Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gel Pens, a New book, Cards, and sharing another's art too!

In my last post I shared a lot of information, some about coloring and some about other areas of creativity such as sewing, and let you know that I'd be trying a new form of medium for coloring.

To date I've tried the gel pens on the cards to color and share.  I've done one card, but then to give a fair review to the gel pen medium I thought I should do it more justice with another, larger piece of art.  The cards to color and share are from Christian art gifts, and the ones I got have a Bible verse on each one.  I think they'd be a super cute way to tell friends and loved ones that you care or are thinking of them with that, and perhaps a small handwritten note to go with it.  There is just too much unfun mail these days, so this would be a great pick me up to someone's day even if it isn't a HUGE present.  Just getting that, I did this for you and thought of you while I did it message across I think IS a huge present, because that means the whole time you sat there taking the time to color the card, you were thinking about them, knowing it was them you were sending this to, and dedicating that love and attention to making a nice little note and card for them.  I was mistaken when I said in the last entry that the cards felt "waxy", they do but only on the back side of them, so you can use any medium easily on the side with the designs.

The book I sampled for the gel pens was Color Me Happy, with narratives by Lacy Mucklow, and illustrations by Angela Porter.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this book, picture or medium when I started, the card didn't turn out as I'd have wanted, and I may still go back and go over the writing from Ephesians as the gel color obscured the message on the card.  So, as I was learning this medium I learned some pluses and minuses about the gel pens which I will list here for you as well.  I was both pleased and displeased with the experiment on the card, because in some ways it was a fun learning experience as I obscured one part of the card after another.

Let me explain, the gel pen expels the gel ink in a way that I imagine is thicker than markers, I will have to sample them later to see how that goes when I get a set.  It's sort of like a layer of paint, so over lines etc, you have to either choose a color or type of gel that won't completely cover the details so painstakingly added by the artist.  Also, the gel can be used very fast as you color your piece.  For instance, in the book piece, I used half of a gel pen for the background sky, BUT it was totally worth it I think you'll see.  These are some of the minuses, being careful HOW you color, AND the amount of ink used in the art, so if I decide to do a lot of this medium type, I may asses colors and types I use more than others, and stock up on that specific color or type of gel pen.

Some of the pluses though, will depend on how heavily you weight them, I would advise trying different mediums for yourself and review them with YOUR own opinion and not just mine, but the very biggest plus I think is the vibrancy of the colors used.  If you want a piece of art that is truly breath taking and vibrant, I think you can definitely get that affect from gel pens.  If you want to do shading, I'm not sure that's something possible with this particular medium, but other people may beg to differ, so if you love the nuances of shading and fading your colors together for different effects, then this might not be your medium to fall back on time and again.

I did enjoy having different gel pen types in this set, there were base colors, metallic colors and omgerd GLITTER COLORS!!!  As you can imagine the one I used half of as a sky color was a glitter pen in blue gel, sooooo, I am pretty sure I'd have to stock up on blue glitter gel pens.  I tried to incorporate different types in both of the pieces I will present for review here, and tried to take pictures of them at different angles so that you can see the glitter/metallic/flat or base type colors.  I'm not sure if that will come over well on the computer or through pictures, but I do hope so.

Also, it's an awful lot of fun to have someone that will color with you, even if it's not all the time.  Jason, did some pieces I will share today also, but only the two he most recently did.  It's rare that he will color with me, so him allowing me to share his contribution is very exciting!  I get to color or draw with mom and Alicia every once in a while when we have play days with our niece/granddaughter and I thoroughly enjoy that too.  At any rate, I hope that you sometimes have someone to sit and color with also, it's just an awesome and fun experience.

I thought it would also be fun to share a picture of my assistant as she sits on my lap and demands attention often disregarding that I would rather be using my hands to color instead of petting her at that particular moment.  It can be tricky to not color outside lines under those kinds of circumstances so a steady hand is helpful.  I should also share more about the book, Color Me Happy, I think it's pretty evident that I was getting more of a handle on the gel pen medium on the bird picture than I had on the card, but also, the book is divided into chapters to appeal to the things that make the greatest amount of people happy, so if one chapter doesn't hop out at you, another may very well lift your spirits.  As I said, the art didn't jump out at me looking at the uncolored picture, BUT once it was done, I was definitely pleasantly surprised at the result of the gel pens, and art itself and the way it all just came together.  So, if you are book shopping and something doesn't fully grab your attention, consider it, it may well be that once you get it and put hands and colors on, you may feel very differently.

As usual, I hope you get the very best out of your art, and explore your creativity, mediums and benefits you get from it, and I would be honored if you would share them with me.