Even though I haven't been sharing it here on the blog, I've been working on improving my skills with colored pencils. I have a few projects in progress that I may or may not complete any time soon. Or ever. I started some of the projects solely for the purpose of testing out new supplies. I started other projects to work on specific skills, including shading, blending, and color matching.
Here is one of my in-progress projects from the second category:
My sister-in-law gave me this pot of succulents for my birthday. The colors, shapes, and textures are very interesting, and thus a good project for coloring.
But rather than sketching it myself, I created a greyscale version of my photograph, then printed it on vellum bristol (affiliate link).
Since I don't have to worry about sketching, all of my focus is on matching the shadows, textures, and colors. Think of it like coloring with training wheels. It's easier, but it's still not easy. Far from it.
It's fascinating how I think I'm seeing a certain color, when in fact that is not the color I'm seeing at all. For example, the shadow on the pot looked grey to me until I colored a light layer of grey on the paper and it didn't look right at all. By isolating the area on my color printout, I realized it actually has a pink tone.
I still have a long way to go before I finish this project, but I feel like it's taught me a lot already. Like anything, improvement will come from practice and making mistakes.