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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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Book Review: Tropical Wonderland

Wow, it's been a long time since we had a post around here! I do apologize for the long gap but the job search is taking up quite a bit of my time. The rest of it is filled with frustration at not finding one, so yeah. This means while I have all the time in the world for coloring, I'm too anxious or depressed to pick up my pencils sometimes. And I don't quite have the energy to blog about it. Anyway onto today's book review.

Book - Tropical Wonderland
Author - Millie Marotta
Artists like Johanna Basford and Hanna Karlzon have special editions of their popular books. These books have better paper – often card stock, are printed on one side and can be removed from the book for putting up on your walls. My only issue with these books is that they have only a handful of pages from the original book.

Millie Marotta's deluxe editions are very different. So far there have been three deluxe editions of her early books and they are exquisite. They are printed on …

Selecting Colors

Last week we talked about color harmonies and I promised to show you a couple of tools that I use regularly for coloring. Even knowing about the color harmonies doesn't mean it's easy to pick out colors for a page. Given the many colors in our pencils and pens, it's not hard to get stuck before you even begin. 

For all those times when you are starting a page and don't quite know which colors to pick, you need inspiration. You can get inspiration by just looking around your home or out the window.  Open your closet and  look at your clothes, see a pattern that you like? Use the same colors on your page.  You can also check out photos on the internet to get some ideas about color palettes and combinations. 

Still having trouble? Check out my 2 favorite tools below and see if you like those instead.

Palette Inspiration
There's one particular website that I absolutely love for color inspiration and that's Design Seeds.  This website has a veritable feast of palettes g…

Color Harmonies

Last week we talked about the basics of color theory and warm vs. cool colors. Today let's take a look at some color combinations from the color wheel. These are classic rules of thumb you can use to select colors for a page. There are two-color combos, three-color combos and four-color combos. When you select a group of colors from these palates, you're almost guaranteed a good-looking finished product. That's because these colors tend to work well together on the page.

Two Color Schemes
When you want to select just two colors for page, complementary and counterpoint colors are a good place to start. Complementary colors are those that are the opposite ends of the color wheel. Since we have 12 colors in the color wheel, we get 6 pairs of complementary colors.

The counterpoint color is the one to the right of the complementary color. So green is the complementary color for red but the counterpoint would be blue-green which is one step to the right.

You can get vibrant look…