Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Creative Coloring Craze

While coloring books for children have been around for many years, in part due to the democratization of art by early free-thinkers such as English portrait painter, Joshua Reynolds who founded the Royal Academy of Art in the 18th century and author Richard F. Outcault, who penned “Buster’s Paint Book” published by the Stokes Company in 1907 based on his 1902 characterBuster Brown. This was the beginning of the trend to use coloring pages to advertise products.  These books, meant to be painted at first, grew in popularity at first as educational and therapeutic tools for children. Their popularity also was helped in part by the invention of crayons in the 1930s. Most of us know how much children love coloring books, since we were all young once, we can all pretty much attest to the fact that we loved them as kids. But while coloring books have been an accepted form of entertainment for children for all these years, it wasn’t until 2015 that coloring books for adults became accepted and popular, and popular they are. It seems that this genre has exploded onto the creative scene. 
Paisleys from "Color Me" book

Perhaps it is because it was thought that as grown-ups we needed to leave childish things behind, and coloring was one of those things we enjoyed as children but as we grew up, we could no longer enjoy such trivial things as entertainment; it had to be something more sophisticated. Or so it was thought.  If sophistication is what was needed for adults to color, then we got it. There are so many choices now in what are called “adult” coloring books and pages. Some of these books are immensely intricate, beautiful, challenging, and more than enough to hold the attention and creative urge. Now you only need to look as close as your nearest supermarket or department store isle, and there are a multitude of relatively inexpensive coloring books for us grown-ups coloring aficionados.  Online, I found hundreds (I’m sure there are thousands) of sources with free coloring pages to download, for adults and children, as I previously listed some when I talked about mandalas to color. 
Owl from "Color Me" book

As for myself, I’ve never hid the fact that I still colored in coloring books and even though I like to create my own works of art as entertainment and a pastime, I still enjoy coloring. I have included two of my own designs. Feel free to print them off to color, although my scanner is not the best and added some shadowing, they may still work.
Renaissance Romance-Marie Cisneros
I used colored pencils for the pages on this post but you can use markers and crayons of course. If using markers, make sure you put a paper beneath so that it doesn't mark up the next page.
Sunshine, lollipops and Rainbows
I picked up a small coloring book a few weeks ago. I have really enjoyed this simple pleasure. It is relaxing and soothing to the psyche. If you have not colored in a book since you were a child, I do recommend picking up one of the latest adult coloring books that interests you, or download and print some from the internet.
The Sun-By Raven Lockhart
 Oh yeah, don't forget to buy yourself a new box of crayons (144 count, so many colors!) Namaste-Mariehelena.
Zentangle hands-Marie Cisneros

Here are a few sites with free coloring pages and sources. 

Sources:  Wikipedia. The colored pages are from "Color Me" published by Publications International, Ltd.  Copyright belongs to listed source. 

This blog is for educational purposes only.

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