Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Intuitive Coloring Explained + Extended Black Friday Sale!

This week, I have a new free video for you, inspiration from my drawing classes, and there’s also an extended Black Friday Sale going on! Exciting!

Extended Black Friday Sale – Shop Here!

Online art classes by Peony and Parakeet. Drawing classes and more.

All classes are 25% OFF!

Now is the time to get the classes you have been thinking about!
>> Shop Here!

The sale ends on Nov 29, midnight PST.

Intuitive Coloring Explained – Watch the Video!

This video is an excerpt of the live speech that I gave for my art community Bloom and Fly this month. It introduces a fresh way to think about drawing and coloring. Lots of art-making inspiration is packed into this 6-minute video!

The classes mentioned in the video – Intuitive Coloring, Inspirational Drawing, Animal Inkdom, and Magical Inkdom, as well as all my painting classes – are 25% OFF during the extended Black Friday Sale. >> Shop Here!

More Inspiration from My Drawing Classes

The longer I draw, the more things come together. Not only so that I find more inspiration from the individual previous pieces, but also so that they describe a world that’s lively and ever-expanding. I also feel that my classes are like doorways to building a world of your own.

In Intuitive Coloring, we travel from one meadow to another lesson by lesson and play on the way.

Colored pencil art by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. She creates this in the class called Intuitive Coloring.
Intuitive Coloring has lots of different easy and gentle techniques that your colored pencils will enjoy!

In Animal Inkdom, we start with little creatures and the animals get bigger lesson by lesson.

Insects from the class Animal Inkdom. See Peony and Parakeet's drawing classes.

Insects and butterflies are simple to draw, but decoration makes them look fantastic!

A hand-drawn butterfly by Peony and Parakeet. From the class Animal Inkdom.

Animal Inkdom is one of my most popular classes, maybe because it’s so playful! I had to edit out some of the laughs and smiles because I had so much fun drawing these that it would be a bit disturbing! And after Animal Inkdom, I couldn’t stop, but made an independent sequel – Magical Inkdom!

Horses, wings, and frames from Paivi Eerola's Magical Inkdom. It's a lot of fun to mix and match all the hand-drawn parts. More drawing classes at Peony and Parakeet.
Horses, wings, and frames from Magical Inkdom. It’s a lot of fun to mix and match all the hand-drawn parts.

Art is a journey, so combining previous work with the new one, has often made me see new possibilities.

Paivi Eerola's drawing classes. Here's a cat from Magical Inkdom and a journal spread made from older collage pieces, inspired by the class Collageland.
Here’s a cat from Magical Inkdom and a journal spread made from older collage pieces, inspired by the class Collageland.

Inspirational Drawing is based on doodling and creating meshes from lines, but also on picking inspiration from images. I still collect inspirational images and use them indirectly in this way.

Inspirational Drawing - one of Paivi Eerola's drawing classes where inspirational images guide how you doodle.

All Classes Are 25% OFF!

Now is the time to get the classes you have been thinking about!
>> Shop Here!

The sale ends on Nov 29, midnight PST.

Life in a Colored Pencil Diary

Recently, my life has not been a life of a middle-aged woman, but of a female tiger. With a new puppy, we have tried to find a balance in the family, and it has felt like a fight sometimes.

A tiger and a peacock. A spread for a colored pencil diary. Art journaling without words. A fantasy illustration.

At some point in every evening, I become exhausted and demand my herd to calm down. It’s usually 21:34 exactly, so it seems that we run an accurate schedule.

Beagle puppy.

But there’s not much else accurate in our life, because the puppy requires us – like my husband kindly puts it – to go with the flow. We are not talking about a flow state here, but a flow of random things that keep the puppy either awake or asleep.

Drawing an oval.

I feel that the puppy is like a peacock which my husband, I, and our older beagle Stella stare at – the central character of our zoo who makes us happy or miserable, and often both at the same time.

Making of a colored pencil diary. Drawing a face with colored pencils.

We have had stress. Stella got ill and my oldest budgie Bonneville died, both sudden events.

Coloring a page for a visual diary.

But when Stella got back from the hospital, I began to think that we will survive. That the peacock sometimes looks like a dove, and that the rest of us can just admire its flight through the youth.

Cute beagle puppy

But that would be another page for my colored pencil diary!

Colored pencil diary by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Archer & Olive's blank notebook as a visual diary.

P.S. For more colored pencil inspiration, remember to sign up for Intuitive Coloring!

Starting a Colored Pencil Journal

This week, I started a project that I have been thinking about for quite a while: a colored pencil art journal! I hope this post inspires you to keep a visual journal too.

From Mundane to Fantastic

Moss horse, lemons and dandelions. Colored pencil journal spread by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The idea of this journal is to connect everyday events with the world of fantasy. I want it to be a visual diary that is inspired by the ordinary but still goes beyond it. I

Books and Pencils

I have kept small art journals before too, and they still feel inspiring many years later. The two old art journals below are Moleskine sketchbooks.

Small art journals - Moleskine sketchbooks and Archer & Olive notebook.

The new one is a blank notebook from Archer & Olive. I chose it because I really like Archer & Olive as a company, and I’ve grown to like their bright white paper for bullet journaling. The size of the new notebook is A5 (5,75 x 8,25 inches), so a little bigger than the old sketchbooks but still very manageable.

When ordering the notebook, I got a discount code, so click here to get 10% off if you haven’t purchased from Archer & Olive before.

Archer & Olive notebook and a mixed selection of colored pencils.
The yellow linen cover isn’t the most practical choice, it will probably be grey after the journal is full!

I have been purchasing new pencils too. Yesterday, I went to Helsinki to visit art supply stores and got some colored pencils – a mixed selection to expand my knowledge of different brands. So far, I have mostly used wax-based pencils like Prismacolor Soft Core and Caran d’Ache Luminance, but now I also got oil-based Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. I also bought some Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils and more Luminance that has been my favorite so far. I have always mixed all kinds of pencils in my drawings and continue to do so!

Starting a Colored Pencil Journal

I usually fill an art journal by choosing the pages randomly. But because this journal is about my everyday life, I wanted it to be chronological and start from the first spread. It’s exciting to see how it will change and what kind of secondary stories the images will tell.

What to Draw First?

I suggest you let your journal develop intuitively so that you move from one association to another and mix all kinds of ideas together. So often, the fantasy is in the mix, not in the single element.

My first ideas: a horse and moss greens. A horse because I love to draw them and moss because currently, our garden has plenty of it. We like it more than grass, so we are not complaining!

Starting a colored pencil journal. Using water with watercolor pencils.

I don’t use water often, but now with the thick 160gsm paper, I smoothened the strokes of the bottom layer with a water brush. After drawing the moss horse, dandelions and all kinds of weeds came to my mind. Namely, while watching the puppy, I have been weeding almost daily and thinking that weeds are quite pretty too.

Art journaling with colored pencils. Using many brands and many layers in the same spread.

Let the Ideas and Associations Flow!

Then, of course, there’s this puppy, Saima! She makes me look at the leaves, twigs, stones, everything that she can find on the ground. My favorite moments in creating are those when I focus on the details and forget the surrounding world. I think Saima does the same many times in a day. For her, reality feels like a fantasy. We, adults, need to find the fantasy in our minds.

Beagle puppy explores nature.

I tried Derwent’s burnishing pencil for the first time and quite liked it.

Using a Derwent burnishing pencil.

I was also inspired by rain, the wet tiles in the backyard, sunny mornings, and how I love old portrait paintings even if I can’t fully understand why. My favorite fruits are lemons, and it will be exciting to see how many times they reappear in the journal.

Using Archer & Olive's blank notebook as a colored pencil journal. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.
In a fantasy world, dandelion can be a size of a horse, and the horizon can be non-existent.

A spread with pencils is not a big project like a canvas painting, but can still feel satisfying, especially when the journal progresses.

What do you think?

P.S. For more colored pencil inspiration, remember to sign up for Intuitive Coloring!

Intuitive Expression – Mix of Fantasy and Real

This week, I share a couple of pieces that I made in colored pencils and talk about intuitive expression.

Mischief-Maker - colored pencil art by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Intuitive expression in drawing.

I try to keep the everyday events out of my art, but it has been hard recently. We have a little mischief-maker who dominates the family life.

Beagle puppy.

Intuitive Expression in Colored Pencils

I started the piece with the techniques that I had developed for Intuitive Coloring. I really enjoy coloring this way.

Coloring freely and intuitively. Getting most out of intuitive expression. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The more I worked on the picture, the more clear it became that Saima, our puppy, is there in a form of a bird!

A detail of a colored pencil drawing by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Saima has very expressive eyes that reach my heart and soul. But she definitely has ideas of her own!

A beagle puppy.

Look at that little girl! No wonder that real life inspires my art currently.

Mixing Outer and Inner World

“Hey, Paivi,” I said to myself. You can’t just share puppy pics! Make another drawing that’s not about the puppy.”

So I started this one, deliberately not so freely as the first one. But as soon as I put all kinds of things hanging from the horse, I realized that it’s like Saima carrying all kinds of stuff!

Colored pencil drawing in progress.

But then, I thought about nomads, bonfires, dark nights, and a wilderness. Despite being a homebody in the outer world, I am a vagabond in the inner world!

Drawing horses in colored pencils. Combining intentional and intuitive expression.

I really like this idea of using geometric shapes to add tension and drama.

Fire - a colored pencil drawing by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Colored pencil horse art.

The expression is very different from the fantasy horse that I made last week.

The Inspiration for Intuitive Expression

Creativity doesn’t make a difference between fantasy and real life. All inspiration is equal. I have been thinking about starting a dedicated journal for these kinds of pieces that begin from one end and reach another.

What do you think?

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for Intuitive Coloring!

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