Coloring Techniques And Tips For Adults

Coloring enthusiasts, especially novices, will, more often than not, rely on coloring pencils as their tools of choice. Colored pencils are exceptionally great, offering tremendous ease of use, versatility, and variety of choices, making them a good tool for colorists to use. However, as one advances and develops his skills, using pens, markers, watercolors, acrylics, and other such coloring tools becomes inevitable. This gives the colorist new capabilities; mixing the materials allows you to add a whole new mood and texture to your work. Herein, we will explore the various techniques that you can use with a wide variety of tools.

1Layering With A Marker

If your workpiece has a large space or if you need to cover the background, you can opt to layer a pencil over a marker. To this end, apply the marker first, and after that, add the coloring pencil on top, thereby creating an area of intense colors such as ocean depths or the night sky. By combining the marker and pencil, you end up with intensely deeper colors as compared to using just one of them. Crucially, you can use this coloring technique with any colors you have in mind; for instance, you can use blue when creating the sky.

2Blending With Gel Pens

As you might know, some gel pens are easy to smear, and this does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. You can use the smearing quality intentionally for coloring a gradient effect using just one color or blending colors. Keep in mind that even though they are easy to smear, some pens tend to be wetter than others. The wetter variety is best for creating a blending effect.

For a good understanding of the smear properties of the pens, experiment on blank pages and find out which pens smear the best. You can color a small square and use a blending tool or your finger to smudge the colored potion. With regards to tools, there are plenty of blending tools that you can use, including a pencil eraser, a silicone spatula, a wet paintbrush, a bristle paintbrush, and a flat-ended cotton swab.

3Splattering With Acrylic

You can use a wet brush to splatter or flick paint onto a workpiece. This creates an uneven splatter result. This technique is particularly effective at adding texture to your piece or creating a starry night or abstract landscapes.

4Underpainting With Watercolor

Underpainting is a monochrome wash that is used as the first layer of a painting. After the first layer, you need to add layers of transparent washes as they enhance the realism and luminous effects. To this end, mix a light purple shade, preferably a mix of ultramarine blue and cadmium red. However, you can use neutral shades of green and blue.

Paint your subject lightly, paying extra attention to light and shade. As you do not have to think about the colors, focus on creating the shape. You can use a soft brush, focusing on a light painting to ensure the purple does not overpower other parts of the painting. A golden tip to follow is to allow the underpainting to dry completely before glazing in the color. If you progress while the painting is wet, there is a risk of muddying the colors.

5Coloring Consistently With Crayons

When using crayons, the directional changes are what gives your coloring a sloppy look, even when you color in lines. When you color following a consistent direction, your work ends up being easier on the eye and gives the piece a tidy look. When you have to color a turn or corner that is practically impossible without changing direction, you can opt to either use small circles or curved lines instead of straight lines. Either way, keep in mind that how you color will always be visible and will be largely responsible for the texture in your piece.

6Blending With Pencils (Burnishing)

Burnishing is the process of applying pressure on a workpiece and, therefore, combining layers while, at the same time, filling the tooth of your paper with colors. The result is a shiny and exceptionally smooth appearance. To achieve burnishing in a more efficient manner, use a sharp colored pencil as it will saturate the paper more quickly.

7Blooms With Gouache

The gouache medium is water-based, allowing you to water down to move around and react like watercolor. You can make use of blooms to add a color base, which you can paint on top of. Load your brush with a lot of water and a small number of pigments, and after that, paint on the paper. Using water with different color pigments, blot pearls of color, creating differently colored puddles on your paper. The color will bleed and spread across the paper.

Adult coloring is a hugely relaxing and fun activity. It gives you an opportunity to be creative, and by trying out a variety of coloring techniques listed above, you can take your creativity to the next level. Let your creativity flow, enjoy, and have fun!

Jean Martin

Jean Martin, a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, works in a pharmacy. After hearing about her roommate's struggles coping with stress, she sought a solution and decided to give coloring books a try. It was a success and gave birth to this website!