Ever since I first saw the squared pages in the Large Moleskine Squared Reporter Notebook, I wanted to play with the grid and create a pixelated abstract of sorts. The little squares beg to be colored in. I decided to do this with my new Prismalcolor Colored pencils because I haven’t used them all that much and I thought the large range of colors would would be better than a small set of markers.
The image I wanted to duplicate, is one on a photo I have of my daughter when she was about 10 years old, trotting along the beach near Jekyll Island. To help me with this illustration, I scanned the photo into Photoshop and I reduced the resolution to about 5 pixels per inch, which would give me a similar grid as the Moleskine squared Notebook. I used this scan to give me a range of colors for the illustration. I was surprised by how many variations of like colors this would require and I was glad to be using the colored pencils. I had a much larger choice of colors than I would if I had used markers which would have turned to mud and would have required lots of layering.
This was harder than it looked. Even though I had lots of color choices, none of the pencils matched the flesh tones I needed and I found that I had to blend all of the colors to some degree. The waxiness of the color made this a bit difficult at times, mostly due to the small area I had to work with on each color. In most cases, I started each pixel with the closest color and layered from there, using the lightest color last to smooth everything out.
To keep things straight, I had to work horizontally, one line at a time square by square. Again, this was challenging because the colors were so similar and I found myself frequently getting lost.
In the end, I am glad I used the colored pencils, even though the colors didn’t blend as smoothly as I would have liked. The image took on a waxy gloss which feels lovely to touch and gives a softer appearance than another medium would have. I think there are lots of interesting things that could be done on squared paper and I am looking forward to trying more illustrations which push the concept even farther. If you have some art you’d like to share that you created in your Moleskine or other squared notebook, email me at Cynthia@journalingarts.com. I would love to see it!