A Colorist Never Forgets

I never thought I would try coloring as an adult, much less enjoy it so much. I just didn’t think it would be creatively satisfying enough to color an image that someone else had drawn. But then it occurred to me, I used to do that with rubber stamped images all the time – how is this different?

Coloring for adults is all the rage these days, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. It is so relaxing, so much fun to pick out the colors and decide where they go, and so satisfying to have a beautiful piece of art when you’re done!

I just finished reading a novel by Jodi Picoult called Leaving Time, which is about a woman who studies grief in elephants. She is found unconscious near a trampled body and later disappears from the hospital. It’s a really good read with a surprise twist ending, and also got me really interested in elephants. So I was quite excited to run across these beautiful – and free! – elephant coloring pages!


You can find them here – and the very generous artist is currently working on horse images in the same style!

I printed these out full size – they take up an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with a bit of a border – and spent an enjoyable few hours coloring them with Prisma colored pencils. I have about 55 pencils, which is far too many choices. I’ve found I get good results by picking about eight colors and putting the rest away; it makes for a cohesive result, even with very busy images.

For these elephants, I used orange, purple, teal, yellow, red, blue, pink and green. I use one color at a time and try to spread it out among all the spaces fairly evenly before moving on to the next color. I’ve also done several that are monochromatic (different shades of green and blue, for example), and those can be really stunning in their own right.

elephant left

There are so many things you can do with your filled-in coloring pages. Framing them, of course, is one possibility. But you can also scan them to create a digital file and then have the image printed onto all manner of wonderful items: tote bags, phone cases, laptop skins, pillows, T-shirts, etc. Wouldn’t one of these elephants be amazing on a shower curtain? (Yes – you can have a full-size shower curtain made with your art!)

elephant right

My next adventure in coloring? This gorgeous elephant, which I found here:



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