Here at Meri Meri we love colour – brights, pastels and mixtures of both – it makes us really happy. To share our passion, we’ve created a wonderful new range of colouring posters. Whilst crafting these we discovered that colouring is so much more than a bit of fun.
Did you know it can help boost motor skills, stimulate creativity, contribute to better handwriting, teach colour awareness and recognition, improve hand-to-eye coordination, increase concentration, confidence and self-esteem and reduce stress? Wow! Take a look at simple ways to help your kids perfect their colouring.
1. Be clever with design choices
Kids will find colouring more enjoyable if you look for colouring designs related to things they love. Animals, flowers, space, insects or abstract images – what will suit them? Check out our unicorns, space, dinosaurs and butterflies colouring posters. The images are crafted in gorgeous metallic tones and will look incredible on display.
2. Hold the pencil properly
This can have a huge effect on their work. Encourage them to hold their pencil as they would for writing, and to keep their grip controlled but relaxed. This will help prevent cramping. When colouring in little details they should move their hand towards the tip of the pencil for better control. When colouring in large pages, they can grip the pencil further back, to allow for a good sweep of colour.
3. Stay inside the lines
It can be a real challenge for little people to colour inside the lines. An effective way to help them is to find a way to emphasise the borders. Trace the outlines and make them darker. You can also do a “hand-over-hand” technique, where you put your hand over theirs and help guide them to move the pencil in the correct direction and stop at the right place. Why not do some colouring too, so they can watch and learn from you? Colouring for adults is still very trendy and you’ll find a wide selection of creative colouring books on offer.
4. Get a good set of colouring pencils
Coloured markers and gel pens aren’t great for colouring because, if pressed too hard, the ink might bleed through the pages or run into one another to cause murky shades (markers and pens can also spell disaster if kids get distracted and start colouring their clothes, faces, the walls or furniture!) So, choose a good set of colouring pencils. You don’t need the largest or most expensive set, just go for those that aren’t too hard as they can be tricky to blend with and difficult to get a good colour on the page. With the right set you can blend colours into one another to get new shades and different tones.
5. Keep those pencils sharp
Keep colouring pencils well sharpened and you’ll find them fine enough to work in lots of detail. It’s a good idea though, before starting, to do a little light colouring on a scrap piece of paper to get one edge slightly flat, so they don’t rip work if pressing too hard.
6. Add your own patterns
On less detailed areas tell them not to be afraid to fill in their own patterns to show individuality. Swirls, tiny lines, spots and dots – or even a drawing within the drawing – will look fantastic.
7. Choose a colour palette
While we’re all for creativity, lots of contrasting colours can make the end result a little too chaotic. If you want to display your kid’s work then, for a more harmonious effect, it’s a good idea to encourage them to choose a colour palette and stick to it. For example, autumnal or summery colours; cool tones or warm tones; complementary tones like orange and blue; analogous colours (which are located next to each other on the colour wheel) like purple, violet and magenta; or triadic colour schemes (these are evenly spaced around the colour wheel) like purple, green and yellow. Or they could just go monochromatic, with different shades/tints/hues of the same colour. For help with colour schemes, check out this colour wheel.
8. Hide your pencil strokes
To get an even effect, return to old pencil strokes and go over them again, but in a different direction. If they always colour back-and-forth as they move their pencil across the page, they’ll end up with a grainy texture. This is noticeable on its own, but becomes especially glaring when two different areas with different directional textures meet up.
9. Become a shading expert
If expert results are wanted, then shading can make a huge difference. Push a little harder with a pencil where there would naturally be a shadow, and a little lighter where there would be highlights. For example, if colouring a flower, the inside might be darker because it’s furthest away from the sun and the tips of the petals would be lighter because they’re pushed towards the light. Be consistent with shading. Choose the direction they want their light source to be when they start colouring and then shade accordingly throughout the picture.
10. Get inspiration from artists
Visit a gallery or look at works by great artists in books or online. It can really be helpful to study their use of colour, textures and shading. Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Paul Gauguin, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Wassily Kadinsky are all amazing artists to study. It’s also a good idea to get an inspirational boost from mother nature! Get outside with your kids and take a look at flowers, plants and trees and ask lots of questions, like “What colours am I looking at and how does the light change them?”