In today's fast-paced and stressful world, finding ways to relax and unwind is more important than ever, and as crafters, we're lucky that we have many options to do just that! While there are countless paper crafting activities for stress relief, one of our favorite activities here at Altenew is coloring images. After all, coloring is a fun and easy way to escape the daily pressures of life and improve focus and creativity!
So, whether you're looking for a way to unwind after a long day or simply seeking a creative outlet for your emotions, coloring images is a simple and accessible activity that can have a big impact on your mental health. In today's blog post, we'll explore some exciting coloring ideas and coloring techniques you can try to get started on your stress-free journey. So get your favorite medium and coloring books out, print out our FREE coloring pages, and let's get creative!
Why Coloring Is Good for Your Well-Being Overall
Did you know that it is scientifically proven that coloring helps reduce stress and anxiety? Many research studies point toward the positive effects that coloring can have on the mind and body. Though its effects are not necessarily the be-all-end-all permanent cure, its impact on our mood and well-being still holds significance, especially if you need an immediate de-stressor.
Not only that, but coloring can also help improve your heart rate, as your brain steadily relaxes and calms itself, like a meditative state, as you freely focus on adding colorful strokes within the lines. It allows for self-expression and can be a form of therapy, assisting you in processing emotions and working through challenging experiences.
Plus, besides its stress-relieving benefits, coloring can also help you flex your creative muscles! Mastering the art of color theory can help you create more stunning designs as you experiment with beautiful complementary colors, monochromatic palettes, gradients, color blocking, and many more!
If you're ready to explore some enjoyable coloring ideas, coloring techniques, and the different mediums that you can use, then continue reading!
How to Know Which Coloring Medium Is Perfect for You
There are many different types of coloring materials - that's the best part about coloring! There's something for everyone; you don't have to stick with just one medium. Here are a few of the most popular options, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits to give you stunning results:
- Coloring Pencils: Coloring pencils are a classic choice for coloring enthusiasts. They are versatile and easy to use, with a range of colors and shades to choose from. Coloring pencils also allow for precision and control, making them a great option for intricate designs or small spaces.
- Markers: Markers are another popular choice for coloring, especially for those who prefer bold, vibrant colors. They are great for filling in larger areas quickly and can be used for blending and layering colors. There are different types of markers available, such as alcohol markers and water-based markers. Whatever type you choose, remember that some markers can sometimes bleed through the paper, so it's important to use high-quality paper designed explicitly for markers.
- Gel Pens: Gel pens are a fun and unique option for coloring. They come in a range of colors and metallic finishes, and their smooth ink flow allows for easy coloring and shading. Gel pens can be used for adding accents or details to a colored pencil or marker design or for creating your own unique masterpiece.
- Watercolors: Watercolors are a more advanced coloring tool, but they can be an excellent option for those who enjoy painting and blending colors. They are great for creating soft, blended backgrounds or adding a watercolor effect to a design. They come in different forms, such as in watercolor pans, liquid watercolors, and even brush markers!
When using watercolors, it's important to use high-quality watercolor paper to prevent the paper from buckling or tearing from the weight of water. Luckily, watercolor coloring books are available, so you can freely practice your watercolor techniques without the fear of bleeding!
- Gouache: If you love the effects of watercolor painting, but want them to produce a more opaque look, then gouache may be the medium for you! Gouache is a water-based paint that has a thick, opaque consistency, similar to acrylic paint. It is known for its vibrant colors and matte finish - perfect for both bold, colorful designs and subtle, nuanced shading.
- Alcohol Inks - Alcohol ink uses the same ink as the kind that you find with your alcohol markers. The only difference is that alcohol inks come in little bottles with droppers, so you can experiment with different ink effects as if you were painting alcohol ink art pieces! You can apply the ink with a brush, dropper, or other tools to create patterns and designs. Alcohol inks can also be used to add a glossy or metallic finish to a design, depending on the type of ink used.
Top Coloring Ideas to Try For Relaxation
Now that you're well-acquainted with the different types of coloring materials you can use, it's time to do the fun part: easy coloring ideas to try at home!
- Color by Number: Color-by-number coloring books are a great option for those who enjoy coloring and like a bit of structure. These books come with pre-printed designs with numbers, each corresponding to a specific color. Simply follow the numbers and color in the spaces to reveal a beautiful, finished design.
- Mandala Coloring: Mandalas are intricate circular designs that are often used in meditation and mindfulness practices. Coloring mandalas can be a calming and therapeutic activity and can also be a fun challenge for those who enjoy more intricate designs. If you have a mandala-themed stamp set, you can use that or doodle your own, then color it in with your favorite medium!
- Doodle Coloring: Doodle coloring is a fun and creative way to let your imagination run wild. Start with a simple outline or shape and add your own designs, patterns, and details to create a unique and personalized masterpiece.
- Coloring with Metallics: Adding a metallic finish to a coloring design can be a fun and unique way to make it stand out. Try using metallic gel pens or markers to add highlights or accents to an existing design.
- Color Swatch Challenge: Try doing this for your next project: choose a handful of colors and challenge yourself to create a design using only those colors. This can be a fun way to experiment with color combinations and test your creativity!
As you try out these coloring ideas, don't be afraid to experiment with different coloring techniques, such as cross-hatching, dotting, glazing, pressure shading, and layering.
Step Into a World of Happiness Through Coloring!
Remember, coloring isn't just for kids - it's a fun and beneficial activity for adults too. So, don't be afraid to tap into your inner artist and unleash your creativity with these fun coloring ideas. If you still need inspiration, you can refer to our FREE color swatches to get beautiful color palette ideas today. With so many different coloring materials and techniques available, there's something for everyone to enjoy!
Taking time to color can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and increase mindfulness and relaxation. So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed or just need a break, try picking up some coloring materials and see how they can help you feel calmer and more centered. Happy coloring! For more crafty inspiration and ideas, remember to drop by our All About Crafting blog!