29th August 2016

Colourist Interview – Emily Laughlin



This year I worked with 3 great Colourists to colour some images from my books that we used in a photoshoot. These 3 are some of my favourite Colourists and I wanted to share a little about their work with you – they are each so different but all equally inspiring! First up, we have Emily Laughlin who is based in the US.


10 Colourist Questions!


  1. Favourite Colouring Materials?

My favorite materials are pencils.  I primarily use Prismacolor Premier.  They blend extremely well and have a wide range of colors.  However, I do use a variety of media, based on what I’m coloring. For instance, if I am coloring something small, with many details, I tend to use my Irojiten Tombow pencils.  They have a nice, hard lead, and can being sharpened to a fine point, without a lot of breakage.

I also use Faber-Castell Polychromos, pastel chalks, watercolor paints, Derwent Inktense, Staedtler fineliners, and Caran D’Ache Luminance.  If I could, I would get the full set of Caran D’Ache.  They blend like Prismacolors, and have the hardness of the Polychromos.  In my opinion, they have the best of both worlds.


  1. Favourite Colour?

Blue has always been my favorite color.  When I first started adult coloring, I tended to stay in the blue family.  As I’ve progressed I have become aware of that, and attempted to expand my coloring horizons.


  1. Favourite Colouring Books?

Johanna Basford’s coloring books of course!  I love all three, but I would have to say Enchanted Forest is my favorite.  However, I’m very excited about Magical Jungle, as it looks like it has a handful of animals, which are my favorite to color.  Johanna’s Christmas also looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and very festive.


  1. Favourite ever picture to colour?

My favorite picture to color, was one of the forest scenes from Enchanted Forest.  I used lots of bold bright colors, and really had fun bringing it all together.



  1. Your top colouring tip?

My top coloring tip would probably be to just have fun and enjoy the process.  Try not to take it too seriously.


  1. Your biggest colouring disaster?!

The closest disaster I’ve had was when I was coloring the large four-page spread in Lost Ocean.  I had been working on it for almost two weeks, and I was down to my last couple of fish.  I had been using my Wink of Stella brush pen to add some sparkle and shine to the fish, and while using the pen, somehow the sparkle ink overloaded and a giant glob dropped on the fish I was working on.  I soaked most of it up, but not before leaving a very noticeable grey splotch on my once, very pretty fish.  Unfortunately, the ink had saturated the paper, and when I tried to clean it up, it ripped a 5 millimeter hole in the paper.  After all that work, I was a bit panicked.

In the end, I ended up sacrificing another copy of the four-page spread that I had.  I was able to cut out a piece of the fish from the blank copy and place it behind the hole.  I then used my pencils to soften the edge of the cut paper.  Fortunately, you can only tell what happened if you get up close to the fish. ☺

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  1. Why do you love to colour?

I love to color, because it’s a way for me to relax.  I can forget about the stressors of the day, and just focus on what I’m doing.  I’ve always enjoyed being artistic, ever since I was a child.  Now, as an adult, to have that creative outlet has just been fantastic.


  1. Where do you colour?

I generally color at home where I have a desk that has all my art supplies organized, as well as many of my favorite colorings pinned up on the wall.  The wall has become quite the conversation piece.

Sometimes, I also like to load up my books and supplies, and have a day out coloring.  I’ll either head to Barnes and Noble, or my favorite café, and just spend the afternoon coloring.


  1. What inspires your colouring?

When I first started adult coloring, I just colored in ways I thought looked nice, not putting much thought into technique or style.  I found myself wishing I could see how other people colored their pages, so I did a little browsing, and found an online coloring group.  It was there, from my fellow colorists, that I drew my inspiration.  I was able to see what they created, and develop ideas.  I really started to think outside the box, and get creative.  I have since found a few more groups that I’m a part of.  I’ve really enjoyed the comradery, and the shared interest in hobbies.  I also like being able to share what I’ve learned with others.


  1. What would your dream colouring book feature?

With three books already out, and two more on the way, a lot of what I would like has been covered.  However, I think a good twist would perhaps be a medieval coloring book, or a Sci-Fi theme; I know they are different ends of the spectrum, but they would definitely be interesting.


Want to see more of Emily’s great work? Find her here:

Instagram: @emilyillustrator

YouTube:  An Inky Obsessor





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