Sunday, May 1, 2016

Color Therapy

For those of you that haven't tried it and want to, I'll try and share a few hints to help you have an awesome coloring experience.

Coloring helps with so many things, including relaxation, an outlet for those that can't draw to have a chance to be creative, an outlet to help your mind wander when you're troubled about problems and to come up with creative solutions to them that your logical mind wouldn't think of and so much more.  I've said this for years before adult coloring books were available, and have a great many regular coloring books including precious moments which I adore and think they're awesome too.  Now that there are adult coloring books there is even more opportunity to find something that really speaks to you and will allow you to feel comfortable and free to explore how coloring might be beneficial for you.

I've recently gotten a few books illustrated by Millie Marotta, and want to get more from her printed ones because I just love the whimsical way she illustrates them.  I'll share a few from her illustrations here that I've recently completed and will share more as I do them in later posts.  I'd love to also take the time to thank Ms. Marotta for being so creative and sharing her art with us, along with all the other illustrators that are helping people to have this outlet.

I would like to share some hints to help you have the BEST EVER coloring experience.  First, if you can find friends that also want to try this form of self Therapy, I encourage you to come together similar to something like a book club, or crafting group and make it a social occasion.  You can also just take quiet time to be alone and unwind.  There is no wrong way to do it....that's great huh!?  Next, you don't have to sit and color for hours and hours and hours, or even finish a picture the same day you started.  I think the two I've put here took about a month and a half or so.  Sometimes I just color one item like the pineapple in the 2nd picture and then put it away.  Each time I look at a picture I see different color possibilities, so taking time to do something is fun because you can see it transform from what you originally thought of to something much different.  Sometimes I just pick one color I want to work with that day and do all the places I'd like to put it and then put it away.  You can do an entire picture at a sitting if you like, there are books of all sizes with large pictures like this one, and pocket sized books for those that feel compelled to complete an entire picture at once but don't have the time for a larger sized one like these.  I've recently even found some AWESOME postcards that you color, then fill out and send to friends or loved ones, keeping REAL MAIL alive.  It's so much more fun to get real mail than bills.  So that's a neat idea also.

Now, coloring, these books are great for using a LOT of different mediums for coloring.  If you would like to try water colors, I would suggest finding the ones with one picture on either side of the paper so that if you get it wet it won't affect the other side.  You can use markers, crayons, pencils and even the art chalks which would be great for blending and blurring edges for different effects.  I personally LOOOOVE colored pencils.  I have 4 different sets so far and each one has different properties.  One colors heavier than the others for example without having to press harder for a darker shade, though you absolutely can make it darker that way.  Another has such a light touch that it's just barely touching color shades into the paper, it's also great to use them to shade and come up with new colors or effects.  If you look closely at the pineapple you can see I've done that both on the body and the leaves of the pineapple to get a more natural effect like what you'd see on an actual fruit.

For me, coloring helps me greatly because of my anxiety, and is a great relaxation tool.  Though I tend to lean more toward realism when it comes to what the items are.  I try to be whimsical, but I'm afraid I fail a bit in that department.  I do love how the first picture here looks a bit like a bird in the way that it's drawn.  So I guess the whimsy at least gets achieved from the overall look of the picture.  No matter what your style or medium is, take your time and have fun with it.  I'd love it if people trying this would share their pictures in the comments too so I can have fun sharing your experience too!

Happy coloring people!!!