ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coloring is Not Just For Kids!

Updated on November 16, 2015
thyme2Bcreative profile image

Lori has more than thirty years of crafting practice! She enjoys a variety of arts and crafts; decorative painting being her first love.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Drawn by Norma J. Burnell, colored by me!
Drawn by Norma J. Burnell, colored by me!
Drawn by Norma J. Burnell, colored by me! | Source

I'm an Adult and I Color!

As a child I remember being thrilled to receive a coloring book and a new box of crayons - Crayolas please:) Do you remember getting your first box of 64 crayons? The colors were amazing, right? And the sharpener in the back of the box was outrageous! While other kids couldn't wait to get outside I was content to sit for hours happily laying down color and creating a "masterpiece."

About four years ago while spending time with a friend's children, I pulled out my coloring books and purchased some new crayons thinking the girls would be thrilled, wrong. They had something better than a box of new crayons, they had Crayola Twistables! I was intrigued and hooked. Twistables are crayons that you twist to reveal the point; like a mechanical pencil. The next day I went out and bought my own set of Twistable crayons. Little did I know they had Twistable colored pencils too, so I purchased those along with a few new coloring books.The Twistables made it easy to shade and I was able to achieve a certain level of detail while coloring - loved it!

A few months later when visiting my sister she pulled out her coloring book -- I had never seen a book like this (I must live under a rock) and I was wishing I had my Twistables. Needless to say I purchased my own Creative Haven Coloring Book in the next day or two. These coloring books are awesome, published by Dover, they offer a variety of coloring books from which you can choose and you can purchase them at your local craft store or Barnes and Noble does not carry this coloring book in their store but you can purchase them on their website. My next purchase will definitely be Creative Haven's Steampunk coloring book - can't wait!

My interest in coloring has never waned and recently while surfing on YouTube I discovered a color blending technique using colored pencils. So I headed to the craft store once again, this time to purchase my "big girl" colored pencils. I opted for Prismacolor Verithin pencils to stay within my budget. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately I did not research colored pencils before making my purchase and have since learaned the Verithin Prismacolor pencils, while a good pencil, are best for sketching. The Premier and Scholar variety of Prismacolor pencils are better for blending, they have a higher pigment and wax content which facilitates the blending process. The Premier Prismacolor pencils are considered artist quality. Going forward I will purchase Prismacolor Premier pencils because I love to blend my color.

As for color blending, there are several ways to blend your color. Here's what I've learned.

Supplies Needed for Color Blending

Pencil Blending
Baby Oil Blending
Mineral Spirit Blending
coloring page
coloring page
coloring page
colored pencils
colored pencils
colored pencils
colorless pencil
baby oil
mineral spirits
blending stump(s)
blending stump(s)

A Few Coloring Techniques to Consider

Here are a few coloring techniques you may want to consider.

Just Pencils-in this technique you only use your colored pencils. By applying different pressure while coloring (heavy, medium, and light) you are able to blend and shade your work. You can also overlap your color with a lighter shade using medium to heavy pressure. I'm going to try this technique at some point, but I think, for me, most of the time this technique would be too labor intensive and require too much brain power. I like to relax when I'm coloring. So for now I'm going to pass on this technique.

Baby Oil-in this technique you use baby oil as your medium. Once you have your base color in place you use a blending stump and apply baby oil which reacts with the pencil and allows you to blend your color as you continue to apply additional shades of colored pencil strokes. With this technique you need to discern how much oil to apply. While baby oil is a somewhat common household item, I'll pass on this technique. Might just be a little too messy for me.

Colorless Pencil-Blick has a colorless pencil available and it looks like it would work well. After you apply your base coat of colored pencil you go over your work blending the edges with the colorless pencil. I'm looking forward to trying this technique, but if you knew me personally you'd know I am way too impatient to wait until I purchase a colorless pencil to try my hand at color blending.This technique will have to wait until my next trip to the craft store.

Mineral Spirits-this technique is very similar to the baby oil technique. You lay down your base coat of color and instead of applying baby oil, you apply the mineral spirits. In my opinion papernlaceprincess, whom I found on YouTube, is spot on. This blending technique is easy and you get great results. The mineral spirits has a watery consistency, but yet not oily or greasy. The paper absorbs the mineral spirits but yet is dry to the touch within seconds. As you apply this medium you can see your colored pencils strokes meld together right before your eyes; very cool. This technique has my vote and has has kicked my coloring up a notch. I am loving the results.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My coloring supplies.
My coloring supplies.
My coloring supplies.

Color Blending

Why Not Consider Coloring as a Hobby?

If you are looking for a relaxing hobby I recommend you return to a childhood favorite, coloring. The range of subjects to color are endless. There are crayons, Twistables, colored pencils, and markers (Copic markers, oh my, let's not even go there) something for everyone at any skill level. To me color blending keeps the art of coloring alive and interesting. I think you will agree with me when I say color blending with mineral spirits very easy but gives you big results. Try it, I think you'll like it!

Once you have gathered your supplies - check out my tutorial and I will walk you through the color blending technique using mineral spirits. Enjoy!

Here is what you will need to get started.

1. A good quality coloring book or print. Purchase a coloring book or print a coloring page you. Free coloring pages are available on the Internet, however if you go this route, I suggest you print your coloring page on ultra smooth cardstock or good quality paper, the end result will be much better.

2. Quality colored pencils are worth the investment. You can visit an art center to purchase pencils, but keep in mind your local craft store does carry the Prismacolor and you can use a coupon:)

3. Blending medium. Odorless mineral spirits.

4. A blending tool. Blending stumps are available at your local craft store and In a pinch you can use a Q-tip!

5. Small jar and a small piece of sponge.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Roses I colored with alcohol markers.
Roses I colored with alcohol markers.
Roses I colored with alcohol markers.

Alcohol Markers

Project 1 - roses

Alcohol Markers

To me, markers were something your sister-in-law gifted your children; those messy things would get all over their chubby fingers and on their clothing, right? They bled and looked blotchy. Clearly markers were created to intrigue children and make parents crazy. I put the thought of markers right out of my head.

When doing some research on colored pencils I began seeing completed works using markers. These marker colored pages didn't look like anything I recognized. The colors were vibrant, coverage was smooth - the more I saw this type of art form the more I was drawn in - I couldn't image how the artisan achieved this magnificent look using MARKERS!

As I continued my research I started seeing the brand name Copic - I began to investigate. I learned a few things right away. Copic markers are alcohol markers, they are used by artists and/or professionals, they come in hundreds of colors, they are refillable, and cost prohibitive for my budget. So again I put markers out of my head.

A few weeks later I was tuned in to QVC, a home shopping network, and they were airing a rare two hour "craft" show and I was watching because they were going to have a few scrapbook items, my newest passion. While watching they began presenting an item called Spectrum Noir Markers -- what was that? -- markers? Turns out Spectrum Noir is a brand of alcohol marker that is in my budget. With the QVC offer I would receive 24 markers and an instructional DVD, extra smooth card stock (didn't know that existed) and a case to hold the markers; sold!

I think the Spectrum markers are great with a few exceptions, of course I have nothing to compare them to; I'm hoping to purchase a few Copic markers just to do a comparison. The biggest complaint I have about the Spectrum marker is that the marker is difficult to open, the cap has a really tight seal. The DVD explains the idea is to put down some ink and before it dries apply your next color and then blend the two with a third marker. In other words, you have to work somewhat quickly and when you can't get the cap off it's stressful.

I'm in the beginning stages of learning to blend my color and I am having trouble. I guess this could be for a few reasons; the color range of the markers are too far apart; not enough base color on the image or I just haven't practiced enough. From what I read on the Internet it sounds like the Copic markers are easier to blend. Also, the Spectrum kit did not include a blending marker which might help. I'll pick one of those up the next time I'm in the craft store. I was delighted to learn A.C. Moore sells the Spectrum Noir markers so I added two additional color ranges to my stash! In July I am planning to attend a Scrapbooking conference. The conference is offering a class teaching how to use colored pencils and alcohols markers together - sounds like a dream to me!

Colorless Pencil is the Bomb!

I recently purchased a colorless pencil which I found at my local craft store located right with the loose colored pencils. The one I purchased is marked "Premier Colourless" and the outer covering is natural wood.

To get started I choose three shades in the same color family. I laid down my base color, the lightest of the three, making sure I have good coverage of color. Next I use the medium shade, and use light strokes and apply the color. For instance, if I'm coloring the petal of a flower, I begin at the flower center and stroke toward the edge of the petal coming down about two thirds of the way. Lastly I use the darkest shade and again start at the center of the flower, this time only come out about a third of the way toward the pedal edge. Now for the magic.

Using the colorless pencil I begin "scrubbing" the pencil over my original colored pencil strokes. As you apply the colorless pencil you will see your base color melding together, the surface becomes much smoother. This will create "crumbs" so if you have an old make-up brush to brush away the crumbs use it - if you use your hand to brush away the crumbs you may apply too much pressure and smear the color pencil crumbs on your work - you will not be happy.

You can achieve a very nice finish with this technique. I have been using the colorless pencil almost exclusively when coloring. Again, it gives you a really nice finish and is so easy to use. Let me know if you try this technique and what you think. I thought I would stay with the mineral spirit technique, but I've changed my mind. The colorless pencil now has my vote.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stamped imaged that I colored and outlined using Pigma Micron markers.Pigma Micron Markers
Stamped imaged that I colored and outlined using Pigma Micron markers.
Stamped imaged that I colored and outlined using Pigma Micron markers.
Pigma Micron Markers
Pigma Micron Markers | Source

Glad I'm Not Alone

At family gatherings I usually bring my coloring books and crayons, pencils, etc. My nieces love to color - they are adults now, but not counting them, I'm happy to know I'm not the only adult that colors.

I was getting a little bored with the coloring books in my stash and began surfing the web for pages to color. I found on Pinterest there are tons available. I like to print the images on my ultra smooth card stock - I get such a better end result it's worth printing on the better card stock. I purchase this special card stock at my local craft center,with a coupon of course and that makes this extra expenditure affordable. If you have better grade computer paper that might work well too, I don't have any of that on hand.

I also like I to outline my work. I don't do this with everything I color, but on special pages I do. For example, right now I'm working on a scrapbook memory album and I'm incorporating some of my coloring. In this project I took one of my rubber stamps, stamped it on the ultra smooth card stock and then colored it. When I was pleased with the end result I came back in and "inked" all the outlines. It really makes the colors pop. To out line my work I like to use the Pigma Micron markers. These markers come in different colors (I usually use black) and different nib sizes (the tip); 01 being the smallest nib. The photo pictured here is going to be the cover of my scrapbook project; a garden themed memory book - I think it's going to look great.

Do you color?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • thyme2Bcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Delp 

      3 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks everyone for your comments, for some reason I haven't been getting notified of your comments - I am going to look into that - and now I can't seem to respond to you individually, ah technology. I would much rather be coloring:)

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I work with children in an after school program..I have been coloring for most of my life and that's a while. I love some of your ideas and will try them. Thanx

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      3 years ago from Vermont

      Not only do I color, but I draw coloring pages for adults, teens and children. Drawing is my lifelong passion and coloring makes art available for everyone. I enjoyed your technique descriptions, especially the baby oil blending process.

    • thyme2Bcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Delp 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      Hello- I often take coloring books, crayons, and colored pencils to family gatherings - we have fun chatting and coloring. Right now I'm enjoying Zen Patterns and Designs, published by Skyhorse Publishing -- can't get enough coloring!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello, Ms. Lori! Reading this hub brings back memories of my childhood. I was also fond of coloring books and Crayolas. And yes, I do remember the sharpener at the back of the box!

      (Sigh)...those were the days!

    • thyme2Bcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Delp 

      4 years ago from New Jersey

      You will love your new pencils! I color almost every evening and find the colorless pencil works really well for blending my colors so make sure you pick one of those up too. I have a binder full of my "artwork" just can't seem to throw them away:)

    • Kappygirl profile image


      4 years ago

      Lovely work! I was just coloring yesterday in a Dover book I've had from back in the 70's! You have she'd a whole new light though with the blend-able pencils. I would just use basic Crayola pencils or crayons or school markers. It never bothered me that they looked "childish" because they were just for my enjoyment, but I would wonder if I could make them look a little better somehow. I will be investing in some good quality pencils now! Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

    • thyme2Bcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Delp 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you. Coloring is one of my favorite things to do. I've just discovered all the coloring pages you can print via Pinterest - having a blast with those:)

    • suziecat7 profile image


      5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I'm also an adult who colors though not artfully like you. I just like to do it. Great Hub!

    • thyme2Bcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Delp 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      I hope you do -I color almost every night, it's so relaxing. I never thought to check the thrift shop - good idea!

    • Christy Kirwan profile image

      Christy Kirwan 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Coloring is something I'd never have even considered as a hobby on my own, but the pieces you've created are so beautiful. I'm inspired! I might have to search my local thrift shop for some old coloring books in the near future... :)

    • thyme2Bcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Delp 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      The Dover books are amazing! I can see where the tissue technique would work - love new ideas, what clever girls. Thanks for commenting - happy coloring:)

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      I love to color I have never heard of these books, I have to check them out.

      I was young and in the hospital, two teenage girls came to my bed. They were hiding from their parents for some reason. They sit with me and started coloring in my color books. They taught me to take a Kleenex after you color and rub it over the color on the page. It would smooth the color out and looks color look very nice. You can’t go outside the lines because it will just look all smudgy.

      Enjoyed your hub and voted up and pinned.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)