Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Still Coloring After All These Years

Celtic Mandalas coloring book from Dover Publications
I loved coloring when I was a child and was still coloring as a teen. I developed a technique where I would color with my Crayolas and use a Kleenex to wipe off the excess wax. Later I bought good colored pencils. I have even colored with crayon and pencils on fabric for my quilts!

In 1972 I bought my first Dover Publications coloring book, Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
from The Tale of Peter Rabbit Coloring Book, 1971

When our son was young he and I would place big orders from Dover for coloring books.
Dover Publications, 2000
colored page from Freshwater Pond Life
colored page from Freshwater Pond Life
colored page from Freshwater Pond Life
colored page from Fashions of the First Ladies, Abigail Adams. 2001

Martha Washington, Fashions of the First Ladies
But it has been a few years since I last colored. So when Dover Publications offered a coloring book for review I thought, why not? Everyone else has finally caught the craze and are coloring--there are even adult coloring parties at my local library--it's time I got out my colored pencils again.
coloring a page from Celtic Mandalas. Note how the colors
appear against a black vs. a white background.
Celtic Mandalas by Cari Buziak is for advanced, experienced colorists. The Mandalas are intricate and the design is small. I used my Koh-i-noor woodless color pencils. Keeping a sharp point is essential for these designs.  There are over 30 original Celtic-inspired designs with coloring pages, perforated for easy removal.

Traditional Celtic art combined abstract patterns with fantastic animals and naturalistic motifs. It is highly ornamental, with knots and spirals, and repeated patterns.

One thing I love about coloring is the ability to try different color combinations. Unlike playing with fabric in my quilting, I can go wild without any negative repercussions. Fabric is expensive and the patterns available for a limited time. But a coloring page is inexpensive.

I enjoyed playing with warm and cool colors in the pages I colored. I also wanted to see how the colors looked against a colored background.
Sample Mandala from Dover Publications available at

My colored Mandala
I often blended my colors by layering one on top of the other. For instance, in the outer border in the mandala above I colored motifs a deep red then used a pink color for the background, coloring right over the red. I did the same for the yellow and green rings, coloring the yellow over the green. 

I need to see if my colored markers are still good. I think these Mandalas are ideal for marker use.

Download sample pages Mandala from the book at

I received a free book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

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