Published on January 11th, 2016 |
Mindfulness, colouring and knitting…
Colouring books have taken the crafty world by storm… and we’ve combined knitting and crochet with colouring in our first, fabulous colouring book!
Colouring-in pages by Delyth Angharad in our new colouring book!
Colour has been used therapeutically for thousands of years – the Egyptians used colour in their medicine, listing “colour cures” on papyrus dating back to 155c BC, and the Chinese were using colour for healing 2,000 years ago. Aristotle discovered that mixing two colours produced a third and Paracelcus used colour rays with music and herbs for healing – but it wasn’t until 1672 that Issac Newton decreed that light was made up of seven colours – what we now take for granted when we see a rainbow.
As knitters, we know the benefit of working with different coloured yarn, and it’s often the colour that first attracts us to a skein, whether a clear jewelled azure blue, or a zesty lemon, or a stunning variegation of shades together! Unsurprisingly then, colouring for adults has sparked an enormous craze that has swept across the craft industry!
We got together with our friend Delyth Angharad of Del’s Doodles, author of The Pocket Garden Colouring Book, Meditative Colouring for Adults and 50 Mandalas for Colouring to create a little colouring book featuring our favourite commodity, yarn!
Hi Del! Can you tell us about how you started drawing colouring books?
I actually started with colouring in books I’d bought for myself to colour. I was colouring in a book of mandala patterns and began to notice how the patterns were constructed. I’m an avid computer user and use photo editing software like Photoshop extensively, and as an experiment, I drew a ‘wedge’ of pattern, like a pizza slice, that I scanned into the computer and used Photoshop to copy, flip and paste the wedge into a full circle for a repeating pattern that formed a mandala. Another book I was colouring had more free-form patterns and those inspired me to try non-mandala drawings. I started posting them on Deviant Art (a gallery for artists) and Facebook, had some good feedback, and continued from there!
What does drawing mean to you?
I’ve always loved colouring-in, and before this became the ‘in’ thing recently, I bought a huge fantasy-themed colouring poster that I’ve been working on whenever the urge struck. When I realised that there were such things as colouring-in books specifically for adults, I picked some up and found them as relaxing as people were touting them to be. I happily discovered that drawing the patterns is just as relaxing and meditative for me as colouring them in. It’s not quite the same experience – when you’re colouring you’re repeating a ‘mindless’ motion and that’s what inspires the Zen-like meditative state – when I’m drawing I have to pay very close attention and concentration to what I’m doing, and that forces everything else of out my head so I get ‘in the zone’. It’s like a mental detox/cleanse 🙂 I’m also really happy that since developing this skill I don’t have to be afraid of empty notebooks any more! I’ve always loved stationary and always had a collection of beautiful but empty notebooks because I was afraid of ‘spoiling’ them by filling them with rubbish – now I can confidently fill them with pretty line art!
What inspires you when you draw an image to be coloured in?
If I want to draw something specific, like an image to a specific theme, I’ll use the web to browse pictures in that theme and usually take little bits of inspiration from several pictures – or I’ll spend a day or two thinking about what elements could make up a scene in a picture. But most of the time, I do very little planning. I might have a rough idea, or no idea at all, and I decide when I’m sitting down at the paper.
How important is colour? How does it affect you?
In terms of ‘adult colouring’, I think what’s most important about colours is how much they’re NOT important. I’m a member of a lot of colouring groups on Facebook and a recurring theme is people stressing over which colours to use for their pictures – some people agonise over it to such an extent that they’re put off from starting to colour a piece.
The main purpose of this colouring trend is relaxation, so spending hours trying to decide on a colour scheme is a bit counter-intuitive. The benefits come from the motion and action of colouring rather than the colours themselves, so ultimately it doesn’t matter what colours you choose. It doesn’t matter whether your end piece is ‘ugly’ or pretty, or if it has clashing colours – and most of the time the patterns being coloured look awesome when they’re done regardless of what colours were used. Enjoying the experience is, I think, far more important than the colours themselves!
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Last updated: January 12th, 2016.