Coloring Books?

I’ve had lots of people tell me that I should make coloring books. Coloring books for adults. Last weekend I had lunch with my longtime friends Louise and her husband, Bruce. Bruce has been really successful doing this, and he shared some tips. They pretty much convinced me that I should be publishing my own line of coloring books. How cool would that be?

Right now I’m trying to figure out categories and themes that would showcase my style. Of course mandalas are the first thing that popped into my head. Why? Because they are so much fun to draw! Relaxing. And I think they would be relaxing to color as well!

© Mary Tanana 2014Here is what I’ve been goofing around with even though I have a million other things that I should be finishing! HELLO, what about those initials, Mary? haha! I’m actually working on those as well.

I print out a square and concentric grid in light gray when I draw my first designs in pencil. I don’t have to get out a ruler and measure if I have guidelines. So much easier! Like in the above picture, I’ll only draw a portion of the design. I can put two on a page.

© Mary Tanana 2014Then I’ll copy and paste, rotate the little “pie slices” a bit in Photoshop to get the full design. Since I’m only drawing a small portion of the whole design, I never really know how the finished mandala will come out. It’s kind of fun, almost like a surprise each time.

© Mary Tanana 2014These are the first four. After I come up with the full design, I’ll “ink” it in Corel Painter. I’ll just ink that small slice, then I’ll copy and paste, rotate.

This is one that I did last month. I’ll have to tweak it a bit and get rid of all of those black heavy sections. I want people to be able to color each part!

Mandala1-01-01-01Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be showing bits and pieces of my work this month to celebrate “INKTOBER”. 😀





  1. Those are so incredibly elaborate and are beautifully intricate. I have only attempted one mandala and it was a bit of a mess. I need to try again using grid lines and taking my time and using pencil rather than pen so I can amend any errors as I go. While I can never even hope to emulate the skill and beauty of your mandalas, you have at least inspired me to give it another go.

    • Thanks so much! you definitely should! Do you use Adobe Illustrator? If you do, you can use the “rectangular grid tool” and the “polar grid tool” to make all of the lines. They’re together with the line tool on the left side. Super helpful.

      • I’ve never used any software for my art. I use photoshop for my photography but have not even used it for my art work. Maybe something for me to experiment with at some point in the future.

  2. I just read that Johanna Basford has sold 200,000 copies of her beautiful Secret Garden colouring book in under two years – so there is definitely a market for these adult colouring books. I wish you every success!

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