Color break!

Sometimes I spend so much time drawing designs for my coloring books that I get a real urge to splash a little color around and have to take a break from the lines. I was only going to spend a little time with this cat (still pushing for my new book deadline), but I couldn’t stop myself.

This cat is on page 37 of the Ruby Charm Colors Creative Companion and also in the Volume 1 Adult Coloring Art Journal.


Cat with Shy Violet eyes

I used the wax-resist technique I also talked about here and here for the base layer of the cat: a Naples yellow Holbein pencil for the lines along with a quick wash of Karen Spencer‘s handmade watercolors (Carrie B., Brown Eyes, Brown World, Leroy Brown and Potters Brown). I then worked in gold and Ruby Charm (a deep ruby red) mica with the browns, and then Shy Violet for the eyes.


Shy Violet and other handmade mica paints by Karen Spencer

The neat thing about Shy Violet? It looks purple in the pan, but when it hits the paper, it develops a rich blue undertone. And depending on the angle of your lighting, it color-shifts between blue and purple. Many of her mica paints have this lovely color-shift effect, and all of them shimmer beautifully. You can find Karen’s paints in her Etsy shop, and she is known as @indigoartgb on Instagram.

After my paint had dried, I used colored pencils (mostly Caran d”Ache Luminance, Polychromos and Irojiten) to do a little blending and shading, and added patterns to the cat’s body. I also used a fine black Pitt pen to draw little circle patterns inside the ears. Sakura Souffle gel pens and UBRANDS metallic pens were used for the dots and embellishments.


Cat in progress


Up close showing color-shift with mica Shy Violet

On a side note … I had taken my personal copy of the Creative Companion apart (cut off the spine) so I could punch holes in the pages and put them into a ring binder (a little ordeal but great move) and that made it a lot easier to work with the page. My cat’s not completely done (still a little more fine-tuning) but back in the binder it goes for now. Time to get back to my lines!

Have questions about the techniques or tools I use? Don’t be shy about asking in the comments (or on IG or Facebook) – I love hearing from people!

Happy coloring!