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Dover Coloring Books-Art Appreciation Ideas

Updated on March 20, 2015

Coloring Books for Art Appreciation

We have used Dover Coloring Books for a long time as a part of our art appreciation and art skills plans. These inexpensive coloring books have helped us follow up on artist studies as well as learn some important drawing skills. There are quite a few examples on this page to help give you some ideas to use with your own children.

Watercolor pencils, Prismacolor pencils, crayons, watercolors, markers....all are great mediums to use with your coloring books.

If you are looking for a product that will teach great art skills and techniques, these coloring books are not the solution. I am looking at the coloring books as a tool to learning some very valuable concepts in a more rounded art program. I do feel that the use of coloring books is a great way to introduce small useful skills.

Coloring Books as a Stepping Stone

One benefit of using Dover Coloring Books has become clearer as the years have ticked by. They actually helped my children learn to draw. My middle son loves to draw airplanes but if you have ever tried to draw a real airplane you realize just how hard it is to get the wings to look right and the shape of the airplane to be in proportion.

My son solved this problem by looking at Dover Coloring Books. He uses them as a guide when he is trying to make his airplanes "look right". He is very visual and after looking at the drawing in the coloring book he can see how the author solved the problem and imitate it in his own drawing by first tracing it and then after he became more familiar with the shapes and perspective, he could draw it free hand. Thanks to the black line drawings in the Dover Coloring Books he is now very proficient at drawing airplanes.

You can read more about this topic on my blog My View on Art Appreciation Using Dover Coloring Books.

Dover Coloring Books are a tool to be used alongside picture study and in addition to a gradual program of learning to draw and paint.

Using Coloring Books With Kids Who Don't Color In The Lines

I have a child who never colors inside the lines of a coloring book. I am the opposite and at first it drove me crazy that he wouldn't follow the lines as boundaries for separate colors. Using the lines as a basic guide and not as a strict "do not cross" line, your child can individualize the pages.

I have seen how observing the black lines of the coloring pages shows them how to set up their own paintings. By comparing the coloring book outlines to the original artist's painting, they can see how the sketch you start from doesn't always show all the details. It may not seem like an earth-shattering concept but it is something that every artist needs to know.

My Favorite Picks for Art Appreication - Dover Coloring Books that Give You A Lot of Bang For Your Buck

I like to have a stock of coloring books on had for our family to supplement their artist study with as we go along. Dover Publications has the best assortment at a reasonable price that I have ever found. I have given you links to the books we use the most and I think have the best variety.

Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Botticelli to Picasso (Dover Art Coloring Book)
Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Botticelli to Picasso (Dover Art Coloring Book)

This coloring book as a great variety of paintings to study and then color all throughout art history. 5*****

 
Impressionist Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Renoir to Gauguin (Dover Art Coloring Book)
Impressionist Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings from Renoir to Gauguin (Dover Art Coloring Book)

This coloring book covers Impressionist artists and is printed only on one side of the page so you can paint or use markers without spoiling the back page. 5*****

All the paintings are shown in their original form on the inside covers. There are also short notes about each painter in the back of the book. The pages in the book are only printed on one side so that makes it perfect for painting and they are perforated so you can remove them from the book. Thirty-seven artists are provided including Mary Cassatt, Cezanne, Degas, Sargent, and Seurat. There are self-portraits, landscapes, and still-lifes.

 

Art Appreciation Follow-Up Activity (Degas Coloring Book)

Art Appreciation Follow-Up Activity (Degas Coloring Book)
Art Appreciation Follow-Up Activity (Degas Coloring Book)

Variety of Topics Are Available

You can supplement your history, science, art, music, literature and just about anything else with Dover Coloring Books.

Great Inventors and Inventions (Dover History Coloring Book)
Great Inventors and Inventions (Dover History Coloring Book)

There are a variety of coloring books for famous people and time periods in history.

 
Seashore Life Coloring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)
Seashore Life Coloring Book (Dover Nature Coloring Book)

Try a variety of science topics offered by Dover as a supplement to your science studies.

 
Celtic Design Coloring Book (Dover Design Coloring Books)
Celtic Design Coloring Book (Dover Design Coloring Books)

History and Art art combined in this one really nice coloring book.

 
Greek Gods and Goddesses (Dover Classic Stories Coloring Book)
Greek Gods and Goddesses (Dover Classic Stories Coloring Book)

Tie in a study of ancient history and literature with this Greek gods and goddesses coloring book.

 
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book

Creative children will love the format of this coloring book with birds and flowers to go with each of the fifty states.

 

Try Dover Coloring Book Pages Free!

You can sign up to receive weekly free Dover Coloring Book pages. I have found these to be a great source of supplemental artwork and inspiration.

Sign Up for Free Dover Sampler

It is always nice to preview materials before you purchase so go ahead and sign up for their weekly free samples to come right into your email box. I will view the pages available and then print those that I think we will eventually use in our homeschooling. I keep them in a folder that my children can access during their free time as well.

Supplies We Use With Our Coloring Books

Here are some ideas of art supplies to use with your Dover Coloring Books.

Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips - "Styles May Vary"
Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips - "Styles May Vary"

Our whole family enjoys using this set with the wide variety of colors available.

Please Note: If you are fragrance sensitive, there are several markers that come in "silly scents".

 
Dixon Prang Oval Watercolor Paint Set, 8-Color Set, Assorted Colors, Clamshell Case, Brush Included (00821)
Dixon Prang Oval Watercolor Paint Set, 8-Color Set, Assorted Colors, Clamshell Case, Brush Included (00821)

Over the years this has become our favorite brand of watercolors. We have sets at home and a set in with our nature journal kit.

 
Prismacolor Premier Water-Soluble Colored Pencils, 24 Pack
Prismacolor Premier Water-Soluble Colored Pencils, 24 Pack

You can draw with these like regular colored pencils and then add water to give a watercolor effect. My son likes to wet the tips and use them that way too.

 
Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils, 24-Count
Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils, 24-Count

These are a great choice with quality results. The tips don't break easily and they are not scratchy.

 
Sakura 57370 10-Piece Gelly Roll Blister Card Assorted Colors Metallic Gel Ink Pen Set
Sakura 57370 10-Piece Gelly Roll Blister Card Assorted Colors Metallic Gel Ink Pen Set

My sons love to use these as accents in their artwork. I love using them in my scrapbook. I highly recommend these smooth Gelly roll pens for your art work.

 

Use a Variety of Art Supplies-Watercolor Pencils

Use a Variety of Art Supplies-Watercolor Pencils
Use a Variety of Art Supplies-Watercolor Pencils

Another Art Medium-Markers

Another Art Medium-Markers
Another Art Medium-Markers

This One Was Done With Colored Pencils

This One Was Done With Colored Pencils
This One Was Done With Colored Pencils

Watercolors Make a New Art Project Too!

Watercolors Make a New Art Project Too!
Watercolors Make a New Art Project Too!

Use Coloring Pages in Your Nature Study

Use Coloring Pages in Your Nature Study
Use Coloring Pages in Your Nature Study

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    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I just bought my 88 yr old Mom historical coloring books and pencils to give her something new to do. She was a bit stuck on puzzles. I thought it would be a fun change. I asked her, "Do you want to color?" " No." I had to explain that coloring is not like what I did with crayons. lol I like your photo examples here.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      Really good ideas. I think coloring books aren't art in and of themselves, but can be used in ways that turn them into art lessons -- as you have demonstrated. SquidAngel blessings.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      Coloring and art are great learning tools for any subject. I teach physics and physical science. We often draw and color set ups for lab experiments.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Another great lens! I agree coloring books can be a great tool to teach skills and techniques, I also think that drawing outside of the lines is their way of expressing and their own style that can be developed.