Creative Colour

A colouring magazine from puzzler.com. I didn’t get this one when it first came out but I did snap it up before the release of issue 2 at the end of May. Now we are at the end of June and issue 3 is in the shops.

I left this one untouched for quite a while but one evening as the boys were watching the Avengers I sat myself in the corner under the floor lamp and decided it was time to make a start.

This is another single side print magazine with 24 images to colour and staple bound. Paper quality seems good and the artwork is a mix of single images, full page patterns and contained images, ranging from fine detail to larger areas making it good for any level of colourist. The cover price is 2.99 and is published monthly.

Onto Colouring

I’m back with my Stabilo pen 68’s and the paper is all right, the colour goes on reasonably smoothly although it does show through on the other side it is single sided so that isn’t a problem.

The first one I completed was the bird, it was my favourite image in the whole magazine. I used a combination of flat colour and a bit of shading. As well as the pen 68’s I also used some of my point 88’s to work on the more detailed areas. It was a really enjoyable image to colour though.

I also had a go on the inside cover with the stabilo pens, the little flower was a great, quick to colour piece. After colouring that though which is a smoother card rather than the paper I was wishing the whole book was printed on that.

I also had a go at a page with my inktense pencils, I did this one using a blender pencil to smooth the colour rather than using water. This came out beautifully I certainly got better coverage with the pencils than the pens.

With Promarkers the coverage can be slightly patchy as the ink dries quickly on the paper, though as I got more used to how the ink was behaving on the paper reducing the size of the circles I coloured in allowed me to get a more even colour.

In Conclusion

A reasonable magazine, the range contained in it does make it suitable for anyone though I haven’t bought issue 2 or the recently released issue 3. With such a large selection of magazines available now and considering my collection already I did find a lot of the images to be rather similar and I personally preferred the selection in the later issues of relax with art.

If you are a new colourist though take a look at this magazine along side the others because you might find the artwork more to your tastes and without having earlier magazines there won’t be similarities like I experienced. You can also use any media to colour but make sure you add a sheet of card under the page you are colouring if you intend to use pens and keep your strokes shorter than normal to reduce patchy coverage.

 

wpid-wp-1435310736455.jpeg
 

wpid-wp-1435310599593.jpeg
 

 

A Chat with Sarah Bigwood

If you were ever struggling to get motivated then this lady is the one that will show you what can happen.

Sarah’s Book Animaux à colorier was released at the beginning of June through the publisher Editions First. But what if I told you that this time last year Sarah wouldn’t draw, she didn’t think she could.

I got hold of Sarah and had a bit of a chat with her, (read as bombarded her with questions) I already knew bits of the story as we are both paper cutters and enjoy adult colouring so we frequent the same groups. But I was really interested in hearing more, Sarah began drawing in around the same time as I started playing with drawing too. Her journey sparked in much the same way and taking such an inspirational direction, let me tell you her story.

A paper cutter since February 2014, leaving 10 years in retail management after being diagnosed with severe depression. Sarah decided to open her own business doing paper cuts and templates under the name Pixie Rah Designs in July 2014. (She also does dog walking and daycare)

I have the most understanding husband who has really supported me through everything that’s happened.

But in December 2014 Sarah began drawing, she wanted to move away from digitally created paper cut templates and be able to hand draw all her designs. As someone with no prior experience she bought a book on zentangle and started to have a go.

There was no right or wrong and that I could make interesting art that seemed to come naturally to me.

Mr Rhino was her first creation, originally intended as a paper cut template when Sarah showed the design to a group of peers within a facebook paper cutting group it came about that he would make a fantastic colouring page. 9 drawings later she had her “African Animals” set which she uploaded to her etsy store to sell as downloadable colouring pages.

Just 4 days after these listings went live Sarah was contacted by a French publishing company who wanted to turn her animals into a colouring book. They wanted 80 animals within 3 weeks!!!

Sarah's Desk, getting drawings ready for the next colouring book

Sarah’s Top Tips

Just by drawing once a day I can see how much I have improved in 6 months.

  • Draw once a day
  • Practice is important
  • There is no right or wrong
  • Surround yourself with supportive people
  • Join groups, ask for constructive feedback
  • Above all. Give things a go!

But she did it, the book was released 4th June 2015 and she was asked to do another book.

Right now Sarah is working on the next book, due for release in October and is currently working on 80 Christmas and winter drawings to submit to the publisher, so far she has 61 done with a week to go on her deadline.

This one I have found harder than the Animals as its quite hard to think of different things to draw!

When drawing Sarah uses Uni Pin pens, 0.8mm for outlines and 0.3mm for the internal details, but she still loves colouring too, her facebook group Adult Colouring has in excess of 2,500 members now all there to enjoy the same things and share their love for colouring. As a member myself I know how supportive the group is as a place for anyone that enjoys grown up colouring and art therapy.

Sarah also has ideas for the future, keep an eye on her because she really is a hit.

 

Relaxing Patterns and Mandala Designs

relaxing patterns and mandala designs by lilt kidsI was sent this book from Lilt Kids to review. All I had seen was the cover and I eagerly awaited the delivery coming over from America.

Lilt kids are an independent publisher, something that I thought was good to see, no major cooperation. All their colouring books are quite cheap (£2 to £4)

Here’s a quote from their website

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY..

and supporting a small, independent business like Lilt Kids Coloring Books. All our coloring books are made right here in the USA by talented artists and printed on the highest quality paper with beautiful, bright covers. Should you ever have any kind of problem with an order or just a question for us, we have great customer service: just email

Sounds very exciting doesn’t it…

the internal cover of relaxing patterns and mandala designsThen the book arrived

Truthfully I was disappointed. Firstly The cover of this book appealed to me the most out of the small selection I was shown to choose from, after looking at their site with the book in my hand I see three other books at least with the same cover, just different titles. The one thing I had to go on to choose a book and it wasn’t unique, nor was it anywhere in the book. The Amazon page also said that there were 40 pages in the book, there were only 22 design pages, 24 if you count the small images in the title page and the back page. Yes it’s over 40 pages if you count the blank back side of every design but I think that’s stretching things a little.

showing the quality of the line work within the bookThe Artwork

Something else that didn’t meet my expectation. It is just my opinion but I don’t expect thick lines in an adult colouring book, the thinnest lines are at least 1mm thick. Now this could be seen as a benefit for those using art therapy who have motor function problems so I’m not going to rule things out just because the line thickness isn’t to my liking.

Looking at the images again on most of them the lines aren’t smooth, and there are areas, on the mandalas especially, where you can tell images have been joined together to create the design.

So, I’m disappointed again.

The Paper

It’s about 100gsm and very lightly textured. Nothing like any of the other colouring books I own . It’s somewhere in between the paper from Zen Colouring and Relax with Art so maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to colour on.

The book is printed single sided though so at least any media goes.

stabilo colour testOnto Colouring

I tried three different media in this book. Firstly Stabilo Pen 68, my all rounder pens because there aren’t many books out there there these can’t be used in. I chose to do the first page and went with a pallet of yellows, oranges and reds. They worked rather well.

The first image took me less than an hour to colour. I didn’t really get the satisfaction from the colouring that I would on pages I spend hours or even days on, but it was nice to do something a bit quicker.

promarkers colour testOnto the second and I went with my promarkers and a purple/blue combination, while it was possible to colour with them on the paper (sheet of card under the page required) it did seem to really suck the ink in. This is where I was perhaps thankful the lines in the artwork were quite thick as the colour really did spread (even with the thick lines though the first bit of colour I added did go over.) The other thing I noticed was that the colours became rather muted, the usual vibrancy of the colours was dulled and that was a little disheartening as the final image didn’t end up as I had planned it.

example of using inktense in the bookI spent about an hour and a half on that one.

Finally I got my inktense pencils out and went with reds and greens as you can see I didn’t finish this one, the coloured pencil didn’t really go well on the page and while the water wash looked good to begin with, once it dried though it looked awful and I had a rather wrinkly page.

I didn’t want to finish it, and this is the only time I have ever left an image unfinished.

A Second Opinion

I decided to get a second opinion on the book, I showed it to my 8 year old son. He did think it looked “pretty cool.” So now the book is his, though he hasn’t actually done any colouring yet.

In Conclusion

Pretty disappointing if you are a more advanced colourist, though I will give credit that these might be a good, inexpensive, introduction to colouring for anyone that wants to embark on art therapy but is either daunted by the detail of some books or needs the thicker lines to compensate for motor function problems. They are probably better for children wanting different types of designs.

A children’s book billed for adults.

If the book does interest you though I would say you would be better off using water based pens over any other media as they do give the best colour results.

Did I just get very unlucky with my choice of book, has anyone else tried books from this publisher?

A Trip to the Pencil Museum

pencilsI’ve been a bit quiet as we took a trip up to the lake district last week for the half term holidays. But I won’t bore you with all the other details of our holiday but on Thursday afternoon we popped up to Keswick to visit the pencil museum.

A Pencil Museum?

Yes, a pencil museum. Keswick has a long history of making pencils, in fact the Cumberland Pencil Company were home to the very first pencils after a discovery of an abundant graphite mine. Now known as the brand Derwent.

The museum isn’t huge but it does make for an interesting family afternoon. A family ticket costs £12.50 (or if you buy a family yearly pass for £17.50 you also get 10% off in the shop) As we were visiting during half term there was a quiz for the kids to complete and children’s workshops running through out the day.) There was a parking charge too as the car park is run by the council but the museum do discount your entry by £1.50 on presentation of the stub from the ticket.

Walking in the museum goes of to the left and the shop to the right, as I was waiting in the queue I saw the wall of books, a whole wall of books and it was huge. I spied Enchanted Forest and Animal Kingdom as well as some titles I had not seen before.

First the museum though. My lad had his quiz sheet and I told him he had to find all the information himself, I wasn’t going to help. After some initial complaints of not being able to find things, he did rather well and managed to complete the whole quiz.

elephant pencil sculptureEach of the sections had large displays with very easy to read information, though I have to admit I wasn’t that taken by much of the process of making pencils. The secret map pencil was rather interesting and I also found these beautiful pencil sculptures.  I spent a while looking at these, though the elephant was my favourite. There was also a Batman one that I had to point out to my husband.

The kids did discover the little colouring table. While my youngest sat in her buggy with the clipboard and a bit of paper and just scribbled my lad sat there very happily, he was only dragged away when they announced a workshop which he happily galloped off to while I browsed the shop.

vintage pencil tinsWhile they were colouring though I wandered the displays again, The worlds largest pencil (over 7ft and yes it is a proper pencil.)  There were also lots of cases filled with pencil collections, including some of the newer commemorative collections and lots of vintage and antique collections too. I loved these ones as they had beautiful lakeland scenes on the tins.

Onto the shop, which is around the same size as the museum section, filled with every type of Derwent pencil and lots of useful accessories. My husband even managed to get me a beautiful wooden pencil box that holds 72 pencils. It was an empty one but now I have the joy of filling it, he also bought me a sketch book and a little intro kit that has a CD of techniques a smaller sketch book and a set of 6 Inktense pencils. My husband was a bit sneaky as he didn’t tell me he was buying them for me, he just appeared with them.

I did buy myself Enchanted forest and a couple of little bits and pieces. My son came out with a set of 12 Aquatone sticks, a water brush and some water colour paper. I was quite impressed with what he learnt from a free workshop and he was equally thrilled with the results. For completing the quiz he also got two coloured pencils, one form the coloursoft range and another from the watercolour range.

The afternoon was certainly enough for us, if we had been there any longer I think it would have just cost us more as I discovered more and more things in the shop.

 

Relax with Art

Relax with Art MagazineWhen I saw this one appear in the shops I grabbed a copy as colouring magazines have been selling out as quickly as they are coming in the shops. Relax with Art is published by Bromleigh House (who publish puzzle magazines) though there is next to no information on it around the internet. I did manage to find through newsstand that it is a monthly magazine and it has a cover price of £2.99.

There are 24 pages in the publication, more than enough for the month and the artwork is a mixture of designs so you aren’t tied to a theme. The magazine is stapled too so it opens up really easily and it is all single side printing. The inside cover has an intro, though to be honest reading it, it didn’t seem that well written. But it didn’t really matter as it is a colouring book after all.

Onto Colouring

colouring page relax with artI decided to give my Stabilo Pen 68’s a test in this one using a new type of pen I first thought that the pens were a bit dry but then I noticed that the paper is textured. The paper started to crinkle slightly with the colour. To satisfy my curiosity on the paper I did one part of the picture with my promarkers as I knew what I could expect from them. They spread on the paper quite quickly. As I wasn’t blending on this page it was completed quite quickly.

All the pens bled through to the other side but the thickness of the paper did prevent any colour from going through to the spare sheet under the page.

relax with art coloured pageYou can see some of the streaks in the colouring, I did test other papers and got a smoother finish from the pens. The pink is promarker and while the colour is smooth (due to it keeping the colour wet for a fair while) the spread makes it difficult to colour especially finer detail, which this book has a fair bit of, even with a fine point attachment.

While you could say that the promakers staying wet for so long would be an advantage to blending I wouldn’t like to know how much that would crinkle the paper when a basic water based pen did. Layering on the colour needed for a blend would probably get quite messy.

Overall

This is a book for pencils, possibly gel pens, while I love the art work it’s a little disappointing the paper lets this down and that pens (my preferred media) don’t look that great in it. The lack of information suggests this publication was rushed to print to get into the market quickly. I’ll be continuing the rest of the issue with pencils though and I will take a look at issue two when it is released to see if anything has been re-evaluated by the publisher.

Edit – 14/05/15 Today I went back to this magazine as there was a design I really liked. Instead of just getting out the pencils I tried my Stabilo pens again as they were out from the previous page I had just finished in another magazine.

I was surprised that it was a lot easier to colour this time round, there was less ink spread and I didn’t get that far before I had unclipped it from my drawing board and then spent quite a while looking at the page I had just started compared to the one I did the other day, it seemed the paper was different.

What I concluded after some inspection (honestly if anyone was watching me through the window today they must have thought I was a little strange stroking the paper on all the pages, holding it to the light and giving it a really good look over.) was just the one sheet, that happened to be the first and last images and the two I chose to try to colour first, had been printed on the “wrong” side.

So now I’m off to finish this new page with my beloved pens. Happy that everything should be fine now.

Issue two is due for release 28th May.

Edit – 29/05/15 Relax with Art now have a facebook page and a website where you can subscribe.
You can order relax with art through Unique Magazines either by subscribing or buying single issues.

How have you found colouring this magazine, any success stories or issues with pens to share?

Downloadable Colouring Pages

Grownups colour tooGrown up (or adult) colouring is a wonderful way to relax, remember how quiet the kids are when they are colouring? well try it yourself and it really does zone you out.
There are many colouring books available but there are also a wealth of free colouring pages some offered by book authors and some just created by artists because they can. There are also loads of indie artists that sell individual pages online.

With all downloadable content please respect the artists rights, credit the artist when you show off your colours so others can find them too and make sure you follow the artists terms of use. I won’t link to pinterest or google images because of this, I always link to the source of the images.

If you are a colouring page artist and want to be added or you notice a broken link/closed shop then feel free to contact me to help keep this list updated.

All You

Amy Brown Art

Ann’s Doodles

Art is Fun

Art Therapy

Ben Kwok

Bergsma

Blacksummer Colouring

Black White Mustard

Bonnita Doodles

Color Binge

Color Me Club

ColourIn Designs

Colouring Life

Coloring Pages for Adult

Coloring Pages for Adults

Complicated Coloring

Crafts Beautiful (requires free site membership)

Crayola

Daisy Jane

Dawn Nicole

Don’t Eat the Paste

Doodle and Colour
(Use coupon code SCARLETT10 for 10% off)

Easy Peasy and Fun

Ellen’s Escape

Fafahe Creations

Fizzy Pink Doodle Studio

Guardian Website

Hallmark

Hattifant

Hannah Lynn

HobbyCraft Blog

Jan Bevins Art

Jenny Gollan Designs

Johanna Basford

Joanne Elliot

Kelly Dombrowski

Leen Margot

Legendary Landscapes

Lollipop Letters Cuts

Mad March Moon

Maniacal Confessions

Maria Padgett

Mauindi Arts

Ornamentium

PaperCrafter

Passion For Pencils

Pixie Rah Designs

Print Mandala

Random House Books

Red Ted Art

Selina Fenech

SliceNDyce

Slinky Tart

S Macs Place To Be

Soapberry Lane

Stabilo Blog

Studio Magda Polakow

Suiish

The Coloring Book Club

The Togetherness Project

Thiago Ultra

Tried and True

Wendy Peirsall

Yampuff