So, you’re getting pretty good at coloring?
You make smooth and beautiful blends with your Copic Markers.
You’re layering colored pencils with ease.
You ace every coloring tutorial thrown at you.
And when you post your project photos to Facebook and Instagram, people ohh and ahh over your coloring.
“Oh, my! You are such a talented artist!”
But are you really an artist?
Harsh words, right?
Wait, let me ask you a few questions before you leave in an angry huff:
Who drew the image you colored?
Who set the size, composition, and creative tone for the project?
Who created the color palette? Who selected the markers or pencils?
Who chose the techniques?
Who figured out which order to color each item?
Who invented the creative details which made for a unique and appealing image?
Someone else did that.
You made a nice art project but you did not make art.
That’s the problem with tutorials
And it’s a problem with coloring classes and online courses.
It’s why you can color for years and never make art.
Because you’re letting someone else make all the decisions.
Coloring by tutorial is an adult version of Simon Says.
“Simon says put your hands on your head. Simon says put your hands in your lap. Simon Says pick up your B66 and B63. Now color the bottom left petal in a smooth dark to light gradient.”
You’re following the leader.
That’s what a tutorial is. Someone demonstrating how they colored something.
When you follow a tutorial, you’re not making art, you’re remaking someone else’s art.
But you can do more!
The fact that you’re reading this article is an important sign.
People who color in front of the television every once in a while? They are definitely not the kind of people interested in my website.
Nope. If you’re here, you’re weird and wonderful and rare.
You see coloring as an art form. You dream of capturing greater realism. You want to express your own creativity with markers and pencils.
And you’ve got hidden artistic potential, skills that you’ve never fully tapped into.
That’s why you’re here and why you take my classes. Because you know you can do more too!
“More” requires more than online classes
Look, I’m an online instructor. I should be pitching you the benefit of buying every single one of my online lessons.
But honestly, you can only learn so much from videos.
Because ultimately, every online class is a tutorial.
Whether I’m teaching you how to create dimensional dark recesses or maybe it’s how to color yellow objects with correct coloration… I’m still teaching you via tutorial.
You’re using my drawing, my maker list, my techniques, and you’re copying every move I make in the video.
Simon Says. Amy Says.
You’re not making art, you’re making my art.
Think back to any of my Workshop classes. Now think of all the class projects from other people who took the Workshop.
That doesn’t happen in a real art class, folks.
Even if everyone in an art class is looking at the same exact daisy and using the same exact paint or pencil colors, no two people will walk away with the same project.
Because art is not taught by tutorial.
Here’s my confession: I can’t teach real art classes online.
There’s a feedback system to in-person art classes that doesn’t happen online.
In a real art class, the teacher looks at what you’re doing and then challenges you to add something else, change something, improve something.
If you’re watching a pre-recorded Amy, that’s a one way street. I’m not there to react to what you’re doing. I can’t coax you beyond the technique.
This is why I host art retreats.
Break the tutorial habit
Learn to create instead of copy!
My Over the Top artist retreats are different than my online classes.
For starters, the supply list is loose. One of the first lessons we cover is how to choose YOUR own colors. Color selection is not something you can learn if you’re locked into other people’s recipes. Choosing markers is the number one hang-up for most colorers!
Because your art should reflect your sense of style and color.
And while I demonstrate every project (and I demo answers to all your questions), OTT retreats are never monkey-see monkey-do! You will learn the keys to independent coloring.
Because your art should reflect your personality, not the techniques you’ve you’ve memorized.
And lastly, you’ll receive guidance and encouragement as you work. Your project will change as it progresses. I show students how to make the most of happy accidents, how to amplify what looks amazing, and how to disguise what doesn’t look good.
Because your art is unique, special, and worthy of celebration.
Join me in February
This will be my ONLY retreat in 2019.
Note: I had planned to host several retreats this year but will be having surgery. So this is a warning to those holding out for something closer to home or more exotic. No additional retreats are planned until 2020.
Over the Top - Artist’s Retreat
Copic Marker + Colored Pencil
Tuesday, February 26 to Sunday, March 3
San Antonio, Texas
Retreats make a difference!
Kathy says: “Vanilla Arts online classes are fantastic but there is no substitute for hands on training that you will get from attending a retreat with Amy Shulke. You will not only gain knowledge of your craft, but confidence in your art.”
Marsha says: “Amy's retreat was a gift I gave myself. Her thorough knowledge of the subject matter is what makes her teaching style so superior. She is organized, confident, articulate and generous with her time and critiques. I know these traits come out in her online classes, but being with her in person is exactly what you need to get your art to the next level. The best thing is that I'm still drawing and coloring.”
Lynne says: “The retreat has been a real exercise in pushing my limits. Picking my own colors, finding my own way. I wasn't happy with where my picture was going but I received so much encouragement. Most of all, I made friends who I hated to leave.”
Join me for artistic coloring lessons
Break your reliance on tutorials.
Color like an artist, not like Amy.
You were born to do more!