Monday, 4 April 2016
So I’ve decided to try my hand at adult colouring, which means that I’m an adult and instead of doing my daily chores, I’m sitting down with a colouring book, pencil crayons (called “colouring pencils” when used by a grown up), a cup of tea, and colouring to my heart’s content. I am strictly a feast or famine sort of person and have never learned how to do the whole “grazing” thing, so last week we went to an art supply shop in Victoria to pick up a case of 150 absolutely gorgeous colouring pencils, a sharpener, and a few colouring books.
Who can forget, as a kid, the joy of opening up that big box of Crayola crayons. Everyone had the 8 or 16 piece, but what luxury to have the 48 or better yet, the 64 pack which I remember had a sharpener built into the side of the box. If I close my eyes right now I can still smell the wax and see the rows and rows of beautiful colours with great names like “maize, teal blue, and periwinkle”. The sharpened points were so pristine; it was almost a shame to use them at first – almost. There wasn’t even a mark on the inside of the box! Those first few moments of sensory bliss were pushed aside as we scrambled to open up our colouring books and begin the work of “colouring”.
Well now I’m a grown up and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure how to start. So, I did what a lot of people do these days when they want to learn (or relearn in my case) how to do something. I went to YouTube to see if there were any videos that might give me a little insight. Apparently I’m not alone in my quest to learn the basics of “Adult Colouring”. There are exactly eleventy billion videos available showing everything from advanced shading and portraiture techniques to a 35 second video on how the hell to open the pencil sharpener. I’m not making that one up. I actually had to use that one because, you know, I couldn’t figure out how to open my new pencil sharpener. Which lead me to wonder if perhaps I’d bitten off a little more than I could chew. But once I mastered that skill, it was time to actually try to put some colour on the paper. I choose a picture from one of my new books, sat down with my cup of tea (aggressively ignoring my housework), and applied beautiful shades of blue and red and yellow to my page. It felt a bit awkward at first, but very quickly I could feel my heartrate and breathing slow down. I felt my attention become more focussed, and I felt plain old happiness at again doing something that I enjoyed so much in the past.
Those beautiful colouring pencils Kirk bought for me are amazing. Tray after tray of every shade and hue I could ever imagine and they glide on with buttery smoothness. Ironically, the pencil I use the most is a colourless pencil, used for blending and burnishing the colours. How’s that for a funny twist – the colouring pencil I will have to replace most often isn’t “Tuscan Red”, or “Peacock Green”. It’s one with no colour and no name.
The photo above shows you the results of one of my first finished pieces. I think it turned out pretty good – I know I certainly enjoyed doing it. Who knows where this new adventure will take me. All I know for sure that I’m going to need a bigger fridge!