Saturday, 9 April 2016

When it just works.

I had always planned on coloring this owl in these colors. Unfortunately, someone talked me out of it. I ended up coloring it in orange and red and although it was ok, it wasn't what I wanted.

So I decided that it was time to color it the right colors. To say I am thrilled with how it turned out would be an understatement. This is *exactly* how I always planned to do this owl. I took inspiration from one someone else colored and even had their picture on my cubicle at work for months.

A week or so ago, I decided it was time to do my owl. I was most worried about the eyes. I had no idea if I was going to be able to do them right. I'll let you decide :)
To do the eyes, I used yellow, and three different shades or orange. I laid the yellow down first, then a light orange, then a medium orange. Finally I did the dark orange liner on the inner and outer circle. They turned out wonderfully. 
I cannot stress how much I relied on the blending pencil for this picture. I blended all of the leaves and all of the flowers. The leaves were three different greens, and the flowers were 5 different colors ranging from cream (base layer) to orange. I have started to always lay down a base color now and then build up from there. Although you end up covering a lot of the base color on a large area, it helps with blending and ensures there are no missed spots. 

I learned doing this one, always go with what your heart wants in colors. Don't listen to what others say, they are often wrong. :)

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Blending - In Enchanted Forest

When I first started coloring, I read so many blogs and watched so many video's. But the one thing I didn't see a lot about was blending using the Prisma Colorless Blender. I absolutely love the blender and it's one of my favorite tools.

Not all colors blend the same, which is where your sketch book comes in hand. You did get one of those right?

I've read some people use a medium to blend, but the blending pencil is just so much easier and less messy. I'd suggest trying some of the suggestions and picking your favorite. Personally, I have no desire to use baby oil in my coloring books. Yes, that's a thing.

I tried really hard to get the blending to show up well in the pictures, and although the pictures didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped, you'll get the general idea.

The Prisma and Chapters pencil crayons blend the best, but I have found most will blend to some extent. When I'm coloring in Enchanted Forest or Secret Garden, I blend most of it.

For this post, I'll show you the log picture I did in Enchanted Forest. On a side note, I have finally figured out that I hate coloring peacocks and I much prefer images that use a variety of colors!

This is the image I colored. Really happy how it came out. But, it's not done. I still have to blend the colors in the stump.

 Here's a close up of the mushrooms. The yellow ones are a combination of 4 colors, cream, and three shades of yellow. The red ones are cream, yellow, orange and red. After layering the colors with the most layering done near the edges, I blended the colors together. Using the blending pencil take out all of the coloring lines and blends the colors really nicely together. A word of warning, blending will lighten some colors and darken others. I find it darkens purple A LOT. It also darkens red. Practice in your sketch book so you know the effect it has on different colors and different pencil crayons.

This is what the log currently looks like. As you can see, I don't color in solidly and I'm kind of messy with the edges. But that's ok! Because I'm going to blend the tans, browns and oranges together! 

 A close up. See, messy.

 I couldn't quite get the picture to show it well, but this is the same section as above, now blended. As you can see, it pulls all the colors together. Now I can add a little more dark brown to the edges and blend again.

The blending pencil works whether  you are blending two different colors together, two of the same colors but different shades together or even when blending multiple colors together. Use your sketch pad to clean the tip when moving from a dark color to a lighter color in a different section. I find sometimes it picks up the color. 

I use the blending pencil on almost every picture. It also works really well to smudge the color into a tiny area that you may not be able to fill in with the pencil crayon. 

Now go forth and blend! 

Have a great day coloring. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Mystical Menagerie Coloring Book - Product Review

It's not very often that I find a coloring book that I don't have and want. There are *so* many horrible books out there. Everyone is trying to jump on the coloring bandwagon. Lots of books have poorly drawn pictures, lines that don't meet up, animals that you can't identify because of the poor drawing and some with paper so thin you are scared you'll rip it trying to color.

Happily, I stumbled across this gorgeous book at Walmart. You can also order it from Chapters  here. It's less expensive at Walmart because most of their books are 40% off the cover price. My total for this book was $10.14.

This is a really nice book along the lines of Millie Marotta's style. All animals made with flowers, leaves and intricate designs. It is a really well made book. The paper is white and smooth and there are gorgeous designs. This one gets a 5/5. 

This is the first one I colored. Double page spread. 

Here are some of the images in the book. Again, all really well done. I'm excited to color this book more.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Wild Savannah - Millie Marotta - Product Review

Today I picked up my copy of Millie Marotta's Wild Savannah. You can  pre-order it here.

I was excited to get this book, since I absolutely love Millie Marotta's previous books Animal Kingdom and Tropical World.

For some reason, my pre-order came in three weeks early. The staff member checked and Chapter's doesn't actually have any copies yet, except mine. She was a little surprised that I received mine so early.

Millie's books are animals (mostly) made up of flowers and leaves. The paper is very white compared to Johanna Basford's book. The paper is also very smooth. There is a noticeable difference between the two artists.

I have to say that I'm disappointed in Wild Savannah. I'm not sure if it is because it was rushed to publication or if Millie is simply trying new things, but this book is markedly different from her others.

A lot of the pages in this book are multiples on one animal, across the page with parts cut off for no obvious reason.

For example

In her previous books, most of the images were of one single animal. This just seems... rushed to me. I'm disappointed that so many pages are like this. 

However, there are also some really exciting pictures to color. Such as:

I'm already imagining the colors I can use in the bearded dragon! 

I still love Millie Marotta. And maybe once I color the images, I will feel different. But at the moment, I'm giving this book a 5 out 10. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016


All you really need to start coloring, is a picture and pencil crayons, crayons, markers, gel pens ect.

I often tell my friends that I don't want to discuss my pencil crayon addiction. But, just between you and me, this is my collection

But that's just between you and me ok? Don't tell my co-worker.

Wait, that's not exactly a reflection of the collection. I actually have more. I have a box of back up pencil crayons, erasers and sharpeners. Yup, I have a lot. I still don't want to talk about it.

So what do I use?

99% of the time, I'm using pencil crayons. There will be a separate post on the brands I use.

By the way, I PROMISE that not all pictures will be taken on my messy bed. I will get better at this blog thing and find a way to make the pictures and the background better.

I  only use the  Staedtler pencil sharpener. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to sharpeners. I've tried many, but this is the one I use. I pick them up at Walmart. As with most things "coloring" related, now that this hobby has exploded, some supplies can be hard to find.

It's a rule that whenever I'm in a Walmart, I pick up a sharpener. For months, I couldn't find any. I currently have six in rotation. Once I start coloring, I don't want to have to stop to empty my sharpener so I use all six, then empty them all when I'm done. Some of the sharpeners that I have currently in rotation,  I've been using since I started coloring. So about 7 months. For the $3.97 I spent, that's a pretty long life span.

Tip that I've learned, if your pencil crayon starts breaking, check to see if your sharpener is full. That could be the issue.


Again, I go with Staedtler. The white ones are the best. Although a word of warning, I learned the hard way that Primsa Red does NOT erase. See that pink part in the peacock below, that was red prisma. What I had envisioned in my head was not translating well to paper, so I tried to erase it. Consider yourself warned.

Sketch Book

This is one of the most important things you can buy. Any sketch book will do. I use it to test colors, to find colors that go well together, to clean off my blending pencil. Trust me, get a sketch book.

Blending Pencil

There are several ways to blend. However, I use the Prisma Blending pencil. LOVE this thing. It works on all brands and is invaluable. It will blend coloring lines, blend colors together and even help lighten a shade that's too dark. Trust me on this one, get a blending pencil.

Pencil Crayons

I'll do a review of the pencil crayons I have, but there are a ton out there. I justify my multiple sets because one companies green, will be different than that of another companies green. Having multiple sets allows me an extremely wide range of colors. That's my store and I'm sticking to it.


As you can see by the picture above, I have a few storage methods. Those colored plastic tubes hold certain sets. Each tube holds 32 pencil crayons. So each set is in it's own tube as long as there weren't more than 32 in the set. The Prisma Scholar pencil crayons are a set of 60 so they are split over multiple tubes.
The pencil cases have my Staedtler and other brand pencil crayons. One case contains red, yellow, orange, pink and white. The second case contains brown, blue, purple, black and grey.

I love the tubes and the pencil case method because it's portable. I can take my coloring anywhere. It all travels in this:

Yes, I carry my supplies in a wheeled suitcase. 

The two boxed sets you see are the Prisma Premiers and the Chapters brand pencil crayons 48 set. Chapters Pencil Crayons

I also have a smaller pencil case that holds extra erasers, sharpeners and any pencil crayons that I'm currently using if I have to stop in the middle of a picture. 

Any questions, comments or smart ass remarks, please let me know. :)

Next post, color theory! 


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Let's color together.

Do you remember as a child, the joy of receiving a new coloring book and that glorious box of 64 Crayola crayons? If you do, or even if you don’t, step with me into the wonderful world of adult coloring.

This isn’t your child’s coloring book anymore.

Welcome to my coloring blog. I’m a woman who loves to color, is incredibly addicted to it (I often tell my friends I do not want to talk about my pencil crayon addiction!) and decided to share some tips and reviews. If you have any suggestions, questions or requests, please let me know.

Please note that my reviews are my own opinion. I do not receive compensation or free items for any of this.

The coloring craze has exploded and there is a myriad of different products, blogs, Pinterest boards and Facebook groups. A simple google search will bring up thousands upon thousands of results.

The reasons for coloring are varied across the board. Some use it for relaxation, stress release, or to help with some mental health issues. Others do it simply because they enjoy being creative. There is no wrong way to color. Seriously, there isn’t. This isn’t about grass and leaves always being green (I cringed the first time I colored a leaf blue), elephants being grey (wait until you see my purple elephant), or coloring inside the lines. Life is short, color outside the lines! Or do what I do, and erase it when you color outside the lines.

As someone who not only has a stressful job, but also suffers from a mental illness, coloring does help. It allows me to relax and just concentrate on creating artwork, shutting out the outside world for a bit and calm the racing mind. It has also strengthened bonds of friendship as I have a few friends who call me every now and then to have coloring “dates”.

I’ve included links to products I review where possible. A link to the author’s website will be provided if available and a link to the product on Chapters/Indigo website. Although there are many sites online to buy coloring products, Chapters with their reasonable prices and impressive customer service, gets my vote. Again, I do not receive any compensation and my links to Chapters are not affiliate links. I get nothing for you clicking that link.

So grab your pencil crayons, your favorite coloring book and let’s color together!