Even though I have about 50 different adult coloring books, my collection tends to lean towards mandalas and pretty patterns. Coloring people was always very frustrating for me, since my efforts never quite seemed to measure up. Fortunately, I recently stumbled across Jade Summer’s grayscale coloring books.
If you’re not familiar with grayscale coloring, this term simply means that the image is looks a little like a black and white photograph with shading already added to the line art. When you color over top of the grayscale, this adds depth and dimension to your picture with no extra work on your part.
Currently, there are three Jade Summer titles with grayscale people:
These titles have a wide variety of images. Some of the backgrounds are quite detailed, while others put the focus clearly on the people. However, even the pages with detailed backgrounds don’t have a lot of the super tight spaces that require lots of patience to color. Since I color primarily for relaxation and managing anxiety, this low-key approach is much appreciated.
Each print book comes with a code in the back to download a free digital copy. I love this feature because you can print multiple pages of the same image to test color choices or have extras in case you aren’t happy with what your finished image looks like.
My favorite way to color grayscale images is with alcohol markers. I have a few different sets from the cheaper brands on Amazon, but Ohuhu markers are still my favorite. They have quite a few lighter shades, which work best for grayscale coloring because they let the shading in the original image show through clearly. Someday I might be able to swing a small set of Copic markers, but this set suits my needs for now.
I’ve included a few of my own colored pages for your reference, but you can see lots of great examples on the Jade Summer website as well as full previews of what is inside each book. There is also a Jade Summer Artwork Facebook group you can join to connect with other colorists and easily share your work.