Over the last few years, adult colouring-in books have hit the art world with much ado. As the trend has grown, adults have rediscovered the simple pleasure of creating with coloured pencils. (The mindfulness and relaxation benefits are merely a natural byproduct of this ‘childhood’ activity). This colouring phenomenon has had us scrambling to buy the simplest of all art supplies – a box of coloured pencils – and revelling in their simple colour joy and potential for individual expression.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” –Pablo Picasso
The developmental and therapeutic benefits of childhood colouring-in books (with wax crayons or coloured pencils) have merely ‘grown up,’ allowing each one of us to slow down and create. And it all starts with shopping for a basic art supply – coloured pencils.
When considering art and craft supplies, coloured pencils don’t really rank high as a legitimate art medium – and yet they should. These humble art tools have been around since 1924 when Faber-Castell and Caran d’Ache pioneered the manufacturing of the first set of coloured pencils.
Here are 4 reasons we just love coloured pencils:
#1 No previous experience required
Anyone – from the age of 3 and up – can use a coloured pencil to draw or create. And you will be hard-pressed to find an art supplies kit that doesn’t have a full set or remnants of a childhood box of crayons. These ubiquitous artist colours are a true delight and whether you are colouring in mandala patterns and geometric designs or doodling, sketching or lettering, they are a go-to art alternative for everyone.
#2 No limit to their creative potential
Just browse art material and supplies online and you will be surprised at how the humble coloured pencil has evolved. Its versatility is a huge motivator to stock up on a colourful set. Pastel, ink-based and watercolour pencils are now also available to tempt and inspire you. From skin tones to sets containing 120 colours, what is there not to love? (Rainbow hues just got a whole lot more colourful). For colouring, blending, outlining, shading and even a painterly effect (by adding water over watercolour pencils), a ‘pencil artist’ is the real deal.
#3 Take them with wherever you go
Just like a reader who always has a book in their bag or a writer who goes nowhere without a notebook, the same applies to creatives who can always have a box of coloured pencil crayons on hand to create whenever the muse appears. These little art supplies were simply made-for-travel; from the beach to the mountaintop – you can create a coloured pencil drawing wherever you happen to be.
#4 They play so nicely with other mediums
Coloured pencils can stand alone or work well with other mediums. Combine them with pastels or watercolours for detailing or alongside ink or markers.
There really are no rules. (Many artist quality pencils are now also lightfast).
As an art supply, coloured pencils certainly offer endless opportunities to be creative and to just have fun. Give them a try.