Create Fantastic Art!

Fly to your imagination and paint the emotion.

Peony and Parakeet

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!

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!

Dreaming with Colored Pencils

This week, I share a fantasy horse illustration from my colored pencil journal and show how the new puppy has started her job as a studio dog.

Fantasy Horse by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Colored pencil art.

“Hey Paivi,” I said to myself, “Now when we have a new puppy, it would be cool to have some illustrations of it on the blog.”
“But pencils are my escape!” I heard myself shouting. “I want to use them for dreaming, not for everyday things. I want to draw a horse instead!”

Dreaming with Colored Pencils – and Horses!

For me, the figure of a horse is like a hanger for all the things I love. My horses are not realistic, but play horses that connect me with the world of fantasy and everything pretty. Many like to draw faces for the same reason, but for me, horses work better.

Drawing with colored pencils.

Saima and Stella were in the studio resting while I drew. Saima doesn’t like sleeping alone, and she prefers my lap to Stella’s, so she was not fully happy.

Beagles as artist's studiodogs.

I think the dark feathers were inspired by her. I love soft puppy fur, tassels, pompoms, and feathers, but also metal watches and all kinds of decorative swirls.

Coloring details with colored pencils.

I used to have a black ink pen for this kind of detailed illustrations (see the classes Animal Inkdom and Magical Inkdom), but recently, it’s been colored pencils from start to finish. The upcoming class, Intuitive Coloring, has inspired me to draw and color more – or should I say as much as I can, because taking care of Saima has often been a full-time job for my husband and me!

Beagle puppy.

Our house and my little studio have changed to serve Saima’s needs. We count days when she’s older, and we can decorate again, but at the same time, we are aware of how fast time flies and that we must take most of Saima’s curiosity and cuteness.

Artist's studio.

Dreamy Look with Six Pencils Only

Here’s a closeup of the feathers. Instead of coloring them black only, I used pink, blue, yellow and green, to make the dark color shine.

Colored pencil fantasy art, a detail. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I only used six pencils for this project – pink, two greens, yellow, blue, and black. However, by layering colors, I was able to get a wide variety of tones.

Using only a few pencils to create colored pencil art.

Here’s a closeup of the horse. The long mane was so much fun to color!

A detail of a horse illustration by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I hope to see you in my next class, Intuitive Coloring. Thank you all who have signed up already! The early-bird sale ends on August 23rd, so sign up now! I am looking forward to dreaming with colored pencils together in September!

Colored Pencil Fantasy Art – From Sunnyland to Starryverse

This week, we go from happy and light to adventurous and dark. This is how adventurous colored pencil fantasy art is born!

Imagine walking in a sunnyland through sunshine meadows, seeing pinks, fresh greens, smiling yellows, and trotting happily along a path that feels pleasantly warm and soft. And then, suddenly, something dark hits you, and you no longer feel the ground. Should you fight back to the sunnyland? Or try to figure out what this new place is that feels like a deepwater or a starryverse? That’s what happened to me with colored pencils.

An illustration of a fantasy woman. Colored pencil art by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I have made drawings for the upcoming class Intuitive Coloring, and it’s been fun. Happy pictures have filled my studio, and bright colors have got shorter.

Colored pencil art in happy colors by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

But then, boom! Somebody wanted to come out, and she was not a smiley face.

Intuitive art in progress.

“Let’s make you smile,” I told her. “Let’s take away the darkness, and you will fit better with others. So, here’s a rose that will guide our path back to the sunnyland.” But she didn’t stay behind the flower, and her eyes refused to smile.

Creating colored pencil art layer by layer. In progress image.

It’s easy to follow intuition when she plays with the butterflies promising good things and much harder when she takes you to a less defined zone. For example, can I let go of not drawing an arm or a leg? Not that I would specifically enjoy drawing them, but because humans do usually have hands and feet.

Colored Pencil Fantasy Art

I didn’t know what was what, but I let her appear anyway.

A detail of a fantasy illustration by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

While spending time in this strange place, it started to feel exciting and inviting.

I found myself thinking: why do I give restrictions to my imagination when pens and paper don’t set them? When imagination hits our intuition – or is it vice versa – why not just let go and see who’s the little monster that wants to come out.

I want to fit and belong, and yet, it’s not always so.

My art and my expectations don’t always meet. But the dark starryverse feeds the bright sunnyland, and I need both to keep the sun shining and fairies moving forward.

Creating fantasy art with colored pencils. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

How’s this with your art?

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