Unless you have been under a rock for awhile you know that adult coloring books are the most popular item on everyone’s holiday wish list. It sounds easy at first, but coloring books for adults aren’t like your kids Disney princess book, on no, the most popular ones are simply works of art just waiting for you to add your personality to them.
The amount and variety of books and supplies can be daughter so the Coloring Book Addict published a list of tips and tricks for those interested in getting started with adult coloring.
Adult Coloring Book Supplies for Beginners
The first thing to do is look in your own crafting supplies. Do you scrapbook? Then you probably already have nice markers and maybe some gel pens. Do you make cards or stamp? You might have colored pencils and pastel chalks you can use for backgrounds. Don’t buy crayons, crayons are horrible to color with. you can’t stay in the lines because the crayons are so wide at the end and they do not sharpen easily and you can never get nice deep colors because the wax builds up so quickly. Have those for the kids or grandkids but don’t even try them in your pretty new books.
Budget Friendly Adult Coloring Book Supplies
Crayola Colored Pencils (the long ones) – These are a fantastic option and for the price you can’t beat it. You can invest in better pencils later and let the kids or your friends use these, but some colorists find they like the results they get from these as much as they do the expensive artist brands.
- Walmart – Crayola Colored Pencils 100 pack $14
- Amazon – Crayola Colored Pencils 50 Pack $12
- Walmart – Crayola Colored Pencils 36 Pack $7
- Amazon – Crayola Colored Pencils 36 Pack $7
One step up from Crayola but still a wonderful value would be the Marco Raffine pencils. These are not available in the US but are on Ebay for around $25 including postage. Examiner Tip Recommended seller on Ebay.
Marco Raffine 72 colors $25
You can buy these pencils on Amazon too but Ebay is usually much more cost effective.
Marco Raffine Colored Pencils Amaon $27
If you already know you are going to want the best money can buy then you have two choices. The next level up from Crayola will be your Prismacolor premiere soft core artist pencils and the best of the best preferred by most colorists are the Polychromos colored pencils by Faber Castell. Buy the biggest selection of colors your budget allows as in the end it will save you money if you end up going back and buying the bigger sets.
Blending pencils are what turn an average colorer into a colorist. Blending pencils are a colorless pencil that helps you blend your colors together and get rid of all those white parts you see on your page. They really are miraculous the first time you try them. Different ones work better with different pencils and different books, you really do have to experiment. Luckily they aren’t very expensive.
- Prismacolor Blending Pencil
- Derwent Blending Pencil
- Caran Blending Pencil
Many people love to use baby oil for blending. You apply a VERY small amount with a paper blending stump and blend it. Put a piece of paper underneath and leave the book open for the oil to evaporate. I would play with this on a book where the pages are removable just to see what you think. There are expensive blending mediums and mineral oils but they are toxic and we know and probably have some baby oil sitting in the house.
Budget friendly backgrounds – you can color them in the colored pencils but it is tedious and time consuming or you can use soft pastels. Pebbles brand chalk pastels are a favorite because of the handy box and the application tools that come with it. There are several color varieties. Make sure you buy soft pastels and not oil pastels.
The Coloring Book Addict says that the most important tip for new coloring book enthusiasts is a good pencil sharpener. For a small investment this is so important. The sharper your pencil the more grooves in the paper will be filled in and less of the white background showing through.
The Kum Pencil Sharpeners are the best bang for your buck. You can watch the pencil sharpen so you aren’t over sharpening and wasting any of your precious pigment and you won’t break it. The blades on these German made sharpeners are high quality plus this little guy fits easily into your coloring bag. A little more expensive and have the guard to keep the mess of the shavings inside are the Prismacolor Sharpener and the Faber Castell Sharpener.
If you are brand new to color/colour theory and shading, blending and highlighting with colored pencils then the book that is recommend is by Jane Monk called “Tangled Treasures” or “Tangled Gardening“. They both have 52 illustrations that range from beginner to intermediate colorer but the first 10 pages is filled with art instructions on shading and blending with several different mediums, color wheels and explanations and it is really excellent for a beginning coloring book enthusiast. See the video for a quick peek at those pages
Tangled Treasures is available from the Book Depository if you are outside of the United States.
Best Coloring Books for Beginners
The easy answer is the one’s you like to color in, but how do you know? Dover Publications / Creative Haven coloring books are going to be the best bang for your book when you start out and are perfect for the beginning colorist. There are books from mandalas to vampires to chose from. You will quickly learn which of them are your favorites because you will be anxious to pick that book up again and again. For the most zen experience for some they like easy lines and repetitive pictures that you don’t have to worry about blending and color selection. If you have any sort of artist background you might prefer the detailed books from Johanna Basford and Daria Song.
If you are starting with any of Johanna Basford’s Coloring Books you are going to want some fine liners or gel pens for the tiny spots on her beautiful illustrations. Gelly Roll Gel Pens have always been a favorite and work perfectly on books with two sided pages. Gelly Roll Glitter Pens Stardust Meteor, Gelly Roll Glitter Pens – Stardust Galaxy and Gelly Roll Metallic Pens are all perfect for your new hobby.
Storage for your new hobby is fun to shop for as well, you might already have 1 (or 50) 31 bags in your closet and any of those with lots of pockets are perfect. You might like this stackable interlocking storage that you can take with you anywhere.
These supplies will get your started and of course there are so many books to explore on Amazon, Dover / Creative Haven Books and Book Depository
You might want to read through this article “Tips for Adults New to Coloring Books for Grown-ups” before you start coloring
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