Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Pink Inspiration

This week is full of pink art inspiration. I hope that this post will get you to find your pinks and start creating sweetness!

Dreamy Pinks in Colored Pencils

First, one of the journal spreads that we will create at Fun Botanicum, the newest class.

Pink art journal spread. Colored pencil art by Paivi Eerola.

The softness that you can create with colored pencils is divine and you can highlight that with sharp strokes. The versatility of colored pencils always amazes me. With one pencil you can create the whole value range from light to dark so a few pencils go a long way. I like those shelves of individual pencils in art supply stores because it’s like picking candies!

Pink Handdrawn Playing Cards

These cards are from the class Magical Inkdom. They are drawn with a black pen and then colored with watercolors.

Pink handdrawn playing cards. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. From her class Magical Inkdom.

My husband asked when he saw me drawing these:
– “Playing cards? What’s the game?”
– Well, these are like collector’s items! And you can invent the game yourself!

Because if you make more than one, isn’t that like a little oracle deck? You can ask yourself how you feel by picking a card that reflects your mood.

Lots of Pink Petals

I am already waiting for summer and see my pink peonies bloom in June. If I was a small fairy, I could live in those petals!

Pink peonies as pink inspiration.

Petals, petals, more pink petals – that’s how the flowers are constructed! These are from the class Decodashery.

Pink gouache flowers from the class Decodashery by Peony and Parakeet.

Pick a small brush, some pink gouache paints or watercolors, and paint small spots in layers!

Red and Green are Pink’s Best Pals

Here’s more pink gouache art – a small journal cover that also has reds and greens.

Journal cover in pink, red, and green. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I love this color combination. Each color makes the other shine brighter. I can almost taste the colors when I look at them.

Pink Glow in the Dark

Pink is also a wonderful color with darks. You can paint a pink glow that makes the image look romantic.

Restless Heart. Pink glow in an oil painting. By Paivi Eerola, Finland.
Restless Heart, oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm

Here’s a blog post where you can see process pictures of this painting.

Powder Pink Inspiration

One night my husband showed me new Swatch watches. I wasn’t so interested at first, but when I saw the photos and got the concept, I got so inspired that I am using that inspiration for the new series of oil paintings!

Here’s the new pink Swatch called Mission to Venus. I am definitely going to somehow incorporate all this into a painting! Not literally, but conceptually.

Bioceramic Swatch in Pink. Mission to Venus.

The powder pink with decorative details speaks of a beautiful adventure to me.

This watercolor painting has powder pinks too.

Floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I painted this one a few years ago when my mission was to find the best way to paint flowers freely in watercolors without using a reference. I have a class about it too Floral Fantasies – Watercolor Edition!

Pinks and Other Pastels

What about selecting some acrylic paints and going wild on an art journal?

Art journal spread in acrylics. Pink and turquoise on dark background. Pink inspiration from Peony and Parakeet.

Add darks on the bottom and let dry. Then mix white to the colors and have fun with pastels. Use different brushes to have some variety in strokes as well.

You can be rough like above, or go in a more delicate direction with thinner brushes.

Lovestory, an oil painting on canvas by Paivi Eerola, Finland.
Lovestory, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm

Black with pink is also a great color combination!

Pink Inspiration – How to Go Deeper

If you are a color-oriented artist as I am, pink is never just one pink. Challenge yourself to make all kinds of pinks from light to dark, from warm to cool, and use them all in one painting. Nature doesn’t select just one pink, so why would you?

Pink tulip photo.

The same goes for shapes, lines, and ideas. The more you embrace the variety, the more exciting the art-making becomes, and the more you create. Restrict supplies and increase imagination!

Paivi Eerola and a spread in her colored pencil journal.

I hope you have an adventurous Pink Inspiration Day!

P.S. You can still sign up for Fun Botanicum and make wonderful colorings of plants!

Colored Pencils – Intuitive Approach

This week, I have a video for you! It’s about painting freely, but not with paints but with colored pencils! In the video, I talk about intuitive coloring and painting and their similarities. I also make a page for one of my art journals. Lots of art inspiration – enjoy!

Color Like a Painter – Watch the Video!

Intuitive coloring with colored pencils – isn’t that fun?!

Classes Mentioned in the Video

Create for the Inner Child – Painting and Drawing on Scraps of Paper

This week I have a new free video for you! It’s about using small paper scraps for playing and dreaming, but it also goes deeper. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Whether you want to play, be “on the bridge” or paint freely, welcome to my online classes!

Building and Breaking – Revealing Artistic Potential

This week, I talk about the hidden potential behind artworks and how we can reveal that by not only building but also breaking.

Modern Maximalist

Modern Maximalist, a surface pattern collection by Paivi Eerola.

I have just designed a collection of surface patterns called Modern Maximalist. It’s drawn digitally in Adobe Illustrator and more modern than my work usually is. However, I love modern, especially the 1960s and 1970s styles. I was born at the end of the 1960s, live in a house built in the same era, and my love for retro has been too hidden in my art. But still, I didn’t want to design the collection based only on the images of others, but to build a bridge from my art to design. So, most of the motifs were based on this watercolor painting that I made a couple of weeks ago!

Maximalist, a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola
Maximalist, watercolor, 37 x 55 cm.

More Artistic Potential by Building and Breaking

Often when we create art, we build. We communicate the big picture and compose bits and pieces so that they work together. We get happy accidents (and sometimes some not-so-happy ones) and aim to make an image where the overall atmosphere takes over the details.

But to reveal more, we also need to break. Then the romantic flower that was painted to represent a dreamer, becomes a more stylish and symbolic figure.

Avant Garden, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.

Yellow flowers and all the yellow washes can be more geometric when they are away from the big picture.

Floral Harlequin, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.
Pansy Power, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.

The juicyness of the fruits and other decorative details can be reorganized.

Fruity Living, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.
Juicy Breakfast, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.
Spiritual Refresh, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.

Picking Ideas from Other Images

We can also add more fuel, and break and pick from other images. This design called “List Maxima” uses motifs from the painting, but also the idea of a list that came from playing with the name of the collection, and fashion pictures that showed puffy and full dresses of the maximalist style.

List Maxima, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.

By breaking and picking, we also develop our ability to curate – to see which inspiration suits what we have already done. It’s an essential part of a style-development and and growing artistic vision.

I saw a pleated skirt on Prince Charles’s wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, not a maximalist style at all, but wonderfully modern so I broke and picked the image and got creative from that.

Camilla Moe, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.

Artists often say to me: “I need to focus!” But by focusing on narrowing, we non-creatively force ourselves to do one thing. By breaking and picking, we can curate all kinds of inspiration and be creative so that it grows our artistic vision.

Sweet Sensations, a surface pattern by Paivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist.

Revealing the Artistic Potential

No matter where you are in your artistic journey, your art benefits from the idea of building and breaking. Build to go deeper into the experience and break to reveal more ideas and potential! In practice, building often means painting, and breaking is often connected to drawing – even if, of course, you can use any techniques that suit you.

What was first a watercolor painting, could now be a quilt!

A quilt mockup from the fabrics designed by Päivi Eerola. From the collection Modern Maximalist. Read her blog post about revealing artistic potential.

Building and breaking can alternate endlessly when we combine new ideas and results with old ones.

Printed surface patterns. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Here I am breaking and picking to create something new into my art journal.

A paper collage in progress. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Here’s what I built by cutting and glueing new prints and old hand-decorated papers.

A paper collage by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

And I couldn’t resist checking if this could work as a repeat too!

A surface pattern from collage art. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I hope you found this post about building and breaking inspiring!


Need help for finding your artistic potential and building artistic vision? Sign up for my coaching program called Artistic Vision!

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