Thursday, November 21, 2013

Moon Dragon (2013; multicolour ink and highlighter)

It is always heartening to see advances made in the field of applied childishness. Naturally this is an area which my friends and I tend to excel in, as evidenced by Earl's recent Lego Therapy post.


Where I work, we have a Spirit Committee that organizes various challenges from month to month, some focused on productivity, others on accuracy, et cetera. This month though, the theme is "Just For Fun" and the coordinator has put a fair amount of effort into setting up a variety of games and puzzles, and distributing a variety of treats labeled "Just For You! Just For Fun!"


I haven't had the time to do the word search or the sudoku-like brain teaser she has circulated, so I made an effort to participate in the most recent challenge: a colouring contest.


Yes, seriously.


Now, I may have coloured a couple of times with the girls when they were younger, but prior to that, I would have to say it has been literally decades since I coloured something. Even at a restaurant with paper tablecloths or menus, I am far more likely to bust out a game of hangman rather than colour. I do like to doodle though, and since there were extra points for using whatever items you happened to have at your desk, I decided to go ahead and take a crack at it.

I selected a fierce looking dragon to colour, looking not just for subject matter I found appealing, but something balancing out a limited palate with a variety of potential textures. In addition to a handful of likely looking highlighters, I had the ubiquitous 4-color 'study-buddy' Bic of my youth, courtesy of our CEO who distributed one to each and every employee earlier in the year.


I used my green highlighter to colour some of the scales around the dragon's face, and to help bring out the definition elsewhere. I used the green ink pen to draw single parallel lines on most of the face and much of the belly, then cross-hatched many of his scales. I did the stripes on his horns in a similar fashion with the black pen, and the tongue with the red.


Yellow and orange highlighter took care of most of the rest, although the orange barely shows up in this scan due to being, yeesh, three or four years old I reckon. I used a blue highlighter to colour most of the moon and to highlight the clouds, which pretty much forced me to use black Sharpie to colou rin the sky in order to establish thatit was, in fact, night time in my picture.


And that was about all I had time for. I am fairly happy with the results, but having seen some of the other efforts, I don't think I have much chance of winning. To be fair, that wasn't my intention anyways; the simple joy of adding colour to paper, working with my hands, adding some vibrancy to a black and white image, and working around the challenge of limited materials was a great way to spend a few minutes on break that otherwise would have been used to check on the latest Rob Ford debacle or Senate expense scandal. Mostly I was encouraged by how many people participated!


If you have an opportunity to revisit colouring at some point during this increasingly frantic time of year, whether on a restaurant's children's menu, or a workplace contest, do yourself a favour and take advantage of it.



  1. Love your drawing. I should suggest that for my workplace though I think I am merely being motivated by the knowledge that I have a box of 24 crayons in my desk (not standard issue but something I like to have on hand).

    1. I think I know you well enough to say with assurance that you would gladly share your colourful, waxen bounty! I say have the colouring event now, and weigh the lost productivity against the camaraderie gained later.