Coloured Pencils?

This was my first project using coloured pencils. It's based on a photograph provided by the instructor.

This was my first project using coloured pencils. It’s based on a photograph provided by the instructor.

For many of us, drawing with coloured pencils was a right of passage when we were young. Some of us braved that blank white sheet of paper and did our own thing – while others needed the security of a colouring book. Whatever method we used, we enjoyed the simple exercise and creative pleasure of putting marks on paper.

As we grew up however, we became self conscious that our colours were wrong, that we painted outside the lines, or our art work didn’t look realistic.  Shamed or embarrassed, we stopped colouring and drawing.

It is ironic that one of the fastest growing segments in books today is the adult colouring book. Who would have thought? What started as something to keep children quiet and amused has morphed into a full – fledged phenomena. Colouring books have been given new respect.

Perhaps on the heels of this new appreciation for colouring books is the proliferation of coloured crayons that are now available. These, however, are not the crayons of our youth – nor are they priced accordingly. I had seen these crayons with their rainbow of colours whenever I went to the art store to pick up watercolour paints but thought nothing of it until my friend suggested I take a course on how to work with coloured pencils.

This was my fourth and final drawing. It's taken from a photo that my sister took of her cat. The title of this work is Caesar, the Ankle-biter.

This was my fourth and final drawing. It’s taken from a photo that my sister took of her cat. The title of this work is Caesar, the Ankle-biter.

Ok, I admit. I was an art snob. I remembered Crayola pencils and wax crayons and just couldn’t see that using these would result in anything very interesting. I was wrong.

Being the type of person I am, I started doing research on the new products (oil and waxed based pencils), watched online videos and took books out of the library – before even stepping inside a class. The class was short – only once a week for 4 weeks but at the end of the course I decided that it was something I would probably continue to do in the future. I also had visions of how these coloured pencils could be used in combination with graphite and watercolour. Try it out for yourself – you might be pleasantly surprised.

4 responses to “Do You Remember Colouring with Coloured Pencils?

  1. My mother took up painting in her retirement years, and was quite good. Now at the ripe age of 95 and with advancing dementia, she is not able to to so many creative things that used to give her pleasure. It seemed that coloring could be one creative avenue for her. However between the paucity of coloring books with adult pictures and her diminished interest in everything, I have not yet found a way to entice her to give it a try.

    • True, many of the colouring books that are considered “adult” have designs so tiny that only a 20 year old could see the images. Perhaps a child’s colouring book would entice her – as long as you coloured in a few pictures to show her. It might just be the creative spark she needs! Good luck.

  2. I too tried coloured pencils at a one-afternoon introductory class last spring. I was astonished at what could be done with so simple a colouring tool. I can really see why the colouring book craze has become so popular. It’s a chance to relive our childhood, relax with a familiar tool, and have something interesting and personal at the end of your time. It’s a no pressure activity that can be picked up and put down as you have time, and it’s a way of having creative solitude in a busy world. I’ll be interested to see what pictures you post in future.

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