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Materials

Last reviewed May 5, 2020.

Recommended pencils, in order of preference.

Prismacolor - Everyone's favorite, both professionals and students.  They have the softest and creamiest wax.  Thusly, they are also the most expensive.  They can be procured locally at all of the art stores at over $1 per pencil, and online (Amazon and Ebay) they can be found at much better prices, like more than half-off.

You really should safeguard them though, because often when they fall, the lead inside can break, ruining them... really take this recommendation seriously for all types of pencils, though it especially hurts to lose an expensive pencil.  Trying to melt them will not fix them once they're broken... ask me how I know.

Also you can buy them individually if you only need the one color or are looking to add to your collection but do not need doubles... Though I don't actually color so often, I'm currently at about 60 colors because I can never resist them when I am at the store.

The Prismacolor brand is on its third owner during my lifetime (Berol 1969, Sanford 1995, Premier 2011) and the quality has not been consistent throughout the years.  I have tried them all, honestly Berol were the best ones, but I think they are all great.  It is also worth mentioning that Prismacolor currently makes different quality pencils:  professional and scholar, be careful.  I do not recommend scholar. 

Prang - They were designed for beginner use, so they are very inexpensive, but the quality is very good and the pencils are soft and blendable.  They are sold locally in Artec.

Colleen - The brand with the triangle with a face, originally Japanese but they are currently made in Thailand... these pencils were bought for us by our parents when we were still in grade school before we discovered Prismacolor, lol... a vintage delight.  They are kind of soft and reasonably priced.  They can be found locally in Arrocha, Vendela, and El Machetazo... They're not my favorite, but I recommend them.  My grandma Ceci recently made a video to make sure everyone knows she tried other brands but Colleen is still her favorite.

Staedler - They are OK pencils.  They are the least soft out of the ones listed, but Staedler is a renown brand.  They are expensive.  I have seen them locally at Artec.

Markers

The fun in coloring with markers isn't so much the product, but the process.  I like markers for the sounds they make and how quickly I can work.  I have not tried out many markers (watch out) but here are my recommendations for now.  Also please see below for recommended techniques with markers.

It's very important to warn that if you are going to test a brand that is not listed here, you should place a barrier behind the sheet, to ensure you will not damage the drawing on the next page.  I would appreciate for you to continue to write me with your experiences and opinions.  

Mildliners - They are "highlighers" in neutral and mild colors (though they also have neons but that is not the fun of them).  I believe they were designed for the bullet journaling phenomenon.  They have two different tip sizes and will not bleed through most types of paper.  They were a novelty when I discovered them at the beginning of 2019, but now I see them everywhere.  In Panama I don't remember seeing them, but I am sure they are here already.  In any case, here is the Amazon link.  I LOVE HOW THEY LOOK IN MY COLORING BOOK.

Sharpies - I would have never thought I'd be recommending Sharpies, because of how highly pigmented they are and will definitely bleed through my coloring book... but, a few people have sent me pictures of their work using Sharpies, and the results are just beautiful.  Definitely be very careful and protect the following page with a plastic or cardboard barrier, or by cutting the page out of the book before getting to work, in that case, don't forget to protect your table!  And if something goes wrong, don't say I didn't warn you!  See pictures below.

Crayola - The normal ones, the metallic ones... I believe they are all safe to use since they are not highly pigmented and the coloring book paper is fairly thick.  Speaking of thickness... make sure they are pointy enough!

Kiut - Honestly, I do not have them, but @UnDiaConLia tried them in front of me and the results were good and they did not bleed, they were also metallic and I think they are pretty much very similar to Crayola markers.

Paint

I wouldn't recommend it but I also won't tell you not to do it.  You could probably do well if you do it with a not watery acrylic paint and very pointy paintbrush.  I have not personally done tests.  It's very possible the paper can wrinkle if your paint is too watery.

The not recommended materials are here in a separate page to make sure you do not get confused.

under construction:

 

 

Picking colors​

 

Freely

Just grab any color you like!  You could create patterns, go completely random, play with contrast, or even try to assign meaning to the shapes you see.

Pallet

To choose a pallet, you will need to limit your colors.  There are several ways of doing that.

Analogous colors

By subtraction -

​Techniques

Protecting your work

Often, we unwittingly damage our work.  Avoid that by bringing awareness to the following mistakes:

Markers that bleed - Avoid this by protecting the back of the page with a barrier that the marker will definitely not bleed through, such as plastic (like the bag you got your coloring book in) or cardboard.  Another idea is to cut the page out of the book, and work over a different surface, which you should also probably protect.  Also beware that even the mildest marker will bleed if you leave it on top of the paper for long enough.

Pressing down too hard - This can create an unwanted texture on the following page, or even break your paper.  I see this often.  I believe people press down too hard when using pencils that just aren't as pigmented or dark as they wish they were, or coloring or drawing on an inappropriate surface.  Try to become aware of this issue, and fix it by getting better pencils or going to a more comfortable place.  Getting a better tool and being aware of your environment will not just bring you better results, it will make your experience more pleasurable, which in my opinion is the entire purpose of coloring.

Examples