• Kathy

Student Success Story: Nikki's Ready to Paint the Town

Updated: Oct 9


How many times have you sat down to color something and discover you don't have one or more colors you need?


Even husbands will question how is it possible one can own nearly the entire line up of Copic markers (358) and four complete (unique) sets of colored pencils and still be missing a color. But I know if you have been coloring for any length of time it's happened to you too.


And it's one thing to be coloring on your own, but if you sit down to color with a project supply list and see you don't have everything on the list--you panic!


After spending the month of April in the Practice Corner focused on color, members now know they no longer need to panic when they find themselves missing a color on a project supply list.


Through the process of color swatching to create deeper and/or darker colors we learned a great deal about our markers and/or pencils. The focus was on how Copic markers and/or colored pencils mix and/or layer together to create all sorts of colors from pseudo black to rich gem tones. We also explored how to use a color wheel to identify the origins of a color, which led to successfully creating new colors.


Before we get too far into our new practice technique for May (creating hair and fur) I want to share a piece of art from one of our Practice Corner members Nikki. I think you will agree that Nikki is a coloring success story. Her desire to create more realism in her coloring kept her focused all month, and boy does it show. When I saw her April challenge image I knew wanted to talk with her about her coloring history and practice experience of creating deeper and/or darker colors. She was kind enough to allow me to share our conversation with you.


If this was audio, I would say, let's listen in, but we'll have to read this instead:


How long have you been coloring?

I think it's been about 5 years now.  I took several classes online and really enjoyed it.  I began with Copic markers and only recently have started branching out with pencils and watercolours.


How long have you been practicing with us in the Corner?

I have been a member of the Corner since the beginning.  I was so excited when I heard it was going to launch.  I had been following both Kathy and Frankie on Instagram for quite awhile before that so I was very familiar with their work.  I couldn't wait to be learning from them.


Has your coloring changed since being in the Corner? If so, how?

I think it has changed.  If anything, I would say I am much more conscious of what I am doing while I practice.  More mindful of my choices and how it will effect the finished piece. Also, the Practice Corner has a more intimate feel to it which makes me more willing to ask for help.  The feedback has definitely improved my colouring.


Did spending the month exploring color result in you now swatching colors before coloring?

Yes!  I loved that paint bucket drill.  Combinations that would seem completely bizarre at the outset often resulted in something wonderful. Who knew?  I have been referring to those swatches a lot throughout the month.


Did you learn anything about color (i.e., creating color, that ugly color can be beautiful, etc.) that you would like to share?

I would say the biggest thing I have learned is to push through the "ugly duckling" phase of a piece.  Often, I find as I am working that things look off for awhile before they being to look good again, but you have to push through that phase and not quit! 


In addition to being a member of the Practice Corner, Nikki is another of Amy Shulke's Vanilla Arts amazing students that continues to work hard on developing her coloring skills. Her dedication to practice is really helping her take the information that she has gained through prior classes/workshops and is now able to apply the techniques as she colors both guided and independent projects. Congratulations Nikki, your month of hard work sure paid off.

Are you still sheltering in place and looking for something fun and exciting to do on Tuesdays? Vanilla Arts has another live coloring class coming up Tuesday, May 5. If you have never experienced coloring with Vanilla Arts, The Art of Coloring is perfect. These live classes are also taped so if you aren't available on Tuesday (11:00 a.m. EST) it doesn't matter because the recording is available when you are.

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keep practicing and finding new joys through your coloring.

Lastly today, feel free to leave a comment below to congratulate Nikki on her coloring success!

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