Why are coloring pages better than coloring books? Coloring Tutorial

Hello! I hope you are doing well today. Thank you for visiting my site and welcome to a DollColoringPages by Andrea Coloring Tutorial! Here is my latest coloring of a gorgeous Little Darling doll. I will post my picture in steps.

Below you see my completed final piece. The total coloring time amounted to about eight combined hours of coloring FUN! No need to rush through your coloring. Creativity requires time and so does relaxation. Slow down and simply forget about the time altogether. Enjoy! Now, let’s go through the steps so you can get to your own masterpiece!

The Finished Piece

After deciding on my color palette and the basic idea of how I want my girl to look, I am choosing to add flare to her dress first! Why save the best for last, right? I picked out my colors, set a vision of my goal, took a deep calming breath, and remembered if it doesn’t work out as planned – I can always print another picture and start over!

You may not be able to see the light cream around the roses, but that is the first color I used on the dress. The next is red for the roses themselves. Third, I used olive green for the base or main dress color. You can see the texture of the fabric actually shows through a bit which is the effect I really like about gray-scale coloring.

The Outfit: The Base

Below, I have filled it in more with a border of cream around the stems and put a halo around the roses and leaves. I used the olive green to fill in the holes between the shoulder strap lace as well as filled in the red on the ribbon and waistline lace. I am only coloring with one red. First, I used pressure to trace over the darkest gray-scale lines to outline the roses and once that is done, I used a light hand to softly fill in the spaces in the flowers. Same for the olive green, I outline by tracing the darkest gray-scale lines then gently filled in where the lighter gray is left.

The Outfit: Roses and Lace Ribbon

On to the stems and leaves. Right here is where I had to stop for a moment and really think. Where are the stems and leaves? Yes, this is where gray-scale coloring can get a little tricky! Deciphering the code of the actual photo can take some consideration and creativity. There will be times where you will have to slow down to make sure you don’t accidentally color a leaf red or a flower, green. Decide how your image will fit together for the puzzle in your mind to become the picture on your table. My light colored gray-scale is easily covered by pencil so if you don’t like or can’t quite see where something should go, you make slight changes. I have added jewelry to the coloring page that was not on the doll for the actual picture. Adding a background is a great way to make your girl really stand out as well. Some colorists apply eye-shadow or pastel chalk with cotton balls or sponges to make extraordinary and beautiful backgrounds.

After I trace the dark lines of the stems and leaves, I softly fill in with the same color of forest green, using very light or hardly any pressure at all. A rounded or dull edged pencil is best for this part. If you decide you would like more highlights, use a color pencil that is a few shades lighter. For example, I might have used yellow and white in the leaves on the light gray areas instead of the light-pressure of the same color green.

The Outfit: Stems and Leaves

For this particular dress, I also applied white in the lace waistband and in the shoulder straps. Just keep in mind if you apply a light color down first, be careful if you then apply a dark color near it because it can smear and drag the dark color into the white area, especially if you are using oil-base pencils.

The Outfit: Finished

Step Five: The Skin. Here, we have to take a true break as I have been coloring off and on for three hours. Remember it is not healthy to stay in one position for too long. Eat. Walk the dog, do a chore or run an errand. Move your body and take a minute to refresh your mind. At least for me, the skin is the main challenge of gray-scale pictures. It definitely has taken me a lot of practice to get to this point and I hope I can help you if this is an obstacle for your coloring fun as well.

After vacuuming, eating, walking the dog and raking the yard, I am ready to continue! I have used tan, beige and white. Starting with the darkest skin tone I want to use I apply the first layer of her shadows first or the darkest parts of her skin. Layering is vital for the skin in order to get a smooth appearance. Going along the curves in the same direction for the base is how I get it all started. Then coloring straight up and down vertically is my next step. After laying one base of the darkest shade, I go over it again the opposite direction to even it out and burnish.

For her cheeks and nose, I want a rounded shape so I might use a larger circular stroke using only light pressure, barely touching the paper. My first focus is on her dark shadows – the crease in her elbow or the dimple under her chin, the darker outlines of her nose, for example. I avoid using any small, hard-pressured circular strokes while coloring skin because I have learned those turn into swirls and waves – ruining the desired smooth texture. Use soft pressure and longer stroke passes if you need to round out the edges of your coloring.

The Skin

To distract myself, I decided to take a detour here and color her pretty rose barrette. Just did it the same way as the roses, only one red, outlining the darkest parts, then filling in with low pressure on my pencil. I also decided to color her eyelashes and eyes.

The Skin, the Rose Barrette and Her Eyes

For her eyes, I traced the darkest lines and the inner iris black. It is important to keep the white fleck or flash reflection (inside the top corners of the iris) completely alone and pure white. This will make the eyes more realistic once finished. I did not apply any White pencil inside the eyes because I want to prevent her eyelashes from smearing when touched by any other colors.

The Skin and Eyes Finished

Trace in your darkest lines first then lightly shade in being careful to leave a dot or flash of a highlight in the corners of her iris showing a reflection. A white gel pen may be helpful if you forget to leave it empty and open for this highlight. Last, I slowly and softly filled in the inside of her eyes with green, the very same olive green as her dress.

The eyes are the heart and soul of your picture, they bring life to your beautiful doll. I used to have so much trouble coloring eyes that my solution was to just print twenty copies of the same picture and only color in the eyes over and over until I felt closer to my goal. Trust me, it was not easy to color their eyes at all at first! I hope they bring life to my doll’s picture.

Her Goldilocks

Almost finished! All I have left to color is her hair and, here is where I get that extra breath of renewed energy because my accomplishment is so close now. There are many techniques on how hair can be colored. I simply do hair the same way I colored the roses and leaves. Outline the dark areas first, then softly fill in with the same color following the same direction and curves of the hair. You can use a lighter color (or gel pen) in order to add highlights at the end. I didn’t use gray or silver because it would have matched the printed gray-scale. I wanted her to have jet black hair that glistened in the light. Not sure I got it, but hey, please tell me what you think! If you have any coloring advice or improvements I can make on this tutorial, I want to hear it! Please email me at dollcoloringpages@gmail.com

I’m Done!

Coloring is a learning experience. It teaches me to think a minute and remember, things are not as difficult as I thought. Coloring may have its challenges, but so does, well, everything. Coloring has even taught me how to relax. The other day, I had an appointment so I took a picture and a couple of pencils with me. Normally, waiting for any meeting is cause for impatience. Not with my picture and pencils. I just broke out my trusty clipboard, my DollColoringPages by Andrea and escaped in my coloring! Felt like a little girl again.

Thanks for reading my Coloring Tutorial on this wonderful Little Darling! I hope I have given you some helpful information. If you would like to get on my email list to receive a FREE coloring page, please let me know! I would love to see how you choose to bring your doll to life in your coloring and learn your coloring techniques. Suggestions for future pictures and tutorials welcome and message me about my DollColoringPages by Andrea on CANVAS for oil or acrylic PAINTING!

And, before we go, the answer is because you can print as many as you need on any type of paper you like and if you want to practice or need to start over – simply print another picture for yourself! Pick and choose the particular pictures you like best, customize and make your own personal coloring book with DollColoringPages by Andrea. Bamm! And those are the reasons Doll Coloring Pages are better than books.

Thanks again and if you would like to learn more about coloring, please go to our Instructional Videos page!

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