Coloring Elephants

Elephant mom and baby

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Here’s one of my recent drawings! I drew it as a prize for a contest at the special request of one of my coloring friends.

Aren’t these elephants just darling? I love how elephant moms and dads are such good parents to their babies, and how much love elephants show each other in so many different ways! God made these giants of the animal kingdom so very special…

So it was a lot of fun to get to draw this mother and baby for this design!

Sometime soon, this picture is going to make its debut in a new coloring book featuring animal babies.

I colored it using Crayola’s new Twistables colored pencils because I’d temporarily misplaced my favorite set of watercolor pencils.

It isn’t often that I get to sit down and enjoy myself doing an activity that’s just  for me. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much recently when I took a Sunday afternoon to color this artwork as an example to share on my website!

I used the 12 pencil set, but in researching options, it turns out that there’s a Twistables set with 30 pencils. More is always better!

And what a serendipitous choice! I love the way the colored leads in the Twistables can be so easily turned up as the points wear down. No mess, no fussing with pencil sharpeners, and the colors have a nice clarity to them and blend easily!  Also, I discovered that the pencil leads had great color consistency as well as strength. They didn’t splinter or break on me, and wore down at a nice steady rate of use.

The only complaint I had with the set was that the black wasn’t very strong, tint-wise, but it’s easy to find darker black pencils, and otherwise I quite enjoyed working with these colors.

I’ll still prefer my watercolor pencils for most artwork projects, but they worked out really well! Hey…there’s an idea for you, Crayola! Can you make us some Twistables watercolor pencils?

Pencil low-res

I had a great time coloring this design! If you’ve bought my book, I hope you won’t be shy about sharing your own efforts with me! I love fan art and I’d love to share your coloring efforts (with your permission) on my website!

You can also print and download my free coloring pages here.

If you’ve got some fan art to share with me, you can email me here. The contact form won’t allow an attachment, but if you get in touch, I’ll be happy to email you back so you can send it to me!

Coloring Dwarf Mongooses

Dwarf mongooses

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Here’s another picture I colored, also using Crayola’s Twistables colored pencils.

This picture is from my coloring book: A Day At The Zoo.

The animals featured in this drawing are dwarf mongooses! They were so cute in their enclosure, and so very busy playing!

Dwarf mongooses, like their larger mongoose cousins, are very high energy! Unlike the larger mongooses which are more solitary, they live in packs. Dwarf mongooses are Africa’s smallest predator, hunting insects, lizards, and even small snakes. They also eat some vegetables and fruit.

A Day At The Zoo: Coloring for Adults

Click here for a great coloring adventure!

Please note that I didn’t use any green in coloring this picture! One of the complaints I’ve heard rather frequently in coloring book groups is how the green colored pencils and markers get used up so quickly in many coloring books for adults. This is not an issue you’ll have (unless you really want to) when enjoying this coloring book.

While some of the designs do have a lot of foliage in them, many others, like this drawing, feature wood shavings and bits of wood for the animals to climb on, or interesting rock formations, or water. All of your colors can come out to play and get a great work out!

Of course, the colors you choose to use are totally up to you…

In this picture of the dwarf mongooses, I used a lot of purple and blue to create more dramatic shadows on the driftwood. The colorful toy in the foreground and the food dish at top left create pops of color that keep the design from feeling washed out.

Pencil low-res

I had a great time coloring these designs! If you’ve bought my book, I hope you won’t be shy about sharing your own efforts with me! I love fan art and I’d love to share your coloring efforts (with your permission) on my website!

You can also print and download my free coloring pages here.

If you’ve got some fan art to share with me, you can email me here. The contact form won’t allow an attachment, but if you get in touch, I’ll be happy to email you back so you can send it to me!

Kaleidoscope Creativity

Guest Post by Artist Dave Weiss

Kaleidoscope Color PageAs a person who has felt a genuine call to help people to regain their God-given creativity, few things have excited me as much as the Adult Coloring phenomenon. For years, most adults relegated creativity to children and to those select few were deemed gifted. The rest of us were told to try something “more realistic” and we fell for it.

Well no more! Creativity is for all of us. As children of the ultimate creator, created in His image you might even say we were created to create. It is absolutely true. Think about it: Every time you figure out a way to survive when you run out of money before you run out of month, you get creative. Every time you fix something with duct tape, chewing gum, rubber bands, every time you use anything for a purpose other than the one for which it was created, you were creative.

The of course there is the other side of creativity. The one where you imagine an argument and up getting angry or every time you succumb to fear over something that may or may not happen. It’s misused creativity, but it’s creativity. Yes friend, your creativity, your imagination is alive, but it may have been corrupted. It’s time we take it back and adult coloring is a great first step.

It’s entry level. The lines are provided. It’s less intimidating and yet it opens doors of creativity that for many of us have been sealed shut. I love that. I love anything that gets us creating again.

I personally have illustrated and published four of these books so far. I call my books Kaleidoscopics and Kaleidoscopic Creatures. The title comes from the way I create the art. A lot of adult coloring books use a design style called Mandalas. A lot of people want to trace this style back to it’s roots in Eastern religion. I didn’t want to go there. My work is totally disassociated from that realm of spirituality. Rather I imagine what my work would look like viewed through a kaleidoscope.

The results are breathtaking.

I say this not to boast about my own work but because even I as that artist am never quite sure what the final piece will look like. You see I don’t render the whole piece. I create an eighth of the final image and then manipulate it digitally to get the final result. I love this way of working because it holds a great deal of mystery for me. Kaleidoscopic Creatures are done similarly, but they combine my love of working kaleidoscopically with my love of drawing creatures.

This is some of the most fun I have had as an artist and I love the fact that the work is also a collaboration with the end user who will add the colors and bring it to life. Few things thrill me like when someone takes the time to not only color my work, but share it with me.
My four books are but a small section of the over 60 thousand adult coloring books found on Amazon alone. The market is really glutted and I hardly even care.

 Kaleidoscopic Creatures

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At the end of the day it comes down to this: People are catching the creative bug and getting started. Dear reader, you need to know, you are creative, and this world needs you to embrace your creativity and put it out there for the world to see. The people who love what you do are your audience. Create to make their day and you might jus change the world. I’d like to close with a quote from author Hugh MacLeod.

In his book, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity “Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

It’s time to demand your crayons back!

Check out Dave Weiss’s Entire Book List

Check out Dave Weiss’s website

Wear Your Artwork on Zipz Shoes

Click through to shop Zipz shoes for coloring

Click here to shop Zipz shoes for coloring

Now you can wear your artwork on these comfy Zipz slip on shoes!

These shoes are worth every penny:

  • durable canvas tops
  • extra-cushioned insoles
  • specially designed arch support
  • rubber soles
  • the uppers unzip from soles and are interchangeable

Here’s how to get the best enjoyment out of your new shoes:

Wash your new shoes on a cool, gentle washer setting and allow to dry.

Color our shoe designs with these beautifully vibrant, non-toxic fabric markers that won’t bleed or fade! To set the colors, use a hot iron set for polyester (don’t set it too high).

To further protect your artwork from dirt and moisture, we recommend using waterproofing spray. Let the waterproofing dry for twenty-four hours before wearing.

Slip your feet into these comfy shoes, make a date with friends, brag about how comfy they are, and admit that you are the artist who colored them!

Note: Shoes that have been properly set and waterproofed can be wiped clean or run through the washer using cold water. Reapply more waterproofing spray as needed after trips through the washer.

Are You Ready to Party?

Coloring Book Launch banner

Are you all done with your taxes and looking to blow off some steam…or are you looking for an excuse to put them off to the last minute? Either way, I’ve got you covered!

Tomorrow I’m throwing my first online book launch party for my new coloring book, A Day at the Zoo! I’m going to have more than one party, but for those who are in a mood for fun and coloring this weekend, the party begins at 8:30 tomorrow morning, and runs until 3 p.m.  this Saturday.

Yesterday I had fun shopping for prizes! I found some neat “twist and color” colored pencils that don’t ever need sharpening, glitter markers, metallic markers, and some nifty blending tools! I also went by Trader Joe’s (they have the best chocolate!), and picked some up. Oh, and I found some really nifty stretch bracelets with animal beads!

So–tonight I’m putting together prize packages and a gift basket to give away. I won’t be able to ship anything to the winners before the books arrive, but they’re already on their way, and I’m hoping they’ll be here by the middle of next week.

For those colorists who are local, and want a chance to meet me in person, I’m also going to be at Gere Library in Lincoln, Nebraska this Sunday from 4 – 5 p.m. to share a free coloring page and flyers for the new book. You’re welcome to come!