Table of Contents
- I found a cupcake coloring book!
- A Brief History of Coloring Books
- Coloring as a Social Activity
- Coloring for Healing
- Adult Coloring Books by Lela Stankovic
- Fun Facts about Adult Coloring Books
- 9 Coloring Tips for Beginners
I Found a Cupcake Coloring Book!
Bitten by the art bug, I prowled through the local Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon searching for adult coloring books.
I found many fantastic, creative designs catering to a wide range of interests for both adults and children. However I was looking for something different…something more than a set of intricate patterns or illustrations. Something which could inspire me as an adult.
There were a few books containing line drawings generated from Old Master paintings, which looked promising, however these drawings were computer-generated and seemed very synthetic.
Was I being pompous in my artistic pretentions?
To my defense I wanted something which would allow me to experience an artist’s mind, let me try my hands at a “real painting”, and challenge me a bit as well.
That’s when I came across Lela’s coloring books. I loved her books since they are not commercially produced computer generated drawings from photos. The cupcake coloring book is fully hand drawn by Lela using dip pen so the drawings look very natural and beautiful. The book contains a set of eight stunning cupcake designs ready to paint.
Here’s the book which started my journey in coloring: “Hand Drawn Cupcake Coloring Book – Simple to Advanced: Hand drawn 8 cupcake designs to color printed in 3 different shades of gray to the total of 24 beautiful coloring pages, by Lela Stankovic.” I love the book as it is so nice and pretty. This can also be a great gift for your friends who are looking for a cool pastime while being inside their houses.
I had so much fun coloring the cupcakes that I did some investigation into the whole history of coloring. I discovered some fascinating facts about coloring books and their history which I have also shared in this post.
A Brief History of Coloring Books
Contrary to what most people think, coloring books burst upon the world long before you and I were born. In 1879, the worlds first coloring book was published by the McLoughlin brothers in collaboration with Kate Greenaway. Though meant for kids, the “Little Folks Coloring Book,” remains one of the most adorable coloring book which even adults would love to paint. Each of the pictures was accompanied by beautiful nursery rhymes and stories.
But wait! The coloring book idea did not die off.
Many companies found them to be a great advertising tool and created some very pretty books for kids. You can still buy some of them from amazon. Here is an example of such a coloring book by Campbell: https://www.amazon.com/Campbell-Kids-Coloring-Book-Story/dp/B07RZHCKYR
Coloring as a Social Activity
The shifts in our social habits, and the all-around rising costs are forcing people to think of creative solutions for group activities.
A coloring book is an easy way to enjoy art. When you invite people for dinner, then a few hours of coloring is an easy way to break the ice.
Consider, what can you do on a date night which is fun, cheap and different? Even a tired old idea, like a dinner and a movie, can end up costing you a 100 bucks. But let’s think out of the box. An easy, and yet enjoyable activity is doing some coloring together. Art brings people together and is a popular date night activity today.
Coloring for Healing
Even when you are by yourself, painting can be an immensely soothing activity.
Life is very stressful today. You may be cooped inside your home, and wondering what to do with which would be different and cool and fun.
Coloring is a great therapy for boredom and for stress. Here’s some detailed information on how coloring and art reduce stress. “Art Therapy 101: What is Art Therapy, How to Get Started in Art Therapy as a Career & Art Therapy Resources”
Yet another post, Art and Healing: A Personal Story about Art Therapy tells us of the amazing healing powers of creativity and art.
When we are focused so intently on coloring, our mind experiences a brain-quieting, stress-reducing effect. As this post by ColorIt says, “When you meditate, your brain enters a relaxed state by focusing on the present and blocking out the nonstop thinking we all experience. As a result, you reach a state of calm that relieves your brain from the daily stresses of life.”
Carl Jung is said to have suggested that coloring books help people express deeper parts of their psyche and relax their minds. Art classes were among the most relaxing classes in my school. Art classes increase the cognitive development of children – and even adults – and improve many skills useful in later life. As an example, I learned the basics of color combinations which come in handy when designing websites or making corporate presentations.
Coloring books allow you to enjoy the tactile and interactive aspects of art, while simplifying the painting process.
Adult Coloring Books by Lela Stankovic
Lela Stankovic has authored two coloring books. Lela is a master artist, who regularly creates amazing compositions for her art challenge blog, paintanddrawtogether.com. You can also find Lela’s paintings on her website lelacreations.com. In her coloring books, Lela has created the beautiful drawings with much love and care.
I asked Lela Stankovic what inspired her to create the colouring books when there are already so many coloring books in the market. I have included below her comments.
“Usually colouring books focus on complex topics such as landscape or still life. It is difficult for beginners to start learning about all the nuances of coloring in such broad topics. It is so much simpler for a beginner artist to take up one small topic and master all the many aspects of that topic first.
This was the inspiration for the cupcake colouring book. I love cupcakes and I created twelve beautiful drawings which would inspire people to let their hidden artists to come forth. By exploring the many facets of one small topic – cupcakes – you have an opportunity to master the techniques you need to paint them. This is really the secret of learning anything. Start small, master that area and then continue to larger topics.
This is also the thought behind my second book on colouring roses. Let’s first master how to paint roses. Once you learn how to paint this beautiful flower you can approach any other subject with confidence. This is because all subjects have the same common painting considerations such as light and shadows, color mixing and brush handling. On the other hand if you started painting many subjects then you will be constantly worried about the nuances of the subject instead of being able to learn the foundational painting techniques.
Another thing which is challenging for artists is finding subjects. As an example, if you are a food illustrator or an artist interested in florals, it is so difficult to find a collection of really good high quality drawings in one convenient book. With my colouring books my goal is to help beginners, accomplished artists and illustrators with ready to use high quality drawings and reference photos.”
Here are the two books by Lela Stankovic:
Hand Drawn Roses Coloring Book – Simple to Advanced: Hand drawn 8 rose designs to color printed in 3 different shades of gray to the total of 24 beautiful coloring pages
Hand Drawn Cupcake Coloring Book – Simple to Advanced: Hand drawn 8 cupcake designs to color printed in 3 different shades of gray to the total of 24 beautiful colouring pages The cupcake drawings are easy enough for beginners, and they are gorgeous enough to inspire seasoned artists to bring out their art supplies. If you would so like, you can trace out the cupcake drawings on watercolor paper or canvas to make fine art. Or you could simply color the drawings in the book letting your inner artist fly free.
These beautiful hand-drawn colouring books by Lela would give an irresistible call to your hidden artist.
Once you master coloring then you may want to explore a bit more advanced book for watercolor artists: Painting Glorious Rose Flowers in Watercolor – in 7 Stages by Lela Stankovic is a lovely little book which packs the entire wisdom of watercolor in one slim volume. Though beginners would benefit from it hugely, it’s the seasoned watercolor artists who would especially enjoy it a lot. In a way Lela has shared her painting secrets in this wonderful book. You will love this book.
Fun Facts about Adult Coloring Books
Adult coloring books exploded on the scene a few years back, helped by killer marketing campaigns.
The art supply companies jumped on the “mindful” coloring bandwagon with events like Dover’s National Coloring Book day (Aug 2), monthly coloring parties and “kiss and paint” meetup groups.
Jessica Pizza, who is a mother of two adorable toddlers, says “Coloring is a cool way to get together, that allows you to talk and hangout. It’s creative, and yet it’s so easy with its readymade composition and paint-within-lines approach. My friends and I sometimes have a coloring event on our girls’ nights when we just want to chill at home. It brings out our imagination, and takes us back to a gentler time of our lives, when we were carefree and … content.”
The year 2015 was the year of the adult coloring book. Starting with the now famous, Johanna Basford’s “Secret Gardens” collection – bookstores got flooded with everybody trying to cash in on the hype.
More than 2 million coloring books got sold in one year, according to Publishers Weekly, and this was just the top ten titles.
It seems to be a common trend in South Korea for famous pop stars to publish their own coloring creations online which are eagerly followed by fans. Kim Ki-bum, the Korean pop star, further fuelled the coloring frenzy by posting his own colored florals to his 2 million Instagram followers.
Many book companies jumped on the coloring bandwagon and they even started promoting a special day for coloring! August 2nd was proclaimed as a day to “Relax and Color,” and celebrate as the ‘National Coloring Day.’
Then in around mid-2017, the enthusiasm for adult coloring started sagging.
What happened? Did people just get tired of yet another puffed-up idea?
When I asked my artist friend Maria, she said, “The wilting of the coloring book sales is really temporary. A mere blip on the sine graph. The onus is on us artists to respond with creativity, and stimulate public interest in art”.
And we certainly seem to be seeing a profusion of new ideas in the coloring book world. Whimsical, funny, and sometimes purposefully offensive and provocative, there seems to be an unlimited range of coloring book themes.
You can find coloring books based on – human anatomy, swear words, paintings of Old Masters, illustrations from Jane Austen, food, cooking, cupcake coloring, themes like mid-century interiors, vogue fashions, cute animals and many more subjects.
9 Coloring Tips for Beginners
- If you are a beginner, start with a simpler medium like color pencils instead of watercolors or oil.
- Markers are great too, but they run the risk of bleeding through paper.
- You can experiment with different colors and even add texture to your coloring by using salt and other material.
- There is no reason why you cannot add to the drawings on the page if it helps to balance the composition. If there is a flower drawing, you could add leaves or beetles to bring the drawing to life.
- As you grow in confidence you can use the coloring books to trace out the designs on a watercolor paper and experiment with watercolors. You can also mix your materials to get an incredible effect – color with pencils and then use watercolor to smooth the layers.
- You can sometimes challenge yourself by drastically limiting your colors. I have seen some amazing coloring done in just one color – different shades of green.
- Share your coloring on social media and with the author of the book. They would love to see your work.
- Relax and enjoy. Coloring is supposed to take away stress, not cause you more stress. Everything you do is fine. Just chill.
- Focus on one small subject and master all the nuances of that subject first. See above for my recommendations for a few excellent coloring books.
I hope this post inspires you to explore painting and coloring. I know you would love it.
I had written this post a long time back but I thought it may be especially relevant in these difficult times that all of us are going through. Many of us are forced to remain house bound yearning for some fun. What could be nicer than a bit of family time coloring the cupcakes! I hope my post brings you some ideas to alleviate the stress and boredom and you enjoy coloring.