My daughter loves colouring in using abstract colours (eg flowers where every petal is a different colour) but lately she has been wanting to make her pictures more realistic. We have been talking a lot about how objects are never one solid colour, the petals on a flower are never the exact same colour all over, the leaves on a tree always have darker areas and lighter areas. She was very eager to try some picture for herself.
I wanted to make sure that while she tried out the shading she was not distracted by trying to get her own drawings right so I thought using colouring pages would be better. I also wanted to make sure the colouring pages where not too busy with extra details and that there was enough space for her to practice blending her colours together. I eventually found these – Free to download Flower colouring pages from the Red Ted Art website and I think they are perfect for this type of exercise. The flowers have a lovely realistic shape but they are not overcomplicated.
Before she started her picture we chatted about the colours and which area would probably be darker or lighter (at this stage we are not focusing on where the light source is coming from we are more working on using lighter and darker colours and how we can blend them. The light source discussion will come once she is confident with this). I showed her an example and explained how I slowly built the flower up with my colours. Then she had a go with a sunflower. She started working on the back petals first using a darker orange and brown and then different shades of orange on the front petals.
And her first attempt.
I was so proud and she did not stop. As she got more confident her colours also got stronger.
I have a strong feeling about using the colour black for shading, I personally think it is overused and can ruin pictures. So I have purposely been showing my daughter how to use colours for shading instead of black. With her sunflowers she used a brown to get the darker areas.
Also Purple works surprising well for blue and red flowers.
And even the backgrounds are no longer just one colour.
And the best part is now that she is seeing the results she wants to keep trying. She is sitting with me searching for new colouring pages to try to colour realistically. And I am sure that with time this new-found confidence will spill over onto her own drawings.
The colouring pencils that we use are these ones (from a sensory mom point of view we love these grips) Faber-Castell Tin of 24 Colour GRIP 2001 pencils
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