Coloring Square Study: The Story of Earth


In my prior post I showed some examples of 6-color challenges that I applied to coloring squares. Since my fancy markers come in sets of 6, and tend to be themed around things like “hues” or “floral”, they work well together. I also like that limiting myself to 6 colors leads to a blend of soothing art therapy and mind game, as I try my best not to have the same colors touching in adjacent pattern blocks.

I widened the net a bit and went “shabby” with one of my designs in that I limited myself to a specific type of cheap markers. I got a set of 4 at Dollar Tree, that are said to be “brush” markers but are really felt-tip markers that vaguely resemble brushes. Michaels had a set of 8 that had actual brush hairs, but being $5 USD for the pack, the bristles fell out quite a bit.

Also, one marker was black, which was not used for the piece. (The lines are black. I wanted the base design to show through.)

Here is what I came up with:


I’m no geologist, but my approach was to tell the story of the Earth in marker. I always work from the center outward on these squares, and opted to depict a fiery core to the “planet”.

In turn, the magma flows away from the center and begins to foster the elements of life itself. The second ring is a layer of water covered by a layer of dirt, and between the first and second layers underground vegetation (roots) grow.

Breaking through the “soil” are plants, and structures.

The felt-tip consistency of the markers was rather aesthetically annoying to me in sharp contrast to the vibrancy and ease-of-use of alcohol-based markers (my fancy ones).

But: I liked stretching my thoughts a bit as I decided what should go where, and why. I didn’t just want to “color”, I wanted the colors and patterns to mean something more than “I have too many markers.”

I often get down on myself for not being particularly creative, especially when I can’t see beyond the default options of a given thing. Then I watch some video where someone takes poop and turns it into an entire bedroom set. Why yes, that one was dresser-shaped! Why didn’t I think of that?

Anyway, I think I do well to not worry about measuring up to someone or something else and just make some art.


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