Sunday, February 28, 2016

Crafty Times: Coloring

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!
Yes this post is about coloring.  Remember at the end of last year when I talked about my goals for the year? One of them was to complete a coloring book, and I really wanted to try to complete an adult coloring book (I am finding out that might be more difficult than I expected).
So I found a beautiful adult coloring book called Time Chamber, but I figured I should work on some of my coloring techniques and mediums before I start (I really want this book to come out nice, it is so beautiful). So I did some research and looked at what other people were doing. Some people used colored pencils, others were using water color pencils, and others were using gel pens.  I picked up some inexpensive coloring books and a boxed set of Millie Marotta Animal Kingdom postcards to practice on.
First I tried some marker pens on this flamingo, it took me several hours over 2 days to complete. The fine tip was great for getting into all the little feathers but they didn't work well for the background. It was also difficult to get shading, you would need endless shades of colors to really do what you want.

I then wanted to test the colored pencils out and wanted something a little bigger to work with, my eyes were a little tired after all the tiny lines on the flamingo.  Again I only had a small 12 color Crayola set of pencils.  I haven't really finished it yet because again I feel like I needed a wider variety of colors, but it was nice to be able to get the shading the way I like it.
Next, I saw in my research that a lot of people really loved using gel pens for their coloring.  I only had a few colors (and tiny pens as you can see in this picture) but I thought I could give it a try on another one of the Animal Kingdom postcards.  I really loved how easily the colors went on and how bright they popped. Again there was not a whole lot of options for shading but it was really fun to work with the smooth colors.
I could see the gel pens really wouldn't last long and they wouldn't be great for backgrounds so I tested using colored pencils for a background on this jelly fish postcard. It is a little odd with the 2 different mediums but it still looks pretty nice.  I also experimented a little with shading by laying down one color and going over it with another color (you can see that with the orange and yellow). They blended together pretty nicely so I could see that there maybe is a little potential for shading, but again I was only using the very limited pens I had on hand.
After having so much fun and success I went out one night and grabbed a couple of small sets of gel pens I could find at Staples. It was still limited compared to what I had seen others using on youtube but it was more than I had.  I spent one Saturday evening working on this fish postcard (from the Animal Kingdom set). It was a lot of fun to use a wider variety of colors and work through all the patterns.

 With the fish being such a success and done in an evening, I felt as if I might be ready to give a full sized page a try with the gel pens.  This was in a small book that came with one of my card making books and I thought this pattern would be fun.  It took a lot more work than I expected and I found I got bored using the same colors for long periods, so I had to jump from the tree to other sections then back to the tree.  It took nearly 3 nights of coloring for several hours to finally complete it and this isn't nearly as large or as detailed as some of the other pictures I want to do.

I have been having a lot of fun coloring these, especially while listening to audio books. The gel pens are super easy to use and make really brightly colored pictures. I can see that they might run out quickly, but I did find a large set at JoAnn's Craft Store for only $15, and they also sell individual pens so I could pick up specific colors I need. I don't think I am too keen on the regular colored pencils, at least of the Crayola brand, maybe they would be better in a higher quality but I don't want to invest that much money into the hobby at this time. I am going to test out the water color pencils soon, I have been using them with the stamping and find them easy to use, I just don't know how it will go using them on a larger piece or with the paper in the books.
I am definitely finding this to be an enjoyable past time, creative but without having to use much brain power. I can color while still being completely into my audio books (which I am going to have to get more if this keeps up).  I may not color the Time Chamber book this year, I think I might have to find a slightly less complicated book to color for my goal.


  1. I love that flamingo! I have been coloring a lot lately. I just love it... I have Enchanted Forest so I am trying to finish that whole book.

    1. Thank you, I almost got the Enchanted Forest too, but when I saw the Time Chamber book I really liked the variety it offered in the one book. I may go back for the Enchanted Forest sometime though. I also just got Off the Shelf in the mail and it is full of books!