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Mandala Coloring Book – Behind the Scenes

Last weekend I was attending a belly dance show and had a couple of proofs of my latest book, Color Theory with Pencils & Mandalas.  This is the second book that I’ve teamed up with the talented graphic illustrator George Goncalves.  We began this project in June with a mission of developing a workbook that would accompany several sections of my “Think Like A Designer” course.

All of the costuming books in my collection have been crafted to accompany a series of classes or a specific workshop. With the development of digital course platforms, I’ll be spending a lot of time in 2018 porting over all of my most popular workshops onto the web so anyone, anywhere can take a class with me at their own convenience.

Idea and Mission for the Color Theory Book

When I was teaching fashion at the community college, color theory took up several days of lecture. Some of us intuitively know what looks good together. For most of us, understanding the basic principles of color theory can help them think strategically.  Color theory is a huge subject and there have been many books written on the topic.  This workbook includes a brief 20-page overview of the subject of color theory and techniques for working with colored pencils.   This is followed by 50+ designs to color with pencils. The goal is to have lots of opportunities to practice and play with color combinations, to really “Think Like a Designer.”

Designing Coloring Pages

I worked closely with George to develop some beautifully finished illustrations.  From a brainstormed list of illustration themes, I picked my favorites to turn into coloring pages.

Inspired by the color and pattern of the classic kaleidoscope, I decided to try my hand at designing an image that really looks like a kaleidoscope.

Once I had the research down, and the symmetry worked out, I started drawing the types of shapes you would see in a kaleidoscope made of triangular pieces.  You can see my little “L’s” at the top of this sketch to help me stay focused on the unique symmetry.

My process is to make my initial sketch using a #3 mechanical pencil to keep the lines very light and easy to erase.  Once I have the initial sketch perfected, I use a .1 liner pen to darken the lines.  Then I snapped a cell-phone photo and sent it to George.

Crafting the Coloring Image

George took my rough fragment and used professional illustration tools to craft a complete design.  He cleaned up my lines making them a uniform weight.  In this illustration, George also added a double boundary line to enhance the kaleidoscope experience.

Working with a pro means that the final results look super smooth and clean and he completed the transformation from sketch to finished illustration far faster and with less struggle than I could have managed.

Once I get the image back, I print out several copies. This one went into the book planning binder and ultimately became page 49.

Testing Coloring Pages

On another printout, I took a moment to quickly test the illustration.  I grabbed a set of pencils and quickly colored parts of it in.  For this test, I used an affordable set of student-grade colored pencils from Staedtler Noris Club.

At this point, I ask myself a few questions.  Was this enjoyable to color?  Does it actually look like a kaleidoscope? Is it publishable as is, or does it need any tweaks?   This design was fine and it went into the book.

Our Color Theory Book is Almost Ready

Of course, there are many more steps involved in putting a book together.  Every writer and illustrator has their own workflow and process.  Working with a professional illustrator shortened my production time, and has allowed me to get this book together in a matter of months.

Currently, the manuscript is being processed prior to release on Amazon.  As soon as it’s finished through all these steps, it will be ready for purchase!  I’m so very excited and look forward to seeing the final product within the next week!  Tom Petty said it best, The waiting is the hardest part!

I can’t wait till it’s ready to share it with all of you!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

PS: How close are we?  Here I am unboxing the final print proof!   Just so exciting to see an idea turned into a completed project!














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