At my last public author event, I took along the usual coloring pages, gum balls, postcards and that sort of thing that help catch the eye of parents and children and make great ice breakers. But I also took along a sketch that I'd worked up awhile ago, along with a supply of colored pencils. A fellow author once observed "You're not a real writer until you've been ignored by the public" and the art was a way to pass the time while I was being ignored. It was also "test time" for me - I wanted to experiment with a couple different techniques in the same medium and see which I preferred.
These obviously aren't finished yet and the scan is patchy, but this is where the gaps in two days got me. Keep in mind, I used roughly the same colors (I switched the shadow shade in the darker version from green to purple but otherwise, it's the same colors) just a different technique:
It turned into an impromptu survey. As I chatted with various people, my work was out on the table (each was only 5 x 7 or so) and if people craned their necks to have a look, I'd ask which they preferred, the light touch or the strong arm approach. I have to admit, I usually enjoy the strong arm approach - laying down the color as thick as possible. But with a new drawing in the planning stages, it was time to experiment.
The end result was interesting.
Girls preferred the light touch, almost unanimously. And the younger they were, the more emphatic they were about their preference.
Boys like the brighter color and wanted the dragonfly to be RED.
It was an eye-opener to get their feedback and see where I agreed and where I didn't. I've done the same thing sometimes with story sketches when visiting classrooms but adding the color discussion was a lot more fun.
I think I'll take some new sketches along next time, too.
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