Amelia’s Magazine | Colour with Claire: an interview with colouring expert Claire Eadie

Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford
Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford.

Midlands based Claire Eadie discovered colouring as an antidote to stress and has built a fantastic dedicated website, Colour with Claire, to help enthusiastic colourists to choose the right books and colouring materials. She shares her insights with us here…

Colour with Claire Eadie
How and when did you catch the colouring in bug?
I started colouring back in April 2015, after noticing lots of coloured art and news articles popping up on my news feed. A naturally creative person, I knew I’d enjoy colouring and vowed to find out what were the best colouring books and materials to use. After scouring the net I realised there was no online resource dedicated entirely to adult colouring that had the wealth of information I was looking for. So, I decided to create my own little corner of the web for people like me who wanted to know things like the best colouring pencils and pen brands for colouring, what kind of paper is used in certain books, and maybe most importantly – examples of the illustrations inside! Amazon often doesn’t show you much of the book in its previews, so I made sure to add lots of images so people know what they’re buying before they commit. I’ve now reviewed over 130 adult colouring books and many brands of colouring materials! My full background in colouring and how it helps my anxiety disorder can be read on my website.

Animorphia by Kerby Rosanes
Animorphia by Kerby Rosanes.

How often do you get to colour in and what are your preferred images, and why?
As a blog reviewer, I colour ALL the time. I prefer illustrations based on realism, so I love landscapes and life images over abstract and geometrical patterns. Mandalas can look stunning when coloured, but I find them monotonous. I love anything unique and hand-drawn. Horror and the macabre are favourites too!

Where do you recommend that the novice colourist should look online to find out more about books and materials?
Blatant self promotion here but I believe Colour with Claire is the most comprehensive site on the web for colouring book information and reviews of the best materials on the market.

Bird Critters by Sue Coccia
Bird Critters by Sue Coccia

What are your favourite colouring in materials and why?
I love Faber Castell Polychromos pencils. They’re expensive but have an amazing amount of pigment and laydown of colour, and blend like a dream! As for pens, I love alcohol markers like Copics and Promarkers. They will bleed through most types of paper so I can’t use them in double sided books, but the seamless finish and range of colours is unmatched. My favourite waterbased (non-bleed) pens are Staedtler Triplus, because they have a great amount of colour, smooth nibs and the ink doesn’t feather the paper.

Mandala ART by Liz Beekman
Mandala ART by Liz Beekman

Who is your favourite illustrator, can you tell us a bit more about them?
I don’t think I have one to be honest, but like everyone I love Johanna Basford‘s work. Other favourites include Lizzie Mary Cullen for her totally unique artwork and Daria Song for simply beautiful illustrations.

Whimsical Wings by GT Haddix
Whimsical Wings by GT Haddix

Any simple tips for the creation of a top bit of artwork?
Gosh, I am no artist so I can’t really answer that one! I do have a few cheats for zhuzhing your colouring up a bit though. One of them is to grab yourself a lightboard as they are AMAZING for tracing if you can’t draw like me! I created a tree filled with Disney characters in Enchanted Forest that turned out really well.

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford
Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford

How has your life changed since you got involved with colouring and set up your own website dedicated to colouring?
I have a lot less spare time as all I ever do is colour and review when I have a minute free! I’m constantly getting emails from illustrators, publishers and companies wanting me to review and promote their works, so it’s very full-on. I care for my husband who is disabled and I have two young children so it’s all go in our house!

What is the number one book on your Christmas list and why?
I can’t wait for the BBC Sherlock book (big fan) and Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors. I have Tolkien’s World on the way and A Game of Thrones colouring book (can you tell I’m a bit of a fangirl?)

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford
Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

Lastly, have your children taken to colouring and how do you juggle being a mother and a busy colourist?
My kids love colouring, especially my youngest who is 7 and very creative. They love sitting alongside me colouring in, me with my grown up book and them with their Avengers themed book! They love telling everyone at school that I’m ‘Colour with Claire‘, much to my embarrassment. It’s not easy to juggle it all to be honest. I’ll be slowing down after Christmas once I’ve reviewed the slew of books that are weighing down my shelves, and colouring more ‘for me’ rather than to promote books. The website will still be going strong but I’ll have been doing this for a solid eight months by Christmas so I feel I need to slow it down a little before it stops becoming enjoyable and starts feeling like a chore. I have so many books I love but don’t get time to colour, so you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of my colouring efforts rather than constant book reviews in the future.

Thankyou so much for your colouring tips Claire, they are much appreciated. Make sure you check out Colour with Claire for loads of great tips on the best books, pens and pencils to feed your colouring desires. Read a lovely blog that Claire has written about Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion here.

Categories ,A Game of Thrones, ,Animorphia, ,Avengers, ,BBC Sherlock, ,Bird Critters, ,Claire Eadie, ,Colour with Claire, ,Colouring with Claire, ,Copics, ,Daria Song, ,Enchanted Forest, ,Escape to Christmas Past, ,Faber Castell Polychromos, ,Good Wives and Warriors, ,GT Haddix, ,Johanna Basford, ,Kerby Rosanes, ,Liz Beekman, ,Lizzie Mary Cullen, ,Mandala ART, ,Promarkers, ,Secret Garden, ,Staedtler Triplus, ,Sue Coccia, ,Tolkien’s World, ,Whimsical Wings

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Amelia’s Magazine | 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Colouring Books For Adults

Amelia Gregory portrait
Adult Colouring is a trend you can’t escape, so why not embrace the phenomenon with gusto this Christmas? You might be surprised by how much you and your loved ones enjoy it. I first became fascinated by the growth in popularity of adult colouring a year ago, and although sure it would not appeal to me as a personal hobby I thought the format provided the perfect forum for artists to showcase their work. So I posted a brief on Amelia’s Magazine and set about making Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. In the interests of research I decided to try adult colouring myself, and before I knew it I was a total convert: from intrigued sceptic to full on addict, here’s what I’ve learnt during my colouring journey so far.

Sophie Corrigan by Sua Agape Adult Colouring Book
Sophie Corrigan coloured by Sua Agape.

1. Colouring Can Be Daunting
Yes, really! Making marks on a blank bit of paper can be daunting to most, but colouring is not necessarily the easy route out. Choosing the right medium and colours can be a scary process, so don’t be surprised if you occasionally find yourself stumped. Colouring is given a bad rap as uncreative but as a colourist you impose your own creativity on that page. Yes, I said colourist. Being a colourist is a thing in the adult colouring world. And I’m not talking hair dye.

2. Colouring Is For Everyone
Don’t let the above put you off: there are many ways to make the creative choices less stressful. Try the wonderful website Color Hunt for simple colour palettes if you’re stuck on what to use. Or, don’t think about what colour you pick up, just use whatever medium you have to hand and be impulsive. There are no rights and wrongs so enjoy the process; it’s supposed to be fun and relaxing. Colouring builds creative confidence so it is a great entry point into further artistic endeavour.

Lorna Scobie by Libby Parra Adult Colouring Book
Lorna Scobie coloured by Libby Parra.

3. Colouring Is A Creative Collaboration
You may be colouring someone else’s creation, but your decisions enable that line drawing to come to life – so don’t underestimate your input. When you spend a lot of time colouring in you get to know the artist’s artwork intimately, so it really helps if you like their style. Go for a theme that appeals to you: from mandalas to mohicans, there are thousands of books now available with designs to suit all tastes. Why not seek your interests out? A good colouring book artist will keep you inspired for days on end.

4. The Colouring Community Thrives Online
You know how colouring is touted as the best way to switch off and step away from the screen? Well that’s true, but there is a thriving adult colouring community sharing artwork online, swapping tips and admiring each other’s work. Facebook is the best place to ogle at some true masterpieces, learn how to achieve the best shading and get into discussions about the pros and cons of vaseline versus baby oil (for blending, nothing nefarious I promise.) No one person will colour a picture the same way and it’s a real thrill to see how differently everyone approaches a similar image.

Suzanne Carpenter Adult Colouring Book
Double page by Suzanne Carpenter.

5. Be Prepared To Be Peaceful
If you really want to get in the zone it’s a good idea to set yourself up with the right equipment. Colouring at night with scratchy pencils under a low wattage lamp without a sharpener to hand does not make for a pleasant experience, so be prepared to invest in some super duper accessories like a lap desk with integral lamp. Headaches are far from restful!

6. Colouring Soon Gets Costly
The online colouring world is full of colourists with hundreds of colouring books and cupboards that spilleth over with pens and pencils. There are many options and they all give different results, so be prepared to spend money on your new habit and become a pencil/pen geek with alarming rapidity. If you are anything like me you will need only the merest excuse to buy new art materials: so before you know it you’ll be salivating over Marco Raffines, comparing Prismacolor colours and experimenting with Gelly Rolls.

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford Hack by Colour With Claire
Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford, Hack by Colour With Claire.

7. Colouring Pages Get Hacked
It seems that everything can be hacked these days, and by this I do not mean steal – you should always get your colouring pages from a legitimate source and ensure the artists are paid for their work. But why not have a bit of fun and hack an original colouring page image? There’s no law to say you have to stay within the lines, so go wild and add your own elements to the original creation, such as these Disney characters in a Johanna Basford tree by Colour with Claire.

8. Lastly, Colouring Is Addictive
It’s exciting. You can make an image come alive with colour, and there’s a real sense of achievement when you finish colouring a page, especially one that has taken a long time to complete. Which probably explains why colouring is so darn addictive… and can become very time consuming if your addiction really takes hold. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is funding now on Kickstarter and features 40 artists from all over the world.

AmeliasCCC Kickstarter campaign image
This article also appears on the Huffington Post.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Books, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Christmas, ,Color Hunt, ,Coloring Books, ,Colour with Claire, ,Colouring Books, ,Colouring Books For Adults, ,Gelly Rolls, ,Hobbies, ,Huffington Post, ,Johanna Basford, ,Kickstarter, ,Libby Parra, ,Lorna Scobie, ,Marco Raffine, ,Prismacolor, ,Sakura, ,Sophie Corrigan, ,Sua Agape, ,Suzanne Carpenter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alexander Ward: Ayahuasca Jungle Visions – How an Adult Colouring Book is Made

ayahuasca-giveaway-alexander ward

Artist Alexander Ward introduces us to his very unique adult colouring book, Ayahuasca Jungle Visions, inspired by his trips to the Amazon Jungle, and the Ayahuasca rituals he has taken part in. At the bottom find out how you can sign up to download your free page from the book and be in with a chance to win one of 3 signed copies he is kindly giving away.

How did you get first get into colouring books?
I had people recommending I get into them long before I picked one up. They kept saying it would suit my art style, but hearing about colouring books again for the first time since childhood, it was hard to take it too seriously! So I went on my merry way for a couple years, working in the animation industry and trying (and failing) to work on my own graphic novel based on my experiences in the Amazon Jungle. A year later, the publishers Divine Arts, (who were interested in my graphic novel) offered the suggestion of utilising assets from my graphic novel for a colouring book. When you keep getting pointed a certain direction enough times, it’s time to start investigating! I picked up loads of colouring books and I immediately understood it; if only I had listened sooner!

There was no creative struggle, I knew immediately how mine would look and I created a pitch document and sample illustrations to show my publishers; it was a hit and I started work on the full book right away. I ended up pouring a lot more dedication into it than was planned. It didn’t end up being something that was simply ‘utilising assets’ from my graphic novel, but where each page was a bespoke labour of love. In hindsight, I think I actually went a little overboard with it. Throughout the 9 months working 12 hours a day non stop, all I wanted to do was colour the book myself! So I’m incredibly happy to have the printed book and be able to finally colour all the pages.

What is your favourite image in your Ayahuasca Jungle Visions colouring book and why?
My favourite page in my book would be the page titled ‘Interconnected’. It is one of the first pages in the book, while being the last page I personally illustrated. It was the most complex page and the one I was racing towards throughout the production of the book. The most difficult page to create, the final hurdle in finishing the book. I wanted this page to set the tone for the rest of the book. Both the writing and the illustration is an opening prayer of intention. The page represents the connection to the feminine spirit of Pachamama and all her creations in one fluid movement. We are all connected.

What is your work process when you create a colouring page?
With this book in particular, I first wrote the script as well as a description for each of the pages. While minimal, there is a story throughout the book to tie each of the pages together into a flow, so it is more than a random assortment of illustrations only tied by a ‘theme’. After this I created very small and rough thumbnail sketches of each page; this allowed me to see all the images together. I created more than I needed, and went through the process reducing the page count from around 60 to 45, cutting out the pages that were not integral to the narrative throughout the book. I illustrated each page with a drawing tablet on the computer, but it is all hand drawn, I simply use a digital pen as opposed to an ink one. It allows me to zoom in close and get the line art to be a lot cleaner and tighter than I otherwise would, something I feel is important for a colouring book.

To draw each of the pages I used the program ‘Clip Studio Paint’. It is a program used for illustrating comic book pages. I highly recommend it for anyone who hand draws digitally. So what I would do for a page is take the thumbnail illustration, blow it up large and proceed to create a more refined sketch over the top. My way of drawing is to start with almost a scribble of an idea, and constantly refine it more and more until fully realised. As if it begins as a blurry image and it slowly becomes full of clarity.

To create a more refined sketch took between between 2-3 days. Each page ranges in complexity, this was purposeful, to provide a range of pages to different skill levels of colourists, so some pages took a lot longer to create than others.

After I finished the refined sketch. I then created another layer (sheet of paper) and traced over the sketch to create a very clean version of the drawing. This process also took between 2-3 days depending on the complexity of the page. All together, it was around a week per page from rough thumbnail to final page. A consistent schedule and ritual I kept to over a 9(ish) month period.

What is your personal experience of Ayahuasca? (do you have one!)
I had been journeying to the Amazon Jungle frequently over a 4 year period. Traditions that still practised with Ayahuasca as a tool for healing the community were the cultures most connected to nature, and the ones I wanted to learn from. Ayahuasca is a very sacred medicine to them, our own culture has a very difficult time understanding that which it has grown very far away from. England’s own shamanic origins (even using that word conjures in the mind false preconceptions) are being rediscovered, but it is really the Amazon cultures that have held onto the sacred relationship with nature and plant medicines that keeps the fire of this knowledge alive.

One family in particular I stayed with deep in the Jungle; The Father, his Wife and Brother were Shaman, and were often visited by many people seeking healing through the Ayahuasca medicine, performing many ceremonies for these people seeking healing. I sat in many of these ceremonies, also taking part myself. Part of this book was about articulating the teachings that Ayahuasca taught me, and which was part of the culture around this Shamanic family. The words, imagery, come from that culture, where the Ayahuasca is a key element, binding together the community. It is a complex topic, which is why I have released many videos discussing the topic on my Youtube channel.

What has been the biggest learning curve in creating and publishing your colouring book?
The mental journey of creating a book. It’s an emotional roller coaster, putting all your heart and energy into a single project for a year. The mental strength required to stay on course, to remain dedicated to finishing an enormous amount of work without losing hope that it will be finished or overwhelmed by the amount of work, or frightened because you’re not being paid for all this work and you still got to pay the bills. The process of drawing each page is simple enough if you have the training, you just need patience. To quiet the critical mind and remain motivated; It is this unseen journey people don’t see, but I think every author will understand being the biggest learning curve.

Flip through from Colour with Claire.

How did you hook up with your publisher Divine Arts?
Divine Arts contacted me a couple of years prior to starting on this book. I put out a lot of free content online such as videos on Youtube talking about my experiences in the Jungle. The owners at Divine Arts had come across these videos and they liked the content so much they gave me a phone call asking if I was putting any of these ideas into a book for publishing. We met and I talked and showed them the concepts I had been creating for a graphic novel based on my experiences in the Jungle; created in comic book sequential art style, it would illustrate these mystical experiences in the Jungle better than a written novel or single piece of artwork. They loved the idea, but there was not enough content to publish or create a contract at that early stage; so I went away to work more on it, as much as I could while still maintaining full-time employment. I was having trouble with various aspects of the project and it was difficult to get moving.

ayahuasca jungle visions review
Sometimes you need to understand when a project’s time has not yet come, and it’s better to work on something else. This is when the suggestion came from Divine Arts about using some of the work I created for a colouring book. Before I had dismissed the colouring book idea, but now it all seemed to click into place, especially after going out and buying a bunch of colouring books and finally understanding the appeal and how well suited it would be to my art style.

ayahuasca jungle visions review
I could use this opportunity to grasp the intricacies of publishing a book, with a project that, while a massive investment, was still not as large an investment as my graphic novel. I’ve learnt through this process that it’s important not to go for the massive project first, as you will struggle with it and become discouraged. It is far better to begin with a more manageable project and finish it. To finish a project is what is important.

ayahuasca jungle visions review
Sign up here to receive your free colouring page from Ayahuasca Jungle Visions here. Be in with a chance to win a copy of this book: just visit my Facebook Page for Amelia’s Magazine here and be sure to comment before midnight on 30th November 2016 (GMT). Open Worldwide. Good luck!

Visit my affiliate links for this book here:
Amazon UK: Ayahuasca Jungle Visions: A Coloring Book
Amazon US: Ayahuasca Jungle Visions: A Coloring Book

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alexander Ward, ,Ayahuasca, ,Ayahuasca Jungle Visions, ,Clip Studio Paint, ,Colour with Claire, ,Divine Arts, ,Giveaway, ,Pachamama, ,review

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