What Motivates You to Color Another Project?


Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what motivates you to color another project? I am sure that this is a question you could ask yourself at different times and come up with completely different answers. The good news is there is no wrong answer as long as you keep coloring!

Originally, what inspired me to color my next project was seeing a class sample that looked totally amazing. Early on it didn’t even matter what the subject of the project was, I would sign up and be coloring just as soon as the class started.

Today, it’s different. I realize that what motivates me now is experiencing the sense of magic I get from my coloring supplies.


Do you know who Bob Ross is? If not, you should take a little internet side trip and watch him paint. I first saw Bob Ross one Saturday afternoon (many years ago) as he came on the television just after a PBS sewing show I was watching ended. Before I knew it, I was memorized as I watched him paint. It was magic. I couldn’t believe it. He placed his brush to the canvas and what would appear were incredible trees, mountains, you name it. I had never painted but I wanted to know where to buy his brushes because he made me believe that I could paint with no effort if only I used the same paint supplies he was using.

Well, I didn’t take up painting. As a matter of fact, it was years later before I found this artform of coloring.


When that happened, I started taking classes at Vanilla Arts. Just like when I would watch Bob Ross paint, I would be mesmerized by watching Amy Shulke color with Copic markers and colored pencils. Do you know who Amy Shulke is? If not, you need to take a second little internet side trip and see her art and watch her color over at Vanilla Arts.

My coloring process would be to watch an online class and then try to color the class project. It didn’t take long before I was convinced that all instructors have a magic brand of Copic markers and I desperately needed to know where to buy them because mine didn’t behave like theirs! The same would come to be said of my colored pencils. I bought the artist level pencils, but once again, I needed to know which brands have that magic in them—clearly not mine.

Well, guess what, it turns out I did buy the right supplies. I’ve been practicing long enough to have finally found the magic in mine too. But here’s the secret. It turned out that the magic wasn’t so much in my supplies, it was in learning how they work, what they work best on or even where to use them within an image. Now when I place down a few strokes and see something come to life, it makes my heart sing. It’s the magic I’ve been trying to buy and here it was all this time.


So what motivates me to start my next project. It's that excitement I get when I place ink or colored pencil onto a sheet of paper and I see something come to life. It's as exciting as watching Bob or Amy. I wish I could explain it better. But practicing my way to the point that I can transform a 2D flat image into something that looks lifelike is something I never thought I would be able to do and it just brings me joy.

Have you found the magic in your supplies yet? Let me know how it happened for you. You might just teach us all a new magic trick!


In the meantime . . .

I’m off to color, I mean practice.


What's happening in the Corner . . .


Do you like to color images with people in them? Do you freeze when you get to the point you have to color skin? Don't know if you should approach coloring legs or arms different than a face, what colors to use, or even how to shade skin?


If so, come spend a month with us in the Corner while we will focus our coloring on skin. With practice, you can overcome the fear of coloring skin.


If you are reading this after we moved on to the next technique, you can find the Practice Technique Pack for Skin in our shop.

You can see more of my work or follow me on Instagram.

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