Monday, July 18, 2022

Power Poppy - The Blossom Challenge - July

Hello and welcome to the Blog! The Power Poppy Bloom Brigade is bringing you a monthly challenge the third Monday of every month! The lovely and super talented Christine Okken is your hostess each month! The challenge is called The Blossom Challenge and will be a different theme or type of challenge each month! 

This month the theme is: Christmas in July. So grab a Power Poppy image and create a project featuring Christmas-themed images! To top it off, there’s a SALE!  Marcy has kindly discounted ALL of our Christmas Digi’s in the Happiest Holiday Category for you if you want to pick up something new to create with.

Note: You do NOT have to make a card! If you like to color at 8 1/2" x 11", you may print your image at that size and share your finished coloring page! Or, you may create another type of paper craft project featuring Power Poppy images.

Our challenge WINNER will receive a $20 gift card to use at the Power Poppy Store!! The challenge is open until August 15th! Link up your project to the Power Poppy Blog for a chance to win! Winners will be posted next month on the Power Poppy Blog. 

The June winner is posted today on the Power Poppy Blog...hop over to see if it is you!

Now here is a look at my inspiration project for the challenge, Christmas in July! 

The reason that I am always telling you that you can share "coloring pages" is because I like to print some of the bigger, more complicated images at 8 1/2" x 11" myself! This is the Sweet and Sugary Snowglobe Coloring Page. You can print this at any size, and  you can print with black lines or gray lines! 
I printed the image to fit onto 8 1/2" x 11" tan cardstock, using the gray line version. I used colored pencils to color the image, then added a bit of fine line pen for the tiny details. I also used a bit of white gel pen and some white paint here and there.

The pencils I used are a "new to me" set called Brutfuner Square Oily Colored Pencils. You can find them on Amazon for under $30, sometimes with a coupon for more dollars off. I got them for under $25 last September. So...long story is that they are "cheap" pencils manufactured in China. However...
These cheap pencils (approximately 21 cents per pencil,similar in price to the 120 set of Crayola pencils) are amazingly lovely to work with! They are highly pigmented, and not too hard nor too soft! They sharpen well and hold a point well. I really enjoyed working with them. The only downside is that the color names are in Chinese. I did obtain a translation (chart HERE) from a friend, and the pencils are numbered, so that's good.   

I was honestly shocked at how nice the pencils were to use. Many of the cheap brands usually contain more binder than pigment and/or are super waxy. These pencils were really a dream to use. They fit my coloring style very well, and with 120 colors, there are a lot to choose from. 
I am sometimes asked why I have so many pencil sets and how I decide which to use on a project. I have so many sets of pencils because they are all different and unique, plus I enjoy them all. {smile} It is very hard to turn down a good deal on new pencils! And truly, why not have a lot of choice? Some folks say you cannot learn to use your medium unless you spend countless hours with it. I disagree. I find that learning art fundamentals and color theory means I can pick up pretty much anything and color a nice picture. I am not creating fine art...I am coloring!

The choice of which pencils to use depends upon the project. What paper am I using, what style of coloring am I trying to achieve, and so forth. Not all pencils work on all papers. Sometimes  I just want to give a certain set some love! I also understand some sets are "fast" to use and some sets are "slow." If I am in a hurry, I will grab my Copic markers or maybe my Prismacolor pencils. If I lots of time, I might grab the Faber-Castel Polychromos or these square Brutfuners. It just depends. 
The next most common thing I am asked is, "How do know where to start on a big project?" I color a lot of larger, complicated projects in coloring books and with coloring pages like this one. I always pick one thing, such as leaves, or in the case of this project, I chose the candy cane and peppermint candies to do first. I followed with the pine branches. 

I don't work randomly, but instead I stick to one item at a time until I finish all of that item. It keeps the project cohesive, especially if it takes me along time to finish a project! 
I move around the project, biting off small chunks of the overall image. Here, I moved to the berries and cherries, then to the leaves. This is also when a color palette started to emerge. Sometimes I have an idea of the color palette when I begin, but sometimes, I don't. Or my vision changes as I begin to color. This is also why I don't start with the most important parts of the picture. I feel the background images will ground the project, so I start with those first. 
I knew that some of the items in this picture had to be colored with realism, the fruit and flora, even the snow globe. But the ornaments could be any color under the sun! I did want a riot of color, and I wanted more traditional colors, which is why the candy is red and white. 

The snow globe was the one thing that happened in stages. I worked on it as the rest of the picture took shape, because I had to add to and modify the snow globe to reflect some of the colors around it. 
I saved the ornaments and ribbon for last, so that the rest of the picture could dictate what color they should be. The blue of some of the berries dictated that the ribbons be blue and silver.  
In the end, I decided that the ornaments should be red, green, gold, blue, and silver. And there should be some white snowy dots here and there. That green and gold ornament was the last one...and I really struggled with what color it should be! I am still not 100% sure. {smile}
The most difficult part of the whole project was not the shiny items, or the complicated arrangement, but that snow globe! Making it look like glass was not easy! I am sure it has umpteen layers of color! It is not perfect, but I am so happy with how it turned out!

hope you have fun with the Christmas in July challenge this month, and please tell your friends! It will be great to have a lot of participants in our monthly Blossom Challenge at Power Poppy!

Make sure you visit the Shop, to see what is on offer in the Christmas Digi’s in the Happiest Holiday Category!

To see all the inspiration, and to read the challenge details, visit the Power Poppy Blog HERE. Also, to link up your project, do so on the Power Poppy Blog.

Inspiration List

Power Poppy Blog

Power Poppy Digital Stamps: 
Sweet and Sugary Snowglobe Coloring Page
Cardstock: Neenah Desert Storm
Colored pencils: Brutfuner Square Oily 120 set, Prismacolor Premiere White
Gel pens: Pentel Pigment Gel Ink White
Fine line pens: Arteza Inkonic
Paint: Arteza Gouache white

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