This project is just simple flowers in a vase, but the layering of colors in an impressionistic style makes it special.
Supplies – Colored Pencils and Paper
I used watercolor pencils but mostly dry, so you can have any colored pencils for this project. My selection has some fancy Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle pencils, but mostly old Staedler Karat watercolor pencils.
Karat pencils are getting so short that I need an extender for convenient coloring, but they look endearing and I want to give them a long life!
Step 1 – Color Circles Across the Page
Let’s begin with circles. Color a variety – full circles, half-circles, hollow and filled ones, big and small! Pick only a few colors first, and only fill a diagonal that goes across the paper.
Color lightly so that you can add more layers on the top later. If you have watercolor pencils, you can spread the colors with water.
Step 2 – Color Short Stripes on the Top
Color short stripes over the circles. Now you can use a wider variety of colors and enlarge the size of the colored area.
I arranged my pencils so that they are grouped by color families. It helped a lot in this project, especially for the color areas in the next step.
Step 3 – More is More!
Continue coloring circles and stripes in various sizes and colors so that they fill the paper.
You can have so short and tiny stripes that they are more like spots. Stripes can go in different directions. Change the orientation of the paper once in a while.
Even if you color tiny elements, divide the page into big areas. The diagonal in Step 1 is one of them. Each area can have many layers and colors but decide which color will dominate. For example, I have a blue area on the left bottom corner.
Step 4 – Color a Dark Vase
Color dark stripes on either side of the centerline to form a vase. Leave some space between the stripes so that it looks like it’s dark glass.
You can also add some shadows below the vase to make it look more like Monet’s work. I used blue for them.
Step 5 – Highlight the Best Flowers
Add more bright colors and details to make a few flowers that catch the eye more than others.
I don’t draw any outlines, but continue to color freely in short strokes.
Step 6 – Make Sure That You Have Enough Variety
Color more so that you have a wider variety of colors and shapes. See how I have used both vertical and horizontal stripes on the left top corner. They look a bit like windows or trees. Monet often had abstract elements like these in his work.
When you color more, make sure that blank paper isn’t visible everywhere. Color lightly over the areas that are less important. When they don’t have any bright white, the overall impression is less busy.
Step 7 – Finishing Like Monet
Go through your colorings one more time. Color lightly over large areas to make them look more unified and add dark spots near the best details so that they become more noticeable.
Here’s a closeup of the finished work – lots of small dots, stripes, and layers!
Colored pencils are very versatile. You can really color like Monet! I like this painterly look a lot.
P.S. For more colored pencil inspiration, sign up for Intuitive Coloring!
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