This is a recent art journal page made with colored pencils. I call this “Spring Bee.” It’s all about sunny spring arriving in Finland. The page is also inspired by the techniques that I discovered while writing my latest e-book Coloring Freely.
Every spring, when the first flowers pop up, I can’t resist taking photos of them. We in Finland have a long and cold winter. It’s such a joy to see colors, even subtle, again. This spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about softness and blurriness. The more I see it, a more magical the whole world looks. When taking photos, I aim for sharp details, but in the end, it’s the blurriness in the background that makes the image.
These pictures are from past springs, but they show well how distance, light, and rain cause blurriness. To my eye, blurry elements look soft, magical. It’s like they could be anything my imagination can reach! I believe that this is the way we should look at the world now and then, to see its natural beauty.
Less Stiffness – More Blurriness
When your art is less stiff, it allows the imagination to step in. It’s amazing what can appear from those blurry background layers.
I had no idea what the page would represent before the bee showed up! By freely coloring with odd, short colored pencils found from my growing collection, I continued filling the page. Like in photos, everything doesn’t have to be sharp and understandable in your art. You can let the viewer make their assumptions too.
In the end, I drew some sharp lines and colored additional dark areas on the front. These welcome the eye to explore the rest of the page.
This page has been created with colored pencils only. It has no sketching. It has been created just by coloring freely.
When the page was finished, I wrote my thoughts about the magic of blurriness on the opposite page. When I open this spread after few months, I will be happily surprised by the spring feelings.
From Observations to Coloring Techniques
When I wrote Coloring Freely, I didn’t want just to explain how to use the techniques. I wanted to guide you to observe your surroundings. With the guided observation prompts, you will realize why the techniques work and what kind of insights they are based on. That way you don’t just color rationally, but also connect emotionally.
If your images are full of stiff outlines, it’s time to explore the world with different glasses and
start coloring freely!
Coloring Freely: Buy the e-book!