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Coloring Suggestions

– Posted in: Coloring Tutorials

Coloured CrayonsThere is no wrong way to color these drawings. Every person will feel a different artistic inspiration from each drawing.  Allow yourself to be inspired by the hand drawn lines and shapes.

Choose a coloring tool that inspires you and fits your situation. For example, crayons are portable, easy to clean up, don’t bleed through thin paper, are inexpensive, come in an almost infinite variety of colors, and can be thrown into a bag and taken with you to an appointment, on the bus, or at your desk.

But crayons are just one of so many tools to choose from. The phrase “think outside the crayon box” comes to mind. Try pencil crayons, markers, pastels, paints, or glitter. Depending on the tool, you may need to change the kind of paper you print the drawing on. For example, most markers will bleed through standard weight paper, so consider using a heavier grade paper.  And while you’re at it, what about changing from white paper to color? Maybe a soft pastel blue paper could become the base and then build colors from there. So many possibilities!

Example of a Coloring SheetBefore beginning, spend a moment studying the drawing. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:

  • How do the shapes and patterns flow on the page?
  • Where would be the best place to begin on the page?
  • What colors feel right for the entire drawing and how can I use them in each section?
  • What feeling do I want to evoke with my art?

Now that you have given the drawing some thought, begin to color while you remind yourself that there are no mistakes (a phrase I repeat to myself often). If something happens that feels like a mistake, try to see it as a challenge. How can you make that unintended mark flow into something you didn’t expect? You will be surprised to find that some of the best art you will create may come from these unintended moments.

Another reminder, is to NOT judge your work until it is complete. The “half colored” picture can often leave me feeling disappointed and tempted to trash the picture and begin again. But 9 times out of 10, if I complete the picture, I am amazed by the stunning results.

One last thought. I use my drawing and coloring as a therapeutic tool. If coloring is going to be a therapeutic tool for you then try the following suggestions:

  • Consciously decide to allow yourself to spend this art time completely focused on what you are doing.
  • Listen to your favorite uplifting music.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair, breath deeply, and give yourself permission to NOT think about anything but what you are creating.
  • Focus on the lines and shapes and how they flow from one side of the page to the next.
  • Focus on the feel of the tool in your hand. How does it move across the paper? How does it smell?
  • Focus on relaxing your shoulders and holding your tool loosely.
  • Let your coloring decisions just flow, and see what happens.

I find that this process often helps me express my feelings. I find the colors seem to change when I am trying to deal with stressful situations in my life versus when I am feeling content and fulfilled. This process is a form of Active Meditation, and is helpful for people of all ages in any stage of life.

Most of all – ENJOY! Find your BLISS! And enjoy becoming part of this art!

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  • Dani Neuenschwander February 1, 2017, 9:39 pm

    Hi Jennifer, thank you for these suggestions. I never thought about “smelling” the tool I am holding so after reading these suggestions I did just what you said….and I never realized Prismacolor pencils do have a smell to them. Not a bad smell not a good smell…just a “colored pencil” smell.
    For the first time in 15 years I was able to recline in my chair and not think about my pain or how my pain was effecting what I was doing. I just relaxed and colored. I didn’t finish the page…however, I now know that when you said coloring can be”therapeutic” did not mean coloring would take the pain away. You meant….I don’t have to think about my pain. I thank you for that!!!!!
    I look forward to many many many more hours in my recliner with your coloring pages and others and just “blissfully” coloring the page in front of me.
    You are an angel for sharing your story and your art. Thank you so much!!!!!
    I pray you have LOTS of “blissful” coloring and meet lots of wonderful people along the way.
    Hugs and Prayers to you.
    Your newest student,

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