I got these amazing Caran D’ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set some time ago. They are some of my favorite and most cherished color pencils. I love their creamy texture and how I can create color gradients with them.
But there’s a huge problem. I love them so much that I don’t want to use them. So they stayed in their box, and I only too them from there on special occasions. Kind of like the Good China our grandmothers used to get out of the cabinet on Christmas.
But no more. I decided that color pencils should be used, not staying on a box waiting for the perfect moment to be used.
So, I was brave and I took them out of the box and into a container I made for them. Now they are available for me when I need them, and I will use them! Oh yes! Just wait and see!
I’m an anxious person. There’s no way around it. Sometimes it’s easy to manage and we get along quite well. I know it’s there, sleeping and tiny and I have a great day.
And then, on other days, my anxiety grows and overwhelms me. Thoughts of failure and self hatred creep up from the shadows and make my day miserable.
Life for me is like this color palette. Sometimes the colors are very bright and happy, sometimes are meh and life moves along, and then some other days I see everything in hues of darkness and sadness.
But you know what? I am learning that in order for colors to blend and be beautiful, we need both. We need bright, bold colors to lead the way, and we need the darker colors to mute and control that brightness, to give us delicate shades of subtle colors that make everything beautiful, because we cannot have one without the other.
Life and art have shown me that I can do something with those negative emotions and then turn them into something beautiful, with meaning that once it’s on paper, it’s mine to control and to own, and to give it the direction I want.
That’s why I say that I art away my depression and anxiety. I found an amazing way to show myself that even in the darkest hues, there is something to learn and to celebrate, and that by combining it with the bright colors of the good days, a beautiful mosaic of the hues and colors that paint my life emerges.
One day I was having a terrible, terrible day and nothing could lift my spirits. I know that painting and putting color on paper always brings me up, but that day I was just not feeling it. I really wanted to just end the day and put an end to the terrible day I was having.
So, I took my watercolors out of habit and put a streak of color in the paper. And then, I combined it with a very different color and I had an amazing revelation.
They did mix. I know, it’s painting 101. Watercolor will mix when you put them together and apply water to them. Of course I knew that.
But the meaning was deep. My experiences also mix up. The good and the bad. And I cannot have a totally dark day as I cannot have a completely fine day. There will be mixes, just like the colors. And it’s always beautiful.
This sheet is made with very very few colors, they are just mixed in different amounts and with different techniques. The colors are the same but the way they mix makes them unique and special, each color that comes along, just like good days and bad days in our life, combine to make beautiful things.
And now this became a ritual for me. Every time I am down and depressed, or anxious about the future because sales are low, or because my kids acted up, or because I am still a struggling artist… I do the same thing.
I pick a few colors and mix them up. And it is so therapeutic. It’s just like meditating to me. The world and my troubles disappear into the paper as I pick one color, then just a tiny bit of the other and put it on the paper.
Then again, now with a little more of the new color, and it goes into the paper. And then a tiny bit more. And then more, and more, and more until what started like one color becomes the other one, with many shades in between.
See what I mean? Two colors here. Only two. Mixed in different quantities, just like happiness and sadness in our days. Isn’t it beautiful? I think it is!
Knowing so much can be made with just two colors makes me so happy! So I keep doing it, over and over again until I feel better. Sometimes I can fill page after page of this and to others it may seem like a waste of great materials, but to me, it’s the world.
And you know what? It works so well that once I am done with that, I feel my creativity recharged so I usually start painting something right away. It may be an old sketch, or maybe an entirely new idea, I never know. I only know that I will love the result.
Like my dear friend the witch here. She has a beautiful contrast of yellow, golden blonde hair against a dark purple and burnt orange robe, with little moons inside.
And since she is a witch in Halloween, she has a jack-o-lantern where she will put all the candy she will get when she goes trick or treating on Halloween night.
You can meet her on my online shop if you want, along with other Halloween I’ve been working on.
I hope this advice helps you out as much as it helps me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the materials I work as well doing this, and I hope that if you doit it helps too.
And if helps, don’t forget to share your results with me on my social media, tag me on a Facebook or Instagram post, or send it to me on email if you want. I will be super happy so see what you did!