Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. ~G. K. Chesterton
Quite a few people have asked me how I make the coloring pages, which I will be happy to share with you.
I did not study art except for the classes they make you take in elementary school and one summer class in Pencil Portraits when I was in high school. That class taught me the basics of drawing, proportion (specifically concerning the face) and shading. Here are some of the drawings I did in that class.
Actually, the teacher gave us copies of Premiere magazine covers to use because the photos were usually large and detailed; kind of like having a real person sitting in front of you who never flinched or got tired. (The one of the barber and the little boy was a Kodak ad, not a cover but sooooo cute.) So that is the extent of my artistic training. The only other experience I acquired was on the job as a mom. When the Professor was a little guy, he loved to color at a little table covered in white butcher paper. He used to ask me to draw his favorite things: trains, planes, balls, volcanoes, Larry the Cucumber, Jim Cantore, etc... I learned very quickly how to come up with an easy cartoon version of these things and he honed my skills with repetition.
By the time the girl's came along, I enjoyed decorating the table for them by looking at their favorite coloring books and reproducing the images in a bigger size on a plain white paper table cloth. They loved to sit and color their own table cloth and then eat lunch on their designs.
This is the kind of "artist" I am. I can reproduce images. The simpler the better! You have no doubt noticed that all of these coloring pages come from an original picture. I am not the kind of truly talented artist who can sit and transfer the image of St. Monica from my brain to the canvas in front of me. But I can look at a picture and see the "hard lines". I can see where they connect and intersect to make the basic shapes. Those I can translate to the page in the form of a pencil sketch. I try to blow up the picture to the largest size I can so that I can see it better but sometimes that means losing detail. Once I finish sketching the basics, I go back and add the detail always using the smaller original as my guide. Then I trace over the pencil lines with a fine point black Sharpie marker and scan it in as a jpg image. Adding the name or date or a quote is all done in Word.
That's about it. It's not something that everyone can do, I understand, but I am pretty sure that more people can do it even if they don't think they can. I would even recommend tracing as a means of practicing (which no real artist would condone). My daughters have noticed recently that tracing a picture often times produces a coloring page like product. It's just a matter of looking at the world through black and white glasses. Black and white is easy; it's the shades of gray that give me trouble.