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My New Coloring Book!

A couple of months ago, I discovered that adult coloring books were A THING. They are credited with reviving the print books industry (vs e-books) in various countries, causing a worldwide pencil shortage and are even outselling cook books on Amazon! All that for humble coloring books? Hard to believe isn't it?

Well it is true. But why do adults need their own coloring books? Can't you just pick up something from the nearest supermarket? I can hear you wondering. I can only assume that you don't have kids or haven't been around kids for a while. If you look around the supermarket in the art supplies section, you will stumble upon coloring books for children. Unless you are a huge fan of Disney, you will want coloring books for adults!

I actually stumbled back into coloring when I visited a toy & games store. As I flipped through Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford, I immediately had to have it. It was only later than I found out that adult coloring is a thing. Some people swear by it - coloring clears away stress, is relaxing, is artistic and so on. There are people on the other side too - it's juvenile, time waster, it's the Netflix of art etc.

I don't know how much of the 'coloring = therapy' is true or if it even works but I do know why I love it. I loved drawing and coloring as a kid, even went to art classes for some time. But as often happens with life going by, I lost time for it in favor of other pursuits. Now I've re-discovered my love of art. Yes, I said art. To those who pooh pooh coloring and say it isn't 'art' by any means, I only say this: just because I follow a recipe doesn't mean I'm not cooking.

Coloring let's me play with color without having to draw something myself. Not all of us can draw, paint or sculpt but should that stop us from enjoying the process of creating a piece of art? True my coloring may never grace the walls of the Louvre but I can still frame it and hang it up on mine! It has even sparked my interest in drawing again.

Coloring lets me relax and unwind. Many of us are familiar with coming back from a vacation only to realize we're not actually relaxed. That's because while your body may be lying on a beach, your mind may still be filled with all your worries. It's why meditation is good for you - it lets you clear your head. Coloring is meditation for me. It's mundane enough that I don't have to concentrate on each stroke but also involved enough that I don't think about anything else but the lines, color and my strokes.

I've been learning new techniques and experimenting with different color palettes. It's slow going with each image taking as many as 20 hours to complete! Yes, adult coloring books are nothing like the ones we used as kids. Some of them are so intricately drawn that my color pencils can't possibly fit in the spaces. That's why I also use color pens, though I do prefer pencils. I'm working on my fourth page right now.

Some of my completed pictures:


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The Theory Of Color

My favorite thing about coloring is that it takes away much of the stress of drawing. I've seen disparaging remarks by people against colorists, mostly in the vein of 'just learn to draw already!' But I think that they are kind of missing the point. I know I can get better at drawing if I practice everyday. But being a full-time student with a couple of part-time jobs doesn't leave me much time for creative pursuits. Why shouldn't I enjoy playing with color just because I can't draw well?

Once I jumped into the world of coloring, I faced the biggest question for a newbie colorist - how do I pick colors for something? I loved looking at the finished pictures posted online by advanced colorists and even actual artists. I wanted to be able to create something like that! I started learning some basics about colors and how they work to get better at coloring my books.

So if you have ever wondered about color combinations or why some colors tend to look better toget…

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1. Peta Hewitt

To be quite honest, if I had to recommend only a single name for beginners to follow it would be Peta. She has some wonderful videos where she explains different parts of the coloring process including types of supplies to buy, how she goes about selecting color combinations and even detailed tutorials where she shows how to color an entire page from start to finish. She frequently reviews various coloring books as well. She also has some speed coloring videos – where there is no explanation, just her coloring …

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Pretty soon I was caught up in all the beautiful books out there for colorists, not to mention good quality supplies. It's been a little more then 6 months since I started coloring and already I've amassed an impressive collection of books and coloring supplies. So how do you store your pencils/pens when you have so many? Well turns out there are many options before you. Here are a few ways you can store your supplies:

The Original Tin
If you're buying quality pencils or pens, they usually come well packaged in tin or wooden boxes. The wood cases are stunning to look at but often take up a lot of room, not to mention they can be twice the price of the tin cas…