How Much Fun Can One Man Have

Colouring books are all the rage again. Why? Who knows! But for some reason, it’s not just the younger set who are digging out their crayons and settling down for some scribbling time, but all ages, all the way up to grandparents.

It is seen as therapy, I guess, a way to clear the mind while wielding various wildly coloured implements, bringing a drab grey image to life with individual interpretations.

I had a look at some examples and was struck by how incredibly intricate and complex some of the images were. I am not an artist, so any thoughts I had at doing something similar whispered quietly away and fled out of the windows of my mind.

But then I got to thinking, something I have been known to do from time to time.

Could I find a way to convert some of my photographs into a form suitable for colouring in?

Well, I have to tell you ……. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. In this age of incredibly powerful computer programs, programs that are so clever that they seem to be able to think for themselves, I couldn’t find a suitable technique.

What I did find out, though, was a number of new words.

Things like “Gaussian Blur”. Who on earth was Gauss, and why was he, or she, all blurry?

“Color Dodge” was another one. Why dodge colour? Colour isn’t life-threatening when hurled at a person is it? Why dodge it?

Then there were things like “Difference Clouds”. What?

“Underpainting”. How does one paint under the actual subject material? Both of these terms sound like something that would be taught at a place like Hogwarts.

Then, when you try to something really clever, it tells you that first you have to form a new group. This proved difficult. I mean, the Beatles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, and several other cool names had already been taken, and anyway, I wanted to make drawings, not be a world-famous musician. But it did mean I could get myself seriously side-tracked as the sound system was employed at excessive volume to calm my frazzled nerves, letting me express my inner pop-star by playing air-guitar alongside Brian May.

But back to the task at hand.

Eventually, after much experimentation, I got it right and this time my inner child made an appearance as I tried various pencils, crayons, pastels and fibre-tips to see if they would produce a useful image.

What fun! And the best part of a day wasted. I am not artistic, as I mentioned, so I begged a very busy artist friend of mine to have a go to see what she might be able to do.

To say that I was totally gob-smacked was an understatement of note. She used those colour pencils that are like water-colour paints, and turned my simple, drab, uninspiringly grey image into something special.

leopard-line

leopard-colour

So that, dear readers, is how “Colour Me” was born. A collection of wildlife images, each accompanied by a page of information about the animal appearing on the page. So … not just fun, but really educational as well. That makes it sort of unique.

It’s about to be released to the crayon-wielding public. A public of virtually any age. A public who would like to have some colouring fun, but learn a bit at the same time.

I’m quite pleased with it. I hope you will be too…..

www.nici.co.za/colour.html will take you to an album page showing off all the featured super-stars, all valued members of my new group.

 

 

colour me comp

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About msomiafrica

Author, photographer and conservationist who sincerely prefers interacting with animals rather than people.
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