Sunday, April 19, 2020

This is a Great Time for Coloring Books!

      Have you finished all the puzzles in the house? If you have a garden, it's time to get out and do the spring yard and garden work, but there are still long evenings and rainy days inside while Covid19 prevention distancing is in place. If you don't have a garden, and can't face re-doing all those puzzles again, maybe this is a good time to try something new. Coloring books re-appeared in the past few years, adults realizing they could have more fun with them than they had as children.

          Coloring books are, to me, art for those who think they are not artists. Coloring books give you the opportunity to play with one part of a picture-the colors, without having to think about design or drawing skills. There is no wrong way to color. Just look at children's work; each child's art is different. Look at art in a gallery or museum; the variety of art is endless, different people like one style or another and it is hard to say one type of art is 'better' than another. Each is good enough in its own way. 

      Once in a while someone has said to me, "I don't know how to color". That may  be true, and that is a good place to start. Many artists struggle to find the spontaneous, unconscious play with color that they had as a child. If you are in that state, with a coloring book in hand, you can consider yourself lucky! Picasso said, "It took me.....a lifetime to paint like a child." He was speaking of the sense of exploration and play a child has making 'art'.

Sandhill Cranes drawing from Nature's Colors

     Coloring books are for children, so when adults use them we are doing something child-like.
Coloring books free us from needing technical skills that take time and effort to develop, and give us the opportunity to play with color within a form we recognize.

Sandhill Cranes experiment with watercolor pencils and markers-unfinished

          In the above image, I've partially complete coloring the picture with watercolor pencils and fine point markers. Pick a color, any color! and start putting color on the page, anywhere. If you've put color on the grass, make at least half the grass that color. Then, pick another color and color the rest of the grass. Any color will do. Continue doing this until all the page is colored. That's one way to get the color on the page. Make no judgement until the page is completely colored. Then, the only question is: do I like this? If yes, or not sure, that's great! If you don't like it, start the next page by choosing all warm or all cool colors and use only those colors. Warm colors are red, yellow, orange, browns. Cool colors are blues and greens. Decide when the page is colored if you like the way it looks. The fun of it is, it is all learning and, as children know, it doesn't matter what happens with one picture, you are on to the next, just to see what happens.

   Here is something different to try in a coloring book; a pen and ink drawing.
     Do you doodle or scribble? That's really what this is. Follow the lines for each shape. Use one ink pen, any color ink.

The next page, ready to work on

Nature's Colors page done in pen and ink
     So remember, any colors are ok; markers, pencils, ink. Any combination of colors is ok too.
These coloring books are printed on heavy stock meant to be used for any medium that isn't too wet.

    Need a coloring book? Check out my etsy site for coloring books with hand drawn illustrations.
No computer generated image here! Scenes of plants, animals and scenery from the hills of the midwest, and some interesting information about each drawing. If you like horses, you'll love
A Day With the Horses, my coloring book illustrating some of the horses I have known, pictured in the places they live. This book has information about how horses live in a natural state, and what they do with their days and nights. And, coloring books are specially priced for social isolating times!

    Thanks for stopping by this blog. Please share with your friends.


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This is a Great Time for Coloring Books!

      Have you finished all the puzzles in the house? If you have a garden, it's time to get out and do the spring yard and garden work...