Monday, September 28, 2015
Eyes are innately mesmerizing and infinitely expressive. They are, as they say, the “windows to the soul”.
For this volume, I created 30 all new, original coloring pages integrating an eclectic variety of art styles, motifs and moods. Each of them frames mysterious eyes that seize your gaze…inviting you, challenging you to infuse them with vibrant color.
Featuring a variety of colorful themes including fantasy, steampunk, traditional cultural art styles, decorative mandalas and designs inspired by nature, this coloring book offers something for everyone, and is full of ample opportunities for fun and creative coloring.
After I made my first coloring book (“Sacred Beauty; An Artful Coloring Book”), I knew I was hooked.
I love designing coloring pages, and I love coloring them.
I wanted to do another book, and I was pondering what kind of themes and imagery would make for fun, relaxing and engaging coloring experiences that would result in beautiful finished pieces.
For me, coloring feels very much like doodling. There is some thought that goes into it in choosing colors and creating color schemes, but it is also somewhat mindless, in a good way. It reminds me of knitting, or…doodling.
For as long as I can remember, when mindlessly doodling, I‘ve drawn two things: spirals and eyes….often in combination. Not faces or anything that made sense… just these weird little abstract designs with eyes surrounded by decorative flourishes.
I’m not alone in this habit. Apparently, it’s a Thing. Lots of people doodle eyes; angry, evil eyes, intensely gazing eyes, cartoon or anime eyes, realistic eyes, alien eyes, you name it. I tend to draw serene eyes surrounded by lots of swirls and spirals and dots.
Once I'd connected coloring to doodling, and explored the whole "eye doodling" phenomenon, I realized that I'd found the basic theme for my next book.
My next step was to think up a bunch of different designs, which was actually pretty easy. My Muse was on board, and I started sketching like a madwoman.
I thought about things that would offer opportunities for lots of color choices...things like butterflies and flowers and animal patterns and stained glass and mandalas. I thought about things that accented eyes - masks and helmets and makeup. I thought about various traditional art styles that would work - like Dia De Los Muertos face paint and Maori warrior facial tattoos. I also wanted to make this book more appealing to male colorists, since my first book was pretty feminine in nature. So there is a steampunk design featuring ornate mechanical bits, a grizzled warrior, a pirate, even a creepy alien. Something for everyone, and every mood!
I also wanted to offer a variety of levels of intricacy, so some of these designs are simpler and others are packed with details.
The artwork is accompanied by "Inspirations" and "Trys".
The Inspirations are basically keywords that you can enter into a Google image search to find loads of visual reference for inspiration and ideas. They are things I referred to when creating the designs, and coloring them myself. I encourage you to utilize these - and to take some time to study the images that come up. Getting familiar with different color combinations will add to your own inner library of ideas and help you develop your own sense of color.
The "Trys" are suggestions for various color scheme ideas to explore, or coloring techniques to apply. They are totally optional - but I wanted to share some of the possibilities that I thought of while designing and coloring the imagery.
"Windows to the Soul" is available as a print edition from Amazon:
and as a downloadable digital edition from my Etsy Shop:
I'd love to hear your feedback on it, and see your finished colored pages! Please feel free to comment here, or post to my Art of Cristina McAllister Facebook Page. And please post a review to the Amazon listing page - those reviews really do make a huge difference!
Sunday, September 13, 2015
I've published a coloring book!
It's available on Amazon at the following link:
You can also download a digital edition from my Etsy shop:
Several weeks ago, someone posted an article about coloring books for grown-ups on Facebook and I was intrigued! It has become a hugely popular activity, and a bunch of really cool coloring books have been released in recent years. These aren't the cheesy, simplistic cartoon character coloring books you remember from childhood, but gorgeous, complex designs that offer a fun, engaging and relaxing creative experience.
I realized instantly that my artwork would be PERFECT for coloring! After all, when I created the original artwork, I basically made black & white designs and then colored them in Photoshop. So converting my full-color artwork into color-able pages was simply a matter of going back to my black & white files and doing some reworking.
As I re-evaluated my drawings with hand-coloring in mind, I realized that I really enjoy designing coloring pages! And I really enjoy coloring, which was something that mostly bored me as a kid.
I published through Createspace, Amazon.com's Print On Demand Self Publishing platform, and found the process to be surprisingly quick and easy. Within 3 weeks, I had put my book together, uploaded it and it was listed on Amazon.com. Amazing!
The response has be incredible, and people really seem to be enjoying the book. I'm working on getting my wholesale distribution set up, hopefully in time to get some books in stores for the holiday shopping season.
And I'm working on my second book, which I think is going to be even better!