Readers Mail

Should I use small coloured pencils again?

By Ahmet Abdulaziz….

I was sketching something on paper earlier, when all of a sudden my mind took me back to more than half a century. I saw myself colouring one of my mother’s magazines. I must have been three or four years old, and had not started going to school. I very well remember, my mother was very particular about buying that magazine, which was specifically for women. In it I remember there had been drawings of flowers etc. and my mother had been tracing some of these drawings on pillow or table covers, for stitching either by hand or sewing machine. She had been doing this using threads of different colours.

My favourite pastime was colouring those flowers with coloured pencils.  My coloured pencil was comprised of one single pencil, which my father used to bring from his office. My father at the time was working as a junior auditor in a government department. For checking they used a pencil having red colour on one end and blue on the other.  After constant using that particular pencil, my father brought it for me, after it became too small to be held by him. But that small size of  pencil was well suited for my small hand.

That was the beginning of my interest in colours and colouring.  Since I started off with colouring, and not drawing, colouring has remained my favourite for the whole of my life, rather than drawing.

I remember that in those days I had made a small collection of those small two coloured pencils. Some had become too small, whereas some were still long enough for my small hand. I had been sharpening them with great care since I never wanted to lose them. Though there was more than one pencil in my stock at all times, I still was always very careful while sharpening any of them. Reduction in length of any pencil used to panic me.

Now I laugh about that particular feeling of my early childhood. Even though there was more than one coloured pencil in my stock at that time, I felt disturbed seeing any of the pencils losing its length.

Unfortunately, I do not know, what happened to my stock of those small red and blue coloured pencils. Most probably my younger sister and brother used them, even though none of them exhibited any interest in the world of colours later in life, but I am sure that at an early age they also must have used them in colouring flowers.

Over the passage of time, I lost my interest in colouring pencils.  First I ventured into pen and ink sketching, and then into oil colours. For over the last forty years I have worked in oil colours only. However, sometimes those small coloured pencils surface in my memory. Are they calling me to re-start using coloured pencils?