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Digital vs. Traditional Coloring
This topic comes up quite a bit in the coloring groups. Digital versus traditional coloring techniques. Is one better than the other?
For me, I feel like coloring can come in many different forms. And the reason why we are drawn to any technique is because of our path. What have we been exposed to so far? What have we tested out for ourselves? And most of all, what is our body, mind, and Spirit capable of at the moment?
Unique Coloring Techniques
I have the pleasure of watching my two girls (4 & 6) explore their world and how to express themselves. While they are very good at using their crayons, markers, and gel pens I have also noticed that they will do coloring techniques with things such as the colorful marbles on top of the Chinese checkerboard. They will sit there and be creative by placing the marbles in such a way that they create a colorful masterpiece that they are proud of at the end.
But what else is out there?
Coloring with paper
Have you ever colored with paper collage techniques? A bit of colored paper and glue can turn into something magical such as a dragon! I had fun doing this activity with our girls and my 6-year-old had fun bringing in her gel pens at the end to add special details.
Want a fun coloring project to do to show your support of Ukraine? Check out this Paper Sunflower Collage Art project from Arty Crafty Kids!
Coloring with flowers
I have experienced things such as the Pasadena Rose parade and many talented artists coloring floats with nothing but different colored flowers. And some of these designs are so elaborate and on such a large scale. It’s beyond impressive to see in person.
Coloring with colored sand
How about coloring with sand? A tradition found in several cultures around the world!
I personally love the tradition found with the Tibetan Monks with the construction to the deconstruction of their art.
Check out this sample of coloring with sand:
Want to create your own colored sand? Check out this tutorial here!
Digital Coloring: Is it worth it?
I became a coloring book author because of my desire to inspire healing in others. There are so many benefits to coloring that include:
- Reduces Anxiety
- Relieves Stress
- Improves Sleep
- Induces Meditative state
- and more!
The really great thing about the modern age is the technology we have available. So if you don’t have the space, time, or even the ability to take on something like paints or crayons then digital coloring can be a great alternative.
I sometimes have people tell me they want to color my pages but don’t have a printer. And I always say digitally coloring is also a great way to enjoy coloring! There are so many amazing apps for all skill levels to enjoy.
I do love coloring with traditional mediums… but sometimes I don’t have the chance to do it with being a full-time mom first. I also enjoy sharing my digital coloring apps with my two young girls. They are amazing with BOTH worlds of coloring and get such a thrill doing either. We get the benefits of completing a coloring page whether it’s a color by number point and click or experiencing the beauty of watercolor on Adobe Fresco.
I really like what Stephanie says in her post over at Coloring Books for Adults Facebook group:
DIGITAL COLORINGStephanie Anderson – Coloring Books for Adults Facebook Group Admin
Is coloring digitally really coloring? It is the subject of debate in some coloring enthusiast circles. Adult coloring is an important aspect in the lives of many. It is their way of expressing their inner artist, and these colorists take every aspect of it very serious. Others simply color to relax, akin to popping open a bottle of wine.
Coloring is now commonly prescribed to relieve stress and anxiety. It helps those with motor skill disabilities such as Parkinson’s disease. For those with Alzheimer’s, or other types of dementia, it keeps them focused in their moment and not lost to confusion. Some of our older colorists find relief from tremors through coloring. Our veterans find moments of peace from PTSD through coloring. What about those who cannot physically color with pencil or marker on to paper? They color digitally. When does it become not true coloring?
Some of the greatest illustrators of our time color digitally. We do not mind when we see that digitally colored comic book cover, or even the digitally colored cover by our favorite coloring book artist. It seems to only be the hobby colorists that are criticized for coloring digitally. About 50% of the images that we color today have had their lines cleaned up in a digital art program or digitally drawn in a program. Is it not a true design? Should we or should we not color it?
The truth is a tablet or computer program are tools just as colored pencils, or sharpeners, markers, etc. Not everyone can create or color digitally, just as not everyone can color on paper with pencil or marker. Is an artist who paints with his feet no less than the artist who paints with his hands? The end product has always been art.
Art has no true definition, no laws of creation. Art simply is. Therefore, no matter who we are or how we live, what we are and are not capable of does not matter. Coloring is coloring.
I agree. Coloring is coloring.
If you want to explore the digital coloring world, I highly recommend it! I would like to help you get started by sharing a free download for you to try in a digital coloring app of your choice.
This coloring page is part of a free coloring book that you can request a copy of here.
If you wanted to try out digital coloring but are not sure what app would suit you, watch this video to get an idea from Sarah Renae Clark! She’s put a lot of research into digital coloring apps so you don’t have to. 😉
My personal favorite digital coloring app for a quick fix is ReColor. But when I want to get serious, I prefer to use Procreate. 💚 💜
In an effort to make my coloring pages easier to work with in any medium, I will be providing both a printable PDF an importable PNG file for ease of coloring. It will take me some time to go back through my listings and add the PNG options for download. But it shall happen! 😉
If you try out digital coloring for the first time after reading this, tell me how it went? I would love to see you post your digital colorations. So tag me: @SuzyLeeLo