Colored Pencils vs. Watercolor Pencils
By Dana Hinders
If you're planning your next adult coloring purchase, you might be wondering whether colored pencils or watercolor pencils are the best choice. This guide will help outline some factors to consider when making your purchasing decision.
Price and Color Selection
Colored pencils are widely available at price points suitable for any budget. Many people choose to start out with a student quality first and then upgrade to artist quality. Most brands, particularly those at the lower end of the price scale, have a wax core. However, oil core pencils are preferred by many colorists because their harder leads make them easier to sharpen into a fine point for very intricate work.
In addition to being more expensive than colored pencils, watercolor pencils have a more limited range of colors. It's not difficult to find a set of 48, 72, or even 120 colored pencils. With watercolor pencils, however, you'll most often see sets of 12 or 24 colors.
Ability to Blend Colors
For someone who loves adult coloring books, but has little artistic training, working with colored pencils is often the most obvious choice. With a large enough set, you'll have an endless array of options, including deep, rich shades for every color of the rainbow. If desired, colors can be blended using a special colorless blender pencil, Vaseline, or a small amount of baby oil. Alternatively, tri-tone pencils let you get a subtle blended effect with minimal effort since they have three colors blended together in the same pencil lead.
Watercolor pencils look and operate like normal colored pencils at first glance, but create soft painted effects when water is added to them. As a result, watercolor pencils tend to offer less intense colors. It's more difficult to blend colors together, but relatively easy to lighten a color by adding water. When you're adding water to the area, however, you'll be able to quickly cover a large area. This can be helpful when you're working on a picture with a large section of sky, water, or grass.
Colored pencils won't bleed through the paper, which means they are ideal for working with coloring books that are printed on both sides. However, the quality of your paper becomes more important when working with watercolor pencils. Thin paper will buckle when water is added. For this reason, many people like to use watercolor pencils on digital downloads that they've printed on high quality cardstock or specialty watercolor paper. To further prevent buckling, you can tape the paper to a sheet of cardboard, a clipboard, or another flat surface using artist's tape, painter's tape, or masking tape.
Your Goals as a Colorist
If you're struggling to decide which set of pencils to buy, take time to consider your goals as a colorist. Colored pencils will be the best choice if you're coloring as a form of stress relief and want to enjoy instant gratification. However, if you're interested in developing your skills as an artist and willing to put up with the learning curve that watercolor pencils require, they can be a wonderful addition to your supply stash.
Example photos are colored pages from The Curiosity Shoppe Coloring Book featuring artwork by Chris Price.
Some food for inspiration below.
The color pencil guide is by Claudia Nice
Grayscale is one of those things that have been talked about a lot lately, yet many of us are still not exactly sure what it really is. I know that's how I personal felt about grayscale until just recently and to make things more difficult, there wasn't too much information online about it either.
Well, as it turns out, grayscale coloring is super fun! Once I got into it I got addicted! So I've decided to share a little about it in this blog post:
What is grayscale coloring?
In the world of adult coloring books, regular coloring pages are simply black and white images i which you need to color in the white parts but grayscale coloring pages are not black and white, they are black, white and many different shades of gray. In grayscale coloring pages you'd color over the white and the gray parts.
Why would I want to color on the gray?
Coloring on a grayscale image will create the effect of color shading even though you never did any shading what so ever. In some grayscale coloring pages you could color using a single color on a whole section of the page and the different gray shades of the original image will create different variations of color creating a sense of dimension that's not easy to get on regular black and white coloring pages
If you're interested in learning more about grayscale coloring or if you want to give it a go, look for Nikki Burnette. She has both a ton of great information and tips on how to color over grayscale plus she makes some of the most beautiful grayscale adult coloring books around, focusing on fantasy fairy coloring books and many other beautiful coloring books for adults
So... Have you notices that everywhere you look adults all of a sudden seem to be coloring? Well... They could be on to something good here.
There's nothing wrong with feeling like a kid again.
Since life is filled with rents, mortgages, jobs, taxes and parking tickets, the world is full of adults wishing they could go back to a simple time. Nothing new about that.
But nostalgia has recently gotten very real.
Nowadays you can go to adult summer camp where you'll leave stress, worries, responsibilities and technology at the door and experience 4 days of hiking, tie-die and archery. You can even spend a day at adult preschool, where you'll enjoy arts and crafts, games and even meet an old friend from your childhood, nap time.
Coloring books for adults however, are the most popular kids' activity for grown-ups by far! And it's easy to understand why.
Think back to your favorite coloring book when you were a child, only upgrade it to reflect your much-improved motor skills and adult interests. Wouldn't it be great to give yourself an hour with a delicious cup of tea and get lost in a world of creativity and imagination?
Coloring books for adults are selling at record breaking levels and book publishers are having a hard time keeping up with demand.
The book that jump started it all, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book has now been sold well over 2,000,000 times around the globe.
Some people give illustrator Johanna Basford the credit for jump starting the adult coloring craze back in 2013.
But there are many more coloring books just like it tearing up the best sellers charts.
It look like the coloring book craze is only picking up steam, so here are the 3 great reasons why you should consider joining the fun:
1. Spending time coloring can give you much needed relaxation, relieve your stress and calm your anxiety.
Many coloring books feature soothing geometrical designs to relieve anxiety.
And there's more to this coloring thing than to simply feel like a kid again.
Many therapist say that when a person is doing arts and crafts or coloring, their mental and physical faculties are working in an integrated way similar to a meditative process
Therapists have also noted that they have watched people under severe anxiety color and they have reported that their blood pressure drops significantly and in a short amount of time. It's a healing experience for them.
Current day therapists aren't not the only ones who observe these benefits of coloring. On of the fathers of psychotherapy, Carl Jung felt the same way!
Carl Gustav Jung was a passionate advocate of therapy through art and he often used drawing and coloring as an effective technique to reduce stress way back in the beginning of the 20th century. Even Dr. Jung would color designs such as mandalas and geometric shapes in the beginning of his days. Those very same zentangles and mandalas are now the basis of many of the popular anxiety relieving books for coloring nowadays.
2. Don't have a paper book? Not a problem! In the digital age, you can even color on the go
Nowadays the rule is that It's only an official trend once it's all over social media. So, as great as it is to color in your living room all day, now you can draw on your digital device using the strokes of your finger instead of a pen.
A very popular coloring app right now called Colorfy has become super popular in the mobile world. Generating 23,000 reviews in the app store
Quite possibly, one of the most appealing things about the coloring apps is that they let you easily erase your work and start again or change things however you want as you go.
3) Some of these coloring books are really funny.
Adult coloring is not only about the gorgeously intricate designs like the ones that are in Secret Garden and its following release, Enchanted Forrest.
You can find just about any topic to color, including such mindless fun as coloring images of Ryan Gosling or coloring a book filled with swear words!
And, if you happen to be a real free spirit, you could even enjoy a... um... truly "adult" coloring book
This might not be safe for work though... :)
No matter if you are coloring just to release stress or for the fun of it, there is definitely a coloring book out there that's right for you