"Creative Cat Coloring Book" with watercolor pencils and art sponge.

Creative Cat Coloring Book

4.25” x 5.5” spiral-bound booklet of 13 daily sketches in brush pen printed on 120# card stock, book only or as a set with watercolor pencils and a sponge.

I’ve wanted to do a coloring book, but wanted to use something that is unique to one of my styles that is very popular, that of the black outlines with brush pen or brush marker with color fill in marker, watercolor, colored pencil, or just an all over pattern. I chose a baker’s dozen of my brush pen sketches that easily lend themselves to either loose or tight coloring, or even adding to the sketch with your own brush pen.

It’s named for my website, The Creative Cat, where I’ve shared my past and current art and writing since 2009.

The back cover that explains the premise.

The back cover that explains the premise.

But it’s also a play on those words because I want you to be “creative” in this “cat coloring book”. Rather than larger pages with detailed line drawings to color, I’ve used small pages and my loose brush pen sketches with unfinished lines in varying thickness, semi-abstract shapes, and usually no ground, just a figure, and left the rest to you.

Just a quick little thing

You can choose to color in the lines and add a background, or you can forget about the lines altogether and add approximate color fills with markers, sponge patterns on the whole page, spatter with watercolor, use a different media and technique on each one.

I’ve kept them small so you can work out a coloring project in just a few minutes by adding a loose marker fill on the subject, or you can spend time to plan out layers of watercolor to create an abstract background, or don’t use color at all, use pencil, charcoal, or india ink washes.

Easy to handle

The book is bound on the top so that you can flip all the pages up and just have one page to work on without getting media on the other pages, and the freedom to work from either side if you are left- or right-handed. Finished pages can be trimmed out if you’d like.

The heavy uncoated cover stock can take a beating using:

– layers of various markers
– watercolor washes
– watercolor pencils
– colored pencils
– soft pastels
– oil pastels
– acrylic craft paint
– acrylic fine art paint
– pencil, charcoal, ink
– collaging glued paper or fabric

Here are some samples of the above techniques:

Add your own voice

The 12 sketches in this book, plus the one on the cover, each offer a compositional challenge as well, with irregular figures and negative space that just begs you to add your own brush pen marks or make the most of a color technique, glue beads and crystals and flower petals to it, or just leave that space to speak for itself.

So “be creative”!

Everything doesn’t have to be a masterpiece

And not a big book. One of the things that keeps me creating art is doing little things that don’t have to be a masterpiece and I find myself much more willing to experiment and innovate on a little thing than on a bigger finished piece. The book is 4.25″ x 5.5″ and only 12 pages plus covers.

The first spread with the list of sketches and the first sketch.

The first spread with the list of sketches and the first sketch.

I’ve added several ideas in the back of the book that list techniques and media you could experiment with. Because colored pencils are so popular with coloring books I thought I’d add a twist that people might want to experiment with just by adding a little swipe of water with the included brush, or even use the watercolors with the sponge to add a unique pattern. The brand of watercolor pencils and the sponge and brush will likely vary depending on what I can order at any give time.

Some ideas for media and techniques to use in your book.

Some ideas for media and techniques to use in your book.

Some ideas to get you started

PRACTICE + first, don’t hesitate to get scraps of paper and experiment with a technique until you’re comfortable before you use it in your book

PATTERN + use a small sponge, crumpled rag, scrap of fabric or other textured absorbent material that will create a pattern on the paper, dip it into watered-down watercolor, acrylic craft paint or ink and touch it to the paper to create the desired pattern; layer and mix colors

STENCIL + impress your texture and pattern over the entire sheet, subject and all, or cut out the shape of the subject from waxed paper or stenciling material, place the cut shape over the subject and lightly adhere it, sponge or texture over all, then remove the cut shape to reveal white paper–or cover the paper with the stenciling material, leave the subject open and just pattern/texture the subject

SPATTER + use the stenciling technique above with spattering, using watered-down media, dip an old clean toothbrush into the media, hold the toothbrush at an angle toward the art and lightly brush the handle of a thin paintbrush over the bristles from front to back so a light spray lands on the paper, try different pressures, angles and amounts of media in the brush, add new colors when wet or dry for different results

SCRAPE + cover the paper with oil pastel in solid or blended colors, then use the tip of a paper clip or other plastic or metal object to gently scratch pastel off of the paper creating patterns and textures like stripes, flowers and geometric shapes

COLLAGE + rip colored tissue paper and glue it to the paper

SIMPLIFY + do something very simple, like add color inside the subject with rough angled marker strokes or watercolor, and just leave it at that

FINISH + when you’re done, trim the page out of the book and adhere your work to a blank note card or to a piece of card stock and frame it

The book is printed on pure white 120# uncoated cover that can take a beating with colored pencils, oil pastels, markers, watercolors, even acrylic paint. You can also conveniently isolate one page of the book by flipping all the others above the coil so that you don’t get any media on other pages as you work.

 

One of the sketches placed on the page so you can add to the action or experiment with a pattern or shading.

One of the sketches placed on the page so you can add to the action or experiment with a pattern or shading.

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