Everything You Need to Know About Coloring

Are you looking to learn everything you need to know about coloring? Whether you're a beginner or an experienced colorist, this comprehensive guide has got you covered.

Artistry by Altenew's Color By Number sheet and acrylic markers

From understanding color theory and choosing the right coloring materials to exploring different coloring techniques and finding inspiration for your next masterpiece, this page is your go-to resource for all things coloring.

Dive into the world of coloring as we provide tips, tricks, and insights to help you elevate your coloring skills. Whether you're interested in adult coloring books, basic coloring tools, or popular mediums, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources to take your coloring endeavors to the next level. 

So, grab your favorite coloring tools and get ready to embark on a colorful journey filled with information, ideas, and inspiration.

In this guide, you’ll find:

Beautiful ombre coloring using Artistry by Altenew coloring pencils

I. Introduction to Coloring

Coloring is more than just filling in shapes with color. It is a creative outlet that allows individuals to express themselves and explore their artistic abilities. Coloring can be a therapeutic activity that promotes relaxation and stress relief regardless of your skill level. There are various coloring techniques and tools that cater to different preferences and styles, making it an accessible and enjoyable hobby for many.

A drawing of a 3-storey house colored using water-based coloring pens

II. Understanding the Color Wheel

The color wheel is a fundamental tool for artists and color enthusiasts. It consists of primary colors (red, blue, yellow), secondary colors (orange, green, purple), and tertiary colors (red-orange, yellow-orange, etc.).

The Color Wheel

The Color Wheel

Understanding the relationships between these colors is essential for color mixing and blending. By learning how to use the color wheel effectively, artists can create harmonious color schemes and vibrant artwork. Choosing complementary colors can also enhance the visual impact of coloring projects. Read more to understand color theory in art.

Discover the A to Z of Painting and Coloring for Beginner Artists

Is coloring good for creativity?

Coloring can be a great way to boost creativity for both children and adults. Engaging in coloring activities allows individuals to explore their imagination and creatively express themselves. It provides an opportunity to experiment with different colors, patterns, and designs, which can stimulate the brain and inspire innovative thinking.

For children, coloring is not only a fun and entertaining activity, but it also plays a crucial role in their cognitive development. It helps them learn about colors, shapes, and spatial awareness, while also improving their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, coloring can encourage children to think outside the box and develop unique ideas as they fill in the images with their own interpretations.

Similarly, adults can benefit from coloring as a means of relaxation and stress relief. It offers a therapeutic outlet for self-expression and mindfulness, allowing individuals to escape from the demands of everyday life and focus on the present moment. This meditative quality of coloring can clear the mind and open it up to new creative insights and inspirations.

Moreover, coloring can serve as a starting point for broader creative endeavors. It can act as a springboard for generating new ideas or sparking artistic projects. Many artists and designers use coloring as a way to brainstorm and experiment with different color palettes and compositions before applying them to more complex works.

Coloring is indeed good for creativity as it stimulates the imagination, promotes cognitive development, and provides a therapeutic outlet for self-expression. Whether it's for children or adults, engaging in coloring activities can unlock creative potential and contribute to overall well-being. So, next time you pick up a coloring book and some coloring pens, remember that you are not just filling in spaces with color – you are nurturing your creativity.

III. Coloring Tools and Supplies by Artistry by Altenew

Alcohol markers and alcohol ink background panels

A. Alcohol Markers

What are alcohol markers?

Alcohol markers, also known as alcoholic markers, are a type of marker pen that uses alcohol-based ink as opposed to water-based ink. These markers are favored by artists, designers, and illustrators for their vibrant and blendable colors, quick drying time, and ability to create smooth and even coverage. The alcohol-based ink allows for seamless blending and layering, making it easier to achieve a wide range of tones and effects.

One of the key advantages of alcohol markers is their ability to produce consistent, streak-free color application on various surfaces, including paper, cardstock, and even certain non-porous materials like plastic and metal. This makes them a versatile tool for a wide range of artistic and design projects.

A gorgeous colorful floral design

Alcohol markers are available in a wide spectrum of colors, often with a numbering system that allows for easy identification and matching of shades. Many brands offer refillable markers, allowing users to replace the ink and extend the lifespan of their markers. Additionally, some alcohol markers feature dual tips, with a fine point on one end for detailed work and a broader chisel tip on the other for broader strokes and filling in larger areas.

While alcohol markers offer numerous benefits, there are some considerations to keep in mind. The odor of alcohol-based ink can be strong, so it's important to use these markers in a well-ventilated area. Additionally, the ink can bleed through thin paper, so it's advisable to test the markers on a small area before using them on a final project.

A drawing of a woman in a fabulous red dress, colored using Artistry by Altenew Alcohol Markers

Whether used for illustrations, fashion design, or crafting, alcohol markers offer a wide range of creative possibilities for both professionals and hobbyists alike.

Artistry by Altenew offers a range of artist-grade alcohol markers known for their vibrant colors and smooth blending capabilities. These markers are favored by artists for their versatility and ability to create professional-looking artwork. With tips for blending and shading, artists can achieve stunning effects with Artistry by Altenew's alcohol marker sets.

3 Color By Number sheets with different flowers, colored with Artistry by Altenew Acrylic Markers

B. Acrylic Markers

Acrylic markers are a versatile medium that can be used on various surfaces (even rocks!), making them a valuable addition to any artist's collection. Artistry by Altenew's Acrylic Marker 24 Color Set - Vol. 1 is a vibrant and essential addition to any artist's toolkit. The opaque and dazzling colors in the set were carefully curated for a spectrum that spans from delicate pastels to rich, deep hues. Each pen features a medium tip, ensuring precision and versatility across various surfaces.

Dual-tipped water-based brush pens for coloring, hand-lettering, calligraphy, journaling and more

C. Water-Based Pens

Water-based pens offer a different coloring experience, allowing artists to create watercolor effects with ease. Artistry by Altenew offers popular water-based brush pen sets that are well-suited for coloring, hand-lettering, and calligraphy enthusiasts. Techniques for achieving beautiful watercolor effects are made accessible with these pens.

Beautiful stamped florals and foliage on Kraft cardstock colored with coloring pencils
Handmade card with stamped flowers colored with white coloring pencil

D. Coloring Pencils

Coloring pencils are a classic choice for artists, known for their precision and layering capabilities. Artistry by Altenew’s Woodless Coloring Pencil Set includes a wide range of beautiful vibrant colors, and each pencil comes pre-sharpened and ready to use. The 32 colors in this set complement our ink families and will help artists achieve rich blends and gradients. Color in your favorite images, or create a masterpiece of your own!

A watercolor painting of a snail on a mushroom, created with watercolor brush markers

E. Watercolor Brush Markers

Artistry by Altenew’s Watercolor Brush Markers are infused with highly pigmented, water-based inks for watercoloring techniques. Create exquisite and vibrant strokes, from washes to intricate details, using the flexible yet sturdy bristles of the brush. Apply color directly for bold looks or blend with water to achieve a gentle, ethereal effect. Enjoy affordable, smooth-blending, easy-to-use, and refillable watercolor brush markers in gorgeous colors!

A black and white portrait of a woman, created using Monochrome Shading Pencils

F. Other Coloring Supplies

In addition to markers and pencils, Artistry by Altenew highlights additional coloring tools such as gel pens, shading pencils, and fine-liner pens. These supplies can be incorporated into mixed media coloring projects, offering artists the opportunity to explore different textures and effects. 

Learn All About Art Supplies for Beginners

Blue flowers on a handmade card, colored using Artistry by Altenew's dual tipped water-based brush pens

What is the best coloring medium? Let’s find out!

Coloring Medium

Key Features



Alcohol Markers

Quick-drying, blendable, vibrant colors

Smooth application, minimal streaking

Bleed through paper, some brands may have a strong odor

Acrylic Markers

Permanent, opaque, works on various surfaces

Quick-drying, water-resistant

Some brands may have a limited color range, can be messy, not blendable

Water-based Pens

Water-soluble, versatile, easy to blend 

Non-toxic, suitable for detailed work, dual-tipped

May wrinkle regular paper, may require layering 

Coloring Pencils 

Control over shading, no drying time

Portable, no risk of ink bleeding

Time-consuming, may require sharpening

Why is coloring important in art?

Coloring is important in art for several reasons. Firstly, color has the power to evoke emotion and create mood within a piece of artwork. Artists can use color to convey a specific feeling or atmosphere, whether it's through the use of warm, vibrant tones to create a sense of energy and excitement, or cool, muted colors to evoke a feeling of calm and tranquility. Additionally, color can be used to symbolize certain themes or ideas within a piece, adding depth and layers of meaning to the artwork.

Furthermore, color plays a crucial role in creating visual interest and drawing the viewer's attention. By using contrasting colors or bold, eye-catching hues, artists can direct the viewer's gaze and create focal points within the composition. This helps guide the viewer through the artwork and emphasize important elements or details.

Color can enhance the overall composition of a piece of art. Artists use color theory and principles such as harmony, contrast, and balance to create visually appealing and well-balanced artworks. By carefully selecting and arranging colors, artists can create a sense of unity and cohesion within their work, as well as add depth and dimension to their compositions.

In addition, color can be used to represent realism and depth within a two-dimensional artwork. By using techniques such as shading, highlighting, and color blending, artists can create the illusion of three-dimensional form and space on a flat surface. This allows artists to bring their subjects to life and create a sense of depth and realism within their work.

Overall, coloring is an essential element of art that allows artists to convey emotion, create visual interest, enhance composition, and represent realism within their work. Whether it's through the use of bold, expressive colors or subtle, nuanced tones, color plays a vital role in the creation and appreciation of art.

Where to Buy the Best Coloring Pages, Coloring Books, and Coloring Supplies


IV. Coloring Resources

A. Coloring Pages and Sheets

Artistry by Altenew’s sister brand, Altenew, provides access to printable coloring pages, allowing artists to engage in creative expression through ready-made designs. These downloadable coloring sheets empower artists to tailor their coloring experience. Plus, sharing completed coloring projects fosters a sense of community and inspiration among artists.

Coloring page from Artistry by Altenew's color by number sheet set

B. Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring books have gained popularity for their therapeutic benefits and diverse designs. Artistry by Altenew features adult coloring books that cater to various themes and artistic preferences - from whimsical to florals to nature to geometric.

A woman decorating her journal page using Artistry by Altenew water-based brush pens for coloring

C. Free Online Coloring Classes

Coloring classes are an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their coloring skills. These classes provide a convenient and accessible way to learn new techniques, experiment with different mediums, and gain inspiration from professional artists. One of the greatest benefits of these classes is the flexibility they offer - students can learn at their own pace and from the comfort of their own homes. 

Additionally, these classes often provide a supportive community of fellow coloring enthusiasts, allowing for feedback, collaboration, and the opportunity to share work. With a wide range of topics and styles covered, Free Online Coloring Classes are an excellent way to expand one's artistic abilities and find joy in the process of coloring.

Artistry by Altenew's Woodless Watercolor Pencils

V. FAQs About Coloring

Q: What are the best coloring tools for beginners?

A: Artistry by Altenew offers a variety of beginner-friendly coloring tools, including water-based pens, alcohol markers, shading pencils, and coloring pencils, which are great for those starting their artistic journey.

Q: How can I improve my blending skills in coloring?

A: Practicing blending techniques with alcohol markers and experimenting with layering using coloring pencils can help improve blending skills in coloring.

Q: Are there any advanced coloring techniques to try?

A: Advanced techniques such as creating textures with mixed media supplies, exploring the power of contrasting colors, shading, and highlighting provide opportunities for artists to expand their skills.

Q: Can I use Artistry by Altenew's supplies for professional artwork?

A: Artistry by Altenew's high-quality supplies are suitable for both recreational and professional artwork, offering artists the tools they need to create exceptional pieces.

Q: Where can I find inspiration for my coloring projects?

A: Seeking inspiration from nature, art galleries, or online communities like Artistry by Altenew's social media channel and YouTube channel can spark creativity and provide fresh ideas for coloring projects.

A page out of an adult coloring book, partially colored using artist alcohol markers

VI. Conclusion

Exploring the world of coloring with Artistry by Altenew opens up a realm of creative possibilities. From understanding the color wheel to discovering diverse coloring tools and resources, there is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to be found. We encourage artists to embrace different coloring techniques, experiment with various coloring mediums, and foster a sense of artistic exploration and growth within the vibrant artist community.


Everything You Need to Know About Art

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