Colouring the World

Photo of white paper with a paint palette in the corner and some paint tubes next to it. On the paper is various colour swatches of many different skin colours.

With Rock Solid Compassion (and Paint!)

The role of art in self esteem & equality are immeasurable. This month, I was very interested to note, that a “well known crayon manufacturer” has joined forces with a “well known cosmetics company” to release a set of 24 crayons that can be used to represent 40 identified skin colours of the world. It’s so children can accurately represent themselves, when they are drawing.

Sounds amazing right?

Or so I thought!

Being a vigilant type of vegan, I thought I’d check on the ingredients of said crayons & I was horrified to find out that they are NOT vegan! Not even close! In fact, that distinctive smell of our childhood crayons is rendered down cow fat! Yuk!

Your happy memories of colouring in, racing to get that particular colour blue crayon, destroyed in an instant!

You want to encourage your children to draw; loving art & expressing themselves is hugely important. But most children also love animals!

Do you want them to draw & colour pretty things with bits of dead cow?

Heck no! So, I have made a little video to show you how to mix flesh tones with paint, so you & your children, can represent yourselves & your friends accurately (without harming animals in the process).

N.B. Please always:

  • check the paint ingredients / manufacturer
  • check that the brushes are not made of animal hair
  • check the paper is vegan too not made with gelatine

In doing the video, I had a revelation, something that I knew, but never really thought about: we are all made up of the primary colours, just in different, amounts!

Thats a pretty cool thing to show your children that using the crayons wouldn’t!

Primary colours are red, yellow & blue. Then there are the shades, i.e. white & black which are really just how much light is reflected or absorbed… that’s another big topic, I think this might be for another post …back to our focus today..

Have a look & see how easy it is :

So, in order to make anyone’s skin colour, you use a veritable rainbow of colours for each of us.  Even those with Albinism (missing one or both pigments that make colours), to make their skin tones, uses quite a few colours in fact!

Some interesting notes about skin colour:

  • Your genetic inheritance determines the starting point for your skin colour, but this is just your “base colour” if you will, many things influence the colour your skin is right now & that changes
  • We get our colours in our skin, eyes & hair from a pigment called “melanin” & this is produced by the skin cells when they are exposed to the sun, which is why some people get freckles the sun. (My husband is always fascinated with just how freckled I become!)
  • Some people burn very easily & others never at all, & then there’s every variation in-between
  • There are 2 types of melanin, a type that gives us a brown colour & a type that gives us a red colour. How the body produces melanin changes as a person ages. People who are born without the ability to produce one or  both of these types of melanin are have a condition called albinism
  • Exposure to sunlight changes your skin colour by increasing the melanin in the skin, more/less red or more/less brown
  • Human skin comes in a wide variety of colours, ranging from shades of very dark brown to almost white. It also comes in a variety of patterns too!

Knowing this information & how skin colour is made up, can help us understand all sorts of things from how to colour correct foundation when using make up, to why dogs noses can change colour in the summer & so much more. Maybe I should explore these topics further for you too…?

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