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Peony and Parakeet

Coloring with the Inner Child

This week, let’s get excited about colored pencils and embrace the inner child!

Butterfly Child - colored pencil art by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I used to play with colored pencils as a child. Not just use them for drawing and coloring, but also treat them as dolls. A brand was their surname. I had Caran d’Aches, Derwents, Lyras, … My sister was coloring while I played with the pencils. So, it often happened that someone precious got blunt and tired in my sister’s hands and needed some loving care after coming back to my play.

Colored Pencils – Do Yours Need Some TLC?

Some weeks ago, when taking the jars of colored pencils out of the cabinet, I sighed: “I want a new set; these are getting quite short.” But if I look at my diverse selection of pencils in child’s eyes, all they needed was some sharpening and close observation – what is the family name, who could this little pencil be?

Playing with colored pencils. By Paivi Eerola.

I picked a tray for a smaller selection so that I can get to know them again: “Hello, Cretacolor! Let’s work together!” And then, I made some mixed selections and drew more, and it felt as much fun as a brand new set. I also found some small sheets of paper, and it felt as satisfying to fill them as it is to knit with leftover yarns.

Cretacolor monolith pencils in use. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Coloring with the Inner Child

The same difference in attitude goes for drawing and coloring. As adults, we may color some random shapes, feel disappointed in their composition, and try forcing the image out. Or we can change the rational to irrational. Then, like a child sees a person in a pencil, we see life in a simple shape. What could be its counterpart, and where could be its reflection? And could it remain blurry – breathe better without outlines?

Illustrations by coloring freely and embracing the inner child. Colored pencils art by Paivi Eerola.

Instead of controlling the big picture, we can reveal the personality behind each shape. The image will then grow slowly but naturally, and we get to release our inner child.

Releasing the inner child - Colored pencils art by Paivi Eerola

This post includes sneak peeks of my upcoming class Intuitive Coloring – Stay tuned!

8 thoughts on “Coloring with the Inner Child

  1. Ooh this looks exciting.
    My sister visited the other day and looked at my shelves in my studio saying ” just a few colouring pencils there I see”. I had to laugh as I go through little binges buying materials which last for ages. I havent bought any pencils for over a year.

  2. I love how these have no outlines, but the picture emerges quite clearly. I am still clinging to my outlines (though trying to make them thinner or in pencil). It feels like without them I would be lost. But there’s much more magic without them.

  3. I love this story. I used to (and still do to a lesser degree now) anthropomorphize inanimate objects as a child. Everything had a personality and feelings. We can deepen our appreciation of life when see more depth to it in this way. I think it expands our love for the world and definitely exercises our empathy muscle. I don’t know that I had thought of bringing it into my art in this way though! Thank you for that new perspective!

    1. Thank you, Pam! And special thanks for bringing up how seeing things as persons increases appreciation. I totally agree!

  4. Pavi. You are a delight!
    I love seeing what new explorations you are up to.
    Thanks got being willing to explore and to share with us.

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