Shop Talk

Using Art Boards to Create Custom Coloring Projects

Adult coloring books and prints are becoming more popular then ever, and along with doodling they’re a great way to let your mind wander while doing something creative. For artists, offering line art for fans to color creates a unique connective opportunity with both artist and fan. It gives you the ability to offer new interactive products, and the fans get to spend more time engaging with your art and style.

Prep Your Designs

All you really need to create art boards for coloring, is some crisp and clean line work. These could be designs created digitally or even ink drawings that you’ve scanned. Ideally, the line work is thick enough to create divisions between areas so that it’s easier to color in. Halftone dots or any kind of texture is not recommended, as the coloring will be harder to control in those areas.

The art board we’ll be coloring by Olga Berlet, is a great example of a solid line drawing. It does have some halftone style dots used for shading, but the spacing is big enough to work with.

Time to Promote

Once you have a good selection of art boards that are all ready to go, you’ll need to let your fans know that these boards are ok for coloring. One thing you can do is create a collection in your profile specifically for these coloring boards.

Make a note in the artwork’s description in the shop page that the work is ok for fans to color. Ask them to upload the finished designs to Facebook or Instagram and tag your username so you can see it. The bonus is that you now have some new content to share on your social media profiles or stories.

As fans will be coloring your work—and hopefully sharing them with others—it’s a good idea to add your watermark or signature somewhere unobtrusive on the design. The bottom right corner is a good place, or if your signature is pretty snazzy maybe incorporate it into the design.

Things to Consider

  • Keep in mind, the art boards do have a bit of tooth on them and this will show. Let your fans know they should use colored pencils or even markers.
  • Water-based media, such as watercolors, gouache, etc, can be used but the art boards may buckle. In order to keep the art boards safe we recommend using dry media.
  • Arts boards come with mounting strips, and as they are often the same aspect ratio, think about creating a series of designs that could be colored and displayed. Learn more about designing in a series.
  • When promoting your new coloring boards on social media, think about adding some colored pencils or markers into your photos. This will give fans a visual of what the boards could be used for.
  • Remember to create designs for all skills levels. Those perfect for big kids and actual kids.
  • The design to the right was created by Resident artist Nyki Way for the upcoming White Night celebration in Melbourne. It’s a great example of a design created for coloring.

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View additional posts by Josh


Art historian, burrito enthusiast, and Email Marketing Specialist here at Redbubble.