I was going to call this post ‘Mindful Colouring’ but I really don’t like that term.
I know that many people poo-poo the whole grown-up colouring craze that is currently sweeping its way across many nations, and maybe that is why, in order to ‘justify’ colouring things in as an adult, it has to be given some namby-pamby name.
Now, I will be honest with you, I can’t draw. I really can’t. I would love to be able to, but stick men is about as complicated as I can go and it still have some resemblance to a person.
Yet, despite my inability to produce the next art masterpiece, I still have a yearning to pick up pencils, paints, pens etc. and create something with them. I realise that there are many artists who have made a living from paint splodges on pieces of canvas, and even stick men (and cats and dogs) have faired well in the art world, but I know that one of them will not be me.
For a few years now I have been looking for a grown-up colouring book – I kid you not. For me, it allows me to be creative with different mediums (to an extent) yet someone has done all the drawing for me. All I have to do is stay within the lines! But as a grown-up, kiddy books full of large and simple farm yard animals and princess castles are not going to cut it. It needs to be interesting.
Which is why I think grown-up colouring books have taken off so well. You don’t need to be able to draw.
And as for ‘mindfulness’, well, yes, colouring can be done in front of the telly, so it isn’t something that can truly take you away from modern distractions, but equally you can plug yourself into your iPod and colour away to your hearts content, taking a break from staring at a screen of some sort for a while. Which is good for all of us.
So whilst some may try and dress it up as some worthy hobby that won’t get sniggered at, I will proudly stand up and say, that as a (supposed) grown-up I like colouring in, plain and simple!
And if you want to come to craft corner with all your pencils and pens in a bright pink sparkly furry pencil case, I won’t bat an eyelid. Although I may ask you if I can stroke it . . .
Now that I have said my two-pennies worth, let me share with you my colouring books:
I really like the ones by Johanna Basford. The paper is of a good quality (very important to me, I detest thin paper) and the designs are intricate and interesting. There is also a selection available as postcards, which are good if you have a yearning to complete a whole picture in one sitting but don’t have the time for the big books.
The first one I started was the Enchanted Forest, which I use water colour pencils for. They give a softer finish and being water soluble you can create a more painterly effect with them and blending/mixing colours together is easy to do. In order to stop the paper getting too wet I roughly colour with the pencil straight onto the page and then use a small damp paint brush to blend and fill in the rest of the shape/area.
The pencils I use are by Staedtler, the karat aquarell watercolour pencils. I would say buy the most expensive that you can as you will get a better result. Good art shops often have a good selection.
For Christmas I got the Lost Ocean book and the Staedtler triples fine liners (box of 36)(this post is not sponsored by Staedtler, I promise). These are actually the pens recommended by Johanna for her books, which means that, hallelujah, they do not bleed through the paper so the picture on the other side is not ruined by the one you have just completed. Very important!
These pens are also good for the postcards, which are just pictures from the books reduced in size so there are some fine fiddly bits to do which you need a little nib to be able to colour.
I also use a gold gel pen here and there, as little accents, like the covers of the books, because, well, metallic highlights . . . :)
Do any of you like colouring? Are there any you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments below.