Behind the Lines Blog

Nifty Tips to Enhance Your Adult Colouring Experience


Adult colouring is an incredible way to relax and let go of stress. It allows you to enhance your creativity and create a work that is uniquely you. There’s a wide variety of mediums at your disposal, and you can have fun figuring out which medium you choose to immerse yourself in – and change it up with every page you colour!

Whether you’re just entering the world of colouring, or you’re an experienced and avid colourist, there will always be new techniques that will enhance your creativity!

Colouring With Pencils

Pencils are one of the more versatile options. With one pencil, you can achieve multiple shades of that colour depending on the amount of pressure you decide to use. The colours blend together easily, allowing the artistic image you see in your mind to transfer to the page without a lot of fuss. Keeping your pencils sharpened allows you to delve into the fine detail without worrying about escaping the lines. Using pencils also means that you won’t have to deal with pesky bleed through (which, of course, you would never have to worry about with Calm Waters’ high-quality paper!). There’s a wide variety of brands available on the market, from the ordinary to those designed for artistic colouring. Allow yourself to play around and discover what feels best for you. Keep in mind that colouring is an activity that should bring you joy – spend less time worrying about the outcome, just immerse yourself in creativity and let your inner artist flow through your hands.

Nifty Tip: Simply changing the pencil stroke can give you an entirely different result and add texture into your artwork! Hatching is when you draw directional lines to create texture, and cross-hatching is when you cross lines over top one another, like an X’s and O’s game board. Try using a paper towel to smudge, allowing your colours to blend smoothly, creating perfect shades of the colours you love.

Colouring With Crayons

Set your inner child free and try colouring with crayons. Sometimes revisiting your childhood can help you relax, reminiscing in a time when you were completely carefree. Crayons are made of wax, which can bring some interesting options into your artwork. While it can be on the challenging side to ensure your crayons stay sharp, investing in a good sharpener will help. One of the main reasons crayons are so popular with adult colouring is the broad range of colour choices! Don’t throw out those coloured wax shavings you get from sharpening crayons; they can be used in a variety of other art projects if you’re feeling ambitious!

Nifty Tip: You can use a bit of baby oil to blend the colour! Simply dip a cotton swab in baby oil (make sure it’s not overly saturated), and gently rub it on your artwork to eliminate any rough edges and achieve a watercolour feel. Different paper will produce different results, placing a scrap piece of paper under your work will ensure the baby oil doesn’t soak through. Remove the label and try shading with the crayon on its side to create a background filled with texture!

Colouring With Pens & Markers

Pens and markers are gaining popularity in the world of adult colouring. They’ve come a long way from the conventional black, blue and red ink. There are gel pens available in pastel colours, or rich, dark shades associated with royalty. You can even find pens that have glitter embedded in the ink! Pens tend to be easy on the hands and don’t require much pressure to get the shade that you want, which is beneficial for colourists who suffer from carpal tunnel or arthritis.

We can’t forget about markers! Thin tip markers and pens will allow you to colour in the details seamlessly, without strain to your hands. Wider markers will make colouring backgrounds a stroll in the park. Shading with markers and pens can be difficult because the colour is usually solid. Chameleon Pens have created an innovate marker precisely for shading, and with every set purchased, you receive a free tutorial on how to use their specialty pens.

Nifty Tip: Keep a scrap piece of paper under your artwork to prevent any bleed-through. Remember, all of our books use artist grade, heavy-weight paper, so you don’t have to worry about bleeding through to the back! Markers don’t need a lot of pressure to achieve the colour shades you want, so keep your hand light like a feather.

Remember, adult colouring is about exploration and relaxation. Feel free to explore colouring mediums and find the one that is best suited to your artistic image and comfort level. Encourage yourself to mix it up – there’s no reason why you can’t use crayons, pencils, markers and pens all in the same image! Be sure to have fun with it. With adult colouring books, you’re not limited in your selections. There are no rules in colouring – think outside the lines and immerse yourself in creativity.


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