About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Adult Coloring Book Adventures Part IV

Choosing Pens, Pencils and Markers

In prior posts, I explored the different types of adult coloring books available. Once you have your book, then what? Simple colored pencils or even crayons you might have around the house from kids or grand kids will get the job done just fine. However, there are other options and all have, of course, their advantages and disadvantages.

Color pencils

Pros: Prices start at the very low end (for as low as $1), they are very clean to use, don't bleed through paper, you can erase mistakes, and they allow for different color effects. Also, you can get a large variety of colors since they are so inexpensive.

However, I have read that they can run as much as $800 for a large set. I guess it has to do with the wood/color pigment ratio and that the more expensive ones, allegedly, are much easier to use. I'm thinking those are probably targeted to highly ambitious professional artists, not so much the adult coloring book crowd.

Cons: Personally, I can't really use them because applying the correct pressure needed makes my wrist and hand hurt. So, they might be challenging to use for people who have arthritis and other health issues. Plus, I don't know how to achieve what people call shading, depth and all that. If you are like me, that limits the effects on your colorings.


Pros: They allow for much vibrancy and are fairly inexpensive, depending on the pack that you buy.

Cons: It can take some searching to find larger packs that have more than just the primary and secondary colors. Cheaper markers tear up paper and cause streaking. Also, markers generally don't allow for mixing. If you go over the line and accidentally color over another color, the result is muddy. They will bleed through paper.

Brush markers

Pros: They glide on smoothly and cover well. You don't need any pressure at all when applying color. They are a bit more forgiving than regular markers when coloring over each other, but don't create special effects.

Cons: They are not cheap (the cheapest I found are $15 for a 12-pack and a nice 46 pack can cost almost $100), so getting more than primary and secondary colors can cost a bundle. Plus they seem to be an online item only because I wasn't able to find them in brick and mortar stores. Despite their price tag, they seem to be prone to problems. I have sampled two kinds, and both had issues. Some leaked, and on some the tips wore out prematurely, even though I had not used them as much as others.

Gel pens

Pros: They don't bleed through, are excellent for filling in small areas, and you can get a large variety of colors and shades, including metallic and glitter.

Cons: They don't cover large areas very well and don't last all that long. Also, they are hit and miss. Some glide on smooth and creamy, others are streaky. And no, it has nothing to do with the price. I found some at the dollar store that are awesome.

So, higher expense doesn't necessarily translate to a better product for any of these options. Actually some of my favorite coloring utensils cost only a few dollars. After all, adult coloring is about stress relief and spending more than your budget allows causes stress, so never feel pressured to buy something just because someone's blog post tells you.

All the blog posts I have seen on this subject advise of expensive options (or at least what I find expensive), so I wanted to do something different. Just use what works for you, even sharpies and highlighters, if you want to. I do hope that my overview helped you before you pay for something and then find out it's not the right medium for you.

If you think there are other options besides the ones I mentioned, you are correct. I will address some of them in a separate post.