Believe it or not, for most adults, coloring is a venture they have not engaged in for a lifetime and I mean that literally. Some adults have not colored for 20 years, 30 years or even 70 years so the methods to coloring may be somewhat hazy. And even if you have had marker to paper since childhood till date, a little more guidance never hurt anyone.
So here are some methods to help you on your way.
1. Take your time:
Coloring is an art and the first rule of thumb is that you never rush art. So you don’t want to get into coloring standing in line at the train station or queuing at the bank. Coloring should give you something you enjoy that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If you are going to dabble in it, there really is no call for you to not enjoy yourself every step of the way, right up until you see the finished product. You may decide to colour just to feel your hands working on something, but that does not necessarily mean you should not love the end result so if it’s worth doing, just relax and produce something pleasing to your eyes.
At this point, I should probably state that if you are a perfectionist, coloring is a good way for you to learn to give yourself a break. You don’t have to turn out paintings worthy of Michelangelo, so relax and know that no one is looking over your shoulder.
2. Go with rainbow colors
No matter how ordinarily staid and given to boring colors you may be, we could all do with some colour in our lives. The myriad of colors offered by different coloring kits are actually wonderful. Adults could even find they learn color coordination better from coloring which in turn helps them dress for work or functions, organize their living environments, and even make bigger decisions like what color to paint their living rooms.
When it comes to adult coloring, the brighter the better is what I say. Just pick colours in every shade under the sun and let your creativity explode on paper. Besides, those cheerful colours send their own wonderful signals to your brain and relax you even more. Come on, everyone loves the rainbow.
3. It’s all in techniques
You don’t want to press too hard when you’re coloring to avoiding breaking the tip of your pencil, or going through your paper. Sometimes, it’s all about how well-sharpened or dulled your pencil tip is. Of course it goes without saying that since adult colouring books tend to have intricate designs like mandalas, you want to use sharper tips rather than blunt tips.
4. Be spontaneous
Don’t over-think and agonize to death over this; just go with your instincts; trust me, you can’t go wrong. Sometimes it’s okay to just paint mindlessly without any thought to color or coordination especially if you are working through something as you paint like a fight with a co-worker or something. This kind of aimless activity often drains the mind of negative energy. You could just decide to toss all learned methods out the window and go with whatever feels good. Nothing taps the creativity and unburdens the mind faster, in my view. Often, the colors and pattern you pick have something to do with your mood and when you’ve gotten it all out, you will find there was an underlying method to your ‘madness’ after all. So go ahead, pick a colour, any color and just colour. Have you ever watched kids color? They could paint a human being a bright pink all over. They are not concerned with the true nature or colour of whatever they have to colour. Sometimes, I personally think they have the right idea so just put crayon to paper and paint to your heart’s content.
5. Pick your spot
It’s not brain surgery; coloring would hardly be relaxing if you do it in a less than relaxing atmosphere. Some choose to sprawl in front of the television, some on a long flight, some in bed. It’s up to you and your comfort zone. Some people profess to enjoying coloring especially of floral patterns when they are sitting in their gardens or in a spot overlooking their gardens. I suppose the coloring in this instance often takes on a life of its own and actively involves all the senses of smell, sight, feel, etc.
Some people love to color with background music playing softly in the background, lending credence to the argument for the relaxing and health-improving nature of adult colouring.
6. Gather your materials
The materials people use also differ. In some countries like Taiwan for instance, the more traditional coloring books are often thicker to make up for the fact that the color markers are often wet and would ordinarily seep through thin paper and probably stain other pages. Some other persons would prefer to use dry crayons or markers in which case, thin coloring papers would be alright. Again, it all boils down to personal preference. Some coloring books can be purchased online and printed out onto whatever paper type you may prefer; although of course kindle does not necessarily allow printing so most people color on the screens using color palettes.
Most experts advocate the use of colored pencils rather than Crayolas because adult coloring books often come with tiny, intricate patterns that may be somewhat hard to reach properly with bigger-tipped pens/pencils. Also, pen markers with alcohol tend to go through paper so crayons are a better bet if your papers are thin.
Go for coloured pencils that are smooth, blend-able and vivid. Gel pens are also great so long as you get a good brand and they are so easy on the hands, coloring effectively without stressing you to press down.
When it comes to coloring, there is no one set method, but the truth remains that a collection of habits make the experience better.
For starters, never go for inferior materials just because they are cheaper. At the same time, price does not guarantee quality. So often, it’s best to go for materials that fit your personal tastes and demands and also give you quality and color coordination. You don’t really want something so harsh and busy on the eyes now do you? I mean you want to be able to look at your coloring somewhere down the line and smile.
For novices, adult colouring is just about enjoyment but when you have decided to take it up as more than just a passing fancy, it does not hurt to try your hand at colour coordination, adding shading between contrasting colors, placing a point of light (often a paler colour) somewhere within the drawing, and so many others.
You can also find video tutorials on adult colouring on some websites which may help you have a better idea of what method you want to employ.