20th November 2018

8 Colouring Challenges to Stretch your Creativity!


I loved a programme called ‘Work of Art : The Next Great Artist’ on Bravo a few years ago.
(They only made 2 seasons which was a TRAVESTY).

Each week the contestants were given a challenge.
Make a self portrait.
Make art from these car parts.
Make something that tells a story…

The constraints were beautiful and the element of surprise and the short time scale meant the Artists were forced into creating fast and instinctively.

Clearly we can’t all be contestants on an Art TV show, but if you want to rekindle some spark to your art, try imposing some challenges on yourself!

Here’s 8 Colouring Challenges to Stretch your Creativity.


1. Three Colour Challenge! Limit your colour palette to just 3 colours: 1 key colour, a lighter or darker shade of that key colour and a contrasting accent colour. For example: Purple, pale lilac and mint green. Go!


2. Monochrome madness. Pick one colouring pencil and ONLY use that colour! This works best with pencil so you can get the full range of shades. Press hard for dark and apply less pressure for lighter shades.


3. Inky Goodness. Use a black pigment liner and embellish the illustration with black details. Fill solid areas of black or create patterns such as polka dots or stripes. You can use different nib thicknesses to vary the weight of the lines, I’d suggest a something super fine and delicate and something a bit heavier (i.e a Steadtler Pigment Liner in 0.05 and 0.3).


4. Flip your Book. Rotate your book 180 degrees and colour the page upside down. No cheating!! This forces you to view the illustration from a different angle and will give you a whole new perspective on your colouring!


5. Collaborate. Chose a page, colour a bit, then pass it on to a friend! See how long it takes for the page to make it around your group of friends and become fully coloured!


6. Crazy Colour Palette. Pick a page then use the most wacky and unrealistic colours you can imagine! Think luminous pink leaves, purple owls and green ladybirds. Let your imagination run WILD and create a wonderfully weird world of colour!


7. Use the your other hand. If you are right handed, try colouring with your left hand. And vice versa. Be warned! This one is TRICKY! Pick a page with lots of big shapes, stop worrying about going over the lines and give yourself permission to scribble a little. Using your other hand will trick you into using different parts of your brain and allow you to focus on the basics such as hand eye co-ordination and not get sucked into a perfectionism spiral.


8. Hot or Cold? Colour a page using either a hot or cold colour palette. Hot colours are yellows, oranges and reds. Cold colours are blues, greens and greys. And don’t worry if the subject of the page doesn’t match the colour palette!


I hope those ideas help nudge you out your comfort zone and into somewhere a little more scary and lot more creative!

Have fun and happy colouring,

Johanna x


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