Hello June


Hey, hey, it’s June! Summer is finally here. Time for barbecues, water parks, swimming pools, camping, hiking, fishing and are you tired yet? No worries, we have an issue that will keep you entertained while you rest and relax.

We have a fun issue for you! We caught up with J.A. Early Riser to see what she has been up too since her first visit with us in early 2016. She has drawn seven exclusive images for us We also have images from Alena Lazareva, Bernard Whitman, and Mark Coyle.

Special thanks to our Color On! team, Alex Whisman, Kim Bussey, Larry Pierce, Melissa Pierce, and Travis Baribeau.

A Chat with Anisa Claire


OUR FEATURE ARTIST for June is Anisa Claire from the Absur’D and Stitch’D series.

What have you been up too since we last spoke with you in 2016? Any new books?

Oh, yes. A lot has happened since then and there have been a few new books, as well! The newest one, just releasing now, is a revision of the original Candy Coated Kaos and is called Candy Coated Kaos 2.0, the Cavity Strikes Back. Other than that, it’s been a bunch of arting, reading, writing and general shenanigans.

A lot of artists and colorist alike have evolved with the types of coloring mediums that they use today. What coloring mediums do you still use or use now in your coloring work?

I still primarily use Prisma pencils, Mr. Sketch and Chameleon markers. Though, I have added about 9.2 bazillion other mediums and brands to my collection since then. Hah!

Many colorists now prefer to buy digital coloring books versus actual physical books. As an artist, what do you prefer?

Both with reading and colouring, I prefer print, personally. I haven’t jumped on the digital train yet because I work on computers the majority of the time. When it comes to colouring or reading I want to be able to squeeze, sniff and lick whatever I am working on.

We normally ask artists how they define and measure success. How has your idea of success grown in that last two years?

Hmmm. I think I’ve always seen success, ultimately, as enjoying life and finding joy in the small things. No matter how you accomplish it. Not much has changed in my way of thinking except that I now feel I have truly found it. I don’t want to die regretting how I lived and so far… I’m loving my life.

What are some colors you like working with most? Outside of creating coloring books, what other hobbies do you love?

I love all colours, really, except red. I avoid red like I avoid negative people or bad weather! Haha. I’m not really a fan of greys, either, but sometimes I can’t avoid using them. I like anything really bright and happylooking. I especially love using bright colours against a black background for contrast.

As for hobbies, well, I write. I play guitar. I colour and play lots of video games, board games and card games. Most recently, we’ve started an RC boat club in the park I live in, so I spend my offtime sailing around in the duck pond. Hahahaha. I love to garden, be with animals, and I also love hosting events like birthdays and hand making all the decorations and whatnot for them.

Last but not least, I enjoy listening to music in the dark with my headphones on. That’s where a large portion of my ideas for colouring books and stories come from. Just getting lost in my own head!

We know you live the tiny home style of living. Do you think that lifestyle allows you more growth as an artist?

Hmmmm. Yes and no. It really depends on your personality. If you’re like me, and you love nature, yes. I find it extremely freeing and inspirational. My space is limited and I find that helps me keep and focus on the material things that really matter to me. Making it easier to use and find everything when a moment of inspiration hits.   The forest is my backyard and that’s what I stare into when I work on creating different things. Granted, I am a little excitable and if I see deer or squirrels or owls or raccoons or frogs or… you get the point. I get up and run outside to get a closer look. This happens a lot. Hahaa.  However, being able to go outside and have a fire and beers with friends or to head down to the creek on a sunny day all makes up for the loss of interior space. It’s just something that will work for you if you allow it to.

Are there any big plans for the next year? Do you have any new coloring books planned?

Sure do! I’m hoping to revive Feral Fairy Tales and then, hopefully, do an Absur’D Wizard of Oz. I’m currently working on a top secret project, too. Hopefully, that will fully come to life next year.

What are your three all-time favorite books that you have read or movies?

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin is my all-time favourite. I’ve read the series twice and watched the show about ten times. Haha. Dying to read the last books (if they ever release) and for the last season to release on HBO.

The King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss is my second favourite series. Unfortunately, he’s like George R. R. Martin and takes a bazillion years to release books. It’s okay… Art takes time… I’ll just sit here, growing old, waiting for them to come. (Insert tiny tantrum here).

If you could be any one of your Absurd characters, which one would you be and why?

Hah! I would be J.A. Early Riser because that’s the character I drew for myself. She’s a bit scattered, somewhat feral, and she loves to be around her misfit friends who are equally crazy!

My other three favourite characters are in these exclusives. The gnome, Pitan, who is based off of Larry Pierce. The faerie with the giant 80’s hair, Yamless, who is based off of Melissa Pierce, and the totally unhinged Small Fry who is none other than Stephanie Anders, my partner in crime. Sometimes I find myself wondering what reality I landed in when I talk with them all and how someone as normal as myself ended up surrounded by pure insanity. Hahahaha. GOATS! It’s an inside thing… 😉

So, yeah. Those are my favourite characters and real life people! I couldn’t do what I do without those three. Well, and my colouring team lands in the top five list, too, and my mom… sometimes my dad (Hah! Take that, dad) and T.J. Crayons who I started all of this with… and a few other people from around the park. All of which inspire me daily! And keep me on track-ish and focusedish and on schedule-ish.

… until next time! Stay Absur’D and take a moment every day to love and enjoy the small things in life.

Meet Feature Artist Anisa Claire in her Facebook group Absur’D Coloring Books for Everyone.

Find the Absur’D series on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2sulPMg

The Absur’D series can also be found on Etsy: https://etsy.me/2kIz6gZ





Jars & Bottles with Water Color Pencils

By Alex Whisman.

When I was young my uncle took me out “bottle hunting”.  He knew where the old migrant camps were in his home town and would dig to find old bottles.  I loved seeing the milky white, cobalt blue, medicinal brown and watery green curved glass coming out of the rich adobe clay.

Antique glass bottles remind me of my childhood and my uncle who passed away from cancer in 2002.  I wanted to find a way to replicate the magic and colored transparency of his glass bottles and jars.

In the April 2018 issue of Color On, I talked about using water color pencils. For this article I chose to recreate a blue-green bottle.   I used 2 colors: #156 Cobalt Green for the lighter areas & #155 Helio Turquoise for the darker areas.

I print my pictures when I want to use water so that I know I am not going to ruin my books.  I use a slightly thicker paper.  You can use water color paper, or you can use a thicker printing paper.  I don’t recommend using standard photocopy paper when adding water to your water color pencils, as you want it to stand up to being wet without ruining your picture.

To color my “Faeries in a Bottle”, I looked at the picture and decided what areas I wanted to make lighter and darker, and what areas I wanted to do as “thicker” glass.  I used the Cobalt Green to lightly color around all edges and out towards the middle.  I didn’t want to do the whole glass color evenly, but I started by coloring most of the bottle in my picture with a light, even layer.

I built up a slightly darker 2nd layer of the same color around the edges and towards the middle, but left lighter areas.  I used the second layer of the light color to create some darker areas in the middle of the bottle to represent thicker glass.

Next, I used the Helio Turquoise darker color to follow up along the edges and to create depth.  I also used it in the center of the ‘thicker glass’ sections.  You don’t have to focus on perfect blending when you use water with water color pencils.  The water will blend the colors for you.

Once I was happy with the color in the bottle, I used my water pens.  I added water to the pencils before coloring anything else inside the jar.  When I use my water pens, I partly dry them on a paper towel so there isn’t too much water on the bristles to flood the picture.

I first brushed the damp brush over the lighter colors at the lightest edges and brushed them into the areas without color to create a very light, watery look.  I do this slowly and a little at a time when I use water with my pencils.  I then brushed the water over the darker areas.  I brushed the edges of the darker colors into the lighter ones to blend it.

After my paper was dry I decided to put a little more color into some of the light areas so I colored lightly in those areas and added water to them, brushing them into the areas I had colored and put water on before.  I started coloring the rest of my picture when I liked the look of my jar and the paper was completely dry.  You want your paper dry before you tackle the rest of your picture because you don’t want the colors bleeding or running and you don’t want to ruin the structure of your paper.

When I colored my characters inside the jar, I wanted to maintain the illusion of glass, so I colored the pieces inside the bottle lighter.  This gives the illusion of being behind the glass and doesn’t cancel out the blue-green colors.  I wanted to color these areas so you could see what it was, but also allow the ‘thicker’ part of the glass to obscure some of the colors.

If you have chosen to do a ‘clear’ or white jar or bottle, color the areas inside the jar/bottle lighter as you would with a colored jar.  You can go over these areas with a white or cream-colored pencil to further lighten them and make the look partly-obscured.

Once you have colored everything inside your jar/bottle and are happy with your color, use a white or silver gel pen to create reflection marks on your jar.  If your bottle/jar is white or cream colored, use silver or a light blue for this.  Draw random scratches in the areas that light would hit your jar & reflect off.

Let your imagination run wild with your jars & bottles.  Find inspiration in your recycling bin – clean out different colored jars and bottles well.  Fill them with water and set them in a window. If you only have clear glass jars, add some food coloring.  Watch the sun move through them for inspiration in how to capture light and color in your next picture.


Reviews from a Dude


By Larry Pierce.

For today’s installment of the award winning Review From A Dude (What do you mean what award? Well, I won an award in kindergarten once for some serious macaroni art).  For this month, I picked the most recent edition of Jamil and Jamal Caminiti’s Ink Feast Series, Ink Feast Volume 3: Beyond The Grave (insert spooky voice here).

Just like the last two Ink Feast books, this one is packed from front to back with some of the coolest art out there, but this time there is a twist, GRAYSCALE!  That’s right Ink Feast fans, the Brothers have given us a grayscale book to greedily feast our eyes on and they certainly did not disappoint.  Inside this book you will find 36 pages with images straight out of a Lovecraftian dream sequence. There are skulls, sharks, demons, a couple of scantily clad vixens and I’m pretty sure I also saw a sweet version of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula coming straight out the coffin.   Like all the Ink Feast Books, this book comes with blanks in the back for testing colors or making neat paper airplanes. The paper is standard weight, which means that if you are going to use markers or other mediums that might bleed through you’re definitely going to need a backer to keep from coloring two pages at once, unless that’s how you color, and if that’s the case, then feel free to go wild.

As a fan of the horror genre and a fan of the Caminiti Brothers, this book was another home-run for me.

June Feature Colorists

By Stephanie Anders. 

Our feature colorists for June are Janet Dickerson-Deshotel‎, Mary Whitworth, and Shawn Bobar.


Colored by Janet Dickerson-Deshotel. Image by contributing artist Alena Lazareva.

Colored by Mary Whitworth. Image by contributing artist Mark Coyle.

Colored by Shawn Bobar. Image by feature artist Anisa Claire.