Coloring Books Meet Mixed Media

Coloring books for adults have become my go-to way to de-stress, but I l had never thought about adding collage to coloring book pages until I ready Kelli Nina Perkins’ article in Coloring Book Sketchbook. This new magazine, available in our show now, offers you something most coloring books for adults don’t: fun techniques. In the front of the magazine you’ll find three articles filled with great tips for ways to color and pattern your pages. If you’re confused about all the coloring book choices out there, start with this one. You won’t regret it!

Find cool techniques in the issue!
Find cool techniques in the issue!

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer shows you how to add eye-catching prints to backgrounds with stencils, and Kelly Hoernig demonstrates how to get the most out of your colored pencils. In addition to the collage technique she shows, Kelli also explains how artist crayons can produce great color combinations, plus realistic shading and shadows.

The rest of the magazine features awesome coloring book pages that look like they’ve been taken from artists’ sketchbooks. These pages are fun to color, and you can take them as far as you want to!

I chose to work with Jaqueline Newbold’s beautiful drawing of an old door. I first traced around the image on copy paper, cut it out, and used it as a mask (Julie shows you how to do this in her article).

Coloring book tutorial
A mask was created before stenciling

All that white space in the background was calling for some patterning, so I used a stencil and some blue stamping ink and created a damask background.

A stencil was used to create a background
A stencil was used to create a background

I added parts of the stencil in spots around the page, but you can create seamless backgrounds using stencils, or by drawing freehand.

Coloring book tutorial
The stencil pattern adds depth and interest.

I used my vibrant and creamy Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons to add color to the door, layering colors and adding shading with Kelli’s techniques. I wanted to blend the colors a bit without adding a ton of water, so I used a cotton swab and dipped it ever so slightly in some water. That did the trick—I used the swab as a brush to merge the colors and create shading.

Coloring book tutorial
Artist crayons add rich, saturated color

But this page needed a little something extra, so I used Kelli’s collage technique. I colored some old book pages with the crayons, then cut the pages into pieces to become the bricks at the bottom. I love the effect and was so happy to add some mixed media to the page.

Coloring book tutorial
A touch of collage and the page is done

If you’re stuck in a coloring rut, or you’ve been thinking about doing some coloring, start with Coloring Book Sketchbook, available in print and digital issues.

Coloring book kit
Check out our coloring bundle

We also have a Crazy for Coloring bundle that includes the magazine, our new book Coloring Creative Characters, and a 10-color set of the Caran d’Ache Neocolor II artist crayons. You’ll be able to dive in and start coloring right away. Go for it, it’s a great artistic escape!


Blog, Collage, Magazines, Mixed-Media Techniques

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