A story about Sophie – and Melly Martinelly (Colorista of the Week)

Today, Melly Martinelly and I have a funny story to share with all of you.
As some of you may or may not know, my venture into the land of coloring started very innocently with a book in a hobby store. It was the very first edition of Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden” – on rough and yellow paper, nothing special like today at all. But as I had only painted mandalas beforehand, I needed that book more than I needed my next paycheck! So off I went and got it. I had never paid $25 for a coloring book before, but … as we all know – that can change as well!

And now the real fun started…

Now, at home with my coloring book, I went to work.
That is…. when I wasn’t crocheting on my Sophie. Sophie’s Universe is a thing of intricate design and beauty, and it created a worldwide ripple in the world of crocheters. At that time I had posted my coloring adventure on my personal blog, with pics and all. And at some point – I’m not sure when – I made a comment on the blog belonging to the woman hosting the crocheting project “Sophies Universe” – for more info, check Look At What I Made blog. Now to the story… In the comments section I linked to my website. And the hostess, Dedri, saw my blog. She saw my pictures. And then she emailed me if she could use some of my coloring pictures in her next blog post about Sophie. I was thrilled! So of course I told her yes – that lead to this:

So, here’s the story… This Colorista of the Week saw that blog post. She was crocheting Sophie’s Universe. And decided to take a look at Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden”… And so – a new colorista was born…. Would you like to read her own story? (Of course you will… 😉 )
So here it is, slighty grammar corrected, but nevertheless with her own words. I present to you: the story of how Melly Martinelli became a colorista! (check out her Instagram profile here)

My story about coloring is a little intricate: I saw an image from Secret Garden book by Johanna Basford in 2014 but i didn’t eleaborate on the thing. Then, in 2015 I was following a crochet tutorial (The 2015 Sophie’s Universe CAL) on the blog site www.lookatwhatimade.net by Dedri when I saw some colored page fron Secret Garden on the web page. I became curious and then I began to find some info on the web. In the end of the same year, I bought a coloring book “Art Therapy” series books at the supermarket. I colored just a few pages from that book and until the next september of 2016 I didn’t color anymore. In September I found some free page on Pinterest from Secret Garden and other books and I decided to transform them in bookmarks, also for practicing because I was a little afraid to color a whole page. And in December 2016 I bought my first two books of Johanna Basford: Secret Garden and Magical Jungle!

2. After I bought Basford’s books I waited a couple of months but since Feburary 2017 I have never stopped to color! I learned the basic techniques at art school but I’m still learning, mostly about pencil techniques. And unluckily it’s impossible to learn everything at school.
3. My favorite colors are the cold ones as all shades of violet, turquoise, aqua, blue because they are very relaxing to me, but when I color I like to change my color palette very often and I like to explore different combinations of colors. It depends by the mood too, by the style or the technique I choose.

I have many colorists I love to follow, for inspiration too! One of my first prefered is Chris Cheng. Then I love Shirley XL (Tutopia), Cherry Colors, Faynnn, Irena, DK Design, LauraColorsToo, Gundiwr, Mediana09, drawing_n_coloring_, Ness Butler, Poh_Imm… and many others.
I use mostly a cheap Italian brand: Giotto, beacause they are very good and I don’t care too much to sharp them very often. The Naturale serie or Laccato and Supermina is great, it depends of the paper if it’s smoother or porouse/rought. Also more expensive brands too like Faber-Castell Polychromos and my old Karisma Color is amazing, and I hope to buy very soon a whole set of the famous Prismacolor! I love using watercolor pencils too, I think they give a very interesting effect to the illustrations like spots and are faster to use for background than normal pencils. I love Caran D’Ache Supracolor II and also the cheaper line Swisse Color, Stabilo Aquatico and Koh-I-Noor Mondeluz. But I like to change brand and type of pencils on almost every page I color, I have different brands, so I guess I’m getting board to always use the same pencil/brand.
I recently discovered acrylic watercolor by Kuretake: it’s a set of six metallic colors, very shiny! Sometimes I use white gouache or a white gel pen for hightlights, I love classic watercolor too, but there are few books that can handle this media. And it’s exciting try new media!

On YouTube I like to follow Chris Cheng, Shirley Tutopia, LauraColorsToo, DK Design, Kristy Rice (the author of Painterly Daily serie) and discover someone new.
I haven’t friends that like color but they think it’s ok.
The best thing about this hobby is that you can do it at every age and at any level, on your own or together with somone. It helps pass the time in a funny way. To improve your own creativity that is not an end in itself. Creativity is an important thing to me, it helps to solve everyday problems and in every employment sector. I think these coloring books are very helpful for art student to improve in technique of coloring. And in the end, I think it’s so satisfactory tosee a page colored by yourself!
Now, my ladies (and gentlemen) – please go visit that lovely girl and check out her amazing paintings. I am sure she would love to read your comments on her fab images!