Indelible Blue Pen

Jason C. McDonald (CodeMouse92)

April 10, 2011


Hey all, I haven’t posted in a while, due to school and work and school and work and…yeah. You get the picture. Anyhoo, got the overwhelming urge to dig through some old documents of mine, and I stumbled across this old article I wrote back in 2010. It seems quite appropriate to post an older article on this, the day of Indelible Blue Pen’s first anniversary.

I recently attempted what appeared to be a simple project – a paint by number kit. Now, being a fan of color-by-number books, and having found a new interest in painting, I figured this kit would be ideal for me. Besides, these things were designed for people with no experience, right? It even had the words “perfect for beginners” in big letters on the package.

This particular kit’s instructions seemed simple enough. Match the color of paint to the number on the canvas. In places where two numbers were printed, separated by a slash, the indicated colors were to be mixed in equal amounts. I started on the sky, which turned out pretty well.

The next step was to paint the three wild horses. The first one turned out a little odd, and I chalked it up to my inexperience. By time I had completed the second horse, I realized that I wasn’t the problem. Instead of a beautiful white mare, the multi-color creature looked like something straight out of a avant-garde nightmare.

Needless to say, I soon discovered that a master’s degree in painting was an unspoken prerequisite. Hindsight, the fact that the package said “made in China” should have been a dead giveaway. The colors they had given me were not only far too dark, but the “equal” portions I was required to mix resulted in either bright neons or mud.

My mother, who knows a bit about painting, did her best to help me correct the color errors and salvage the project. Despite efforts, the two horses which I had already painted were a lost cause. Four months after I started this “simple” craft, we took a photo of the disaster and chucked the whole thing.

At this point, I am fairly sure the kit I purchased was designed by Picasso’s poor, colorblind brother. My advice is if a kit promises a Smithsonian quality piece of art without any knowledge of the medium, don’t buy it. If you really want to paint Realism, get a Bob Ross video and a cart of supplies.



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