Monday, 26 June 2017


I'm having fun playing with the colours the pens choose.

To recap - here are (my self-imposed) rules.

The pens themselves choose the colours of each painting in a four-inch sketchbook.
All the pens are in a bag and I take out three pens without looking. 

If I like the three colours together I keep them, but if I don't (for example if the colours are too similar like two pale oranges) then I'm "allowed" to take out two more, but I can only use three of the five.

I also wanted the paintings to be abstract.
And additional rules - colour mixing is not allowed, only the three colours can be used and I'm allowed to add black.

The pens started off by choosing a nice threesome.


However they were planning something.

They chose these three miserable together colours and in the end I had to add red and black to add a little interest.


They gave me a reprieve with this next one.
I rather like this jolly picture.


Then they threw me a googly with the next set.

I could hear them giggling in the bag.  
("See what she makes with that", hahaha!).
I took out two more (allowed in the rules).

Not my colours at all, but I chose three and just to show the pens that I wasn't worried, I painted this in five minutes.  I added black.


The next day these same three pens were still looking at me.
And I made a little collage.


And funnily enough I almost like this one the best.

The light colours in the background checks were made by painting the colours on to a plastic sheet and taking them off with a brush and water.

So good choices of colours after all, pens, thanks!

How do you choose your colour schemes?


  1. Wonderful pages - even though you didn't like the choices of the pens . They challenged you enormous Sheila - but you win ! I am thrilled about the collage idea - that can make such a difference --- super!
    Very lovely pages - my favourite is: THE FLOWERS ESCAPE FROM THE BOX

    I can't tell exactly how I chose my colors.... it's something my colour-brain don't even share with myself.

    I wish you a very happy new week Sheila!
    oxo Susi

  2. I'm a color addict. I have no composition skills and very little of the other design elements, but color is something I've always been good at. I was shocked when I saw the last set of colors, but, like Susi, I LOVE the Flowers Escape From The Box. It is less abstract, too I think. My next favorite is At The Theater. It speaks to me, too. Very impressive color mix and great way to force yourself to color outside your comfort zone.

    How do I pick my colors? I start with the focal color and work from there. Sometimes the colors clash, like if I pair a pink red with an orange red. I don't see it until I look under a full spectrum light, and then I know I've made a horrible mistake. Luckily for you, you don't have that same problem with those ink pens. This is a GREAT challenge, and I like it when you share these.

  3. You are the bravest of them all! What a crazy good challenge for you and you have stepped up to it. The art you and your pens have created is inspiring. Your art is always inspiring. I do love the collage and the flowers escaping the best. Those flowers know they don't belong in a box. Now they shall dance around your studio until you paint them a proper home. :-)

  4. Wonderful pages and I really like your rules about choosing colours especially being allowed to do a swap.
    I use the ....go with the flow.....method I think when picking out colours, some work, some don't, but its all about having fun.
    Yvonne xx

  5. Super creativity with the pen subsets - excellent concept having a restricted palate. Super notebook. Love dancing in the blue snow best. Love it, Awesome!!

  6. Very creative, lovely to see.
    I like the dance of the flowers ...

    All the best Jan

  7. Wow what a great idea!! I love how much fun they are, and my favourite is "Flowers escape from the box", the theatre one is so happy too!! All wonderful, clap clap for the pens and the creator behind them!! Colour is such integral part of my creativity that it intuitively speaks to me as I create. I might find this great exercise a little too restrictive for me!!

    Hugs Giggles

  8. It looks like your art pieces are coming from a happy place, you must be having so much fun with your "playing along with pens" challenge 😀. I so enjoyed reading your self-imposed rules and your abstract pages are wonderful. You always create pieces with so much fabulous imagination, both the flowers escaping from the box and your dance of the flowers made me smile. Your blue garden is my favourite though, the colours and design flows beautifully together! For my art journal pages I'm usually expressing my life through my art, so I find my colours schemes are often linked to something I've seen or remember 😀. Thanks for sharing your challenge, I can't wait to see more of your creativity. Enjoy your week! J 😊

  9. Wonderful Art! These are all so magical, beautiful and fun..uplifting and full of color harmony!
    Thanks for sharing your inspiring art!

  10. It is a very funny challenge with your self-imposed rules! Your pens have their own will and you let them play. The blue garden - very nice! - and you chose a very fitting background for the photo, as also at the violett "Dancing in the blue snow", how cool!
    At the theatre - very beautiful, but you broke the rules! The pens will not forgive you!
    The flowers escape ... you see, to add black is enough - the picture is full of life!
    The dancing flowers collage is gorgeous!

    I do not choose my colours - I use them all together :))
    Rike xx

  11. This idea, only 3 random colors to use, I find so ingenious - you have created wonderful and different pictures. Hihi, but I see you've also cheated a little, when you put the red to it! But the red really brings more tension into the picture .... and black as contrast is of course also very important.
    Again and again I am amazed at the motifs that always come to you, always so fantastically imaginative - I would never come to these ideas!
    My favorites are: at the theater and blue snow
    Greetings from Ulrike

  12. When you liked the colors at the end, I thought: that is the gift in this little art game you have going on, learning new things about yourself and about colors. Most the ones that you weren't thrilled with I like. I think you should always be able to add black and white, or at least one or the other. They are all cute and fun.

  13. These are fun. I think the blue garden would make a gorgeous quilt square. In fact, it would be fun to reconstruct these using 3 colors of cloth. I think you've discovered something. :) Hope all has been well. Hugs-Erika

  14. What a great by yourself created challenge!
    I like what your pencil do and what they create (with your help...)
    The theater-scene is wonderful. I love all those little flowers that
    seem to enjoy very much what the see. And I wonder what is happening
    at the tribune (don't know the right word at the moment) - and the actors:
    Especially the way the tower looks to the pot with this miracle being and all
    the bubbles around.
    My favourite are the flowers escaping from the box. I don't know why but that's
    the way it is.

  15. They are all simply marvelous. I like the drawings your pens have chosen for you. xox

  16. i think the blue snow is my favorite... just thinking snow as having the Color blue is so fantastic! imagine everything would be blue in winter (not only my mind, *G*)...
    your Color game is great. how do i choose mine? just by Intuition, grabbing pieces out of a heap;)... well, seeing them before, not a blind choice!

  17. What a great idea! I also have to try it out! Each image has its own effect through the colors and I can not decide whether I like the bright or strong colors better.

  18. Fabulous whimisical art with great colour combinations (chosen by the pens). I wouldn't have thought about some of the additions. I pick colours that I like together, without too much thought. Take care, Hugs xx

  19. Besides being fun Sheila, this is a great challenge providing your pens play nicely :)
    I love the first one especially and can imagine this design repeated on wrapping paper or maybe a T-shirt or as a cool greeting card. Well done pens - great colour choice!
    The 2nd one, I thought - that's looks like a stage and audience - and then saw the title - oops!

    One of my favourite abstract water colour faces was done using 3 colours next to each other which out thinking what they were and an egg timer (may have turned that over twice).
    I think I said before I don't really understand/remember colour theory so when choosing colours it probably depends on what the project or subject is.
    If I am making a digi-kit though, I often do play around making swatches to see what (hopefully) works.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend... Gill xx

  20. I love your pages. Such variety and a great collection of colour combinations - even better because they are random. Fabulous!

  21. Ah the fun here! I too love to pick colours at random like that, that's just the way I work, no plan, what I grab first are the colours of the day...not too much thinking ever goes into my art.
    I love the colours of the third piece but so love your second piece design, such a fun concert and happy flowers enjoying the show, this one really makes me smile!

  22. I enjoyed the flowers escaping from the box the best. You have a way with colours even with cones that don't really go together


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