Colour Collective Continues

It's already week 6 of #colour_collective and I'm busy working on my drawing for this week. Penny's chosen colour is Flame Red which puts me in mind of heat, love, devils, jammy dodgers, wild strawberries and penguins in jumpers!

It's unusual for me to think about what colours 'say' to me. I have never thought in that way before. That's why this challenge is so fascinating to me. It's one thing when you are asked to draw something but another when you are asked to draw what you are inspired to draw by a colour.

In week 3, the colour was ultramarine. My first thought was of neon tetras. I remember seeing a massive tank full of them in an aquarium and being hypnotised by their blue light. I spent an entire evening drawing them and playing around in Photoshop trying to get an image I was happy with.

The next day I was writing in a cafe and there was a poster on the wall of a super-hero, wearing a blue costume. And not just blue but ultramarine. In an instant Ultramarine Girl came to me and neon tetras were forgotten! Here she is… WIth super-powers in her flippers! I really struggled with the hair and need to spend some time practicing and understanding how other illustrators make it look so effective.

The following week was Sap Green. The word 'sap' made me think of forests and ferns but when I started drawing this little one appeared (see below). I'm not sure where she came from! But sap green suddenly said 'wellies'!

I experimented a bit more with colour in this picture. The little ones in my life love wearing bright colours that clash so I chose a bright pink and orange to go with the green. I've noticed how other illustrators use a darker version of the same colour to layer and give a more 3D feel so I played a bit more with texture and shading in Photoshop using this technique.

I also experimented with the space on the page. Placing her at the bottom of the page added to her 'story' and neeeeeeed to be carried! Then adding a lighter coloured, patterned background rather than plain white gave the picture a little depth.

Then came week 5 and Brilliant Violet. I immediately thought of Violet Beauregarde and her bubblegum. Then of a girl called Violet who was brilliant. Then I put the colour with orange in my mind and was transported to Jaipur in a swirl of coloured saris. I have wanted to start drawing in more intricate detail as I am so inspired by work of people like Mouni Feddag and Nina Cosford.

I wanted to nod to this in a very small way and started to draw some patterns. I find that sometimes my logistical mind that I need so much in my daily job limits my ability to draw 'loosely'. I compromised by drawing patterns as a word to give them structure. Next step, free form! I then found myself going back to my comfort zone of drawing a child to accompany my patterns. I have to confess to being quite pleased with how comfortable she looks! I quite fancy that armchair myself.

As a complete beginner, I have to say how completely inspired I am by the #colour_collective group. It gives me a focus, a challenge, lots of fun and a lovely feeling of community. More and more people join each week. We post our pictures at 19:30GMT on a Friday (or as close as we can!) and there is absolute flurry of excitement as we look through everyone's work. There is such a feeling of camaraderie and awe. And it's very much 'more the merrier' so why not come and join in!