Really? We really need lessons on using a coloring book? Isn’t it so easy even a two-year-old can do it? Maybe. But for some people (and sometimes me), coloring can be a little stressful if too much thought is put into it. I am creative person, but drawing and coloring is not a talent of mine. I am also a recovering perfectionist, so even though some people use lovely shading techniques when they color, I’m still a novice and just use simple techniques. That’s not to say that I won’t try shading some day, just for fun, but for now I keep it simple.

Here are some tips that I use to make it even more enjoyable:

  • Pick a coloring book that makes you happy. I love paisley patterns and tend to use those. Some like flowers, animals, or mermaids.
  • Choose your coloring tools based on the thickness of the paper. Thicker paper can handle felt-tip markers and gel pens, while thinner paper works well with colored pencils, crayons, and even chalk. You can be creative and mix them, too.
  • Set up your coloring tools in a convenient container like a mug, bowl, or box. It helps to be able to see all the colors available. Make sure you have good support for your coloring page. You can fold the coloring book open to your page, or tear the page out and put it on a clipboard.
  • Start with your favorite colors. There is no right or wrong color combination and you are the one who is going to enjoy the final creation, so you should choose colors that make you happy.
  • Pick a starting point on the drawing, and work outward from there. It’s easier to see progress this way and you won’t get discouraged as easy. I often start at the bottom left corner and chip away at it from there. If there are repeating patterns, I will work on those throughout the whole page. If there is a main subject, I will start with that and continue with a corner or radiate outward from the subject.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave some white space. You don’t have to fill every inch of the page with color. Be creative and leave some of the page uncolored to highlight certain parts of the drawing.
  • Coloring patterns is the best way to get into a meditative groove. I have a very active creative mind, and coloring mandala patterns satisfies my active mind, but also allows me to relax and get quiet. It’s the biggest bang for the buck for me. I can color while listening to music or watching television.
  • You can repurpose your drawings as bookmarks, gift tags, or notecards. All you need is a pair of scissors and you can turn your drawings into something else useful.
What benefits do you get from coloring? Do you have any tips to share?

(P.S. Who do you know who would enjoy this post? Please share!)

 

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