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Coloring Supplies

  • Celebrate #NationalColoringBook Day The Right Way

    Hello Again, Makers, and Happy National Coloring Book Day! Today, show off your best and brightest colors and whip out those coloring pages! We're here to give you some inspiration in many different hues. All weekend Long, we're going to have a special National Coloring Day Sale and give you guys 35% off books, and 20% off instruments. In the meantime, let's show some coloring love with loads of inspiration!

    My Creative Life Colored Page Gift Bag

    My Creative Life Colored Page Gift Bag

    Adult Coloring has been linked to multiple health benefits, because when you get into the craft, you become so relaxed, and fall into a beautiful meditative state. Anytime you need a break from the everyday struggles of life, pick up a coloring book and doodle away. We have a great blog post on The Wellness Benefits of Coloring, if you want more details. In fact, these projects above, like the Customized Gift Bag and Pencil holder are featured in that blog. Designer Cindy DeRosier, owner of My Creative Life, created these from simple coloring sheets. So creative!

    Jungle Wonders - Book 6766

    Art of Coloring - Patterns - Book 6808

    You can even take the beautiful colored pages you created and turn them into something beautiful, like this seasonal paper pumpkin made from the pages of Jungle Wonders (left)! You can get romantic with a woven paper heart basket made from the pages of Art of Coloring - Patterns (left). It's amazing what you can create with just a simple sheet of paper.

    Bountiful Wonders - Book 6993

    You can get creative with coloring using all sorts of blending and layering techniques. You can create anything with the right instrument! We have a wide array of Coloring Instruments that you can play with, from Dual Tip Markers to Gel Pens. We have a great blog post on the combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils on our Bountiful Wonders Coloring Book, if you wanna see more colorful hues like the picture above.

    Full Coloring Pages - #NationalColoringBookDay Inspiration

    This part of the blog is really just to give a spotlight to some awesome coloring. Check these beauties out!

    Thanksgiving Crafts

    Bountiful Wonders Coloring Sheet - Book 6993

    Kaleidoscope Wonders - Book 6707

    Art of Coloring Ocean Wonders - Book 6703

    Affectionate Wonders - Book 6873

    Happy Times - Book 7591

    Love More Worry Less - Book 7592

    Colors of Nature - Book 7518

    Have you dabbled in some coloring lately? Tag us @leisureartsinc, or use #LeisureArts so we can see what's going on in your studios! We'd love to see what color your artistic personality is.

    Happy Coloring!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • New Year, New You! Find Your New Year's Resolution In Crafts

    Crafters! It's 2019. Can you believe it?! We can't either, because we just finished the first week of January, and have no New Year's Resolutions.

    Are you in the same boat? Have no fear! Lucky for you, Leisure Arts is starting off 2019 right with a "New Year, New You" craft campaign. We want to help you be the best version of yourself this year, and in order to do that, you need goals. We've compiled a list of our favorite long craft projects that are destined to become your New Year's resolutions for 2019. Read on and pick your favorite!

     

    Crochet - New Year's Resolutions

    New Year's Resolutions Homespun Comfort Afghans - Book 75686
    Homespun Comfort Afghans - Book 75686

    Yarn is the most popular medium here at Leisure arts, so why not give you the best projects to choose from this year? We've adored these books and patterns from the moment we saw them, and we think they would be great long term projects! Take this yellow afghan from Homespun Comfort Afghans . The color of yarn is vibrant, the pattern is whimsical, and it looks like it could be the perfect companion to a Netflix bingefest. What makes this book shine (besides the majorly awesome patterns) are the variety of patterns and colors that you have to work with. So if this afghan isn't your thing, check out the others! There's a pattern that fits every style in there.

     

     

     

     

    New Year's Resolutions Fair Isle Crochet - Book 7236
    New Year's Resolutions Fair Isle Crochet -Book 7236

    If you're looking for more traditional resolutions, then you'll fall in love with these sets from Fair Isle Crochet. With traditional color changing line work matched with deep ceruleans and forest greens, there's no other style of crochet as mesmerizing. This book has a variety of rustic comfort patterns that works for even the coldest of environments, so you're set for looking cute and comfy to boot!

     

     

     

     

     

    Knit - New Year's Resolutions

    New Year's Resolutions Mitered Square Knitting - Book 7101
    New Year's Resolutions Mitered Square Knitting - Book 7101

    Knit! It can be an easy or a hard craft depending on the pattern. For 2019, we went extra hard on the details and line work when looking for the perfect resolution project. Mitered Square Knitting has the perfect balance of patterns that range from home decor to kitchen aid. Take on the challenge of the bright blue color blocked living room set (left), or the warm and geometric ribbed pillow and blanket (right). If you want a resolution that will help you out while you cook, check out the other spectrum of this book! You're sure to find something that will match your style.

     

     

     

     

    Arts and Crafts - Creative Resolutions

    New Year's Resolutions Hand Lettering - Book 7326
    New Year's Resolutions Double Ended Markers - Item 50495

    Maybe your Resolution is to be more elegant this year, and what better way to be more elegant than to teach yourself fancy lettering? Hand Lettering is our go to book for styled lettering and faux calligraphy. The workbook gives you step by step instructions, and has 3 different styles, numbers, and flourishes to learn. Hand Lettering is a great way to elevate your invitation, or take that wall art just that extra step further. Author Kathryn Erney says that hand lettering is as simple as a fine tip felt marker, and lucky for you, we have our finest Double Ended Markers to offer you! You can never stop practicing and improving with hand lettering, so this is a great resolution to pick up, because it has the opportunity to become a lifetime hobby.

     

     

     

    New Year's Resolutions DIY Fairy Gardens - Book 7364
    New Year's Resolutions DIY Fairy Gardens - Book 7364

    If Lettering isn't your thing, the why not try to architecture? At it's smallest level, of course. DIY Fairy Gardens is the book that sparks your imagination as you create adorable little homes for fairy garden friends! These designs vary by environment, style, materials, and textures, so you'll never complain about a lack of inspiration. Afterwards, you can create and concoct your own little fairy universes! This is a fun way to start the new year, and you can continue to create new places as the seasons change. If you want extra accessories for your gardens, try our exclusive Fairy Supplies!

     

     

     

     

    Quilt & Sew - Unique Resolutions

    New Year's Resolutions Upcycle Quilts - Book 6724
    New Year's Resolutions Upcycle Quilts - Book 6724

    Quilting is a well loved craft that yields long lasting, lifetime memories. So naturally, making a Quilt is a great New Year's Resolution! Try making these quirky and cute patterns from Upcycle Quilts. Not only do these patterns utilize memories you don't want to let go of, like the Sweater Throw Quilt (left), but they can be multifunctional like the Beach Blanket Quilt (right). There are tons of tips and tricks for working with all the different mediums incorporated in the patterns too. The book is essentially a quilting encyclopedia!

     

     

     

     

    Diamond Art! A Dazzling Resolution

    New Year's Resolutions Peacock Diamond Art Kit - Item 49940
    New Year's Resolutions Peacock Diamond Art Kit - Item 49940

    Diamond Art became one of our most popular products of 2019. Everyone took to Diamond Painting like a fish to water! Unplug and unwind as you paint your year away in luxurious 13 faceted diamonds on quality fabric canvases. You'll feel so relaxed that you'll hardly even realize you're working. Our Advanced Peacock Diamond Art Kit is the ultimate challenge to take on for 2019, with the canvas at almost a full drill (fully crystallized) capacity. At the end of your diamond painting quest, you'll have a Royal Monarch to hang in your living room, to show off your hard work and dazzling dedication.

     

    Regardless of what you choose as your Resolution for 2019, you need to make sure to stick with it so you can show off your hard work at the end of the year! There's always time to fit in your new favorite hobbies.

    Stay tuned this January for the next blog post in our "New Year, New You" campaign. We'd love to follow you guys in your new crafts and creative journeys for 2019! Keep posting to our visitor page so we can see all the awesome stuff you make in your studios.

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    Happy New Year!

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

     

     

     

     

  • Self-Care Gifts That Will Change Your Holiday Shopping Routine

    The holidays are always a marathon, Makers, especially if you're a creative person. You're working overtime trying to create gifts for friends and family, spending optimal time and money on thoughtful gifts that will be thrown into the depths of the winter closet for years to come. Instead of slaving away over a throw pillow this year, why not try the gift that keeps on giving? self-care! Self-love and self-care are extremely important to keep you focused and driven in your day to day life, which can be a major struggle with stresses like bills, work, and the sheer fact that Elf On A Shelf exists (It's honestly the face. Have you seen that thing?). Staying positive and making sure that you get what you need is a must when it comes to your mental and physical stability.

    self-care Scrub - Give and Make Home Apothecary

    How does self-care relate to my holiday shopping list?

    Now I know it seems like I've gone on a tangent, but it's simple. If you've ever spent time thinking of ways to improve your mental and physical health, you can be sure that your loved ones have too. Mom could use an extra spa day (or three), and dad could probably use some some much needed time off from work. Your sister or brother could be looking for something soft for their skin. This is where you come in! Giving the gift of self-care is like saying to your special someone, "I care about you, and you deserve this treat". These gifts won't be shoved in a closet until next year, they'll be used immediately, because they're functional, luxurious, and relaxing. These gifts can range from bath scrubs and perfumes, soaps and lotions, color therapy kits and journals, and even something as simple as paints to play with. Check out some of Leisure Arts' DIY self-care gifts that will show your family that you care about their long term well being!

     

    Self-Care Crafting

    self-care Lotus Diamond Art Kit - leisurearts.com

    Diamond Art is one of our new crafts, but the act of diamond painting has been around for quite some time. Paint with beautiful 13 faceted diamonds onto high quality color printed fabric, fashioning your own shimmering tapestry to decorate your wall, adhere to a canvas bag, pillow or more! It's relaxing like color by number, but more luxurious because you're painting with diamonds. The act of matching the colors and lining the gemstones up will cure anyone's OCD and will have you dazzling any canvas you can get your hands on. This craft is perfect if you want to just have some "girl time" with the besties, "bonding time" with your kids, or "me time" for when you just want to relax.

     

    self-care Adult Coloring Kit -leisurearts.com

    Adult coloring has proven to be one of the most relaxing and stimulating crafts of the past few years. the act of mindlessly coloring and controlling where you want washes of color to go puts you at ease, and allows you to meditate for a moment and collect your thoughts with every new page. This Adult Coloring Kit from our website includes everything you'll need for the ultimate coloring experience: 1 coloring book with 48 designs, 12 gel pens, 12 colored pencils, and a pencil sharpener.

     

    self-care Homemade Tub Tea - Home Apothecary

    There's no better self-care gift than spa essentials. Make and Give Home Apothecary is a great book from author Stephanie Rose that is all about making beautiful and functional self-care gifts with all natural ingredients. From perfumes, to coffee massage bars, to fun little trinkets like Tub Tea (above), this book gives you a plethora of options to gift to anyone who you think needs to escape for a bit.

     

    Self-Care Daily Inspiration Flip Book - Leisure Arts

    If you're looking for more relaxing coloring inspiration, check out our Daily Inspiration Flip Book!  this dynamic duo of a coloring book will give you inspirational daily quotes that you can admire from afar or fill with color! With 40 inspiring one-liners printed on double-sided card-stock, this item is the perfect self car gift to adorn in your office or bedroom.

     

    self-care Happy Abstracts - Leisure Arts

    For The abstract artist in your life, we have the perfect book. Happy Abstracts is a great how-to book on creating vibrant and quirky designs for yourself as well as others. With pullouts of eccentric paintings from author Etta Vee, this book is the perfect balance between giving and creating in the form of colorful abstract artworks.

    self-care Aromatherapy Jewelry - Leisure Arts

    Self-care can be done anywhere, and can be with you at any time. Like these amazing Aromatherapy Jewelry designs! Let these absorbent lava beads absorb essential oils that will let you take a moment from your busy day and smell the roses (or patchouli, you pick the scent). With the modern and fresh new takes on DIY jewelry from this book, you're sure to be a showstopper at your next holiday event.

     

    Self-Care for the Yarnist : Crochet and Knit

    self care screen-shot-2018-11-28-at-11-48-04-am screen-shot-2018-11-28-at-11-47-55-am

    Tend to your own Zen Garden - of yarn. These adorable and long-lasting patterns from Make A Crochet Garden (above) will leave you with a garden that will never wilt, and a garden that you can endlessly expand. With varied cacti and adorable displays, you can't not be relaxed while creating these dainty yarn plants.

     

    self-care Make In A Weekend Comfy Knit Throws - leisurearts.com

    Self-Care can be as simple as a cozy blanket to wrap yourself up in. These Patterns from Make In A Weekend Comfy Knit Throws are the perfect mediation buddies that you can make in a simple weekend, with easy to follow instructions!

     

    Gifting any one of these self-care beauties would bring a smile to anyone's face, and it should bring a smile to your face knowing that you create a gift that will actually be put to use this holiday season. So go the extra mile this holiday season, and gift the gift of self-care!

    screen-shot-2018-11-28-at-11-33-16-am

    Have you ever given a self-care gift? Share with us in the comments! Be sure to follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to check on any new self-care news we might have your you.

     

    Take care of yourselves, Makers!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Bountiful Pencils

    My favorite time of year is here -- sort of; fall is having a difficult time arriving with above-average temperatures and little rain! So to encourage all things autumnal to surround me, I pulled out my Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone coloring book (one of my favorites) to decide which page would be my next to color.

    Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts. Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts.

    Coloring is so much fun especially when the design is themed around something you love. So coloring a fall-themed design was easy for me. I've been using and loving the new pencils Leisure Arts has to offer. There are two choices; they are the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils. Both of these new sets of pencils give an extra "wow" factor to a picture!

    As with most pictures I color using colored pencils, it is the layering and blending of colors that bring an image to life.

    Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993). Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993).

    Think outside-the-box when it comes to your color palette; don't think you should only use the "traditional" or "natural" colors for the pumpkins and gourds.

    Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts). Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts).

    Another step to my creation of a 3-D look to a 2-D drawing is the use of a second medium. To aid in this dimensional effect, I introduced some watercolor pencils to my coloring.

    Adding the watercolor colored pencils over certain sections of the premium colored pencils already rendered on page. Adding the Watercolor Colored Pencils over certain sections of the Premium Color Colored Pencils already rendered on a page.

    The final incorporation of both the Premium Color Colored Pencils and Watercolor Color Colored Pencils comes after the water-dipped paint brush blends those layers together. After the pumpkins and gourds are colored, I move on to coloring the falling leaves. I will first use the watercolor pencils on a few of the leaves and highlights on some pumpkins and gourds.

    After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors. After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors.

    Working on my page for a little while every day was very convenient for me; morning coffee and coloring. I always enjoy seeing an image come to life with each added color!

    The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts). The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts).

    Here are some of the selected pencils that I used on this page. In the below image, the silver pencil shafts are the Premium Colored Pencils on the left, and the gold shafted pencils are the Watercolor Colored Pencils on the right.

    I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)! I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)!

    All I have to do is find a nice frame in which to place my completed page. I very much want to keep this page protected, yet share its bounty with my guests.

    Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts. Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts.

    Happy fall decorating using Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone!

    Martha

     

  • Express Yourself: Light Box, Letter Board, Planner & Journal

    It's a new (school) year and kids of all ages want to express themselves - their clothes, accessories, make-up, elective classes and extracurricular activities. Generally speaking, kids usually want to share with others what they're thinking -- and so do adults! Let Leisure Arts help everyone to express themselves with these fun and creative supplies!  

    Everything we do is a means to express ourselves. Every choice we make defines part of us. So let's make a statement! I remember an accessory people wore to help tell others how you were feeling. If someone couldn't guess by your actions, then they could see what mood was displayed if you wore a mood ring. A funny little piece of jewelry that told others how you were feeling -- generally speaking!

    Mood Ring - Original style from the 1970s found for sale online. Mood Ring - Original style from the 1970s found for sale online.

    A more modern approach is to light up a statement -- announce it for all to see. The Cinema Light Box is great to welcome new students to your classroom or visitors to a business.

    Illuminate your feelings with Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586). Illuminate your feelings with Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586).
    Great way to meet school kids, classmates or colleagues! Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586). Great way to meet school kids, classmates or colleagues! Leisure Arts' Cinema Light Box (item 48586).

    For a smaller, hands-on approach try the Cafe Letter Board for multi-line sentences -- even add some color and script with either the Gray and Aqua or Blue and Coral expansion sets.

    State your purpose with Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board (item 48583). State your purpose with Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board (item 48583).
    Announce what's going to be happening around the office in the near future! (Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board [item48583] with gray letters from item 48585 - Cafe Letter Board Accessory Set-Gray & Aqua). Announce what's going to be happening around the office in the near future! (Leisure Arts' Cafe Letter Board [item48583] with gray letters from item 48585 - Cafe Letter Board Accessory Set-Gray & Aqua).
    And don't forget that you can incorporate your love of coloring and organization with either The Art of Planning Kit or The Art of Journaling Kit. There is one accessory set to be used for either kit, too.

    Make a plan as with this page from Leisure Arts' The Art of Planning Kit (item 48579). Also see The Art of Journaling Kit (item 48578)[not pictured]. Make a plan as with this page from Leisure Arts' The Art of Planning Kit (item 48579). Also see The Art of Journaling Kit (item 48578)[not pictured].
    Plan more details for specific days (48579 - The Art of Planning Kit). Plan more details for specific days (48579 - The Art of Planning Kit).

    The pages in either of these kits are perfect for those of you who love to doodle and color but don't have the time to do a detailed page from a coloring or sketch book. You will find designs to color and/or embellish throughout each. I have had a lot of design fun with the new watercolor colored pencils Leisure Arts now carries! The 30-Pack set includes a paint brush, too; just add water!

    Add a little color to your Planner with Leisure Arts' 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (item 48582). Add a little color to your Planner with Leisure Arts' 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (item 48582).

    Have Fun • Be Creative • Tell Your Story!

    Martha

  • Make Seasonal Magnets from Bountiful Wonders Coloring Book

    It's great fun to bring out seasonal decorations; let Leisure Arts' #6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone help to brighten your home with an autumnal theme! The familiarity of old treasures combined with a new season can get one excited for many annual celebrations.  This year, why not try incorporating some newly made decorations along with your love of coloring? Using and sharing your creativity makes your craft come alive! Enjoy your coloring and pass it on: love it, make it, share it!

    If you haven't seen Leisure Arts' new Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone coloring book you haven't seen some outstanding designs. It has gorgeous thematic pages filled with drawings that include leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, gourds, and beautiful decorative patterns. I fell in love with it and knew right away that I must incorporate my coloring in to a new seasonal project. I had saved a pin from Pinterest that was the perfect answer to my search for something new to create.

    Fabulous fall foliage plus harvest homage add a special homecoming for this season of giving! Leisure Arts #6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Fabulous fall foliage plus an homage to an abundant harvest add a special homecoming theme for this season of giving! Leisure Arts' #6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    My new seasonal creation were magnets using at least one of my completed coloring book pages from #6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone. But to make it a bit more fun, I liked the idea presented in this pin by Average But Inspired showing how to use small paint canvases to help create your magnet.

    Colored leaves using markers. Add more depth to your images with extra dots and strokes. Colored leaves using markers. Add more depth to your images with extra dots and strokes.

    Small paint canvases shown below are 2-inch square board canvases, or 2.5-inch stretched canvases. The board canvases came in black; the stretch canvases were unpainted.

    Two different types of mini canvases. On the left, a board canvas and on the right, a stretched canvas. Two different types of mini canvases. On the left, several board canvases and on the right, one stretched canvas.

    I got the idea of cutting out some of the finished colored leaves from my page instead of cutting a square section of the page for adhering to the canvas. Having individual leaves lets you decide how the leaves will be positioned on the canvas.

    Images from my colored page were cut and measured for each canvas. Images from my colored page were cut and measured for each canvas.

    Having imagined the finished product, I experimented by painting one of my stretch canvases first with acrylic paint before mounting any of the colored leaves onto it. I adhered my coloring book leaves onto the canvases using Mod Podge® by Plaid. Add at least one more coat of Mod Podge® over the canvases; let each coat dry in between applications.

    Now to make your canvases into magnets...turn them over. You can see by their very construction that they are different from each other. The stretch canvas is truly stretched over a wooden frame. The board canvas is a solid piece of board covered with canvas. Purchase your magnets from a craft store.

    On the back of each canvas, one or two magnets were glue on using E6000. On the back of each canvas, one or two magnets were glued on using E6000.

    Helpful hint: The placement of my magnets differ between the stretch canvas and the board canvases. Why? It wasn't a functional reason; the stretch canvas isn't heavier requiring two magnets. It was a visual reason. If I placed one magnet centered on one side of the wooden frame, I could see the top of it when I turned the frame over facing right-side up. It just bothered me to see the round magnet showing above the canvas. So before the glue set, I repositioned the magnet to one corner and then added another magnet in the opposite corner.

    Pretty and useful home decor with a seasonal touch - marvelous leaf magnets! Pretty and useful home or office decor with a seasonal touch - marvelous leaf magnets!

    This project made me happy; it made me smile because I transformed a coloring book page that I truly enjoyed creating into something else that could be shared. Even if the magnets are not given as gifts, by using them in your home or office setting you are sharing them. You are giving a bit of your artistic self to others for everyone's enjoyment.

    Now I have my eyes set on making more themed canvas magnets. Can't wait for the next season coming up!

    See you next time -

    Martha

  • Tasteful Palette of Gel Pen Colors

    Happy National Coloring Book Day! I am so excited that all of the coloring enthusiasts can share their creativity on a special day dedicated to the art of coloring. I have the large 36 count box of gel pens from Leisure Arts. Many of you want the variety that is found in such a large set, but at the same time, may get overwhelmed by the variety of colors and styles.

    Don't feel stressed about your choices, try to learn the look of the different styles to help with your color decisions. In order to better understand the colors and styles, my suggestion is to break down the box of gel pens by style. See the front of the box; it outlines the number of gel pen colors in each style: 10 Solid, 8 Metallic, 8 Fluorescent, and 10 Glitter.

    In order to demonstrate the different styles of gel pen colors found in the 36 count box, I decided to look for a coloring book page with similar images. I chose a page from 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    Yeah, gel pens in 36 colors and four styles: Solid, Metallic, Fluorescent and Glitter! Yeah, gel pens in 36 colors and four styles: Solid, Metallic, Fluorescent and Glitter!

    The task before the fun of coloring is to break down the gel pens by style. Some gel pen lids are easier to judge by their appearance that that specific pen belongs to a certain style group. For instance, the Glitter pens have little sparkly specs in their plastic caps. The caps in the Metallic style group have a more muted tone. The best thing for me to do was to make swatches of each color on a blank piece of card stock. Then I could switch out colors if I was unhappy with one or more colors in a style group until I was satisfied with the final group.

    Gel pens are sorted by style (my Neon label should be called, Fluorescent). I also color-coded each style. Gel pens are sorted by style (my Neon label should be called, Fluorescent). I also color-coded each style.

    After I was satisfied with the gel pens I chose for each color style, I went one step further and color-coded each group. I placed a paint swatch of color on the gel pens belonging to each group. For instance, my Metallic style group has a pink paint swatch on the front of the cap, the cap's top and the pen body. This way no matter if the pens were lying down or standing in a container, I could easily grab all of the pens belonging to one group; my coloring life just got easier!

    If you compare the beginning of my coloring below, the fish are colored in the same order as the above-photo showing the gel pens in their color palette styles.

    To demonstrate the different gel pen styles, I chose a drawing with similar images of fish (Leisure Arts' item 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone). To demonstrate the different gel pen styles, I chose a drawing with similar images of fish (Leisure Arts' item 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone).

    The top fish showcases the colors from the Solid style. The second from the top fish is smaller and is colored with the Fluorescent gel pens (in the earlier photo, I incorrectly labeled my piece of card stock with the word, Neon).

    Next, you will see the Glitter style used on the fish on the left-hand side that is third from the top. The bottom fish shows the Metallic style and is very pretty is person but tends to be too shiny in my photos to highlight any good contrast. The one thing that I did find a little peculiar about the Metallic [especially the pink color], if I tried to go over a section because all was not properly filled with color, the pink became more grey. It was as if there was too much color build-up.

    I really like looking at the different styles in one project; I can more definitively choose in which color direction I wish to go. Also, it saves me frustration when I think I've chosen one color based on the gel pen's lid, when in fact the ink color is not what I intended at all! I'll finish the fish eyes after I stare at the bodies of the fish for a while. I may not do the background so I can keep the fish as clean examples for each color style.

    Showing their respective gel pen style, the fish are complete except for their eyeballs. Showing their respective gel pen style, the fish are complete except for their eyeballs.

    Consider your first colored page using your 36 count box of gel pens broken out by style as your color swatch. Just like knit and crochet, begin by making a swatch - a palette swatch of colors - for your reference before beginning your project. Spend a little time up front to make your creativity flow more easily. Enjoy!

    Martha

  • Shading and Blending Techniques Using Colored Pencils and Markers

    There are many shading techniques, tips and tricks when it comes to coloring -- and the list grows depending on the medium used to color! If you are a beginner, or want to get reintroduced to coloring as an adult, here are some at-a-glance bullet points and quick-read highlights of things to note as you start your coloring.

    I chose a page from the immensely popular Kaleidoscope Wonders by Leisure Arts. This book has a variety of designs ranging from projects with more open spaces and layers of overlapping objects, to more intricate designs whose patterns repeat themselves in a tightly formatted sequence.

    Shading techniques demonstrated using a page from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Shading techniques demonstrated using a page from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    In a nutshell, here are some general rules of thumb:

      • Use finely sharpened pencils
      • Color lightly, repeat to achieve desired hue
      • When using more than one color for shading, choose a more simplified design area
      • If using both pencils and markers, use markers to accentuate your area(s)
      • Secure paper

    You can watch the shading video showing the following steps I took to create the two colored areas using different shading techniques:

    Here's a close-up of the teal shading I did on my page from 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone:

    A close-up of the blended sections using three hues of colored pencils; from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone. A close-up of the blended sections using three hues of colored pencils; from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    The teal circular shape has moderate shading. There is not a dramatic change in the colors used, but gentle shading is required for the effect. Out of five possible colors, three pencils were used to create this subtle shading.

        1. The medium hue was applied first. For each section, I started from the central circle (that remains uncolored) and colored outward. Next, the light shade was applied from the outer edge of each section moving towards the middle and vanishing.
        2. Another layer of the medium color was applied.
        3. I added more dimension to each section by using the dark color in each at the base closest to the central circle. More dark was used in those sections that appear to be under an overlapping shape.
        4. Final touches of the light color were added over the initial light color’s application.
        5. These sections appear to be on the same plane; I didn’t make dramatic color hue changes.
        6. Since this shape’s central circle (which is not yet colored) reminded me of a globe with its longitudinal and latitudinal lines, my coloring in this area will have more drastic changes from light to dark. In order to exemplify the circle’s spherical shape, the central sections will be colored in light hues with darker hues moving towards the edges, thus promoting a three-dimensional effect.
        7.  Adding an imaginary light source is another way to achieve dimension but may take more practice when coloring an entire page of objects! I’ll save that challenge for later…

    Here's a close-up of the second shape that I colored using marker over my pencil coloring. From the same page found in 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    A close-up of the blended sections that were colored by first applying two hues of orange colored pencils. Then, more intense shading was made by using a marker; from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone. A close-up of the blended sections that were colored by first applying two hues of orange colored pencils. Then, more intense shading was made by using a marker; from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    You can watch the blending video showing the following steps I took to create the orange circular shape. 

    When coloring the mango-orange circular shape, I wanted to accentuate the idea of motion in each section. I used two shades of orange colored pencils and one marker color. I added the marker lines in each section over the colored pencils to create this spinning effect.

        1. I first applied the lighter orange colored pencil to each section. I repeated the application as necessary to gain the desired coverage.
        2. The darker orange colored pencil was then added to the corner points in both the inner-most and outer-most edges of each section.
        3. To further accentuate the spiral spin of this shape, I used marker over the colored pencil in the corner points. I tried to vary both the thickness and height of each marker line to make the movement of this shape convincing!

    If you are looking for the exact design that I was coloring, here is a photo of the whole page with coloring in progress.

    Both images as they appear next to each other on the whole page from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone. Both images as they appear next to each other on the whole page from Leisure Arts' 6707 - Kaleidoscope Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    There are wonderful guidelines to coloring, shading and using a color wheel found on the inside front and back covers of the coloring book series, Color Art for Everyone.

    More ideas for shading and blending using different techniques and media. More ideas for shading and blending using different techniques and media.
    A handy color wheel with both a written description, as well as, a visual guide showing the various combinations of colors. A handy color wheel with both a written description, as well as, a visual guide showing the various combinations of colors.

    Here is a general coloring summary of HINTS -

        1. Apply multiple layers of color.  Whether the colored pencil layers are in the same hue or you choose to introduce a second or third color, several lighter applications of pencil appear richer and smoother than one heavily applied layer of color.
        2. Changing your hand motions when coloring ensures that the pencils’ colors do not cling onto the paper fibers in the same direction; this may cause white spots or streaky waves of color.
        3. So my hand movements range from circular clockwise and counter-clockwise motions, as well as, straight or arched back-and-forth sweeps. Be gentle; you don’t want heavy streaks to appear!
        4. If using marker "lines" or cross-hatching to accentuate your design area(s), consider varying the width and height of the lines.
        5. Step back. Even your finely detailed areas should be viewed from a distance. You may need a POP of color to add that final dimension to your project!
        6. Relax, enjoy and experiment!

    Enjoy the world and see all of the colors around you!

    Martha

  • Adult Coloring Books

    I bought my first adult coloring book years ago. I love to color. It really helps to relieve stress and anxiety. It is very cheap therapy. I was so excited when I saw that Leisure Arts had come out with not 1 but 5 different coloring books. I was coloring at my Monday night knit group I felt like coloring instead of knitting and I have colored while having my coffee at Starbucks. But what I thought was funny was when I realized I was coloring like I was a little kid. Laying on my tummy on my bed, while coloring with my left hand and cuddling with my little dog on the right. It was truly a wonderful feeling. I was having some art and dog therapy. I cannot tell you which book I like the best. Yesterday, Ocean Wonders Color Art, today Living Wonders Kaleidoscope. I am bringing the 80's back with the iridescent colors. I cannot remember where I found them. But for the rest of my color pencils I had from art school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I bought them at my local art supply store called Art Outfitters.

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    Leisure Arts has really done a fabulous job with these. I have had so many friends and strangers ask me what I am coloring. Many get really excited. It also helps get the creative juices flowing. Something else that I like about this book is that on the inside cover in the front and the back they have really helpful tips for color theory and blending. One of my friends pointed out that this would be good for people in nursing homes or in the hospital. The books have really nice bold lines. Some of the pages are so pretty that I don’t want to color they remind me of wallpaper or wrapping paper. So check out the adult coloring books and have some art therapy.

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