Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mandala Monday: How to "Track" your Colors

 Completing a coloring book page is a relaxing pastime that need not be finished in one sitting.

But how do you keep track of colors when you finish a session? Many people jot down the pencil number on a scrap of paper like my dad has done in this illustration.

I keep track of my colors by making little charts and remember them by name instead of number.

I keep trying to make the perfect chart but always run out of space and end up with bunches of these scraps.

So when I created my own coloring books I added a color palette to the left of each coloring page (along with interesting facts, stories and symbolism about the mandala art).

These palettes can be used to help you remember the colors you used so far. The next time you open your book you can simply look up the colors by number or name and continue coloring. See the "Love Birds" page below.

But what if your pencils aren't numbered?  I have mentioned "Twistables" as an affordable alternative to Prismacolor pencils before, but they have no markings on the barrels what so ever.

 I recommend you take a little extra time and number or letter your set of "Twistable" pencils so you can use the palettes in your books. I  mark a piece of masking tape and wrap it around the top of the pencil. With all that money you just saved it's worth a little extra time to make them serviceable.
Prismacolors are numbered and named. You have to mark the "Twistables" yourself.

"Prismacolor" pencil sets of 48 pencils are about $37 on Amazon. "Crayola Twistables" sets of 30 are about $7 at Target. Twistables are a good set to START your coloring experience with.
Dad and I working on our Easter Pages. Dad's page from Merry Mandalas

Check out my "Merry Mandalas" and more sophisticated "Meditative Mandalas" in my Etsy Shop:

#MsMoffatt #Coloringbook #AdultColoringBooks #howtocolor #MandalaMonday

Mandala Sunday: A trip to Santa Fe

I got a great package in the Mail from the fabulous Sandy Steen Bartholomew last week. Inside I found two lovely little books loaded with her inspirations from the the animated movie "The Secret of Kells", and her art journal from a retreat she taught at in Santa Fe.

Sandy also has a great blog. She blogged so glowingly about The Secret of Kells I dashed out to find a copy. It was indeed a movie jam packed with wonderful visuals. Lucky us, Sandy has put all her inspirations from the movie in one handy book.

My Package included a caricature of herself, a cool post card with Kokopelli and the Insect Kiss, and a couple of her illustrated Santa Fe  stickers (that I already stuck!). Above is my sketch book page inspired by Sandy's.

The books are an adorable 8 1/2 x5 1/2 portable size packed with Sandy's deconstructed patterns that are so easy to follow.

Sandy is a master at showing people how to take complicated designs and break them down into doable works.

You can find her many wonderful books in her shop at

After all my sketching Thursday night, I thought I was done. But  Friday night I found Mandala ideas floating around in my head (I like to sketch at night while I half watch TV).

So back to my sketch book, "The Tangles of Santa Fe" and my IPAD with the Internet connection.

Sandy suggests in her book, if you would like to know more about Southwestern designs, the Internet and local library has tons of info and pictures to look at. So I looked and I sketched and this is what I ended up with!

I am in the process of planning two new Mandala coloring books. I think this may be the start of one of my pages.

Visit Sandy's website here!

#Mandalas #MsMoffatt #Bumblebat  #MeditativeMandalas #Merry Mandalas #JudithMoffatt

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mandala Monday: Coloring tools for a Relaxing Experience.

Colored Pencils are my choice for coloring  Mandalas. They fill in at a reasonable pace giving you time to think about your choices. Half way through a shape, if you started with a light shade, you can even change your color.

Remember coloring Mandalas should be a relaxing pastime, never a race to the finish.

My favorite Colored Pencils are "Prismacolor". They can be found at most  craft stores like Michael's, or AC Moore and any good art store. They are a bit over a dollar a piece, but you can save money by buying them in a set. You can also find deals on line.

Another option is "Crayola Twistables". These pencils can be found at Target and Staples stores. The pencil is a little harder, not the soft creamy texture of the "Prismacolor", but the colors are great. You can get a set of 30 pencils for around $10, a substantial savings!

The two fish and the water around them on the bottom 1/2 of the page are colored with "Prismacolor" pencils. The two on the top 1/2 are colored with "Crayola Twistables". You will notice the green around the fishes eyes on the bottom 1/2 are a bit richer, but all-in-all the colors are very similar.

"Twistables" don't need to be sharpened and come in a convenient little pouch for transporting. The down side is you have to work a bit harder at applying the colors because of the hard texture of the pencil wax.

I'm not sure what brand of pencil was used on this pretty pastel bunny piece, but it was a hard pencil that made it very difficult for the artist to get a vibrant color. A hard pencil will also apply very streaky.

I am not familiar with a lot of pencil brands other than the two I've mentioned. But remember when you see that bargain price, keep in mind, all colored pencils are not created equal.

Markers are not what I'd recommend, they can be smelly, messy and unforgiving. Not a medium for just any age group. 
If you choose magic markers, first of all place a  sheet of paper under your drawing so it won't bleed through to the next coloring page. 
Next choose very light colors, as a marker colors are usually darker on the page than you expect. The blue and violet bunnies on the left look great. All the color choices on the piece to the right are beautiful, but I bet the artist never expected the blue would come out quite so dark on her bunnies bodies. Once you start with a marker there is no turning back, that's your color choice. I recommend testing the colors on another piece of paper before you add it to your page.

 I love how all these artists made their bunnies colors, rather than the typical white (like mine at the very top).

Joan's Easter Page
Joan's Bunny page above was all colored pencil until she felt she was running out of time and needed to finish her page. She grabbed a marker and outlined her bunnies. These dark lines around the bunnies were a bit too bold, so I recommended she darken her page with another layer of colored pencil. She has started by adding violet to the gray bunnies and a light orange to the yellow bunnies.

I will finish with another lovely rendition of the bunny page. What I like most about this page is the choice the artist made to make the animals a chocolate color. When I created this coloring page that never occurred to me.

That's what I love so much about a coloring book. Each artist's choice is so personal and charming.

You can get my Mandala coloring books at my Etsy Shop:

Color on!

#moffatt #Mandala #coloringbook #adultcoloringbook #MsMoffatt

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mandala Monday: What age is best for coloring?

Welcome to my colorful world of Meditative Mandalas. What started out as a calendar for my friends is growing into a series of coloring books for just about all ages.

When a child outgrows the simple subjects and shapes that more traditional coloring books offer, then they are ready for more thoughtful coloring found in my books.

But we are learning coloring is not just for children; it is a fulfilling exercise for all ages. This relaxing pastime can improve eye hand coordination, concentration and a feeling of accomplishment when a piece is completed at any age.

I've had children as young as six years old absorbed with coloring in the intricate shapes in "Meditative Mandalas" which I created with young and older adults in mind.

Then I have many older adults that prefer the whimsical subject matter and larger shapes in "Merry Mandalas", which I created with younger kids in mind.

What I do know is regardless of age, coloring is a relaxing even meditative experience. It's a great singular activity for unwinding after a workday. And it's a casual activity that you can do with a group of friends, or at a family gathering.

Older adults who can't do all the physical activity they used to do, enjoy the creative pastime of completing an intricate piece of art. The multiple images pictured here are done by my 95 year old Mother-in-law who can't seem to get enough pages to color!

Finishing one of my Mandalas is easier than coloring a traditional illustration because the Mandala is created with many repetitive shapes. Once you choose a color for one shape you can repeat that color all the way around the circle while you relax your mind.

Take a deep breath, spread out your colored pencils and enjoy some stress relieving creative time.

You can find my books at my Etsy Shop:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mandala art from the Young and the Young at Heart!

My new book "Ms Moffatt's Merry Mandalas" is for the young and the young at heart. I sent out sample pages to various age groups to color. The range here is 14 Years to 95 years!
This group of art is from kids ages 7 to 12 years old. The love birds are colored by two different MacLeod sisters. Click on the art to see a larger picture.

Play Date at the Studio

"Going Buggy" Colored by Cheryl.
 Fellow teacher and artist friend Cheryl Kirk Noll comes for a visit. After sketching on an upcoming project, Cheryl joins me in coloring one of my new pages from Merry Mandalas.

I was quite surprised at how Cheryl's looked sooo completely different from the one I'm coloring. Notice the dark green square that forms mid circle on Cheryl's, I don't see the square right off on mine, more like 8 separate leaves.
"Going Buggy" Larger illustration in progress.

Brigid Boyle's Buggy's

Then Brigid Boyle has a completely different look by coloring the back ground leaves RED! I love it, and would never have thought to do that.

Rebecca Thornburgh's (another talented artist friend) colored "Poppies Hideaway" with the accompanying story about how I found baby bunnies hiding in my flower garden.
 Rebecca is not local, I wish she could come color with me!

Aren't her poppies beautiful?

Rebbeca Thornburghs "Poppy Hideaway"
Cheryl intently coloring.

 I love seeing how different artist color these pages. Do send me yours!

Mandala books on their way, some as far as Canada!


"Ms. Moffatt's Merry Mandalas" has arrived! I've  delivered some to "TC Scoops" in Medway in case anyone in my area wants to pick one up one for Valentines day.

It's a perfect activity for the whole SNOWED IN FAMILY! (If you are in New England you are getting ready for the next storm. I haven't seen this much snow in many years.)

The 8 1/2" x 10"coloring book is printed on fine quality 80 pound stock and has 10 Mandalas to get creative with. The price is $10 everywhere this Valentine weekend. Along with TC Scoops, they will also be at Five Crows in Natick, MA.

For those of you too far away to pick one up, I will have a listing on my Etsy site:
Or you can message me and we can make arrangements if you'd rather not use Etsy or paypal.
 On the right hand side is the black outlined Mandala. On the left side there are little fun facts about the creatures in the Mandalas, along with a palette where you can test out your colors before filling in the Mandalas shapes if you like.

I love opening the whole book up to see the colorful Mandalas that span the back page. 10 pieces of  playful art to color for the young and the young at heart!