Coloring Tips

Anyone who can hold a pencil can create beautiful coloring book pages.

There are many choices for media you can use to color, including colored pencils, markers, gel pens, watercolors and soft pastels.  We’ve selected instructional videos on all of these materials, and hope that you will find them useful to advance your knowledge of coloring materials and techniques.

Colored pencils are our default media for coloring pages, but we do use markers and gel pens for accents. Other artists love working exclusively with markers and gel pens.  If you have the budget to try different media, experimenting is fun. If you can only buy one supply to get started, stick with colored pencils.

In these videos, the instructions are clear and the watching experience is enjoyable. (Click to close the ads which are unavoidable.) We are very grateful to the many artists who prepared these videos and shared their expertise. Their contribution  makes it easy to get 100% free art classes from expert colorists.

How to use colored pencils: Layering, blending, & more.

We really like the video tutorials created by PencilStash. This one covers 6 basic techniques: pressure, stroke layering, blending, highlighting and creating shadows. By PencilStash. 14:01 Minutes.

5 Ways to Blend Colored Pencils 

Blending is such an important technique to learn,  we’ve included this video which covers layering with different pressures, burnishing, using a colorless blending pencil, using a solvent like odorless mineral spirits or  paint thinner, and burnishing with a white pencil.  The explanations are detailed but easy to follow. By Art@Fadil. 18:18 Minutes.

Using Light and Choosing Colors for Dynamic Results

Peta Hewitt is a masterful colorist and produces very helpful video tutorials. Her videos tend to be longer, but are well worth watching. You can find a good selection of them on YouTube.  In the video included here, she shows how to get dynamic results with low-budget pencils. She covers basic techniques which you can use to improve your coloring. By Peta Hewitt. 37:09 Minutes.

The Blending Rule of Thirds

More practical advice on how to learn blending. Don’t take the “Rule of Thirds” too seriously.  It’s just a technique to get you started. Soon, you will be blending like a pro with your own style. By Coloring Pages Bliss. 13:35 Minutes.

 Color Like a Pro: Choose a Color Palette

Hands-on advice from an experienced colorist.  Note how she sets up her workspace, and how she has prepared a library of reference material for color palettes. She has lots of materials available, much more than a beginning colorist would have on hand, but you will get a good idea of what a coloring workspace looks like. By Coloring Pages Bliss. 15:55 Minutes.

How to Choose a Color Palette for Adult Coloring Books

Choosing colors is the process that gives most of us anxiety.  We want our pages to turn out well, and we’re about to invest a lot of time working on them.  How can we be confident about choosing colors without being experts on the color wheel and color theory?  Simple: follow tips from the experts.

Tip#1: Study the design you want to color for a few minutes, and think about the tone you want the finished drawing to have.  Calm: Go for a limited palette with harmonious colors.  Cheerful and upbeat: Choose bright colors.

Tip #2: Limit your palette to 5 to 10 colors maximum. Using lighter or darker shades of the same color and blending will add variety to your designs.

Tip #3: Try out the colors on a test sheet.  Don’t skip this step.

Tip #4: Search for pre-selected palettes on Pinterest or Google Images.

Tip #5: Watch videos on YouTube to see what other colorists are doing.  You can also join coloring groups on Facebook.

Tip #6: Relax and don’t worry too much.  There are no mistakes in art. If you don’t like the page, tear it out and start another.  You can always get more designs for free from our website’s collection of free downloads.

This video: Here’s a short, practical guide to choosing colors. By Miss Sarah E.K. 7:56 Minutes.

4 More Tips to Improve Your Work

This is a detailed tutorial with extreme closeups of pencil action. It covers paper texture, burnishing, stroking in straight lines or circles and ways of blending different colors. By Art a la Carte. 15:51 Minutes.

 What to Do If Your Colored Pencils Keep Breaking

This video is so helpful! It’s frustrating to have your colored pencil tips constantly break off, especially when sharpening. Watch this video to learn useful tips on how to prevent and stop the breakage. By Simple Art for Adults. 20:07 Minutes

How to Embellish Your Colored Pencil Coloring with a Uni-Posca Marker

A white fine-point marker delivers a lot of punch to your drawings for a $2.50 tool. We think you’ll enjoy this tutorial. By PencilStash. 17:01 Minutes.

How to Color a Black Background

Black backgrounds will make your colors pop.  We love to add black to our coloring pages for a rich, finished look. Here’s how to do it with a combination of colored pencils and black markers. For the markers, we recommend the Faber Castell Pitt Artistic Pens or black Sharpies. By Peta Hewitt.11:55 Minute.

12 Tips for That Perfect Pencil Background

So many coloring pages have backgrounds, we’re including multiple tutorials for you to learn several techniques. This one has many great tips. By Sarah Colors Official. 19:15 Minutes.

Coloring Backgrounds with Soft Pastels

Some coloring books have large areas of backgrounds that you don’t want to leave white, but stroking across with a colored pencil can give sketchy results unless you’re careful and take your time. Here’s an easy and beautiful solution: fill the background fast by rubbing with soft pastels. By Peta Hewitt. 20:44 Minutes.

How to Correct Mistakes Most Newbies Make

This video will give you a crash course on how to improve your coloring by choosing a light source, then shading colors accordingly.  The comparison of Before and After pages is very instructive. By Color My World. 17:10 Minutes.

Magical Jungle. Adult Coloring Book by Johanna Basford. Coloring with Colored Pencils.

This is a super long video of master colorist Chris Cheng coloring a page from one of the most popular coloring books.  As you may know, Johanna Basford is the most successful artist creating coloring books today, and is often credited with creating the craze for adult coloring books. We are huge fans of her beautiful work. This video doesn’t directly address techniques, but it will give you a first hand view of how an expert coloring artist approaches a complicated page. By Chris Cheng. 1:22:13 Long.

How to Color with Markers

We like Cher Kaufman’s instructional videos for their clear how-to explanations. This tutorial will walk you through the basics of how to be successful coloring with markers. By CherTheFire. 21:52 Minutes.

How to Use, Store and Care for Gel Pens

Gel pens are a very new art media, and require special care and handling to maximize their performance.  This video will cover best practices and also compare different brands. By Coloring Pages Bliss. 23:19 Minutes.

How to color with gel pens

This video will de-mystify working with gel pens. Their ink is waterbased, which means that the colors will smear easily. You will learn how to make this work to your advantage. By CherTheFire. 25:44 Minutes.

How to Use Watercolors for Adult Coloring Books

It’s so enjoyable watching an artist with excellent brush control. Even if you never intend to use watercolors, it’s a pleasure to see this kind of work. If you do plan to use watercolors, this video will be very helpful. By The Mind of Water Color. 12:39 Minutes.

5 Ways to Use Your Completed Adult Coloring Book Pages

We love to share our completed coloring pages.  Here are 5 clever ideas on how to get your pages out of the book. By Crafty Conjuring. 9:11 Minutes

To find more tutorials on YouTube, search for “Adult Coloring Books”. 
Thank you to the many talented artists sharing their knowledge for everyone’s benefit.