my favorite ways to color and a free coloring download

Coloring is one of the best ways to relax, unwind, meditate and de-stress. The process of adding color to my drawings it my favorite step. It is a big reason why I draw in black and white first and then add color at the end. The coloring stage is the part of my process when I am able to relax and completely zone out!  And today I thought I would share my favorite ways to color.
For those of you "coloring pro's" out there- a lot of this information is pretty basic but I know there is also lot of you out there who don't draw, paint or make art but really enjoy the process of coloring and this post is for you!

I love using markers for coloring- they are affordable and easy to use. While I really enjoy grabbing Lucy's Crayola markers (you can read about how I use kid's marker here) but I also have my own stash of higher quality markers for my coloring projects.

Right now my favorite markers for coloring are the Koi Coloring Brush Pens. They've got a flexible brush tip and are really great for blending and layering colors. I've found that they also work really well on different types of paper. 

For $20 you can get a set of 100 Fibrocolor Markers. They have a nice smooth flow and a tip that works great for coloring small details.  Lucy and I actually share these markers- she loves having a big variety of color choices and I love how versatile they are.

Swiss made Caran d'Adache Fibralo markers are not cheap but they are great middle of road option. They are water soluble and washable- which means you can use water with them and use the pigment like watercolors. I love the bright color options and the pen stroke is super smooth.

When I color with markers I like to use a variety of colors to fill in fine lines and small details. 

But my favorite way to color with markers is to actually layer that color. A big advantage to having a markers in a variety of colors is the ability to layer dark over the top of lighter pigment. 

I always begin my coloring projects by using light colors and then I go over the top with a darker shade. I use this darker shade along the lines- I simply go over the top of the outline with that darker shade. You can even use another shade and the layered colors will blend into something new!

As I have shared in the past, I love using colored pencils to add color to my drawings but I really love mixing colored pencils and markers. I like to start by using my pencils to add a light shade of color. 

Then I go back over the top with markers. Again, I add dark color over the top of all my line work. This is a really quick and easy way to create the illusion of depth!

When I draw in my sketchbook, much of the time I use watercolor paint to add color. While most people tend to use markers and pencils for coloring books and pages, I think using paint is just as much fun! Grab a set of watercolor paint, a fine brush and fill those pages with paint.

My favorite watercolor set will always be the Sakura Koi Box Set. If has a great range of really beautiful and vibrant colors that are versatile and easy to travel with.

I also really enjoy using the Grumbacher Watercolor Pan Sets. They comes in sets of 12 or 24 beautiful colors, the color isn't as rich and vibrant as I typically prefer but I really like using them for light washes of color.

Again, you can go back over watercolors with markers to add darker pigment.

Coloring inside the lines is really relaxing but there are times when I like to forget about boundaries and go wild and messy painting and scribbling to add expressive color. I will use anything from  watercolor paint, acrylic paint, high flow acrylic paint, a variety of brushes and mark making tools, pens, pencils and crayons. 

Instead of working inside the lines, I add color to the entire surface and then go back and select specific areas to add more expressive color.

So there you have it! My favorite ways to color! Always remember there are no rules when it comes to creativity- even the coloring process allows for artistic interpretation and breaking the rules!

I've got a new set of coloring pages called Flower Love (many of them pictured in this post). You can find then over in the shop HERE.

I've also got a free coloring page to download, print and color!  Download the flower coloring page HERE.

Have fun coloring!

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