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Coloring Tips And Ideas

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Coloring is fun and a relaxing way to spend some free time

Coloring is fun and a relaxing way to spend some free time

Tips For Your Coloring Enjoyment

The idea of adult coloring is to spend quiet relaxing time for yourself to distress. Here are some tips to make your coloring time enjoyable.

  1. Find a comfortable space to color. If you can find a quiet space to enjoy your coloring experiences all the better. But minimally, find a comfortable chair and some space where you can keep your supplies. Make sure to have a chair or seating that will enable you to sit up straight comfortably, You do not want to sit over hunched up or you could wind up with back problems.
  2. Make sure that you have a good light source. Take to outside when you can. Not only will you have a natural source of light, but you can enjoy some fresh air. If you are indoors and are able, sit by a window that has good light. There are lamps that mimic natural light and they have magnification too. Those light will put less strain on your eyes and help you see the details of what you are working on.
  3. Make sure to take breaks after about 20 minutes of coloring. You need to give your hands and wrists some love. Before you get started, exercise your hand's wrists a bit. Roll them in circles to get them warmed up.
  4. Take your time. The point of coloring is to take your time and enjoy the process. Focus on the page and be mindful of what you are doing every step to completion. Taking your time means that your coloring will be better than just rushing through.
  5. Find a page that fits your mood. I often find that I have several pages going at the same time. Sometimes I am in the mood to do a mandala. Other times, I am in the mood for flowers. It's ok to focus on what makes you happy or fits your mood for that day.
  6. Take the time to grow in your hobby. Just like any other hobby, you need to take the time to grow and learn the tricks of the trade. Join an online coloring group. Take a lesson. Or watch some you tube videos. Take some time to grow in your coloring. Becoming a better colorist is rewarding/
Colored pencils are an economical and easy way to start your coloring journey

Colored pencils are an economical and easy way to start your coloring journey

Start By Understanding Your Coloring Tools

Colored Pencils


Colored pencils are probably one of the most popular coloring tool. There are so many colors available.Most are waxed based. You can get colored pencils in all kinds of price ranges. You will want to get the best colored pencils your budget will allow. Generally, mid price range colored pencils are good for most uses. If you chose the budget pencils, you may get frustrated. Most of the lower end pencils have a lot of filler and will not give you the best results. Stick with the mid price range colored pencils and you will get the nice vibrant colors that we all love.

The best things about colored pencils is that with just a few colored pencils, you can create a whole range of colors. You can actually get up to 20 shades with just a few colored pencils by combining them.

If you enjoy working with watercolors, give water color pencils a try. They are meant to be used with small amounts of water. Over saturation of these pencils will leave you with a puddle of messy color. Make sure that the paper or coloring book you are using, is made of a good water color paper.

Colored Pencil Tips

  1. Always make sure to use a sharpened pencil, especially when coloring small areas. You get better pigment when your pencils are sharp. Sharpen your pencil more than you think you need to.
  2. When sharpening your pencil, turn the sharpener rather than the pencil. You will have a better chance of less breaking of the tip.
  3. You can vary the heaviness of the stroke depending on where you hold the pencil. Gripping the pencil farther from the tip will create lighter coloring and wider strokes. The closer to the point that you hold the pencil, creates a bolder and closer stroke.
  4. You don't have to have a death grip on your pencil. They are thin and are easily controlled. It will not give you better coloring. It will only create pain in your wrist and hands.
  5. Color In Different Directions. If you color in one direction, you will wind up with streaky uneven lines. The pigment will be uneven for sure. Instead color in circles. Your page will be more satisfying and beautiful.
  6. Always Start With Your Base Color Lightly. Chose your base color and color in lightly.. (Remember, you can always add more color, but once you have covered the white of the paper, there is no going back. Start with light to dark, gradually building up color.
  7. If you are using colored pencils, you can mix colors to create the perfect hue for what you’re working on. Start with a base by coloring the area lightly with one color, then use the same color to go over it again, pressing a bit harder. Now you can add different colors over it. Experiment on a test page until you get a color you like.

Essential Tools For Colored Pencils

  • Prismacolor colorless blender-takes the harsh lines out of any project
  • White gel pen-
  • Pencil extender-allows you to use the complete pencil with more comfortable handling
  • Hand-held pencil sharpener- refreshes the tip of your pencils


Blending Colored Pencils

Like other mediums, colored pencils blend beautifully. You will be amazed at the art you can create with just some simple bending techniques.

Dry Blending

You have a tool right in your kitchen to help you blend your colored pencils. Just use a small piece of paper towels to rub on your colored pencil images. Use the smooth side of the paper towels to create a gentle smudge. Use the rougher side for heavier blending.

You can also use toilet tissue, tissues, cotton swabs and cotton balls.

Wet Blending

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Wet blending breaks down the pigments of the color you have laid on the page.

Baby oil has been a popular item to use to blend your colored pencils. Rubbing alcohol is another popular choice.

Just dab a small amount of the fluid you have chosen. Then blend the fluid with your pigment. You can use a brush or a q-tip.

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Watercolor Pencils

With the right type of paper, watercolor pencils can be a lot of fun to use. Unlike colored pencils, watercolor pencils have very intense colors once they are mixed with water.

The best way to try this type of coloring is to print some pages off your printer or stamp some images. When you print the pages, you will want to allow them to dry overnight. I prefer a cold press paper since it has enough tooth, but a smoother surface,

If you are just starting out with this medium. try a basic set of about 12 colors. If you enjoy using them, upgrade to a good quality of a larger collection.

You will also need a couple of different brushes. Watercolor brushes are sable. You get the best results from them. But you can use any brushes that you may have, You will need a round, flat, and detailed brush.

Watercolor Pencil Techniques

Dip Pencils Into Water

One way of adding color is to dip your watercolor pencil into water. The results are thicker and vibrant lines. However, what you will find is the first bit of color will be strong and then start fading as the tip of the pencil starts drying. So the answer is to frequently wet your pencils. If you are using this technique, make sure to dry your pencils with a paper towel to keep them at their best.

Color On Wet Paper

You can wet your paper with an even coat of water first. Just brush an even coat of water just to the area you are coloring, not the entire page. A flat brush is perfect for this technique.

Now color the area with a dry watercolor pencil. You will see an intense color with a textured grainy look. This technique is easier and less time-consuming than dipping your pencil into water.

Wet Pencil On Wet Paper

I do not recommend this option for coloring. Both the paper and the pencil are wet,. You can get running of color and the paper can lose its texture. But if you have good strong paper, give it a try. It provides a lot of textured bold color.

More Watercolor Pencils Ideas And Respurces

5 Easy Steps To Get Better Coloring

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Markers

Just like colored pencils, markers and felt-tipped pens come in a variety of colors, brush tips, and cost.

You will want to start out with a marker or pen that has a nib with a small tapered end. That will help you keep within the lines on any project that you are working on. You are so better off to get a good grade pen or maker in just a few colors that you will use over a larger number of cheaper pens or markers

If you are thinking about alcohol markers, go for it. They blend beautifully, dry quickly, and cover the paper surface wonderfully. The only problem with these kinds of markers, you need to have thicker paper underneath. They tend to "bleed" through lighter papers. Put something underneath the coloring page or paper that you are working on. If you are working on a coloring book, you will want to use one with heavier paper. This becomes also important if you are working in Bibles which often have thin paper.

In journals or in thin paper Bibles, there is a solution. You simply add a layer of gesso to the page before you use the markers or pens.

What Makes A Good Marker

If you are considering buying a set of markers for coloring, you should buy the best markers your budget will allow. Here are some things to consider:

  • They should dry fast. Preferably, you will want your markers to dry quickly. If the marker ink does not dry quickly, you run the risk of smearing the ink with your hand.
  • They should have a large color selection. That way you can always add more colors and have broader options to shade and blend.
  • They should have quality tips that can be replaced. You will want to have options when it comes to your markers. There are different types of tips that can be chosen. You will want at least a chisel tip and a broad tip. There is also a brush tip option, Chose the tip that is right for you.
  • They should be refillable. I invested in a set of markers that are refillable. The investment was bigger upfront, but the ink refills are cheaper than replacing the markers. So in the long run, I am saving money and helping the enviornment/

Tips For Coloring With Markers

  1. Test the markers on the paper you are planning to use to make sure that the markers do not bleed through the paper.
  2. Slip a piece of paper behind the page you are coloring just to protect the pages behind from denting them if you have a heavy hand or bleed-through issue.
  3. Always go with the lightest color first. Markers are permanent media, so you cannot remove color once it is on the paper.
  4. With markers, you don’t have to press down very hard, like with some colored pencils. Adult coloring with markers tends to be easier on your hands and joints,
  5. Try using regular markers with metallic markers.
  6. Use dark and light colors to create contrast. It will add lots of depth to your images.

More Marker Resources

Tips To Blend Markers

Fine Lined Pens

These pens are made for illustrating and drawing. They come in a variety of tips and colors. These pens are very good when you are coloring in coloring books, because you can apply color in tiny nooks and crannies. They generally do not bleed. So, you can easily control where the color goes.

While I love markers and pens for coloring, there are a few things for you to consider. The first being the weight of the paper. If you are going to use them in coloring books, you need to make sure that the paper weight is heavy enough so that the ink will not bleed through the paper.

Markers Verses Pencils?

If you are just starting out in coloring, the eternal question for colorists is which is better to use, markers or pencils?

There are several things to consider when deciding which way to go. Here are a few thoughts to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Markers

  • Markers are a lot more expensive upfront. But if you buy the refillable markers, in the long run, they actually come out more budget-friendly. The drills are more reasonable than buying a whole set of colored pencils.
  • Markers tend to have brighter and stronger colors
  • Markers are faster to use than pencils
  • The only negative side to markers is that you cannot erase them once you lay down the color

Colored Pencils

  • Cheaper upfront, but more expensive in the long haul
  • The bigger the set that you buy, the less expensive the cost is per pencil
  • They take a longer time to use, but you get a lot more control when coloring specific areas.

More Coloring And Coloring Book Resources

Water Colors

Watercolors are fun to color with, but you need the right supplies to get the best results. If you want to use watercolors on a coloring book, make sure that the paper will hold up under the use of water. There are coloring books available that actually are for watercolors. Some coloring books may have outline inks that may run.

There are loads of images on the internet that you can print on watercolor paper. If you decide to do that, make sure to allow the paper to dry overnight. The standard copy paper will never hold up to the weight of watercolors, Avoid using it.

In addition to coloring pages, you can make watercolor papers for your greeting card backgrounds. Create a mini watercolor painting for the front of a card. You can also create custom papers using watercolors for scrapbook pages. Art journaling with watercolors is a lot of fun.

Water Color Paper

While you should use watercolor paper any time you are using watercolors, there are quality differences in papers. The better the paper, the better your results will be.

The weight of the paper is important too. Consider starting around a weight of about 150 lbs.

Watercolor Paints

Watercolor paints come in both tubes and pans. You will want to use good watercolor paint to get the best results. Cheaper paints will become cracky and chalky rather than providing a good even color.

Brushes

There are special brushes just for watercoloring. You are better off getting a few quality brushes rather than a large selection of fewer quality ones. A small, medium and large round brush, a flat brush, and a mop brush is great way to start.