Sunday, March 16, 2008

Inside the thin black line

It was inevitable that I start a blog about coloring. I'm a coloring addict. Have been for years. Sure, I loved coloring as a kid. But I'm an adult now; those kiddie coloring books just won't cut it. When I bought my first Dover coloring book, things changed. I initially bought that first book because I was researching clothing for a historical romance I was writing. The Dover fashion coloring books are awesome and are historically accurate with great details.

But then I found myself coloring the pictures instead of just studying them. And soon, I was buying more, and even more coloring books. Some about animals, and graphic designs and mandalas and plants and places and, well, I had become an addict.

Do I consider myself a coloring book expert? Uh, a little bit. I have over 150 of them. And I'm always getting more. I know what I like and what I don't. Which publishers don't put out well-drawn images and which ones use flimsy paper that lets markers bleed through onto the next drawing. I'll try to impart some wisdom on all that in the coming posts.

My coloring element of choice? RoseArt markers. I like a nice bold, bright picture. I'll use colored pencils on occasion, but I'm not good at blending and shading. Besides, with markers, then you can use gold and silver gel pens for accents like jewelry and swords and clothing. That so rocks.

I'm a list maker, and I've had a list of coloring books for adults for years—The Coloring Addicts List. It lists every single Dover title I can find, and those wonderful coloring books from Bellerophon, and others that you may never have heard of before. If you like to color, my list is a great place to start. I've linked all the titles to Amazon, so you can get price info or even order if you like.

My quest? To spread the obsession. To create more coloring addicts like myself. Because it's makes me happy. It's a meditative thing, to color. My mind releases tension and stress and I can relax and get into the color and lines and creativity. Sometimes. Other times, I can obsess over which color is right, or that I accidentally colored in the wrong part. But it's all fun, no matter. What a way to pay homage to your creativity by unleashing it within the black lines and spreading about the color.

I'm going to post here once a week, hopefully. I'll feature a different coloring book each week, and probably a colored page from it. I love to order the books from Amazon, but sometimes I really want to see the pictures before I order, you know? So maybe my posting here will help some who are vacillating over a specific book. Or maybe, it'll inspire you to return to a childhood past-time—coloring.

The picture above is from the RENAISSANCE FASHIONS book by Tom Tierney, available from Dover. Tierney does a lot of the fashion books, and his drawings are excellent. Lots of details, and fine, crisp lines. Also great descriptions of the clothing, and sometimes colors and fabric. You can't tell from the scan above, but the gray areas are actually silver gel pen. There's gold trim on the man's red doublet. I usually never color my people's skin. Do you? What color do you use?

As the blog evolves I'll try to have more links to my Coloring Addict's list, and maybe there's a way to feature more of the books right here. I like the idea of going to one site and being able to shop for the coloring books. So do check out the list, and let me know what you think.

Anyway, spread the word, and pass around the URL for this blog. I want everyone to become an addict!


Cindy Peters said...

Sometimes things happen that absolutely amaze me. A friend and I went to see a local psychic last Tuesday and he said that one message he had for me was to go buy coloring books and crayons and start coloring. He asked me not to think he was crazy and for some strange reason, the actual message did not surprise me at all. I haven't colored for a few years, since the grandkids refused to let me 'help' anymore with their coloring. I promptly picked up a couple of books and some new crayons. I love coloring and boy does it relax me! So of course, your email and blog really hit home with me, especially now! Thanks for sharing!

Amanda McIntyre said...

absolutely this is a creative stress-reliever.I believe documented and encouraged in some studies of behavior! not only that but it unleashes that wonderful tool of creativity-"possibility" where in the sky is the limit!
I am old-school. I love "Crayola" crayons and the box of 64 remains my all time favorite,though at my desk I keep the smaller 48 for moments of play.(along w/my vintage slinky,mind you)
Perhaps its the artist in me. I once wanted to draw for Disney(the cell by cell variety) now I paint with words.I'm just as happy.
Growing up, my father was a distributor rep for a New York pub,so we would get color books as well each month. That was what we did for "fun"--laying on a blanket in the backyard, on family trips-we had none of the technical games around today.
I still encourage my kids to color (now 26,21,and 14 yr old twins)It is a quiet time and one where the muse takes over and sets your spirit free from the cares of the world.
Fall is by far my favorite time every year. As the stores stock their shelves with those brand new boxes of crayons! BUT...if crayons can be vintage, I have to reveal that I still have the same crayons from my years through grade school, tucked away in a small dance case. Now and again, I'll open it and a flood of dear memories come to my mind.
Now, music and dance is another creativity enhancer all -together *grin*
But coloring..well, I never will grow too old for that.

Excellent topic and I can remember paper dolls from some of these same pictures. I'll have to check that out!

Happy coloring!
Pamela Johnson
w/a Amanda McIntyre
Diary of Cozette-10/08

Michele Hauf said...

Cindy, that's so cool to hear your story. Interesting that a psychic would suggest that, but cool that you took them up on the suggestion! Here's to coloring!

Pamela, I love that you still have your old crayons tucked away. What a neat treasure!

Lauriejr11 said...

Hi Michele,
I've been looking at your blogger and your links. So this is just to post colored pictures and to link to to buy the books? I love to color, too. I belong to a couple of the Google Groups. I hope you like our group as it does have variety to it. There are some more detailed books to color in some zip files in the archives.
Talk to ya later.
Hope you have a Happy Easter! It is snowing where I live! How will anyone make out the Easter Bunny? LOL.

Eleni said...

michelle.... you may just have a colour convert here :) thanks.