What coloring materials do you recommend for use in your books.

Colored pencils, gel pens and markers all work well on the pages of our coloring books and cards.

Gel pens will give you bright, vibrant color and will cover the page quickly. Metallic, glitter and fluorescent pens are available, so the range of effects possible with gel pens is delightfully broad.

Colored pencils can't match gel pens for intensity and saturation of color, but they are much more versatile. Shading and blending the layers of color can be very rewarding. If you choose to work with colored pencils, price matters - less expensive pencils tend to be much harder, so they do not blend as easily. Also, colored pencils are available to purchase individually - I buy extra blues, greens and purples - I like to work with the cool end of the color spectrum. To me, it seems there are never enough bright, vibrant blues in a set of colored pencils, so I buy the extras!

Pencils or pens? It all really depends on the effect you want to achieve. If you like to create very bold vibrant images, choose pens. If you prefer to create images which are a little softer or more delicate, go for colored pencils.

Another option is to use both in the same image! Combining gel pens and colored pencils can produce beautiful effects - the point is to have fun, explore and find combinations that delight you!!!

All of our books include a Color Palette Exploration page which you can use to test combinations and record your favorites. This allows you to quickly pick up a combination you might want to use again.

Where can I buy your coloring books and other Niki Silver art products?

Niki Silver art products are available online at Etsy/ColoringBookMania. They are also featured in selected shops & boutiques in and around Asheville, North Carolina. This year we will be exhibiting at several craft airs and art festivals around the south-east, check our website events page or Facebook page for up-coming events in your area!

What are your best coloring hints?

The coloring techniques you use will vary depending upon what visual effects you want to produce and the mood you want to communicate. Your selection of colors and coloring techniques allow you to communicate in the visual realm. It's fun to experiment with color combinations and techniques - there are no rules - there is no "wrong way". It's all for you to choose - so experiment and have fun!

  • Do colors have meanings? All of the Niki Silver coloring books have the Language of Colors page and the Color Pallets page to help you explore the world of color. The Language of Colors page provides the commonly accepted meanings and moods of the color spectrum. The combination and blending of colors offers the colorist infinite possibilities of meaning and communication.
  • How do I use the Color Palette page? Each palette allows the colorist to record the colors they used in coloring a particular image. Some colorists even record the color/pencil number on the palette as well as the actual color sample. Some colorists also use the palettes to experiment with layering and color combinations.
  • Should I use pens or pencils? This depends completely upon your own preference. Because pens and pencils produce different effects, the decision of which to use becomes dependent upon your own coloring techniques and the mood or message you want to communicate.
  • What are some of the characteristics of pens? Pens generally offer deeper and richer depths of color. In addition to the wonderful colors, gel pens also come in a variety of "sparkle" colors. These offer an addition dimension of fun and experimentation.
  • What are some of the characteristics of colored pencils? Colored pencils vary from reasonably priced to the absolutely exquisite. Pencils come in different degrees of hardness and color saturation. The softer the pencil, the easier it is to shade and blend with other colors.
  • Please be sure to share your work, experience, insights, tips and techniques. There are many coloring book groups on social media that you can share with and would love to hear from you and see your work. This is the place to contribute and also learn.

What process do you follow in creating an image for one of your books?

As you would imagine, each image begins with observations of nature and inspirations suggested by nature's shapes, shadows, dynamics and grace. The relationships of light, color and texture are all part of the process of the initial composition development and image creation. Creation starts with a pencil and paper. Several sketches are usually made until the composition conveys the characteristics of the mental vision of the actual image. After the initial sketch is developed, it is re-drawn in a digital environment for minor perfecting and final touchups. Then, the digital image is used by our Asheville printer to produce the very high quality and consistent images you will find in all of our products.

How long does one image take to create and how long does a whole book take to complete?

Typically, a composition takes about a week to complete. First there is the concept development, then some sketches, often, the sketches suggest further refinements to the concept and modifications to the composition. Several sketches are made to experiment and prefect the combinations of form, grace and dynamics to bring the composition to life and to communicate the concept. After the initial image creation, the final sketch is converted to a digital format where minor adjustments and final touches are applied. Now, we evaluate the image to insure that it has all of the qualities, including colorability, that will allow it to be included in one of our collections. Each collection becomes a complete coloring book which includes the front cover artwork, back cover artwork, language of colors, color pallets, other internal full color pages and (of course) the images of the collection. So far, it's been about six months to produce a printer-ready book. Now we take the book (actually digital files) to our Asheville printer which starts the next step in producing a coloring book. (Wow! No wonder it takes so long!)

Inspiration? It is everywhere - The true inspiration is to look!

The closer you look, the more there is to see. Surprise and delight are in the details.
The forms of nature's graceful, flowing, dynamic structures. The subtle effects of color and shape, light and shadow. Bare limbs against the sky. Leaves dancing in a breeze, flashing silver and green. The subtle shadow of a delicate furn. Unexpected color and light, grace and form. This is followed by the development of dynamic images expressing complete and thoughtful compositions featuring natural shapes, flowing lines, Art Nouveau style with delicately woven harmonies and patterns, from simple to intricate.

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