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The World of Coloring Books
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Now That You’ve Bought A Coloring Book You’re Going To Need A Few Things…
We all had coloring books as a kid. I have fond memories of coloring Barbie’s mane rainbow strips. At the riper age of twenty three I understand that if I want to engage in the activity of coloring, it needs to be a little more sophisticated.
That pack of Crayolas just isn’t going to cut it anymore. I need high contrast in pigment, shading, texturization. This can all be accomplished when I make the right investment in art supplies.
I need to find supplies that produce work looking like it was drawn by a master all while being easy to use. Here are some of the things I’ve come across that look like they’ll do the job.
Oil Based Colored Pencils
The regular graphite-based colored pencils us coloring book artists are used to working with provide us with grainy results and poor shading. Back when I was working with them it was always my desire to produce more vibrant and visually interesting work.
Oil based colored pencils will save your life when it comes to blending. Oil pigments blend and mix together smoothly. It can be harder to achieve that perfect blend of an orange-purple sunset with graphite. The pigments will simply look like they don’t go together.
The vibrancy given from an oil based pencil cannot be achieved with its counterpart. Oil can hold more pigmentation than graphite can. This leads to a bright effect if you are using light colors. You can also achieve a moodier, darker look if you are using stormier colors like greys, browns and blacks.
I always find that the oil based pencils slide more which leads to me coloring more smoothly. When using a graphite pencil it feels like I’m coloring over a rough landscape. Oil based pencils are no more expensive than their graphite counterparts. I bought my set on Amazon for $18 and got 48 of them with a roll-up case.
Fine Tip Marker Pens
Pencils are the traditional choice of most artists when it comes to working with coloring books. For the most part they do the job. However, they cannot achieve every effect. If you’re looking for a very highly pigmented look and want to minimize the grainy effect as much as possible, you may want to try Fine Tip Marker pens.
The down side of using these tools comes when it comes to color selection. Most packs only provide the artist with 24 pens or so. To get the full contrast in color, I would recommend using these alongside oil based colored pencils.
The tip is really fine on the ones designed for coloring books. The tip is so much finer that this might be a better tool for some of your more detailed drawings. It can color a more narrow design than a pencil can.
Brush Marker Pens
Brush marker pens are similar to their fine tip counterparts except they are designed more for filling larger areas. Brush marker pens will likely give a smoother appearance than their fine tip counterparts simply because they have a wider tip that is designed to glide.
It is not similar to paint in appearance even through it sounds like it would be with the pen having a brush and all.
Brush marker pens come with even less variety in color. A typical pack will have about fifteen markers. Brush markers typically come with a blender pen so you can still achieve the exact color you want. This makes it easy to match it to the graphite and oil that surrounds it.
Using Water Colors
Sometimes when I’m working with a coloring book I want to achieve a softer look. Especially when I’m coloring something like a landscape. To get that soft, tranquil and toned down appearance I’m looking for I use water colors.
The quality of the water colors you purchase matters. Yes, they do make grown up water color sets that work better than they type that sometimes comes with a children’s coloring book. You can get a nice set of 24 pigments for only $14 dollars on Amazon.
Gel pens are certainly worth a short mention. These pens are excellent if you want to add a neon color to your work that actually looks neon. It’s hard to achieve with markers and other pens. You can also make your work sparkle this way. Gel pens come in sparkles. It’s less messy than trying to add sparkles with glue and glitter later.
Acrylic Paint (Less common)
This is less common. People do choose to paint their coloring book with acrylics to achieve a masterwork level appearance. People use acrylic paint less often on coloring books because of the bleeding and extra skill it requires.
It’s harder to make a paintbrush behave than it is to get a pencil to do what you want. Still, those who can paint do a wonderful job when they choose to do it on their coloring books.
Paint is fun because it’s easy to blend. You can make the exact color you want for the image you’re working on. You don’t have to wait until it’s already on the image to try to blend it with a different color. Simply take your two pigments and smash them together on a paper plate until you have exactly what you want.
Are you looking to achieve the smoothest look possible? Oil pastels glide easily and produce some of the most interesting pigments you can achieve. They’re great for really blending those grey, blue and white pigments on a cloud.
Oil pastels are thick which can make them a little difficult to work with. Especially on an image that has a lot of detail. I recommend using them as a supplement with another art tool.
Remember that oil pastels can be messy. Not as messy as paint though! It’s a good idea to be careful when using them. Don’t wear your nicest outfit or use them on your new bedspread. They’ll stain everything.
Let’s Talk About Faber Castell
I’ve discussed a lot of different tools here. But, I understand that sometimes you just want to original. This is the nicest set of lead colored pencils on the web. It comes with 120 different shades so there’s no need to worry about blending them to get the one you want. This is a nice set. But it comes at quite a price…
So I’d recommend putting it on your Christmas list. Let someone else pick up the tab. If you can purchase it, you will be super happy when you use them.
The pencils in this pack are smudge proof, break resistant and won’t fade over time. They’ll last until you’ve sharpened it to death. By the way, this pack comes with a sharpener. What I really like about this pack is it’s water resistant. Water will not smudge it or damage the pencil. That’s good because I’ve always got a nice glass of sweet tea next to me when I’m coloring.
If you’re not a big colorist and are just looking for a present for someone who is all into coloring books, I’d recommend this set. The design of its box is perfect for wrapping. It’s the perfect birthday gift for that wife that loves to color in her down time.
Remember! It Doesn’t Matter How It Turns Out!
Coloring is all about relaxing and having fun. Don’t worry if it’s not the perfect image in the end. What matters is that the exercise was soothing. Having the right tools matters, but skill is built over time. Follow us on FB, make sure you get notified about our giveaways and contests, we love them! Click here to join our Facebook page so you get a chance to win coloring books and coloring art supplies.
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