|Color Theory with Pencils & Mandalas
By Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Illustrations by George Goncalves
About the Book
Color Theory with Pencils & Mandalas is an introduction to color theory for colorists of all levels. More than a coloring book, this workbook is a self-contained mini course. It introduces the basic principles and elements of design, then presents a series of exercises to help the reader discover new ways to choose and use color in their artworks. This hybrid coloring/workbook will speed up your art process, helping you to think like a designer and increase your efficiency by providing design templates to color. Easily experiment with color without having to create original illustrations. More than mandalas, this book is filled with a wide variety of images based on designs from around the globe
Think Like a Designer – Workshop In a Book
One of my most popular courses is an introduction to costume design entitled, “Think Like a Designer.” This course began life many years ago at a community college. It is a full 15-week semester, and over the years, I’ve broken it into smaller “workshop length” presentations that I’ve shared at events across the US. One of the most popular workshops focuses on color theory and how to use color harmonies when designing costumes.
The truth is that I can’t travel everywhere to teach, and folks can’t always come to me. So Color Theory with Pencils & Mandalas pulls together the basics of color theory that I teach in my classes. Added to this information and exercises, I’ve added lots of designs to test-drive different color harmonies.
Coloring and Costume Design
As a costume designer, I create my illustrations in mixed media using paint, either watercolor or gouache, markers, and colored pencils. When I teach this class in person, I supply handouts printed on copy paper. I ask students to bring along a basic 24 color pencil set to work through the exercises in class. So while participants are learning about color theory, they are also working with one of my favorite media, colored pencils.
What Kind of Pencils Work Best?
I always recommend buying an affordable set of colored pencils. This is just a practical suggestion for people who don’t know if they will be doing any coloring in their future. Student grade pencils are just fine for putting together a color wheel, doing the exercises, and experimenting with color in this workbook.
I often suggest picking up a set of Crayola pencils because a large set of 64 usually costs less than $10. While you can get less expensive pencils, Crayolas will not require as much hand pressure to lay a bright wash of pigment as similarly priced brands. Of course, if you already have a set of colored pencils, you are set up and ready to color!
Bottom line: Use what you have on hand or pick up some affordable pencils. If you decide you enjoy coloring with pencils, plan for a future upgrade and invest in better quality brands and larger sets.
While my aim is to share color theory, I also wanted to provide enthusiasts with beautiful illustrations for meditative coloring. I worked with George to craft some stunning mandalas, hamsas and other circular designs from around the globe. The illustrations vary in complexity. There are some beautiful open designs, which offer the colorist loads of opportunity to experiment with artistic pencil techniques. We have also included intricate drawings advanced colorists will enjoy. But no matter if you are a beginner or have been coloring for years, the fun is in selecting your hues to transform these black and white illustrations into your own brilliantly colored artwork.