color and frame - part 2

Flower Nook - A Coloring Book

I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday and I thought it would be a good idea to answer some questions about using my coloring book.

First of all my favorite tools for coloring:
- Right now I’m into markers. I got some Prismacolor Double-Ended Art Markers for my birthday and I’m really hooked. One end has a flexible brush tip which is wonderful to give strokes a more organic look. The other side is a fine tip which is great for more detailed work.
- I’ve always been partial to Prismacolor colored pencils. Thery're just the best.
- Pastel pencils - My dad had a set when I was little and I was so careful with them. I just thought they’d crumble under the pressure I used back then. I've loved them ever since then because the blending options and soft look is just beautiful. I want to give them a try again with these coloring pages.
- Good old regular lead pencils. Sometimes I keep a drawing in black and white and just add some shading. That’s a lot of fun too and less decision making.

The coloring book has illustrations on only the right hand side of each spread - so the backs of all the drawings are blank. This makes it safe to use markers. Just remember to place an extra sheet of paper behind the page your working on so that the ink doesn’t bleed onto the next image.
color and frame

I move my paper around a lot when I’m coloring or drawing. Sometimes I want a stroke to be just so and the angle of the page is just wrong if I keep it straight in front of me. That's why I like single sheets. My coloring book pages aren’t perforated (it would’ve made the book much more expensive!) but you can cut them out with a few simple steps.

1. Place a letter-sized sheet of chip board or cardboard (a cut out of a cereal box would be perfect) behind the illustration you’d like to cut out.
2. Place a ruler at the point where you’d like to make the cut. Make sure the ruler is covering the image to protect it (in case your blade goes in the wrong direction!).
3. Make sure the cardboard is pushed in as close to the spine as you can get it and under the area you’re going to cut.
4. Hold the ruler steady and cut. Done!

As you can see in the photo I also used the cardboard to protect my clipboard from the ink bleeding through the page.

I hope these easy tips help you out. If you have any other questions feel free to ask below.

Thanks again to all of you that believe in my work and have been ordering my coloring book. It’s been an exciting week!

If you don’t have a copy of Flower Nook: A Coloring Book just yet you can order one on Amazon. If you do - thank you! - if you have a few minutes I’d appreciate you leaving a review on the. I’d love to see what you think!

Have a great day everyone!


color and frame

Flower Nook: A Coloring Book (4 flowers) 
Here is a mock-up, inspired by vintage botanical illustrations, of how you can display some of the images in Flower Nook: A Coloring Book. I kept the color to a bare minimum just to see what a limited color palette would look like. Full colored versions of these would really pop against the white background. Why not display your handy work?

I'm still pinching myself because I can't believe this project is finally complete. Thank you so much for all your kind messages on Facebook and Instagram and for all your orders. I've been smiling all day long. Now onto the next big thing. I'm already thinking of the theme for the second book and I'm sketching ideas for another A Little Hut set. I need more hours in the day!


flower nook: a coloring book is now available!

Flower Nook: A Coloring Book by Patricia Zapata

Look what I have to show you today! I'm so happy that Flower Nook: A Coloring Book is ready to go into the world. I still marvel at the idea it all started with some simple sketches I posted on Instagram. Several people asked me if my illustrations were available for coloring and here I am.

The process of creating the 50 illustrations in the book took about two months. My sketchbook was my main source of inspiration and if you've been following me there you'll see the connection right away. I also remembered childhood fantasies where I wondered what it would be like to be tiny (like Thumbelina) and walk through blades of grass that were twice as tall as me and being surrounded by enormous flowers. That's why I included about 5 illustrations that have little girls enjoying the flowers and tending to them.

I truly hope you enjoy the book as much I did creating it. I got silly excited when I got my proof copy in the mail. Ha! It reminded me a bit of what I felt when I got my first book. It never gets old.

This project confirmed (yet again!) that I love working on ideas that my customers can take to the next level. Whether you're building something out of paper or adding color to pages, you're contributing your own dose of creativity and that thrills me. Hopefully, you're also having as much fun as I have when I'm working on all this – it truly is a joy to do what I feel I was born to do.

Thank you so much to those of you that have been so encouraging during this process. Special thanks go to my amazing (patient!) family, to Jenean Morrison for sharing her expert advice and Natalie Barsalou for helping me name the book.

You can order your copy of Flower Nook: A Coloring Book on Amazon.
As always, thank you so much for supporting my work!

cover to cover

sketchbook

I finished this sketchbook yesterday after working on it for a little over a month. It has been an unexpected fun routine to work on these small pieces in spurts of a few minutes here and there. Each illustration took me about 15-30 minutes to complete. As many of you know, the paper in Moleskine sketchbooks is fairly thin so the ink did bleed through the pages. I skipped a spread in between each illustration to keep from ruining my previous work.

I was inspired by many of the flowers that I saw popping up this spring. For the most part I tried to interpret them in my own way without being entirely accurate. They're my made up versions of flowers. I liked that by working that way I could draw at leisure and just go with whatever was happening — very relaxing!

I have larger sketchbooks I can jump into right now but I think I'm going to get another small one like this, to start this process again. The size is just perfect for quick ideas like these.

What I used:
- 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine sketchbook
- A variety of black ink pens (Staedtler 0.5 and 0.7, Micron 0.5, Sharpie) - I just used whichever was closest but my favorites (for this size of a sketch) where the Staedtler and Micron 0.5.
- For shading: pencil and a gray double ended Prismacolor marker (love the brush end!)
- One day I used a red LePen that a friend of work gave me. The tip is tiny and really smooth to use.

For now I'm back to working on my coloring book which is coming along thanks to this sketchbook. I used these illustrations as ideas for that book. The opposite is true too. Some nights I'd work on something for the coloring book and it would influence a sketch the next day. It's been great to go back and forth between the two projects.

Needless to say my work with cut paper has taken a back seat right now. If only there were more hours in a day! The good news is that I have ideas for my next A Little Hut set which I think will be a lot of fun. Stay tuned!