Saturday, July 07, 2012

colouring for adults (or really big kids).

I've written about my love of colouring before. It really is one of my favourite things to do. It feeds my need to create, helps me relax, and when I'm feeling intense emotions, I find that colouring brings me back to centre (well, maybe a little to the left). When I start, I find my pencil stroke is heavy, the colours come out bright and solid. The imprint on my finger where I hold the pencil gets bright pink from the pressure of the wood against my skin, and my hand starts to cramp. I shake it out and make a conscious effort to loosen my grip and fill in the colour with a lighter, more even pressure.

I prefer whimsical drawings, with a fair amount of space to allow for shading. This first page is out of the American Girl: Design My Me "Tropical". They have another book I love just as much with the same title called "Wings". The collector in me is always searching for new colouring books. I have found the best colouring books are on (price wise and selection). The majority of colouring books with crisp, high quality, white paper available in bookstores are activity/sticker books, and more kid oriented.
I liked this fashion colouring book so much, I ordered a copy for my friend Tracy's daughter, Allie, who is a budding fashion designer. It's fun to colour in designs and then search for them online to see what they really look like. The drawings have a lot of white space which allows for more creativity and even additional drawing.
This Fancy Nancy "Girl On the Go" colouring book is for days when I am feeling like more detailed colouring. These drawings take more time because there are so many small details. I haven't done much colouring in it. I guess that shows where my head is at. But the drawings are super cute and a lot of fun.
The colouring book that has surprised me the most is "Islands". I ordered it on a whim and while the poetry that accompanies the drawings doesn't really do it for me, the hand-drawn abstract drawings, like "Crescent Moon" are fun and free and not very demanding from a brain power perspective. I have volume 2 waiting in the wings for when I complete it. That's also something I do... I complete colouring books. But I pick the pages I want to colour as the mood strikes (not front to back, or back to front like I read magazines). 
After exploring a bunch of different brands of coloured pencils, I have settled on a few favourites. Note, I like to support my local art supply store for my actual materials. Prismacolor is a terrific pencil, but it is temperamental and the leads break more than other brands. Also, they are pricey, so watch for them on sale. I have a small box of the Prismacolor Verithin, which have harder leads and are good for filling in small, detailed areas. Koh I Noor Woodless pencils are terrific for colouring large spaces and very smooth. The Koh I Noor Polycolor pencils are also excellent - fewer lead breakages, but not as luxurious as the Prismacolor. The one brand I haven't tried that has been recommended to me is Faber-Castell. I may pick up a few from the open stock at the art store next time I'm there just to see how they compare.

If you're interested in checking out more of my colouring, I have created a flickr album. Of course, these are just a sample - I have many more colouring books that I would like to feature (including my new Gangsta Rap colouring book). Yes, I am a 12-year-old boy on the inside.


  1. A gansta rap colouring book!? I NEED that for Tracy's birthday!

  2. Anonymous2:30 p.m.

    This is an awesome post! I am always looking for ways to ground my anxiety. This is something that I am going to try for sure! Thank you so much for this post, really. I've been reading you blog since your very first post (about the cat!), and think that you are an incredible person and mother.

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