Crayons, Coloring Books and Colored Pencils

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My first completed “adult” picture. 

About 5 years ago I began my quest to find an old-fashioned coloring book, buy a BIG box of Crayolas (remember the one with the sharpener built-in?), and color away. However, I could not find any “old-fashioned-like-when-I-was-a kid” coloring books – anywhere! What I found were “activity books” filled with puzzles, games and blank pages, with a pathetically scant number of traditional images to color. It made me wonder: was this a function of all the ADD and ADHD diagnosis where kids can’t sit still long enough to produce a finished drawing?

Never-the-less, my unrequited search went on until one Christmas, my daughter-in-law gave me a real live coloring book, which she had found on the Internet. Not only was it the real deal, it was all about animal rescue, a subject near and dear to my heart and life.

Lo and behold, no more than a year after receiving my treasured gift, adult coloring books began to emerge, first in dribs and drabs, and now they are everywhere! The images in these books are gorgeous – maybe some of you have discovered them – but there is just one problem for this adult, and that is that most pictures have mostly miniscule areas to color, and I do mean miniscule. Crayolas – sorry, but you’re off this team. Adult coloring books are strictly colored pen and pencil realm! (My favorite is Prismacolor colored pencils.)

Do you remember how important it was to stay in the lines when we were coloring kids? Truth-be-told, I was at first afraid that my hand wasn’t steady enough to successfully navigate all those tiny spaces without bleeding all outside the lines. Even as a kid I was pretty bad at staying inside the lines. The colored pencils make it easier, but then I got to thinking, so what if I do go outside the lines? I cracked a smile and said to myself, “it will be just like old times.”

Nick DiChario

Reader, writer, life-long mistake-maker

Judith Shenouda

Author of Living Well in Froggy's World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; and Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; and Owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., Provider of Technical, Marketing, and Business Communications

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