How did coloring become such a sensational phenomenon?
The shifts in our social habits, and the all-around rising costs are forcing people to think of creative solutions for group activities.
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. Even when you are by yourself, painting can be an immensely soothing activity.
Coloring books allow you to enjoy the tactile and interactive aspects of art, while simplifying the painting process. When we are focused so intently on coloring, our mind experiences a brain-quieting, stress-reducing effect.
An example of a lovely coloring book is one which I found recently on Amazon by Lela Stankovic: “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”.
This beautiful, hand drawn cupcake coloring book by Lela gives an irresistible call to your hidden artist.
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.
Kim Ki-bum, the Korean pop star, further fuelled the coloring frenzy by posting his own colored florals to his 2 million Instagram followers.
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.”
Trends in Adult Coloring Books
The year 2015 was the year of the 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.
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.
Tips for Coloring
What are some best practices for coloring?
As with any art, the coloring best practices are limited by your imagination.
If you are a beginner, it helps to limit your colors and use a simpler medium like pencils.
Markers are great too, but they run the risk of bleeding through paper.
As you grow more confident 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.
The final suggestion is – relax and enjoy. Coloring is supposed to take away stress, not cause you more stress. Everything you do is fine. Just chill.
Finding a Coloring Book I Love
My curiosity piqued with all this information, I prowled through the local Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon for 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.
I was happy when I saw the cupcake coloring book by Lela Stankovic. Lela is a master artist, who regularly creates amazing compositions for her art challenge blogs, paintanddrawtogether.com, and paintanddrawtogether.blogspot.com. You can also find Lela on her website lelacreations.com
The cupcake coloring book by Lela is fully hand drawn, using dip pen which allows it the appearance of a real drawing. It contains a set of eight stunning cupcake designs ready to paint. This is the first in a series of coloring books on different subjects that Lela plans to bring out.
The cupcake drawings are simple enough to appeal even to beginners, while they are gorgeous enough to inspire even 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 the color the drawings in the book letting your inner artist fly free.
If you would like to make mouth-watering cupcakes, check out Lela Stankovic’s book on Amazon: “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”.