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Showing posts from 2016

Book Review: Doodle Invasion

The second book in my review series is Doodle Invasion by Kerby Rosanes. He is an illustrator from the Philippines and his artwork consists of his famous 'critters', doodles and other fantastical imagery. Many of his pages start out as recognizable animals or things, before turning into compositions of various creatures and doodles.

Book - Doodle Invasion
Author - Kerby Rosanes


You can read about the book and  buy a copy on Amazon. It has 50 images which are printed one sided. Most of the pictures are in portrait mode and the book itself is taller than your average coloring book. There are no double spreads which most other artists seem to love and you don't have to worry about losing images to the gutter (spine or center of the book).


The artwork is what attracted me to this book. Seeing finished pictures on social media sites tempted me to get this book without reading many reviews, which I should have (more on that below). There are many different types…

Colored Pencil Techniques

Welcome back everyone! I took a break from posting here so I can study for my finals. Now that it's over, I have a little more time to spend on coloring again. So this week I'm going to focus on using different techniques with colored pencils. When we started coloring as kids, technique wasn't a word in our vocabulary. I had two goals when coloring - stay within the lines and finish the page. That's it. I always wanted more colors than my 12/24/36 pack because who knew you could get new colors just by mixing what you already had?!

But as an adult, I wanted to do better. Adult coloring books generally have better quality paper and many of us can afford to purchase better quality pencils than Crayolas. But just because I have quality supplies doesn't mean I can make better pictures. Artist quality pencils and good paper makes the coloring process faster and easier but what makes a good artist is technique and practice.

So I began to explore Youtube and coloring blog…

Book Review: Lost Ocean

Last week, I promised to start reviewing books that I have in my collection and so here is my first post in that series. I don't have that many coloring books, just about 10 or so. While just these 10 books will be more than sufficient to last me the rest of my life (and that is if I managed to color every single page), there are many people who have ten times the number of books!

The first book I'm going to be reviewing is Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford. It is the book that introduced me to the world of adult coloring and in spite of the fact that I think I have better books in my collection now, I still have a special place for it.

Johanna Basford is a Scottish illustrator and all her coloring books feature hand drawn creations in black and white. She prefers using traditional pen and paper to digital art. Her designs are usually intricate and contain mostly natural features like plants and animals.

Book - Lost Ocean
Author - Johanna Basford


You can easily find detai…

Some Coloring Books ARE Better Than Others

Way back in April, I stumbled on a coloring book at a game store and thus began my journey into the world of adult coloring (why do we call it that?!). I started off with that one book, now my collection has grown to 10 (more or less). Recently I realized that despite writing so much on my hobby and the tools involved, I never actually talked about the books themselves. So I'll review the books in my collection one by one. But before we get to that, this post will talk about how to evaluate coloring books in general for quality and value.

What to Look for in a Coloring Book

First off, whether or not you will like a book depends to a large extent on the subject matter. Some people like to color landscapes, while others prefer animals or abstract designs and so on. You may like having one of each or simply collect them as you find them online or in a bookstore. But there are some things you should watch out for when buying a book:

Paper Quality

Some papers are absolutely amazing for …

Recording Your Colors

Roughly 3 weeks ago, I finished my Jellyfish from Lost Ocean and started on another project. Since I had amassed more than 400 pencils in pursuit of my coloring hobby, it was about time I started recording all the colors I had. I talked about it in a previous post as something that would help any colorist.

There are many reasons you might want to have an organized list of all your colors. For one thing it helps you get to know them. If you're anything like me, you may have hundreds of pencils, pens, markers and paints across a bunch of different brands. Even if two pencils in different brands have the same name, it doesn't mean they will look the same. Recording your pencils gives you a feel for them, so you know exactly what shades you have in your toolkit.

Most pencils will have the color on the outside either at the tip or the whole body. But often what it looks like on the pencils will not match how it goes down on the paper. Having them all in a journal means you know how…

Organizing Your Coloring Supplies

Coloring is easy enough to get started with - all you need is a book you like and some pencils or pens you have lying around. But as with any hobby, there are always more and better supplies just round the corner! It started out innocently enough for me, I spotted a book in the store and bought it entirely on impulse.

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…

Jellyfish Tutorial by Peta Hewitt

I recently finished another page from Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford - the Jellyfish. I'd selected that image simply because Peta Hewitt has a series of videos taking viewers through coloring the entire page step by step. The first and second videos in the series focus on coloring the jellyfish with pencils and the third part is an optional video about doing the background. Peta describes a variety of techniques that we can use to create immersive backgrounds and demonstrates one in particular that is both quick and easy to follow.

The one she shows in the video requires the use of soft pastels which aren't that expensive if you want to get a set. There's not much of a difference at what you can achieve with pencils or pastels other than the time and effort required. Pastels are are quick and easy to apply and give a really soft finish that is particularly suitable for backgrounds such as the sky, a grassy meadow or underwater scenes.

After following the first two parts of…

Tutorials And Coloring Videos On YouTube

When I first started coloring, I didn't know much about techniques or special equipment that I would need. So how did I go from an absolute beginner to being able to produce finished pictures such as the one on the left? Almost everything that I have learned is from reading blogs and following colorists on YouTube. There are many talented artists who put up different types of videos and there is a lot to be learned out there. A few of my favorite artists are:

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 …

Tips & Hints for Coloring

Getting started with adult coloring books is pretty simple – get a book, some pencils or pens and start coloring. But as you go down this path, you are likely to amass a collection of books by different authors, different mediums for coloring them in and an assortment of miscellaneous supplies. I picked up a few tips from reading blogs and watching videos of other colorists that helped me with my actual coloring or with organizing my supplies. So I figured I would share them with others right here.

Keep a record for posterity

What I love about coloring in books is that not only do I enjoy the process but I end up with a finished piece of artwork that is beautiful to look at (even if I'm the only one looking!) That’s why I take pictures of every page that I finish. Now some pictures maybe mistakes and others are just pages where I tried out a new technique or color combination that failed - but I still record it.

Within a few weeks, you have this lovely record of images that you ha…

Just Add Water!

Continuing my series on art supplies, today I'll be talking about watercolors. Coloring with water is somewhat magical and I have wonderful memories of playing with watercolor. My sister and I had our own set of watercolor pans, palettes and brushes. Despite practically no artistic skills to boast of, we had fun. Lots of it.
Now with my new found hobby of coloring, I get to try watercolor magic again! Now what I'm going to talk about in this post doesn't have much to do with actual watercolor painting. But you can still use wet media - after a fashion - in coloring books.

Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor pencils are exactly what the tin says - watercolor pigment in pencil form. You can use them wet or dry, though naturally they shine when you add water. The easiest way to use them in coloring books is to color as usual with the pencils and then add water with a water brush or regular paintbrush.

These pencils have a few pros and cons. One con is that you can't really use …

Pencils & Pens And Then Some...

We've talked about using colored pencils and all types of pens before but these are not the only things you will need (or want!) once you start coloring. There are the little things like erasers, sharpeners, blending pencils and markers that you might want to improve your coloring. Some are absolutely essential - sooner or later you'll want to sharpen your pencils or erase something - while others fall more in the category of 'luxuries.'

The Must Haves

At the very minimum, you'll need a good sharpener, eraser and a few sheets of paper.


You don't need an expensive sharpener for your pencils, anything with a sharp blade will get the job done. But some pencils (looking at you Prismacolor) can break very easily, so you might want to get a suitable sharpener. Or you might have a few oddly sized pencils that won't fit into a regular sharpener. Some people swear by electric and others will tell you that manual is the way to go. What I have found is that c…

Coloring Suppplies - Pens and Markers

In my last post, I talked about color pencils, the various types you can get and how much to spend on them. Colored pencils are not the only medium suitable for coloring though. There are a variety of pens, fineliners and markers that you could use as well. Unlike color pencils though, these come with a caveat: they won't be suitable for every coloring book out there.

That being said, there are many reasons to prefer markers over pencils: they have more vibrant colors, they can be used to cover large areas quickly and they are easier on your wrists/eyes/arms than pencils. So if your chosen coloring book has pictures on one side only or has thick enough paper to take pens/markers, by all means go for it!

Always test pens and markers at the back of the book before starting a picture.

Types of Markers

There are two types of markers you can get - alcohol based or water based pens. There are expensive and cheap brands in both types so feel free to experiment. Water based markers are les…

Art Supplies for Colorists

Getting started with coloring can be as easy or as difficult as any other creative pursuit. Some supplies I bought when I first started coloring were not very good while others weren't quite suited to my purposes. Looking back, I could have saved myself a hundred bucks or so if I had given some of them a miss or if I had known then what I do now. So I figured I might as well write down my mistakes to help others avoid them.

When it comes to art supplies, it's a simple matter of price vs quality. You do get what you pay for but it doesn't automatically mean you've to spend thousands on the best pens, pencils or paints. The paper quality in adult coloring books can vary quite a lot so the most versatile medium is colored pencils. They won't bleed through even the worst quality paper, so you can use them without fear.

So my first post on art supplies will focus on colored pencils.

Colored Pencils

Scholastic Grade

The cheapest pencils you can get would be something at y…

Coloring Updates

Hello everyone, I know it's been a while since there has been any activity around here but I'm back! Around 3-4 months ago I wrote about my latest hobby/obsession - coloring or to be more precise, coloring books for adults. What started out as a simple distraction has now become so much more. I think it's about time I upgraded coloring to the status of HOBBY. I've amassed quite a few art supplies over the last few months and even introduced my mom to coloring.
So what have I been coloring since May? These are my latest completed pictures from various coloring books. It doesn't seem like a lot of pages but since each image takes anywhere from 20 - 30 hours, there's not many I've finished. I'm learning new techniques practically every week and I've even ventured into watercolors! Coloring is one of the few things I do that doesn't require me to stare at a screen and it has a firm place in my roster - as of now.

My current work in progress is a pic…

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 peopl…