At the moment, I think many of us a coping with extraordinary external stress.
I’m in the U.S., so I’m watching an unfolding political scene.
But, we’re planning to move to England, so today’s General Election is important, as well.
Yes, I find the news stressful. I also feel as if history is unfolding in front of us. I want to witness it, or at least remain aware of what’s going on.
Also, I like to make my own decisions, not rely wholly on others’ interpretations.
So, I’m on the sofa, watching the TV, more often than usual.
And, though I check facial expressions and body language during some news coverage, I can usually just listen to what’s being said.
So, I color. And, I like to color “happy” images.
For me, that’s hippie-style art, and — currently — hearts. In my head, I’m often recalling a song that was popular during my childhood, with lyrics that said, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love… that’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
This week, I’ve been coloring pages from my Hearts! Volume 4 book. I printed them with my home printer, on regular printer paper. Then, I put a few sheets of paper beneath the page I’m coloring, and use a clipboard for support.
Here are the three pages I’ve colored, so far.
For me, this is a relaxing way to maintain my sense of calm and balance, while still being current on important world events.
Today, I’ll color at least one more page from this book.
And, when I’ve completed at least four pages, total, I’m planning to sign & frame them as a birthday present for a family member.
At the moment, my favorite YouTube video of the “What the World Needs Now” song features the composer, Burt Bacharach, with Tom Jones. This video is from 1970.
You see, I draw the kinds of designs I enjoy coloring, too. Here’s a page from Hearts! Volume 4. I colored it yesterday, while sitting on the sofa, catching up with a TV show I can listen to (and don’t have to watch, closely).
Pluqis are soft-ish pencils, but if I had to choose just one label (hard or soft), I’d probably categorize them as hard.
Despite that, Pluqis blend fairly well. In my coloring, they also play better with Prismacolor than the Staedtler pencils do.
Prismacolor is easily my favorite brand of really soft coloring pencils, because they’re so blendable. However, at a certain point (no pun intended) they suddenly stop blending, and I can add more colors because they just won’t “stick” as I color.
That’s when I go back to Pluqis. So, if I could use only one kind of pencil for an entire coloring page, I’d probably use Pluqis. It’s the brand I take with me when I travel.
Staedtler Ergo Soft is still a fairly hard pencil. And, it doesn’t always color over Prismacolor easily. However, I’m able to get really dark colors with Staedtler than other brands, and it’s not as shiny as Prismacolor. So, when I display my pages, the Staedtler dark colors (midnight blue, dark brown, etc.) appear darker in any light.
Hearts! Volume 4 is among my favorite coloring books, so far. (The cover is shown, at right.)
Drawing these designs, I realized I’d keep drawing (and creating these coloring books), even if they weren’t popular.
Our next projects include different ways to deliver coloring books to you. They’re PDFs you can download, print, and start coloring, immediately. We’re testing this idea with an introductory price of $1 for each complete book. Click here to get your copy.
Christmas is ahead, and I’ve completed two coloring books of Christmas ornaments.
Each book includes:
Over 180 unique, round ornaments in different sizes and styles.
All designs are printed on one side of the page.
Every ornament is designed to color, cut out, and hang on your Christmas tree or wreath.
Also: Four pages of decorating and crafts ideas, to get the most from these ornaments.
Bonus: Two Christmas wreaths to color and decorate.
Plus: Additional pages of Christmas ornament coloring pages I’d created, mostly as experiments, as I designed my holiday books.
And sample pages from a few of my other coloring books.
Both books are suited to family activities. I tested them with children as young as three years old, and with adults. Everyone enjoyed them.
So, you can color your ornaments now, and display them at your home or office.
OR, you can plan this as a family activity, during holiday get-togethers. (They’re also ideal for classrooms and Scout meetings, “girls’ night out” activities, etc.)
The coloring designs in Volume 1 (black background cover) are more ornate and detailed, but still in my usual “hippie style.” If you liked 1960s art by Peter Max, and the designs in the Beatles’ film, “Yellow Submarine,” this is the book you’ll want. (Not sure? See the freebie sampler page, linked below.)
The original artwork is mine, drawn with pen & ink, on paper. Then, I scanned it and tweaked the art (just a little) so it looks “just so.”
My artistic influences include:
Yellow Submarine (the animated film)
Peter Max’s artwork from the 1960s (stars and organic, flowing lines)
Romero Britto’s bold visions
Some of David Hockney’s illustrations
The whimsy of George Rodrigue
Mostly, I’m inspired by the ideals of the first Woodstock concert and the Summer of Love. I watch the Woodstock movie, listen to the intensity of the music, and admire the freestyle dancing among people in the audience. It really embodies “go with the flow,” and that’s what I want to convey with my coloring pages.
I really like these kinds of designs, so I plan to make more “hippie” coloring books.
Want to “test drive” this kind of coloring page? Download your own (uncolored) copy of the art on book’s cover. Click here for a free sample. It’s a b&w PDF from inside the book.