Coloring for the soul

I received a very special coloring book as a gift called “Soul Coats Restoration” by Rohadi. Each coloring page is based on scenes and verses from the Bible. As Rohadi said “With every stroke of the pencil and every ink of the pen, no matter how whimsical or seemingly insignificant, you are unlocking beauty and glimpsing a best yet to come”. I believe whether you are a religious person or not, somehow you will find something in this book that touches you or simply enjoy the beautiful illustrations.

Review as a colorist

The paper in this book is thick and white, took water medium very well if you are into watercolor, water based markers etc. I have not tried alcohol markers but the pages are printed double-sided so make sure you test first. I have mixed feelings about the illustrations. There are some drawings that I don’t think I will color like the skull page but that’s just me.

I selected this fish page from Mark 1:17 “Come follow me and I will make you go out and fish for people” as my first project in this book. From a design perspective, it is a brilliantly designed mandala. It portrays fishes in a net but in an intricate pattern that repeats 4 times. I would like to share with you my coloring choices and a few techniques I used for this page.

Coloring tools used

I used Derwent Inktense pencils for this page. I have a blog about the use of these amazing pencils here. The paper in this book is thick and takes water medium very well. I used colored pencils to further blend the colors or add highlights. This gives the objects depth and dimensions. The light blue dots in the water were created using light blue Posca paint pen 5mm. This pen is opaque and the 5mm pens creates just the perfect dot size with just one easy press of the pen. I also used the Sakura micron 0.1 drawing pen for the black patterns on some of the fishes and to transform the original empty “net” into a more realistic rope net. I will discuss some of these details below.

Soul coats fish page in progress picture

The rope

The picture below showed how I drew the ropes of the fishing net.

Method:

  1. draw “s” shapes and connect them
  2. color with a base color – I used light yellow
  3. shadow the left side and bottom with a dark color like dark brown

A demo of how to draw ropes

Dimensions

The picture below shows how I add dimension to the fish scale. The before picture looks very flat compared to the bottom finished picture.

A demo of how to add shadow to create dimension

I used black colored pencils to add shadows and made the fishes 3 dimensional as seen in the before and after pictures below.

A test page

Do you plan or do you wink it? I am a bit of a combination, usually start with one idea which could be as simple as I want to use a specific color on this page. The rest will evolve as I go. For this fish page, I fancied using all the colors in the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet for this fish page. The blue, indigo and violet are taken by the water, hence the fishes will be red, orange, yellow and green. As the fishes overlapped, I decided that the red/orange fish can only overlap with the yellow/green fish and so on.

I find that photocopy my page to try out ideas is a great way to do trial and error. Here’s my messy test page. As you can see some ideas were used in the final copy, some were discarded e.g. the purple fish really looked out of place, hence it will not be on any of the fishes. I also wrote the color code down so I could easily duplicate what works.

 

Test page for the Soul Coats Fish page by Betty Hung

Take pictures at stages

I like to take photos at different stages of my coloring and spend time looking at them away from the actual coloring page. ┬áThis is the same idea of getting another pair of eyes to read your writing, sometimes you can’t catch a typo because you just trick your eyes into seeing what you want to see. When I look at the pictures of my own coloring, it’s like I am proof-reading someone else’s work, it allows me to really catch any area of imperfection more easily. I also find that if I am stumped on the next color to use for an area, standing back and looking at the pictures eventually give me ideas.

Happy Coloring!

It’s been a year since I started blogging my color arts. I really hope to get some feedback from you. What do you want to see in the future? Please comment to let me know how I can improve or simply to say hello. Blogging can feel very lonely, like you are talking to yourself!

 

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