It sounds like a piece of cake, right? What’s there so special to know anyway? I mean, after all, we are the adults…
Coloring could be quite tricky and it might quickly turn from pleasure to st(r)ain.
There are different coloring mediums and each one of them has its pros and cons. You’d better be familiar with them before getting started with coloring.
Colored pencils are the most obvious choice for coloring. They’re easy to handle, inexpensive, usually come in a variety of colors and don’t require much technique. Just the good old stroking.
And if you are a bit nerdy, there are specially designed pencils to fit your needs: antibacterial or washable for those of you who don’t want to get scruffy.
Pencils produce nice, soft, light colors. If you’re a fan of ethereal hues then that’s just the thing for you.
DO: You could mix and match, creating dimensional tones by simply cross-hatching. Layering multiple colors with pencils is easy and fun. You couldn’t get wrong with this one. Shading is also an option – use your thumb to smudge it a little or the eraser to slightly blot it. Even if you have one of those huge 60 or more colors pack, you could still make hundreds of other tones. Your imagination is the limit.
DON’T: Pencils don’t work well on heavily textured paper – they can’t fully cover it, thus leaving little blank spots all over the picture.You should also be careful with those lines. While pencils are not that bright and intrusive as markers, they could still somewhat diminish the lines and leave the impression of a job not well done.
Use those only if you’re into the vivid, bright hues. They’re relatively easy to use but require a bit more dexterity if you want to create shades or color layers.
DO: Stay in the lines! You don’t want your painting smeared and blurry lined. You could also try different techniques of adding pressure or stroking to get dimensional tones. Be careful though – if you make a mistake, you can’t go back.
DON’T: Markers tend to bleed and could leave tiny blots on the backside of the paper or outside the lines. So you should consider the paper’s texture before starting to color.
Ah, crayons! I’d recommend them just for the smell of it.
Crayons produce light, smooth, subtle colors. They may not be too precise but are way too adorable to miss. And you are getting a wee bit childish by coloring, aren’t you?
DO: What was said about pencils is pretty much valid here as well. Try different techniques, mix and match, play! Pastel colors are so delicate that you might want to add a bit more pressure if it seems too pale to you.
DON’T: be conservative. There’s not much that could go wrong with crayons. Even if it does – who cares? It’s all about enjoying yourself, not competing, right?
You should be much more cautious with paint (whether it’s watercolor, acrylic or tempera) – it smears, smudges and bleeds over the markings. Apply paint gently, with very delicate and precise strokes. It might take a bit more time, but - so what? You’re doing this to escape from your busy schedule not fit into it.
Shades and layers could easily be achieved with paint, so go have fun!
DO: Experiment. Play, play, play! Use the more vivid tempera with the subtler watercolors. Use the vibrant acrylic to add some life to your coloring.
DON’T: use too much water. Watercolors are translucent anyway. You should also be patient – wait for the paint to dry, don’t turn another page just yet.
Having all this in mind, it should be quite easy for you to choose your own way of coloring. And remember, the most important method of all is using your imagination.