Are you one of those people that love picking up crayons, colored pencils, or markers and spending hours on a complex coloring portrait? When I can actually get a moment of quiet and relaxation, I am. My OCD comes out and I am able to just go to another world when I find time to color. It is therapeutic for not only my mind, but also my soul.
One scenario I play over in my mind from time to time is me, a hammock, and my complex coloring book…overlooking a lake and surrounded by nothing other than nature existing around me. Complete peace and tranquility, being mindless and free.
Ahh, it is a dream of heaven on earth. But just as I take myself there mentally, I hear screaming in the background, followed by “MOM!!! He is trying to kiss me!!” Suddenly my dream disappears and reality sets in.
I always use to believe that your children grow up loving things they see you do as a parent. After all, they do shadow your every move from infancy on. As a child, I loved art and I loved coloring. I remember telling my mom that, “when I was a mommy of my own, all I am going to do everyday is color with my children. That way they will love to color too!” As a mom now, I still love art and I still love coloring, however I do not color everyday with my children, let alone every week. We do color, and we do love it, but it hit and miss. I still wonder about my theory, but that is another discussion for a later day.
A few years ago when adult coloring books became very popular I contemplated, for what felt like months, if I should buy one or not. Knowing I wouldn’t have the time and certainly wouldn’t be able to relax and enjoy myself, I postponed the desire and started using Pinterest to print off individual complex coloring pages to work on at my leisure. I would print extras for my kids as well, and together we started enjoying the complexity of the coloring together.
I have a board specifically for complex coloring pages HERE. I love finding new designs and letting my children select them with me. We have created some great memories and coloring abilities by spending time together trying to relax and enjoy the simple things.
As my desire to color more complex artwork flourished, I began creating designs of my own as well. At first it was just on scratch paper, but later evolved onto canvases. Finding quotes and designs to put on wall art became a little side hobby that I enjoyed very much. Not only was it enjoyable for me, but also for those who received the artwork as gifts. They made the perfect gifts for birthdays, holidays, or those just-because days.
I want walk you through creating a complex coloring canvas of your own. It is simple. You only need two things to make it work…trust me, it looks harder to do then it really is. You are just drawing shapes and lines.
A blank canvas and a fine tipped permanent marker.
Blank canvases can be purchased at most shopping stores, such as Walmart or Target. I prefer to get mine from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, depending on who has the better sale or coupon out at the time. This particular canvas that I created is 16×20, but any size canvas can be used.
Using ideas from individual complex coloring sheets, begin drawing shapes, lines, or flowers. The canvas is yours to create, releasing ideas as they flow from your mind through the marker, onto the board. If you are nervous about starting on a canvas, feel free to begin on a white piece of paper first. Technique will come as you practice.
If you want to color in the designs you have drawn, I recommend using basic markers or colored pencils to add pizzazz and pop. I have found that these two options work best and don’t smudge or bleed with the permanent marker.
If you are creating this for a gift, adding markers or colored pencils along with it is perfect and simple. It can be a personalized gift for well under $10! Easy.
Creating a centerpiece can sometimes be difficult, so don’t hesitate to use iron-on artwork or have a friend write things out for you. The less stress it is, the more you will love it. For this particular design, the word “flourish” was an iron-on. Following the instructions on the packaging, I carefully set my iron settings accordingly and the result is, in my opinion, better than I could have imagined.
Share your complex coloring artwork with us by tagging @reviewsbylila & @lovemykids009 on Twitter or Instagram. I would LOVE to see what you have created!