I figure I should at least write one blog as a look back on 2019 on this last day of the year / decade! Although I have not been diligent in blogging, I do have a very fulfilling year of coloring and drawing in 2019. If you have been my Instagram or Facebook followers, you probably are up-to-date with what I had done but a year in review blog should be fun. So here goes.
New Coloring Supplies
Well who can resist new pencils. This year I splurged and bought the two top on my wishlist sets – Caran D’Ache Luminance and Caran D’Ache Museum Aquarelle watercolor pencils. They are expensive but just looking at the beautiful colors and the pencils in velvet slots made me happy. Here’s my first piece done with these two sets. Luminance pencils are really rich and creamy. The Museum Aquarelle is the best in the class of watercolor pencils in my opinion.
I also bought new markers. The Faber-Castell watercolor markers are dual tips with a brush side and a bullet tip side. The brushes are really juicy. I did run into the odd surprises pooling issues – excessive amount of ink ran onto the paper. Luckily I was doing a background so no harm done but would have been disastrous on a fine detailed area. However, I really like the rich deep tones (there are 24 colors). Look at the deep, dark mysterious background of this Seahorses piece from Oceanimaginary by Susan Carlson @Rubycharmcolors. The seahorses were done with Tombow Dual Brush pens since I could not trust the fine details with the big juicy watercolor markers. Hey that’s why one can never have enough coloring supplies!
There are a few pieces or precious experiences in 2019 that I felt are worth mentioning either because it’s a first attempt, a special memory, or just simply I amazed myself.
I really love coloring furs and I also tried to draw some of my furry friends. They gave me great satisfaction. I love injecting some realism into my coloring pages. In this Halloween page from Rhapsody in the forest by Kanoko Egusa, I put one of my favorite cat models, Klaus, into the picture.
Here’s Klaus again in this piece from Jewelry Box by Hanna Karlzon.
My collection of doggy portraits – I drew my furry friends from their photographs. I am just learning and here’s what I have done this year. Clockwise from left: Harley & Bruce, the Rottiebear and Doberman, they are my granddogs; Finn the Wheaton, he is my dog Dexter’s (@dexterlabradoodle) best buddy; Miss Lilo, she belongs to my dear friend and fellow colorist Lora King (@dukewife). Good question: where’s my own dog Dexter? Well I don’t have the courage to draw him yet, maybe next year.
I always said don’t compare your work with others but you should always compare your own work. This is a side by side comparison of my very first furry animal coloring back in 2017 with my latest both from Hanna Karlzon’s coloring books.
A First Horse/Unicorn
My first attempt to color a horse’ face, he’ll always be special to me. This lovely illustration is from Zemlja Snova by Tomislav Tomic.
Backgrounds are still the biggest challenge for most of us. Most times I just do a blurry bokeh look.
In this piece from Beautiful Birds and Treetop Treasures by Millie Marotta, I envisioned a poppy field as a background for this year’s Remembrance Day theme.
I truly love this Cardinal Birds and Birdhouse by Susan Carlson of RubyCharmColors but decided to make the background a lush big tree filled with leaves. I did not count how many leaves I’ve drawn but this is exactly how I envisioned.
The minute I saw this mice piece by Rita Berman, the saying “hole in the wall for some, home sweet home for others” rang in my head. Hence I drew a stone wall with a hole.
Soft Pastel coloring
I guess I don’t enjoy pastel in general because I don’t like the mess. I did pull out my Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils a couple times this year and do love the effect of these two pieces. Still not my favorite medium though. Both pieces are illustrations of Susan Carlson, Rubycharmcolors.
Hanna Karlzon girls
I love coloring Hanna Karlzon girls. I guess the challenge to transform them from line art to beautiful persons entices me to keep coloring them. I don’t enjoy grey scale portraits as much perhaps because I like that every interpretation of the same Hanna Karlzon girl drawing by different colorists will look different. It’s very magical. I have done 14 so far, not all done this year but thought you might like to see them all.
October Breast Cancer Awareness
I always colored an animal from Intricate Ink Animals in Details by Tim Jeffs pink in support of October Breast Cancer Awareness. This year I chose a fierce screaming hippo which I think is quite fitting.
My very first Podcast and Magical Advant Calendar
Thanks to Isabell Vestermark (@passionistacolorista) who did a podcast with me this year. I am an introvert and needless to say this was super scary for me to hear my own voice in public. If you are interested to learn more about me, my background, why I color, how I color, what inspires me, a few of my coloring tips, you can find the podcast here: https://passionistacolorista.podbean.com/e/46-fur-bokeh-backgrounds-and-blending-skills-with-betty-hung-1560022452/
Another highlight of the year was when Isabell invited me to contribute a 5cm x 5cm drawing for her Magical Advant Calendar. Since I draw coloring cards for the Creative Scrapbookers Magazine monthly, I quickly said yes. However, my jaw dropped when I saw the list of all the FAMOUS illustrators participating. I am Christian and immediately the prayer “I am not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table…” came into my head. Anyway I did a miniature drawing of my dear friend Lora King’s (@dukewife) lovely cat Cam and I was so thrilled to see all the cute Cam coloring from the coloring community on December 23.
Susan Carlson made these 4 gift tags free for her Facebook Community Group members this Christmas. They are so lovely and I had the best time coloring them. She promised a small format coloring book in the New Year and judging from how much I like coloring these little tags – quick, pretty, portable – I am very excited about a small book that I can take when travelling.
This year I got a few new books. Some I haven’t had a chance to color yet but my rule is that I must color at list one page on each book. Goals for 2020.
- Oceanimaginary by Susan Carlson of Rubycharmcolors – Ocean creatures in the stylized forms. Looks at this Octopus with its beautiful curves.
- Black Magic II by Susan Carlson of Rubycharmcolors – These are printed in black card stock and assembled by Susan – very time consuming process. However, these black magic books offered a very unique coloring experience and all the pale tones pencils that you never touched can now be showcased. By the way, Tombow Irojiten pencils have the prettiest pale tones.
- A Million Christmas Cats by John Bigwood – this cute little book is filled with lots and lots of cute little cats. I am glad I colored this just in time for Christmas. See the featured image at the top of this post.
Yet to color
- Vogel & Bloemen by Nadja Wedin
- Find Color by Gugeli
- Vintage Classic III by Tatiana Bogema
- Any new books and pdfs by Susan Carlson of Rubycharmcolors – what can I say, she’s one of my favorite artists and a dear friend
Happy New Year
I will refrain from promises but one of my New Year resolutions, other than the usual eat healthy and keep fit, is to blog more often and perhaps do a few more YouTube tutorials. The desire is there but so little time. Thank you so much for your patience and I wish you all a very Happy 2020.
Happy Coloring my friends.
One comment on “A look back on 2019”
December 31, 2019 at 9:29 pm
I loved your year in review. Your coloring work always inspires me. Happy 2020.