The mandala is from Coloring Pages for Adults, a free PDF book available on Wikimedia Commons. This 258-page freebie has mandalas, butterflies, animals, hearts, and more for you to color. I printed my design at 50% scale so it would be small enough to add to a handmade greeting card when I was finished.
Jade Summer, owned by Fritzen Publishing, offers a number of adult coloring books covering themes such as animals, flowers, Alice in Wonderland, and more. Visit their website for a number of free downloads, including a free PDF adult coloring book featuring their 50 best coloring pages. (You’ll need to sign up for their newsletter by clicking on the “Join our email list” to get the free book, but the newsletter gives you access to so many great samples that it’s well worth the effort.)
If you love the freebies in this great coloring book, Amazon has all of the Jade Summer titles available for purchase. Most sell for just $6.99, which makes them an affordable addition to your collection.
Grayscale coloring is a new way to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of adult coloring. Instead of coloring in a traditional line drawing, you are coloring over an image highlighted with different shades of gray. This gives you the look of shading in your finished picture without actually having to shade the colors yourself. For this reason, many people find that grayscale coloring pages are more forgiving of small mistakes than pages done with traditional line art.
Popular subjects for grayscale coloring pages include landscapes, animals, flowers, and fairytale or fantasy drawings. Grayscale coloring is most often done with colored pencils, but you may try using watercolors or markers. However, keep in mind that you want to use a coloring medium that will let the gray in the original image show through. Opaque mediums such as gel pens will cover up the details in a grayscale page, which is why they are typically only used for highlighting small areas.
Grayscale Coloring Tutorials
If you’re thinking about trying grayscale coloring for yourself, start with this short beginner video.
This video focuses on blending colors on grayscale pages.
If you want to color pages with people, you’ll find this skin tone video helpful.
I have wanted to try alcohol markers for some time. Since I’m on a tight budget, I decided to try out the highly rated Ohuhu markers from Amazon.
Ohuhu markers come in 80 and 40 count sets, so you can choose which one best meets your needs. The price works out to be about 68 cents per marker for the smaller set and 56 cents per marker for the larger set. Either way, this is a steal since comparable Copic sets on Amazon sell for $5 or more per marker.
What I Love
The colors are vibrant and highly pigmented. Just keep in mind that they will dry a little lighter than what they first appear. I would suggest making yourself a labeled color chart for reference.
I know lots of people prefer a brush tip, but for me the fine tip and bullet tip are easier to use than the brush tips. The fine tip is sufficient for all but the most detailed of adult coloring books.
Blending is fairly easy. I’m a newbie when it comes to alcohol markers, but it didn’t take me too long to figure out how to blend the colors.
The included carrying case makes it easy to store and transport your markers for coloring on the go.
What I Don’t
The printing they use on the caps is terrible. I love the idea of being able to identify each color with a name and number, but the printing keeps wearing off. I’ve been using these markers for about two months now and the printing has worn off on 75% of the caps. (However, in the Amazon product description, it looks like there is a new 2018 version of the product that is supposed to address this issue.)
There are no decent skin tones, so if you color people a lot you’ll need a separate set for that.
There is no blending marker included, so I purchased mine separately. You can make some neat effects without a colorless blender, but it’s definitely a nice addition that I wish would have been added.
Blue and green color test using color numbers 185, 63, 163 and 59.
Pink color test using color numbers 6, 15, 8, and 196.
Yellow and orange color test using color numbers 33, 23 45, and 10.
I was a little nervous about this purchase because I researched the company and found that Ohuhu doesn’t make art supplies exclusively. On their website, they have markers as wella s home, health, auto, music, beauty, and gardening items. That’s quite the diverse assortment!
Overall though, I’m very pleased with this set for the price. If you’re a beginner who wants to experiment with alcohol markers, but can’t afford Copics or other premium brands, this is a great alternative.
If you’re looking for a way to get more organized, consider combining your love of adult coloring with bullet journaling. I have an article explaining how to get started published on LoveToKnow Scrapbooking, featuring pages with stickers from Valentina Harper.
Did you know you can get a free 20-page PDF coloring book from SuziQ Creations when you sign up for the Sue’s email newsletter? This book is full of amazing designs to color, including “Fireflower” pictured above. In addition to the sign up bonus, you also get exclusive free pages each month. Click here to check it out!
There are some great deals on Crayola products on Amazon.com, especially if you’re a Prime member who can get free shipping with add-on items!
A 50 count box of Crayola colored pencils for $5.27 is an amazing price! Consider buying extra to keep on hand for gifts throughout the year. It’s an add-on item, but who can’t easily spend half their paycheck on Amazon?
This Crayola Escapes adult coloring kit is just $5.87 as an add-on item. It includes 50 Colored Pencils, 12 Watercolor Color Pencils, and 12 11 x 17 inch premium coloring pages
created by renowned artist Claudia Nice. Color Escapes kits normally sell for $24.99 on the Crayola website, so this is a total steal!
This Crayola Geoscapes kit is selling for $3.99 as an add-on item and includes 20 markers with 20 adult coloring pages.
I love Dollar Tree, but haven’t been a fan of their adult coloring books due to the substandard paper quality. However, during my last few trips, I’ve noticed they are starting to stock “Color Your Own Greeting Cards” that are a surprisingly good deal. For $1, you can pick up a package of two cards with foil printed designs. The cards are blank on the inside, which makes them perfect for personalizing however you see fit. The included envelopes are plain white, but could be embellished with color your own stickers, washi tape, or hand drawn doodles if you wanted.
The “You’re the Best” card in this post was one I colored for Mother’s Day. The “Thinking of You” card was sent as a sympathy card for a friend who has been going through a tough time. Both were colored using glitter gel pens. (You’d want to avoid markers on these due to the bleed through, but colored pencils should be fine if that’s what you prefer.)
I found my “Color Your Own Greeting Cards” packs in a display by the cash register, but all Dollar Tree stores are a little different. Ask a salesclerk for help if you can’t find them locally.
If you’d rather make your own cards, check out the following ideas:
I had heard fairly positive reviews of Colore brand colored pencils in the various coloring groups I participate in on Facebook, so I was eager to try this set out for myself.
I have several different sets of colored pencils in my collection, but I was interested in this particular product because I loved the cute tin they came in. I received a 72-count Prismacolor set for my birthday last year and I’m obsessed with how convenient this makes storage after you’re done coloring. Since I know not everyone is willing or able to splurge on Prsimacolors, I was intrigued by the idea of a more affordable alternative.
What I love:
The colors are intensely pigmented. You don’t need to press hard at all to get a nice coverage on the paper.
Every color has a unique identifying number so you can easily keep track of your favorite color palettes.
There is a particularly nice selection of greens, which is great if you enjoy coloring lots of nature themed images.
There are multiple shades of the same color that are very close together, which lets you create some interesting ombre effects on your pages.
What I’m not thrilled with:
There are no good skin tones in this set.
You have to be careful if you tend to press hard when you color. You’ll snap the lead if you press too hard.
I had some trouble finding a handheld sharpener that would sharpen these to a suitable point. I ended up getting the best results with my trusty electric sharpener.
Overall, I think this is a respectable buy for the colorist on a tight budget or someone who wants to buy pencils for an older child who enjoys art. They’re currently $19.88 on Amazon, which makes them a little over $20 cheaper than a comparable set of Prismacolors. If you don’t care about the fancy storage tin or would be happy with a smaller set, you can pick them up for $10 to $15. They seem to go on sale fairly regularly too.
Even if you already have several sets of pencils at your disposal, these may still be worth the money. There actually aren’t too many duplicate colors in the Colore set vs. my current set of Prismacolors, so I can myself regularly using both in the future.