Color Outside the Lines – Tips for Adult Coloring Books
Adult coloring books are a hot new trend that’s allowing everyone from millennials to nursing home residents to relax, slow down, and enjoy a little bit of art therapy. If you’re having a little bit of trouble figuring out how to jump into this hot new trend, but still feel like it might be good for you, we’ve composed a few tips for you to consider.
Let’s look at a few tips for those new to the adult coloring/art therapy trend:
Protect Your Coloring Page
Once you’ve started a page, you’re likely going to feel strongly about the amount of work you’ve put into it. Consider putting a piece of plain white paper on top of your art, as well as behind it, so that any other coloring that you do in your book won’t bleed through. This is especially true if you use mediums that transfer such as crayons or colored pencils, or bleed through paper, like markers or gel pens. This “buffer paper” allows your colors to stay precisely where you put them, keeping your artwork safely where you want it.
Purchase the Best Materials You Can Afford
If that’s a pack of Crayola colored pencils and a drugstore coloring book, so be it. You’ll still be able to enjoy all of the psychological benefits that coloring has to offer. However, if you’re feeling flush and wondering if you should spring for the Prismacolor pencils, the answer is always yes. Trust us, you’ll be able to tell the difference. While the benefit comes from the act of the art, not from the tools you can afford, you’ll be able to recognize good quality artists’ tools when you feel them.
Follow Tutorials to Learn New Skills
If you’re struggling to learn new skills like shading, crosshatching, or making your pictures look more realistic, one of the best places to go to learn about coloring is YouTube. You can search the artistic skill you’d like to brush up on, then watch an artist show you precisely how to do it, on paper, in real time. This allows you to see how to do it, then practice on your own until you’re able to master the skill you’ve been wanting. It’s like having an art class in the privacy of your home, with your own private instructor. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Don’t Just Color Between the Lines
Consider adding shading, cross-hatching, blurring, water color techniques, and more to your pictures as you color. Take the time to really make the picture your own. Sure, an artist created it, but as you color it, you can really make it your own through the techniques that you use. You can even mix media on a single page, if you like, adding pastels to form a base, then coloring in with pencil or markers to darken in the design. That’s the great thing about art – the choice really is all up to you.
Sharpen Your Pencils far More than You Think You Should
As you color, you’re going to watch your pencils wear down, over and over again. If you want to be able to fill in the details of the intricate scenes featured in adult coloring books, you’re going to need a good quality pencil sharpener, and you’re going to need to use it far more than you’d like. We understand, you’re afraid of grinding your beautiful pencils down to nubs. However, pencils (even your favorites) are replaceable, and it’s a sacrifice well made in the name of art. So, sharpen them as much as you need to in order to make the piece stand out.
Adult coloring books are made to be a way to relax, unwind, and create art. You’re provided with a very basic form, and from there, you fill in the color, the shading, and the artistic imagery. You enhance the picture from black and white to color, making it something beautiful, one step at a time. In the process, you get to relax, breathe, and focus on doing something you love. Adult coloring books are therapeutic for this very reason. They allow you to focus on something creative, while stepping away from the outside world.