Saturday, June 4, 2016


I've been curious about the recent trend of coloring books for adults.  Maybe it's been around for a while, but I only became aware of it about a year ago.  My friend Lucie Duclos has produced two coloring books, and I have copies of each, but, I confess, I have not colored in them.

What is the appeal of coloring for adults?  According to the feedback I got from a recent Facebook post, most people color for the calming effect, like knitting.  It is relaxing for your mind.  For some it's like a gateway drug into more demanding creative endeavors.  You do have to make decisions when you color - which colors to use where have a great affect on how the image reads, in terms of figure-ground relationships, for example.  But there are a lot of decisions already made for you, so it is not as daunting as the prospect of creating your own image.

Here is a video of me creating a coloring page.


Here is a page you can download and color yourself!  I suggest you print it out on relatively heavy printer paper.  I used this.  Print several copies and color each one differently.  Add your own details if you like.

Here are a few tips or suggestions on making your own coloring pages:
  • Vary the density and scale of the patterns.  That is, leave some areas open, and fill in other areas with different patterns or smaller shapes.
  • Vary the size of the shapes you draw.
  • Avoid making an all-over repeated pattern.  Unless an all-over pattern is what you want.  It will be more interesting to color an image that is not a repeat.
  • Do not try to make a "good composition".  Allow it to be quirky or off-balance.  
  • When coloring: try to avoid the All Rainbow All The Time effect.  Most coloring I see makes about equal use of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, thus giving the image no particular emphasis or nuance.  Try, for example, mostly greens and blues, with accents of bright red and orange.  Use neutrals such as gray, white, tan, ochre, and earth tones or muted colors.  
But... WHO AM I to tell you how to color???!  The above are just some ways you might find coloring pages a little more of a challenge, and maybe more fun.  


  1. Looks like fun. As of late, this is how I have been starting my paintings. I draw on canvas and then begin to paint. It is surprising what comes out of the subconscious. I love your creativity and thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. That's your coloured example.

  3. Wow! Glad to see you're doing this! Am not particularly a fan of coloring books, because most of them are so dense, busy, and cheesy! I like your drawings for the spatial consideration and scale, so will try to color them... Thank You for sharing! :-)

  4. thanks Jane! this is much more my style. will give it a try.

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