This one is going to take a while! One of the things that I really like about using soft graphite pencils is that little, light dabs of pencil lead add so much sooty darkness. No matter how lightly I make each stroke, it’s enough to add more shadowing and contouring. Lead sharpness makes a big difference too – so a lot of time is spent sharpening the pencil to exactly the right pointiness for all of the different areas. (Super sharp for thin dark edging shadows, less sharp for light coloring larger shapes, etc.)

Graphite pencil encourages me to go slow, and that holds true in my sketchbooks as well as in a graphite coloring like this one. Maybe it’s that little bit of extra care needed to keep from smudging everything into a total mess. A carelessly placed hand or fingertip leaves its mark in a way that ink would just forgive and forget. And of course, no matter how attentive I am, it’s really just a matter of time before there will be a smudge or two – and then it’s great practice in acceptance. 🙂

You know, I guess I could actually erase smudges or oopsies, couldn’t I? I’ve spent so many years drawing in ink that it actually didn’t occur to me until just now that a big fat eraser would be an effective way to avoid turning smudged pencil into a personal growth opportunity, lol. But I do quite like using pencil smudginess as a reminder to really pay attention to the most minute aspects of whatever I’m drawing or coloring at the moment. If you draw or color every day, you’re either going to really get deeper and deeper into the details of it or start taking it for granted. I prefer to stay intensely interested in my drawing or coloring – even if it’s occasionally smudgy.

Today’s coloring progress slideshow:

Today’s book: Breathe (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders – Volume 3)

Colored with: Faber Castel Polychromos Pencils