Jana writes: Hi Lisa, thank you so much for your videos, they have really helped me getting interested in art again !
My question is: What are your views on adult coloring books ?

greetings from Iceland 🙂

I love LOVE the popularity of adult coloring books for several reasons. First, we all know that art is great for relieving stress (well until something goes wrong in our painting and it starts creating stress…but that’s another problem altogether!). Anything that calms people down is a good thing IMO.

The next thing that I think is so great about this craze is that it is introducing a lot of people to the world of colored pencils who never would have gotten into art otherwise. It’s sort of like the whole Bob Ross debate. A LOT of artists hate how well known he is because he didn’t go too far in pushing beyond the beginner skill level. Here is the thing…beginners were his target audience. It wouldn’t have made sense for him to start painting elaborate things that people couldn’t follow along with. Beyond that, this man brought an insane number of artists into the art world who never would have picked up a brush because of it. He simplified things so much that people weren’t so afraid to try. I know quite a few amazing professional artists who started with Bob Ross. While he may not have painted anything that could compete with Rembrandt, he helped give people the push they needed so that they COULD push to the Rembrandt level of art. I think the man deserves a lot of respect for that fact alone! Love or hate his work, he did a lot to introduce new artists into the art world.

We’ve seen the same thing happening with adult coloring books. Sure, many will forever stick to the coloring books (and there is nothing wrong with that, do what you enjoy!), but we are seeing a lot of people transition into using colored pencils to create their own original artwork now too! We interviewed someone on the Colored Pencil Podcast a few months back who started with adult coloring books and now creates her own beautiful originals.

Another great thing about the adult coloring books is that they can work a bit like training wheels for those who will move onto their own work. They can help artists improve their control. Staying inside the lines with colored pencil is a great thing to learn! It’s not the most forgiving medium so the more control you have the better. It is also a good way to teach artists pressure control. I learned how  to control the pressure of my crayons from coloring books as a child. I remember watching my mom color with such a light hand and I thought it was so pretty. I used the coloring books to practice doing the same. Does that mean that we need coloring books to become a great artist, of course not! But they aren’t going to hurt either!