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Showing posts from 2017

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…

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…

Book Review: Dagdrömmar aka Daydreams

Before I get into today's review, I'd like to apologize for the delay between posts. This is my final semester and things are getting a bit hectic. I still find time to do some coloring now and then but I don't have much time for anything else. Now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at yet another coloring book!

The Daydreams coloring book is one of my favorites and you'll soon see why. Many of the coloring books that we see today are printed in English (as they are created by artists from English speaking countries) and then translated to other languages. Daydreams is different – it was first printed in Swedish and then translated into English. It's not just this book, all the books by Hanna Karlzon are published in Swedish first followed by the English translations.

Book - Daydreams 
Author - Hanna Karlzon
Hanna Karlzon is a Swedish-based illustrator and has published many coloring books, the first being Daydreams. This book has 96 pages…

Add Some Sparkle To Your Coloring Books

When I first started coloring, I used nothing but colored pencils. Slowly I built up my collection of tools - watercolor pencils, ink pencils, pastels, gel pens etc. Thanks to all the artists I follow on Youtube, I've learnt quite a bit about different art supplies and new techniques to use them with. Today I want to talk about a few tools that can help you add some sparkle or shine to your coloring pages.

There are basically two ways to add shine to a picture - metallic paint (in a pen, marker or tubes) and glitter (glue, gel pen, brush style pen).  Metallic colors are shiny and reflect light when applied on a page. You can use craft paint in metallic colors or get some gel pens with whatever colors you want. I have the metallic gelly rolls by Sakura which come in a wide range of colors. This 16 color pack actually contains 2 gold and 2 silver pens along with 1 each of other colors. The silver and gold are handy for coloring metallic objects like jewelery, iron chains or buckles…

Book Review: Jasmine Becket-Griffith Coloring Book

The subject of today's review is the Jasmine Becket Griffith coloring book. It's a bit different from most of the other books in my collection. Unlike the Johanna Basford books which have original artwork created specifically for adult coloring, this book contains line work that was adapted from the paintings created by the artist. It is quite similar to the Discworld coloring book I reviewed last week in that respect.

Book - Jasmine Becket-Griffith Coloring Book
Author - Jasmine Beckett-Griffith
Jasmine Becket Griffith is an American artist with decades of painting fantasy and Gothic artwork in acrylic. This book contains 55 of her original paintings adapted as line work for coloring in. The book has a dust jacket with a half completed image printed on it. The actual cover of the book is a plain brown card. I actually like this better than other illustrated covers since I don't have to worry about getting the book dirty. There are 96 pages inside providing a lot o…

Coloring to Sketching?

When I first started coloring, I never imagined it would turn into a hobby. But not only have I started coloring regularly but it's also prompted me to start drawing. I used to draw and sketch as a kid and loved doing it.

My mom first noticed that I had a talent for drawing when I was eight years old. We were studying birds in science and I was supposed to draw different types of beaks – ranging from ducks and pigeons to eagles and vultures. The pictures turned out quite well and my mom encouraged me to keep drawing.

I sent handmade greeting cards with pictures that I had drawn myself to family. I even had a sketchbook that I filled up with my favorite comic characters and cartoons. Somewhere along the way, adult me quite forgot the joy of drawing, sketching and coloring.

Getting back into coloring with other coloring books got me thinking. Why shouldn't I revive another old hobby as well? So I got some graphite pencils, a few Pitt pens and dug out an old Starthmore sketchbook …

Book Review: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Coloring Book

One of the best things about coloring books is that each one has something different inside. Nature, animals, flowers, patterns, people, stories - pick what you want and color them in! You can also get coloring books of your favorite TV show, movie, book or even video game. So I was really happy to find that Terry Pratchett's Discworld Coloring Book was a real thing. It is my absolute favorite series and the designs are drawn by Paul Kidby himself!

Book - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Coloring Book
Author - Paul Kidby


Terry Pratchett's Discworld Coloring Book is exactly what it says on the cover. It contains the original artwork by Paul Kidby for the Discworld series, adapted as line illustrations for us to color. All the iconic and favorite characters make an appearance somewhere between the covers - from Rincewind, DEATH, the Librarian, Granny to Vimes. There are some double page spreads and some patterns/wallpaper types images as well. The publishers have even inc…

Coloring with Pastels

Coloring backgrounds can be finicky, time-consuming and frustrating. In fact, many people skip doing the background altogether. But it can be fun to add colors to the sky or sea. I often try to create different effects that make the central image stand out from the page (night sky, underwater ocean). The problem with coloring the backgrounds is that it is a wide open space and most mediums will have issues with either coverage or time.

Suppose you want to do the background with colored pencil just like the rest of your page. They can give a really soft effect but it will take you hours to fill up all that space. If you're not careful, your pencil strokes can get streaky and it is pretty difficult to get a smooth finish even with the colorless blender. Now pens and markers are often quicker but it is even more difficult to get smooth blends. So what is a colorist to do?

Try a new medium of course! Soft pastels – also called chalk pastels – are the solution to your background woes. Yo…

Book Review: Enchanted Forest

This week's book is by Johanna Basford again! I've reviewed another one of her books earlier and you can read about it here. This book is the second one her series and it's called Enchanted Forest. I love Johanna's artwork and this book is one of my favorites!

Book - Enchanted Forest
Author - Johanna Basford


Like most coloring books, Enchanted Forest is available on Amazon. Johanna's books always include a hidden object type of game where she includes certain small objects in various stages and you have to find them. There is a list of objects that you can find and a key at the back of the book with the solutions. You can totally ignore it if you don't like that sort of thing but it's a fun activity while coloring.

This book contains many double-page spreads that will take quite some time to finish. Most of them do not go into the spine of the book but there are a few that will give you trouble. On the other hand, the book lays relatively flat so it&…

General Tips for Coloring

A while ago, I wrote a post about Tips & Hints for Coloring. I talked about getting comfortable, taking pictures and recording your colors for easy reference. Over time I've picked up several other tips from different artists, blogs, videos and my own experience. You may not use all of them but there are a few that will come in handy sometimes. I'll update this post frequently with other tips I pick up along the way.

You can use a white gel pen (like this one) or white paint marker (Uni Posca) to highlight certain elements on the page like highlights on eyes and lips or any moist/reflective surface. 
Before using any medium in a new book, test it first. Some books offer a palette or testing page for this purpose. If not, just use any of the extra pages each book comes with - the introduction, publisher info or even an actual page with a design you don't quite like.

Test mediums separately for each book and test all your mediums in each book at the outset. Just because…

Book Review: Rainforest Escape

The next book I'm reviewing today is quite an unusual one in the adult coloring book world. It's Rainforest Escape by Jade Gedeon, who is known for her one of a kind adornments. Jade Gedeon has lived in many countries and her love of nature shows through in her illustrations. Her coloring books are inspired by Trinidad where she spent her childhood and the artwork shows beautiful forests, birds and tropical animals.

Book - Rainforest Escape
Author - Jade Gedeon


Rainforest Escape is available on Amazon. It has more than 100 pages of illustrations with some double spreads sprinkled in between. There are a few introductory pages, explanations and index pages at the end of the book. Like I wrote earlier it really is an unusual book - it's made for watercolor! There are 2 unique aspects to this book:

All the images are printed on only one side. The double page spreads fold out from the center, so you don't have push your pens, pencils and brushes into the spine of …

Coloring Supplies On A Budget

Happy new year everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend with friends and family. For my first post in the new year, I wanted to write about coloring supplies for beginners. I've talked a lot about various art mediums - pens, pencils, watercolors etc. - in my previous posts. I've gone fairly in depth into each type too.

But what if you're new to coloring and just want to try it out? Maybe you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a hobby. Or you're just confused with all the choices out there. Can you start coloring on a budget?

The answer is a resounding YES. You don't need fancy supplies to color, special types of paper or artist quality pencils. Of course you can get them later on if you want but they aren't must haves to get started with. So this post is all about what supplies you might want to get with different budgets. I put together various 'coloring kits' you can get, starting from zero! Yup, you read that right. You can start color…