Monday, October 8, 2018

Adult Coloring Update 2018


It's been a while since I made a post about adult coloring. The buzz has passed a bit from the activity's height of popularity, but I still enjoy filling in patterns and designs--especially while I'm watching TV. So what's new in the coloring world? Well, you can get coloring books pretty much anywhere now, and the glut of leftovers from the sudden craze of coloring for adults means that you can often find the books at discount stores (or sometimes even on clearance racks). 

When you're finding those bargains, pay attention to more than just the designs available. The thickness of the paper, whether the book will open flat (or nearly flat), how detailed the designs are (and if you have the right kind of markers, pens, or colored pencils to color those teeny tiny designs), and whether the book has designs on both sides of the paper all need to be considered to get a coloring book that you'll use and enjoy.

I've picked up and been gifted several coloring books over the last few years. I look for mandalas and patterns that have repeating designs but aren't too tiny. This seems to be the most relaxing and enjoyable for me. Books that lay flat and have designs on only one side are a bonus, but not a deal breaker for me, but might be for some others.

As for coloring tools, I still recommend the Prismacolor colored pencils as my favorite. They aren't cheap, but often go on sale online. The Premier line are soft and blendable and my favorite colored pencil (and were used on the floral design above). Though they do occasionally break, and because they are soft, it can be hard to color some small designs with them and keep a sharp point. Prismacolor also has a medium softness pencil called the Scholar (the most economical of their sets) and a hard set called Verithins. All of these colored pencils are great in certain situations (depending on the size of the design you're coloring). I also recommend their blender pencils. These nude colored pencils are used to smooth out and blend colors. They work with other brands of colored pencils and can really take your coloring to the next level.

But what's new in my coloring supplies are these (photo above) Sargent Art colored pencils. Sargent Art makes a descent inexpensive basic colored pencil (that's fairly comparable to Crayola which are another great bargain option), but they now have this "Supreme Series" colored pencil. These are my new second favorite colored pencil. They are fairly firm and don't break easily, but make a nice smooth color and blend a bit better than the bargain varieties.

They come in a tin with 72 different colors that has a lift out tray so you can see all of the colors at once if you put the top tray in the lid and set it out next to your coloring book. The packaging works really well.

The quality of these pencils is really good for the price, so I definitely recommend them. My only complaint is that the pencil colors often don't match the colors painted on the pencils themselves and I have to rely on names and the color of the lead. I may have to make a color swatch chart. The mandala below was colored using the Sargent Art Supremes.

So what's the bottom line? If you're new to coloring, buy some inexpensive books with designs that you are drawn to, but make sure they aren't too teeny tiny as that can be frustrating and might turn you off the hobby. Start out with some solid Crayolas or Sargent Art basics to find out if you like coloring and if it's something you'll want to do a lot of. 

If you're hoping to up your game, try out the Prismacolor Scholars or the Sargent Art Supreme series. Both sets are more expensive than the basics, but are smoother and are a nice medium softness that can be used on a wide variety of designs. 

If you're totally sucked in to coloring, it might be time to invest in the whole line of Prismacolors. 

I'm not sponsored by Sargent Art or Prismacolor, they just happen to be my current favorites.

So, did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments if there's some brand I absolutely should be trying out! And check out the blog's instagram account to see coloring projects as I finish them.

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