Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Drawing and Coloring Realistic Water Drops in Line and Greyscale

Here is a video that shows how to draw realistic water droplets.

You can add them anywhere on your coloring page as a fun and whimsical addition.

I used a BIC Pencil Xtra Life, Medium Point (0.7 mm), 5-Count (Even the eraser is good!)

I also used the Tombow MONO Zero Eraser Value Pack, Round 2.3 mm (I LOVE this mechanical eraser! Buy it now :)

The image is from my book COLORING DREAMS. It has 14 painterly one sided images and no repeat patterns.

To just purchase the greyscale image shown in the video click HERE.

So as you can see the materials you need are super basic. The video is straightforward and I think you will find it simple and easy enough to recreate the images.

Have fun and happy drawing!

Here is the final product, drawn by me, colored by the wonderfully talented colorist Ronda Francis. Thanks Ronda! <3 font="">

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What Coloring With One Graphite Pencil Taught Me

I was tired after Christmas, but not tired enough to fall asleep.

Watching TV is never enough for me on its own, so I either doodle, draw, write, or...you get the idea.

But I was determined to take the day off, so as I was watching The Sopranos then The OA, I picked up one of my own coloring books and a pencil.

At first it was a bit like doodling on a newspaper or magazine, and I had no predetermined outcome on my mind. I just wanted to relax.

Then I got into it.

Picture as seen in coloring book.

Colored with one Pentel GrapGear500 0.3 2B lead

The pencil is a mechanical is a GraphGear Pentel 500 with 2B 0.3 lead. You can buy it here: Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Brown (PG523E) 

The book is Coloring Dreams. It is printed by CreateSpace and has 14 one sided images. You can buy here:  Coloring Dreams: 8 x 10 Version with Borders

 I learned that using just one pencil is not only enough to color, it is super relaxing. (I found it to be even more relaxing than using colors, and can be just as striking.)

I learned to appreciate the images in a coloring book as art, and how to use shadows and light to make the image stand out, and even look beautiful.

I learned that 2B lead has a huge variation in depth of color, and that I love to use softer lead.

I also learned that if the lead is thin enough you can use a softer lead in a mechanical pencil and get a big variety of results.

I am not saying to get rid of your colored pencils, but maybe to give this a chance.

I loved it.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Accidental Coloring Discovery with Tombow Pens and Faber Castell Pencils

I love happy accidents.

Today I discovered that working with Tombow watercolor markers and colored pencils, Faber-Castell Poychromos pencils to be specific, is a match made in heaven.

If you put down a layer of color with the Tombow pens and wait about a minute for it to dry, you can color over the top with colored pencils. This allows for subtle shading and detailing which can be a problem when using markers alone.

I also went over the top of the whole thing with a Uni-ball Signo white pen. This also worked well.

Here is a quick video with a demo. Stay tuned--I'll be doing a whole picture soon.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Top FIVE Coloring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

From COLORING DREAMS Coloring Book
We are still riding the adult coloring wave, and it does not look like it will crash anytime soon.

From cute fairies to exotic fantasies and explicit curse books, we can't get enough of our favorite new past time.

But are there certain things to avoid in the relaxing coloring world?

*DISCLAIMER* Coloring is just plain old fun. If you are doing it, having a ball, and do not want to change a thing--keep on coloring! Read on, what I write might surprise you.

Do you:

1.  Use the same pressure on every area when using colored pencils?
 Some color with a light touch and some are heavy handed. If you want an artistic look to your pictures, vary the pressure you use. Pressing very hard gives a very bright, opaque finish to the area you are coloring. If you press very hard you will burnish the area which means there will be a shine or gloss to the area you are coloring, and any tooth on the paper will be flattened. This technique is great for some areas, not for others. Don't be afraid to experiment. Pressing lightly gives the area a more translucent feel, and layering with color and even texture is possible.

2.  Color in every single space on every single picture?
Occasionally you will be stuck to figure what color to use. This might mean that you don't need any color at all, and the space should be left white. Some pictures look gorgeous with every area filled in with bright and vibrant colors--but some do not. Sometimes the negative space around the subject of the picture helps the focus to remain on the subject. Other times the negative space may be an interesting design itself. 

3.  Only color what you already like?
When we are kids, we are fearless and we learn what we like from trying practically everything, at least once. As we get older, we fall into patterns and feel we already know what we like, and do not like. I spoke to some colorists recently, and many said they didn't think they would like to draw people, or houses, or any number of things, and when they tried, they loved it! So give it a whirl. Throw yourself at some new coloring themes and see where you stick.

4.  Have the feeling that more is better?
How would it feel to have an endless supply of colored pencils or markers? Or enough gel pens to cover an entire wall? Sounds divine. Sure having a choice is nice, but having a smaller amount can be wonderful, too. When I illustrated a children's book many years ago, the only thing I used to color it was a set of 24 Conte charcoal pencils. It got published, and spent one lovely weekend featured at The Eric Carle Museum of Storybook Art. Practice blending colors. Using a blending stick or turpenoid helps too. You may surprise yourself. Also, having less pencils is a great study in color theory. You are forced to make new shades out of necessity, and the skill translates when you have even more pencils. Oh, the colors you will create! (Now that being said--I think almost everyone agrees the seemingly endless choices we have in coloring books styles is GOOD.) You can try this too: choose three or four colors and finish the entire picture using only the colors chosen. You may be in for a treat if you have not done this before. (BTW--my coloring book COLORING DREAMS is based on the children's book I illustrated.)

5.  Try to make every image perfect?
Yes, there is beauty in photo realism--to have that wonderful ability to recreate what already exists. But there is another kind of awe in creating something that has never existed before. Use your imagination--no one is stopping you. If you color, you are an artist, and you can use your creativity in any way you like. Unlike a job or a duty, coloring is YOUR thing, and you can create any world you like. If it makes YOU happy, DO IT. No one gets hurt here, and in my humble opinion, putting a smile on your own face helps you spread the joy. Even if you are not the best colorist on the earth,(there is only one and no one knows who that is) do what thrills you. Everything has cracks--that is how the sun gets in. (Leonard Cohen)

Even though I named this article The Top Five Coloring Mistakes, in reality, I truly do not think we can make mistakes when we color. We may learn what we like to color, or what pencils are our favorites, and even new techniques, but one of the truly beautiful things about coloring is that there aren't really any terrible mistakes, just things we might learn. 

Now go grab your pencils, I have wasted enough of your coloring time.



Click HERE for my website and see my additional coloring books.

Join my newsletter HERE for coloring tips, once a month free pages, giveaways, and educational and product videos.

Join my Facebook COLORING GALLERY to post your coloring pages and receive motivation, tips, and a great coloring family HERE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

18 Holiday Coloring and Craft Gifts!

It's the most wonderful time of the year and I have a nice list of terrific gifts for your favorite coloring Vixen (or Dasher)!

From frugal to fabulous, you'll find 18 gifts you will love to give or get for the holidays.

1.  Craft and Coloring Supplies Organizers -- we love to color and we have a LOT of stuff! Here are a few ways to organize and carry your supplies conveniently. 

                       13 Compartment Craft and Coloring Organizer and Tote $9.99 A wonderful tote to store all your coloring supplies.

         Everything Mary Deluxe Papercraft Organizer $18.95 Big and beautiful and ready to travel, whether from the kitchen to the dining room or to a friend's, this bag has room for it all

                   Blick Art Tote $24.19 A bit more space and a few more compartments, this white canvas bag will hold everything from markers to brushes, and everything in between.

2.  Nice Big Pen Sets -- Pens glorious pens! We can't enough enough. Here are some gels, watercolors, and fine tip markers for details.

           120 LOLLIZ Gel Pens No Duplicates $21.99 So many pens for so little money! Gels pens are all the rage for coloring, shading, and just jotting down notes. This set lets you color in EVERY shade.

                       97 Set Tombow Watercolor Markers $145.07 A lovely set of watercolor markers for coloring or calligraphy.

                             36 Staedtler Fine Tip Markers $23.89 36 fine liner shades, including six neon, for details and corners. For the coloring perfectionist.

3.  Colored Pencils--for the dedicated beginner to the elegantly advanced. 

                                   48 Set of Marco Raffine $17.99 Creamy and bright, these pencils are a lovely way to start coloring.

                              72 Set Prismacolor $35.00 Everyone has heard of Prismas! Buttery and smooth and super pigmented, a favorite of many.

         120 Faber-Castell Polychromos $186.75 Oh to have a full set of Polychromos pencils! On the wish list of many indeed!

4. Fancy Extras -- a few things you may not have thought of, but actually need, for expert coloring.

Weber's Turpenoid $4.59 to $51 Use this to blend your colored pencils. Makes colores brighter and images seem smoother.

                    Pretty Flower Clipboard $9.99 Such a pretty clipboard for those of us that either cut out the images from our books, or buy individual images from Etsy.

                          Pilot Frixion Erasable Markers 12 Set $14.60 Oh look! Markers you can erase!

Fakus Pencil Holders $30.00 Are your eyes deceiving you? These pencil holders are actually flat!

Vintage Sharp O Matic Panasonic Sharpener $30.00 In my humble opinion, the best colored pencil sharpener around! You might have to search on Ebay or Etsy--worth the search!

Mono Eraser $4.87 A fine point mechanical eraser--gets those hard to reach places, and looks pretty slick too.

Fold Away Coloring and Craft Corner Table $199.99 Even if you don't have too much room, now you can have a coloring corner of your own. Folds away to a cabinet with a chalkboard front when not in use.

                     Gorgeous Garland Coloring Book by Me Color, cut, and create your own garland. Perfect family fun for the holidays.

ALSO! Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for a chance to win one Gorgeous Garland Coloring Book and a set of 70 Lolliz Gel Pens. Good luck and Merry Merry to you! Hope you found something wonderful here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 2, 2016

Gorgeous Garland Coloring Book and Gel Pen Giveaway!

Hi everybody!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I am celebrating by giving away my Gorgeous Garland Coloring book. It has 56 pages to color (14 image with three copies each), enough garland for a six foot Christmas tree.

Just color, cut, and create your own garland.

Watch the video and sign up below! Follow guidelines to qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!