snow people (free adult coloring page)

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I drew this page several weeks ago when I first started drawing adult coloring pages. It’s probably the most like children’s coloring pages of any of the drawings that I’ve done so far. I wanted to draw a winter scene, and it came out very cartoonish.

Click on the link below to download the PDF. Click here for copyright and licensing information.

free-adult-coloring-page-christmas-snowman-001

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Would you like more free, hand-drawn adult coloring pages like this? You can find an index of my adult coloring pages here. Read about how I came to draw adult coloring pages, here.

my adult coloring story

Colouring an illustration by @happydoodleland . . . #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook #coloring

A photo posted by Michelle Lynne Goodfellow (@emelgy) on

It all started with adult coloring books. They were everywhere, after the success of Johanna Bamford’s Secret Garden, and the subsequent wave of interest in adult coloring.

I picked up a few here and there, mostly in bargain bins at bookstores, or as impulse buys from drugstore magazine racks.

From the start, I was less interested in coloring and more interested in making my own drawings, so I never coloured in the adult coloring books I bought. I told myself that they were inspiration for future artwork.

A friend passed along to me an adult coloring book that he had tried and didn’t want, and I finished one of his pages (below). But I was still kind of like, meh. I didn’t want to colour, myself.

Then I bought the Pocket Posh Botanicals coloring book by Flora Chang, and coloured the page at the beginning of this post. I used these coloured pencils. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. (Plus I really liked Chang’s doodle drawings. I wanted to make drawings like hers.)

If you scroll through my Instagram feed from that point on, you can see a visual record of what happened. I started drawing again in earnest (after a long period of not doing much drawing or art journalling) – first imitating some of the work by others that I really admired, and then playing with my own style.

And it was play. It was a way to pass the time that put me in the zone, or flow state. I kept coming up with new ideas to try, and it felt good at the end of each day to see the things that I had created.

At some point it occurred to me that I wanted to share my drawings online (I mean, more than just photographing them on Instagram). I wanted other people to be able to colour my drawings. And my first downloadable adult coloring page was born.

How do you come up with ideas for your adult coloring pages?
I follow a lot of artists and illustrators on Instagram, and I my Instagram feed is always inspiring to me. I also save a lot of illustration, art journal and zentangle pins on Pinterest as inspiration.

But honestly, a lot of the time I just play around in my art journals and sketchbooks until I come up with something interesting.

Do you have any visual arts training, or are you self-taught?
I studied design at university for my first degree (a Bachelor of Science in Clothing, Textiles and Design), and I studied visual arts for two more years after that, thinking that I wanted to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, but ultimately transferred out of the program and finished my Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies, instead. So yes, I have visual arts training.

I’ve also worked for many years professionally as a writer, editor, desktop publisher and in-house photographer in the social services sector, and have illustrated a few publications like this one for clients.

I love drawing, and over the years have filled many sketchbooks and art journals with my drawings, often using them as illustrations on my blogs and websites.

How do you create your adult coloring pages?
I use a scanner and several computer programs to save the pages electronically, so I draw all my originals on individual sheets of paper. I usually choose plain, 8 1/2 x 11″ sheets of printer paper, since they fit best in my scanner.

Once the drawing is done, I scan it as a picture, and save the file as a JPEG. I then open up the image file in PhotoShop to crop it, adjust the contrast so that the lines are dark and the background is pure white, and then I clean up any smudges, or discoloured areas left behind by the scanning process.

Finally, I save the image both as a JPEG and as a PDF, and then update the metadata in the PDF using Adobe Acrobat so that the PDFs are optimized for online search engines.

Then I upload the finished files to blog posts on this blog, and they’re yours!

I love drawing adult coloring pages. Every day I have dozens of ideas for new ones, and making the drawings is very enjoyable. I hope you enjoy them as much when you’re coloring them!

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Would you like more free, hand-drawn adult coloring pages like this? You can find an index of my adult coloring pages here.

illustration portfolio

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These illustrations are some sample blog illustrations that I did for Derek Sivers’ blog. The above illustration is for this article about breathing out. The illustration below is for this article about breaking the rules.

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The illustration below is for this article about “Doing This.”

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The illustration below is for this article about Sivers preferring not to receive gifts.

emelgy-illustration-for-gifts

Below are also some samples of illustrations that I’ve done in colour with wax crayons.

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return

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flowers (free adult coloring page)

free-adult-coloring-page-flowers-001

Ever since I started drawing adult coloring pages, I’ve been wanting to create some tutorials for beginners to adult coloring, and so I’ve been drawing some simple pages that beginners can use over and over again to work on their techniques. This is one of them. It was fun to draw – I started out tracing a small, circular object over and over again (I generally don’t use a pencil pre-drawing for most of my adult coloring pages), a technique I learned from The Bloggess after she posted photos of this zentangle drawing that she was working on.

Do I think that using pencil is cheating? No. I think you should do whatever works. Most of the time I just prefer a really loose, wonky kind of feel to my adult coloring pages, so I don’t bother with sketching in pencil guidelines.

Click on the link below to download the PDF. Click here for copyright and licensing information.

free-adult-coloring-page-flowers-001

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Would you like more free, hand-drawn adult coloring pages like this? You can find an index of my adult coloring pages here. Read about how I came to draw adult coloring pages, here.

snowflakes (free adult coloring page)

free-adult-coloring-page-snowflakes-001

Here’s my first (ish) downloadable adult coloring page! You can read the story of how I came to draw adult coloring pages, here. This particular page is one of my all-time favourites.

Click on the link below to download the PDF. Click here for copyright and licensing information.

free-adult-coloring-page-snowflakes-001

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Would you like more free, hand-drawn adult coloring pages like this? You can find an index of my adult coloring pages here. Read about how I came to draw adult coloring pages, here.

 

tomatoes

white porcelain bowl with fresh tomatoes

Doesn’t that look amazing? I’ve been caring for some friends’ gardens, and one of the benefits is fresh produce. The tomatoes are gorgeous.

This photo reminded me of a drawing a did several (10!) years ago in one of my art journals. I love all the subtle colours in the ripening tomatoes – oranges and greens and pinks…

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playing on the weekend

art journal workspace

I’ve been spending so much time writing lately, I thought I’d put my visual art aside, but on the weekend I had the sudden urge to pull out one of my art journals and do some collaging. (I don’t think that’s a word, but anyhow.) Here’s a snapshot of my work area, gluing in progress. The finished art journal spread is below. I’m going to use it in an upcoming post on Kitchen Sink Wisdom.

art journal spread what is essential

maps

map 1

I recently started a map pinboard on Pinterest. I was so excited and full of ideas about what I could put there, including some of my own art journal work, which sometimes includes collaged vintage maps. These are some Instagram photos of details from five different art journal spreads.

(And yes, I’m going to pin these photos to my board!)

map 2

map 3

map 4

map 5

cowbird.com

avocado in blue glass bowl

I uploaded some new photo illustrations to Google+ yesterday, and I suddenly realized that I’d never really talked about Cowbird.com here on my personal blog. Cowbird is a community of storytellers. It was created by Jonathan Harris. (I think he’s awesome, by the way. You can see two of his TED Talks here and here to find out why.)

In February and March I tried to publish one story a day on Cowbird. In April I struggled to find time to continue doing that, but I haven’t abandoned the site. One of my favorite aspects of publishing there is creating the photo illustrations for my stories. A sample of some of my favorite Cowbird illustrations is below.

Beginning this month, I’m switching to weekday publishing only. See you Monday!

bunch of asparagas

cats on shelf

tree branches outside window

artichokes

red tulips

bananas and nuts

white garbage bag in trash can

All photographs taken with iPhone, and processed with Camera+

the gifts of the magi

illustration of grandparent and solar system

I posted this Cowbird.com story about high school on my Facebook wall earlier this week, and was very touched by the responses it got from my Facebook friends, including some people who’d known me in high school. Our conversation explored the subject of teenage angst, and the horrorshow that the high school years can be for many people.

For me, high school was not a place of overt discrimination or bullying, although I know this is the experience of many. My teenage agony was an interior one. I was a profound introvert – shy, awkward, unsure in social settings – and I never felt a sense of belonging or recognition from my peers.

This existence followed me through my university years – and, in truth, has been my experience through much of my of adult life. In my teens and twenties I was desperately lonely, and yet neither was I comfortable moving about in a world of extroverts. I did not enjoy their activities. I craved connection, but preferred it to be deep… and one-on-one.

As a result, I spent a lot of time alone.

I still do.

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There’s a wonderful blog post about introversion that made the rounds on social media a while back: 10 myths about introverts, by Carl Kingdom. I remember reading it on Facebook and feeling an immediate sense of recognition. Yes, I thought. This describes me exactly.

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When I was a kid, I learned early on that it was a dangerous thing to admit my love of solitude to my peers. I remember being socially isolated many times. The summer I was 12, I was bullied by a bunch of my cabin-mates at summer church camp, and when I tearfully begged the camp director to call my mother and have me taken home, she instead instructed my counsellors to find me some friends among the girls in my cabin.

This worked for about a day, until one of my new “friends” asked me what I liked to do in my free time at home. I said I liked to be alone.

“Fine,” she responded, and walked away. She and her posse teased me mercilessly for the rest of the week. I don’t know what I would have done if the camp had lasted any longer.

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A lot of extroverts who know me as an adult are suprised to learn that I identify as an introvert. I have learned to adapt to social situations, and after years of classical vocal training and performances, I’m comfortable getting up in front of people and engaging in easy patter about many subjects.

Abandon me at a party or a social event, however, and I die a million deaths inside. I detest small talk, and trying to find points of connection with strangers is torture for me. I do love meeting new people, though. If I can approach them in a comfortable setting, in a low-key environment, without an agenda, I truly enjoy learning about others.

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I used to shock extroverted friends when I told them I’d often considered an eremitic life – a life of spiritual or creative seclusion. I could never convince them of the deep pull and rich joys of the contemplation. Where some people find meaning and fulfillment in relationship and service, I’m most alive and satisfied when I am connected to my creative muse. And it’s a blissfully solitary experience.

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There’s a wonderful poem by T. S. Eliot called The Journey of the Magi. It’s about the awe-some and awful journey that the magi take to find the newborn Christ child. By the end of the poem, after they have traveled great distances over harsh terrain, and witnessed sights that they can never fully convey to those who were not there, their journey has so radically changed them that they no longer belong in their homeland, when they return to it.

That’s kind of how being introverted in an extroverted world feels, to me.

The riches that I find during my solitary – sometimes painful, often ecstatic, and always compelling – inner journeys are indescribable. They also render me, upon my return to the world of “the regular,” an outsider and a freak.

I mean that in the best way, of course. :)

Because I know that the gifts I bring back from the wilderness with me are powerful, and useful.

They are gifts that the world needs.

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A TED Talk about the introvert advantage.