Why should we leave coloring behind in preschool? It is not just a childish occupation anymore. The phenomenon of adult coloring is booming now, and it has taken the whole world by storm.
Over the last years, it has become some sort of creative relaxation for grown-ups. You can start with your kid’s pencils, and then move on to someday turn your coloring into art. This hobby is very easy and requires very few art supplies, while craft stores offer a universe of coloring utensils. Here are some of the best art materials – just grab the coloring tools to your taste.
Main Utensils for Adult Coloring
The good thing for coloring is that you don’t need a lot of drawing supplies. However, you’ll get better results as a beginner if you invest some money into coloring tools for your own use. It will make you feel like a real artist, and this feeling will boost your mood and inspiration.
You can experiment with a variety of different mediums. It is best to start with lower-priced brands and add more pricey supplies later, if you want. A typical combo to buy for newbies is colored pencils, markers, and gel pens, which are available at any dollar store. They all create cool effects if combined.
As each coloring option has its advantages and drawbacks, this quick rundown of the most popular art supplies will help you to make the right purchasing decision.
Colored pencils are a classic way to start. They are the most popular choice of adult colorists, because they are easy to use, affordable, and they are able to personalize a variety of your creations.
These tools show great results in blending with other colors, and by using various shading techniques you can convey an illusion of movement and depth in your artwork. The shading of separate sections from dark to light creates a three-dimensional view, as if your images are going to jump off the page.
Usually, colored pencils come in a wide spectrum of vibrant colors to please any demanding user. Countless shades and tones will add a rich and vivid look to your works.
- Numerous opportunities for blending and shading
- Can be sharpened for detailed work
- Easy to use
- Colors can be purchased individually to restock the set
- Can be erased
- Lead is breakable
- Require a pencil extender when they get shorter
- Hands may hurt after long coloring sessions
- Difficult to color large areas
Watercolor pencils are versatile coloring tools which can be used either dry or wet.
You can use them as regular colored pencils, but, with a damp paintbrush, you can easily turn your work into a marvelous watercolor painting. These pencils give a good opportunity to play with tones and imitate that unique deep look produced by watercolors.
These tools are a great alternative for artists who don’t like the experience of working with paints. Here are some arguments in favor of these water-based mediums.
- Great for blending
- Give realistic watercolor effects
- Less messy than paints
- Require specific paper
- Require a wet paintbrush for color pigment activation
These well-known brands manufacture quality watercolor pencils – Strokes, Crayola, Derwent, Colore, Prismacolor, Artist’s Choice, and others. Look through the packages they offer and find the tools which grab your attention and fit your budget.
These coloring tools are produced as both alcohol- and water-based. Some brands come with various tips – a thin tip for details, a chisel tip to fill spaces, and a brush tip. Some manufacturers place these tips on each end of the marker, so you can easily switch between fine and bold coloring. These tools can be a little expensive, but the drawing effect is worth the money. You can also find refillable markers, so it will be a lifetime investment.
- Provide saturated colors (plus such unique colors like neon)
- Color quicker and with no pressure
- Comfortable for people with hand issues (arthritis, etc.)
- Come with different tips
- Can bleed through the paper, so they can only be used in single-sided coloring books
- Cannot shade
- Don’t have soft and pastel shades
- Colors may fade
These mediums lay intense and expressive colors, and bring to life any your brave ideas. The favorites among markers are such brands as BIC, Copic, Spectrum Noir, Prismacolor, Sharpie, Crayola, Tombow, Art Supplies, etc.
Gel pens are incredible coloring tools because you can discover a great palette of shades. No other medium has this assortment of metallic, swirl, pastel, neon, glitter, and God-knows-what other options. Even your to-do list written with this gel pen will look more enjoyable.
These mediums are similar to ballpoint pens, but they are available in different tip sizes. Most of them come with fine tips, which are ideal for coloring tiny images.
You may add some shimmering effects or glittery appearance with gel pens in your book and color the rest of the page with pencils and markers. It will be a nice eye-catching accent. The pens can fit any budget, and they are easy to buy in any big store.
- Suitable for coloring details
- Come in a variety of marvelous and fun colors
- May smudge and need time to dry
- Run out of ink quickly and need replacements frequently
The following brands have excellent reviews: Fiskars, Sakura, Pilot, Eparon, and others.
This is the best set of tools that you need when you start as a colorist. These are enough for people with little-to-no experience. Anything else is kind of extra. Nothing is wrong if you stop with just these, but…
After you get more experience, you may find that other materials can expand your opportunities as an artist. If you feel that you are growing as a colorist and your toolkit is incomplete, add some additional instruments. It will let you explore the world of art deeper and make your hobby more captivating and inspiring. Welcome to the next level!
Special Blending Pencils
Probably, you have noticed that the artworks of mature colorists look smooth and polished. Their secret is revealed – this seamless look is achieved due to color blending. A blending pencil (or a blending marker) successfully accomplishes this task. This kind of pencils eliminates all the white spots on paper, removes pencil strokes, and smears colors without adding any pigment.
First, color a section with a regular pencil and then rub the same spot with a blending pencil. The difference will be obvious, because the color becomes smooth. Try the blending pencils of Prismacolor, Derwent, or other brands.
Most people imagine a “real” artist as a man with a brush in his hands in front of a canvas. You could be that kind of person, if you buy brushes as a complementary art supply. You can use them to color with watercolors or employ for the activation of watercolor pencils. Usually, a set of watercolors comes with a brush, and you can invest money in the one with a fine tip for tiny details. Coloring books for adults include tons of small details.
Try such brands like Grumbacher, Tombow, Crayola, Dynasty, etc.
Watercolor brush pens are a lifehack, which can be rather convenient when working with watercolor pencils. This tool looks like a pen with a water reservoir and bristles on the tip. You just squeeze the barrel when you need to add water to your artwork. This tool is easy to clean, and it leaves less mess.
Eraser and Sharpener
Emerging colorists who start exploring this kind of art may also need an eraser. Erasers are not mere rubber cylinders designed to take care of mistakes, but important tools for mark-making and highlighting. They are manufactured in various types, including gum, rubber, plastic, vinyl, kneaded erasers, and erasils.
A brilliant alternative to manual erasers is an electric one. It has a very narrow tip able to get rid of tiny mistakes. Equipped with a small motor, it does all the work gently and saves your hands. These devices are pen-shaped and are very comfortable to use, just like those of Derwent’s.
Your colored pencils will soon get blunt and require sharpening, so you have to buy a sharpener, as well. Make a careful choice, because a sharpener of poor quality may damage lead or eat up all your pencil.
There are manual and electric types of sharpeners. People who are brand new to coloring and are not familiar with the strength of colored pencils can opt for a manual sharpener. This is also a common choice of professional colorists. Buy a metal manual sharpener. It is cheap, durable enough, and easy to use.
Electric sharpeners are the quickest way to process pencils, and they are careful in sharpening your drawing instruments. They stop automatically when the pencil is sharpened. These appliances usually run on electricity, and some models are battery-powered.
As the core of colored pencils contains wax, it may build up on the blade. From time to time, run a graphite pencil through to clean the wax. Quality erasers are produced by Jarlink, X-ACTO, TripWorthy, Eisen, Faber-Castell, Prismacolor, and other brands.
Storage for Coloring Materials
All the items featured in this article require a place for storage. It is necessary to take care of all coloring instruments and keep them in a well-organized manner. There are several solutions for this problem.
Pencils and pens can be kept in their original boxes. If you are a starter with minimum of tools, store pencils in mason jars or plastic bins. As a handy variant, consider buying (or making) special cloth wraps with individual loops for each drawing medium. This case is able to accommodate a lot of items and prevent pencils from breakage. Keep in mind that markers are thicker than regular pencils, so make loose loops to fit them.
If you have a larger set of coloring instruments, buy a zippered case with several sections. Store gel pens and markers horizontally, otherwise they may dry out.
Storage containers (either portable or not) offer the highest degree of organization. Multiple trays, detachments, drawers, and pockets will bring your supplies to an ideal order. Your tools will have no chance to be lost, broken, or dirty. The size of the container determines how many instruments you have to store.
If space is an issue in your apartment, consider buying a cart (possibly wheeled) to keep your utensils. The smart organization of art mediums helps to save time and your nerves when you seek the equipment you need. As far as the brands go, opt for any kind of storage boxes offered by Pro Art, US Art Supply, LifeSmart, IRIS, etc.
Creative colorists can use their imagination and arrange a storage place on their own. Browse websites and find DIY ideas about how to organize your supplies with the limited number of things around you.
Some Tips to Follow
To determine which adult coloring supplies to purchase, make a plan to start. The following pointers will help to show you the right way to go:
- Wet vs dry mediums. Wet coloring implies a little mess. It suits single-sided coloring books, where the paint/marker can leak through the paper. Test your coloring paper using a blotter between pages. Try to buy books with blank back pages. Dry coloring causes no problem with bleeding;
- Try to choose quality art supplies. With quality tools, you will be able to reach the desired coloring effect and enjoy a relaxation effect from your hobby. There are a lot of brands to choose high-grade art materials without handing down a newly bought unworthy tool to your kid;
- Try to form your own style of coloring. Don’t be afraid of mixing different shades and textures. Find YT tutorials available on the net and learn new coloring techniques. If you need to understand color theory deeper, buy special books that step-by-step teach you to color like a pro. They reveal a variety of tips and tricks for all skill levels.
With a great spectrum of coloring books on the market, you can get one on any possible subject. There are coloring books for sci-fi nerds, for those who love animals/flowers/nature, and even for kinky couples.
With this guide and the list of the needed coloring supplies by WoWPencils, you can start your coloring adventure. It is a must-have kit for those who require a soothing effect after a stressful working week.
You don’t need to be under five to start coloring. Just begin, get absorbed in the process, and reread this article for more detailed comprehension. Good luck!