The colouring bug bit me again a few months ago, after yet another period of marked disinterest in all things adult colouring. This time around I became fully enamoured of the Romantic Country books again and got myself the second and third books in the series via Amazon. I started on Romantic Country The Second Tale and gave myself a good talking to. ‘Right, I said, ‘this time around you’re going to try and complete a colouring book, instead of starting umpteen pages in umpteen other books mostly ending up leaving them as abandoned WIPs (‘works in progress’ to us colourists.) Of course, the completion of any adult colouring book, in my case, is but a distant dream destined never to be fulfilled, being that your average colouring tome is filled with an alarming number of pages and, because I now follow the YouTube colourists, I feel a colouring fraud if I don’t blend and shade and use fine liners and gel pens and lord knows what else, meaning it takes an eternity just to colour in one leaf.
Here are the Romantic Country Second Tale pictures I’ve managed to actually fully complete. They represent hours of rabid layering and shading, using artist quality pencils, alongside my bog standard W H Smith set. They gave me back ache, and wrist pain, and a couple of fingers and a thumb started twitching all by themselves and still haven’t stopped. The internet informs me that these muscle spasms are known as ‘benign fasciculations syndrome.’ I looked it up because I worried that the involuntary twitching might be something scary and sinister, until I realised that the twitching fingers and thumb were the ones I’d been gripping my pencils with for dear life. Such are the dangers of the committed colourist who enters the adult colouring-in zone.
Picture one is a charming depiction of a young girl gazing at a castle in the distance. I followed a tutorial by the wonderful and marvellous Chris Cheng on YouTube. I should have taken before and after pictures here, as there were no reflections in the uncoloured image. Ms Cheng showed me how to draw in reflections of the trees and the castle and how to achieve the watery effect of water on top of those reflections – a difficult thing to do with pencils. This is another downside to following the expert colourists – you not only have to spend hours just doing the simple colouring in, but find yourself engaged in the laborious process of adding things to the pictures, which the artists never intended to be there.
Again, as mentioned in previous colouring posts, the camera takes away the boldness and depth of colour that’s evident when you’re looking at the picture in ‘real life.’
Picture two is of a pretty young girl playing a humongous church organ, like no church organ I’ve ever seen. This one took days to complete (not that I spend entire days on my colouring) and even had me wondering what the hell I was doing it for. But it’s definitely an activity you can get ‘lost’ in and it’s amazing how the time flies by whilst you’re engrossed in trying to colour in one particular bit featuring hand drawn circles the size of your average pinhead, without going over the lines. The fantastical organ also featured what looked like a piece of grass underneath the girl’s stool, in the uncoloured version. Balking at this bit of artistic mania (given that the organ is already an exercise in ‘how to completely overdo a picture of a church organ,’ ) I turned the inappropriate patch of grass into a beige rug, and drew in some lines to make the floor underneath it look like wooden planks.
The third picture is of a charming field of flowers topped by three charming windmills and includes an impossibly charming young girl. All the pictures in the Romantic Country series are charming and absolutely nothing like real, uncharming life; which is why I love them so much. I added in sun rays by using a rubber, and simply rubbed the colours out in straight lines.
I’m currently working on Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford. I’d lost interest in Johanna, which is why I didn’t buy this book a year ago but, after seeing gloriously coloured pictures of her Ivy book all over instagram, I grabbed myself a copy on Amazon and am loving the fact that it’s also a children’s story book.
Both choirs have started up again after the long summer break. I really didn’t want to go back, being I find the socialising ‘bit’ oh so difficult, and the smaller choir has suddenly grown like topsy due to a local advertising onslaught by our leader. And, as always, the new recruits have joined with either their mother, their sister or their friend. I’ve decided to audition for another solo spot at the choir where I ‘slayed’ them (I jest) with my rendition of Never Enough, a song absolutely nobody had heard of. If our leader sees fit to include soloists in the Christmas concert, I intend to assault the committee’s ears with my rendition of Ashes from Deadpool 2. This is a song which I can 100% guarantee that the choir’s usual audience will NEVER have heard of (you’d think I’d learn my lesson) being that the likelihood of your average church going, choir listening, aged audience member being a fan of the anarchic Deadpool, is very small indeed. Not that I’m a fan either. I’ve never seen either film (looks a bit gorily violent) but I do like the theme song. I did this one very quickly via Audacity in our lounge this morning, whilst son no.3 rapidly passed a hairdryer over his head and am thankful to hear that the hairdryer didn’t form part of the backing track. It’s a sort of run through for an audition, using a tiny bit of echo and a couple of tiddy faraway harmonies, achieved by standing at arms length from the mic. I really had to lower the volume of the backing track, which means listening via earpods is much the best thing to do, in terms of the right balance between voice and backing track; and just because things always sound better through earpods. I’m not sure if these songs even play on my blog via mobile devices, if anyone did listen that is. The track is in the faint orange bar below.