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.

 

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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?

Colouring with Stabilo’s – Flat Colour

Stabilo pen 68 and 88 are a great mid range set of pens. The 68’s are described as a colour-intensive, premium fibre-tip pen there are 40 colours and 6 fluorescents, giving a great range of colour. The 88’s are a 0.4mm fineliner and boasts a range of 25 colours plus 5 fluorescents. The colours match up to so if you have the same colour in both pens they are the same colour on the paper making them brilliant for when you need to get into fine detail areas as well as larger area coverage.

Onto Colouring

wpid-wp-1431694616220.jpegGoing over the same area multiple will cause over saturation of the paper. I keep my way of working to sections but I use light stroke lines rather than circular colouring to prevent saturating the paper.

I have chosen 4 colours for the piece;

  • Light green 68/33 or 88/33
  • Green 68/36 or 88/36
  • Orange 68/54 or 88/54
    and
  • Lilac 68/58 or 88/58

As there are no really small detail in this image I haven’t used the pen 88 fineliners and just worked with the fibre tip pen 68.

Fast downward strokes fill in the grass with green.

The centre of the flower is filled with orange simply by following the line of the circle then using smaller circles towards the centre.

The stem and leaf are filled with light green by going down the full length of the stem then the edge of the leaf before using lines to fill the remaining area inside the leaf I follow the shape of the leaf as I do the fill lines.

Finally each of the petals are coloured using the same method as for the leaf.

wpid-wp-1431694651568.jpegI don’t get bleed with these pens following this method though you will sometimes see a ghost of the image on the reverse side of the paper, while it is visible it isn’t invasive, in a double sided print book once the opposite side was coloured it wouldn’t be noticeable at all.
However if you go over the same area to much and saturate the paper there will be bleed through, you can avoid this by allowing the ink already on the paper to fully dry before adding more (like when you notice a small area that didn’t get colour.)

There is more ink flowing to the paper from the pen 68’s the pen 88’s are less likely to show through but this depends on the area you are colouring as if you choose to do a larger area with the fineliner nib you risk overlapping colour more.

The good news is other than bleed through overlapping colour while wet or dry doesn’t result in variation of colour. This is great for really large areas as you can stop and resume colouring later without having to worry about the ink drying.

Using a textured paper with these pens can result in patchy colouring and of course absorbent papers will certainly end up bleeding through. As always make sure you select a decent quality paper. This piece was coloured on 135gsm smooth sketch book paper and works well with these pens.

The Tangle Toolkit

If you have been keeping up with me on instagram you will have noticed I have been doing a tangle a day.

I wanted to share with you my personal toolkit, Zentangle ® do a lovely official kit but I already had everything I needed.

Pens

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I’ve had these a while as I also use these when drawing templates for paper cuts. When tangling I use the 0.3 for outlining the frame and the 0.1 to draw the tangles.

One thing I did notice though was that while these were great for the slower drawing when lining a drawing they weren’t as good for tangles where I draw a little faster.

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Pilot

A new addition while I was picking up some new sketchbooks I bought a black pilot drawing pen (0.2) and two sepia pens (0.2 and 0.5) I have found the pilot pens better for tangling as they seem to flow better for the way I draw.

The sepia pens were for a secondary colour when drawing step outs and to also try some full sepia tangles.

wpid-wp-1426183622492.jpeg Pitt Artist

The brush pen is great for filling large areas, the black pigment isn’t as dense as in the drawing pens and there is less bleed through on lighter weight papers so I prefer it for quick fills to my promarkers.

I had originally bought it for typography but really didn’t get on with it for that.

 

Paper

wpid-wp-1426184113638.jpeg I prefer to have a book, the official tiles are gorgeous and one day I might use them but I would like to be producing a higher level of work first. I first started with a free writer book as I always have a few of them about but the paper in those isn’t up to holding the ink. Both my step out book and my tangle book are 160gsm Daler Rowney graduate sketchbooks. My step outs go in an A5 soft cover stapled book and the tangles are in an A6 hard cover book.

wpid-wp-1426183984495.jpegThere is no bleed through on the paper so while I don’t use both sides of the paper in my tangle book I am able to use both sides in the step out book.

I like the hard bound book as it is easy to throw in my bag and take anywhere.

Pencil

While the idea behind zentangle is that you draw with a pen you still add your strings with a pencil. I am a mechanical pencil lover and use a rotring Tikky 0.5 with a HB lead. I do have a set of sketching pencils for shading though I haven’t tried any of that yet.

Other Things

My pencil case has a few other things in it too, I have a white gel pen that can be used for drawing on parts that have been filled with black. I also have all my other drawing equipment that might make it into tangles one day like the promarkers and my coloured pencils. But all you really need is something to draw on and something to draw with. I have seen beautiful tangle art in all sorts of mediums.

First Experience: Drawing

Ok it’s not my first time drawing, I scribble things down all the time but I have never really drawn beyond quick sketches of ideas which have always been for my eyes only.
Since I had been trying things out and being able to draw something that makes sense to more than just me would be very helpful for bead designs, it would be great for papercutting because I could hand draw templates rather than composing them digitally and I could just sit and draw something for fun.

chibi posesAs I mentioned in my post about promarkers I had fallen in love with Yampuff’s style. If I could draw my own chibi’s that would be great, chibi’s also seemed a gentle entry point for figure drawing as the proportions weren’t as crucial as in more traditional drawing.
Perhaps I was being a little adventurous, I managed basic poses but once it came to adding details I became unstuck, the eyes always looked weird, the hair was strange and despite studying fashion at collage I couldn’t get the clothes right either.

It’s time to shelve that idea for a while.

But I still want to draw

zentangleI needed to simplify things, so I started looking at doodles and zentangle.
It was certainly easier and the construction of tangle patterns was clearly documented and very easy to follow. It was also quick and unlike everything else required very few “things” to be scattered around. Armed with my lovely tikky pencil (rotring 0.7mm mechanical pencil) and a lovely little sketchbook I began my doodling.

(image – doodles)Little mistakes are less noticeable, or much easier to turn into part of the pattern. But the idea is that you don’t erase anything (unless it’s pencil marks after inking)

I didn’t actually think I would have as much fun with the doodles as I did but they were fantastic, and a great confidence boost after the mishap of the chibi’s. Plus after seeing some really amazing work with doodles I noticed how great they would be as paper cuts, maybe even take the patterns and try and add them onto beads.