My daughter likes drawing. We brought her colored pencils, markers, crayons and watercolors with us to Milan, and she has been using it gen at every opportunity. She even sketched sculptures in museums and churches. My wife and I are both delighted and a bit surprised, because this kind of drawing requires genuine concentration, which we don’t generally expect from a five-year-old.

Naturally, we are encouraging her interest as much as we can. In fact, it is easy to do, because there is a nice confluence between her and my interests. Lately, I also have been working on getting back to drawing – I use sketching as a memory-training exercise.

I have my own set of pencils and greyscale markers, and my daughter is always delighted when she gets to borrow them. However, grey is not a very useful colour, when one’s main subjects are princesses and unicorns. Still, she naturally wants to reciprocate and always asks if I would like to borrow her colourful markers.


This past Sunday, she offered her markers again, and she also said that it would make her particularly happy if I used as many of the colours as possible. My initial impulse was to say “Thanks, but no thanks”, but then I decided to consider this as a creative challenge. In fact, using as many colours as possible is the opposite to restricting one’s palette, which is a common creative technique.

So, as a reference for my sketch, I chose a photo that I took the day before at the Carnival Ambrosiana. On it, my daughter is throwing a handful of confetti into the air. Here is the result – I satisfied the condition of using a whole bunch of colours in a single drawing!