Sunday 4 October 2015

WIN The Calm Colouring Book & Colouring Tips from Colour With Claire!



The Calm Colouring Book and its companion books are here!

To celebrate their release, I'm giving away a signed copy of each book.

To be in with a chance to win a copy, enter the giveaway (below)! 

You can grab up to 7 entries into the competition. The competition closes this Friday at midnight. Good luck! (Competition open to UK residents only)

You can already download 3 free pages from The Calm Colouring Book!

If you'd rather just buy a book to make sure you definitely get one, they're available on Amazon.


With a new colouring book coming out this week, I spoke to the lovely Claire of Colour With Claire. Here are some of our top tips!

1. What colouring tools would you recommend to a beginner?
Claire says:
When you first start colouring there's no need to buy expensive materials (regardless of whether you can afford it) because you won't know what medium you prefer until you try for yourself!
I recommend Staedtler Triplus Fineliners & Fibre Tips markers and Staedtler Ergosoft coloured pencils. They're fantastic for new colourists as they're inexpensive but give great results. The pens come in 30 different colours, and the pencils are easily blendable if you want to try your hand at shading and gradient techniques. Crayola Twistables are another economical option which lay down vivid colour.

If you don't like the marks pencils leave over large areas, opt for chalk pastels and rub them on with a cotton bud for beautiful and simple soft backgrounds! (Tutorial here)

Gel pens are another great product you might want. For lusciously thick colour I recommend Sakura Gelly Roll pens, which leave an embossed, 3D finish and are excellent for adding detail and making pictures pop. They aren't ideal for larger spaces ( the ink is so dense they will quickly run out), so for that I recommend Artworkz gel pens.
Meg says:
I agree with Claire about not buying expensive materials to begin with!
I recommend Letraset pro markers as an inexpensive market set to begin with. They have 2 nibs and come in a great variety of colours. They lay down intense colours so are fantastic when paired with Letraset marker paper.

For colouring pencils, I'd agree with Claire but also recommend Start watercolour pencils. These are very inexpensive – the colour they lay down isn't as fine a quality (and personally I don't think they blend well as a pencil) however the ability to add water to blend the colours makes them something a bit different!

2. What are your favourite colouring tools and why?

Claire says:
My favourite tools to colour with are alcohol markers, because they come in hundreds of different tones and can be seamlessly blended together for professional-looking effects. I use Spectrum Noir and Promarkers mostly, but there are lots of different options. These kinds of pens can be expensive and take practise to get right, but the bright colours and quality of the finished product when you get the hang out of it can be outstanding. 

My favourite pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos. Again they are going to set you back more than the budget options, but they are artist grade quality and make blending and shading a doddle. They come in up to 120 different shades and are long-lasting and have superior pigment laydown compared to other brands.

For backgrounds, I now use PanPastels. Cheaper chalks are great for giving subtle colour, but PanPastels are absolutely LOADED with pigment and create minimal dust. You only need a little to create vibrant colour strokes, and they can be mixed together to develop your range of shades.

Meg says:
Alcohol markers – copic sketch markers in particular – are my favourite! The colour choices are fantastic, and the double tips (especially the brush tip) allow for brilliant coverage and shading.

I also love working with KarismaColor pencils. They are so wonderful for blending and are really rich in colour. Unfortunately these went out of production a number of years ago (I am lucky to have a big stash!), and ultimately became some of the better quality Prismacolor range. I also like Caran d'Ache pencils for their high quality blending. Both these brands are on the more expensive side, but come in a wide range of colours and offer fantastic coverage and blending.

3. What's your favourite colouring/shading method and why? 

Meg says:

For me, it has to be a mix of artist markers and pencils. I lay down a base layer (sometimes including gradients) with my artist markers. I then use colouring crayons to build up mainly shadows but also some highlights over the markers. You can do hard edged shadows and highlights really well with this technique, though I personally prefer softer shading.

Even with high quality colouring pencils, you can still see the paper grain when shading, so this method allows me to produce artwork with a completely solid laydown.
Claire says:
I love to experiment blending my alcohol markers as the finish is just so consistent, but I'm no artist by any means and still class myself under low-to-middling as a colourist. I'm always learning!
Pencils are somewhat easier because you can slowly layer up. Another technique I've been trying recently is to colour a hard border around the edges of the pattern before colouring the middle with a light/medium pressure. It looks great on books like The Wild Colouring book that have lots of leaves and foliage for you to practise on.
Thanks very much to Claire for taking the time to share her top tips! You can follow Claire's colouring journey on Facebook, Twitter and sign up to her email list.
The Calm Colouring Book, Notebook and 2016 Diary are available at Amazon UK, USA and EU - claim your free samples at!

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