Hello May

Warm weather and sunny days are on the horizons. Yay! We made it to May! It’s been a long, hard, cold winter, and it’s time to slip right into our flip flops. We are dipping our toes into the pool of fun, sun, flowers, and the celebration of Mothers. Let’s fire up the grills and hand over our lists of wishes for our special day of the year. The day that we can get away with doing absolutely nothing but exactly what we want.

We have an issue full of May’s bounty for you, so grab your coloring supplies and get comfy. Our feature artist for the month of May is Neetika Agarwal. Neetika has drawn five exclusive florals for us. We also have images from Aimful Books, Anisa Claire, Chet Minton, Heidi Berthiaume, Mark Coyle and Ruth Sandersoon.

Go team! Thank you Alex Whisman, Kim Bussey, Larry Pierce, Melissa Pierce, and Travis Baribeau for making Color On! Magazine what it is today.

A Chat with Neetika Agarwal


Our May feature artist is Neetika Agarwal. Neetika has drawn five exclusive floral images that we know you will love.

What made you decide to become a coloring book artist?

After resigning from my job as a banker, I spent some time making handmade stuff like cards, etc. and slowly decided to go digital. Almost at the same time when I was learning all this, I got an opportunity with a European company and that’s it. I found something I was actually looking for.

How do you create your art? Do you create your drawings by computer or do you prefer old school pencil and paper?

Adobe illustrator is my buddy. Occasionally I draw on paper, but mostly I am a computer person.

What is your inspiration for the different types of art that you create for your coloring books?

Nature, all my art works are inspired either by nature or festivals.

Do you ever color your own work? And if so, what’s your favorite medium? Do you like pencils, markers or are you dipping into random reserves around the house for anything that can apply color in an interesting fashion?

Oh yeah, I do color almost all my work. I use color pencils most of the time. Not a great colorist though. ☺

How do you define success and how do you measure it?

At the end of the day, for me, success is when my family goes to the bed with smiling faces.

Besides yourself, who is your favorite coloring book artist?

Johanna Basford is my inspiration. I love the works of Hanna Karlzon and Aemiliana Magnus also.

What color or colors do you most love to work with?

Black and white. After all, I am a coloring book artist.

Outside of creating coloring books, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you love?

Reading and traveling, to name a few. I can never get enough books to read. Traveling is a little difficult these days as I am a new mom in town, and going somewhere with the little bunny is difficult.

What are your plans for the next year? Do you have any new coloring book releases planned?

Oh yes, I am working on a new coloring book.. I have not decided its title yet, but its theme is floral faces. Some of the similar work has already been published in Color On Magazine in the past three months. I am expecting it to be out some time in August this year.

What are the titles of the last three books you have read or movies you’ve watched?

I am reading “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari currently. Its an amazing book about evolution of mankind. Before that, I read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini and “Inferno” by Dan Brown. Though, the Harry Potter series is my all time favourite, and I never get tired of reading it.

If you were deserted on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?

Maybe something to signal my presence to the outside word. I hope that place will have enough food for me to survive. ☺

Reviews from a Dude

By Larry Pierce.

Today I will be reviewing The Book of 100 Dragons LEVEL 2 from Rossy Zapata.  If you love dragons, and I don’t just mean the ones that you see on TV and in the movies, then you are going to love this book.  It has dragons, dragons and even more dragons.  Oh, did I mention it has dragons?

I was amazed as I looked through this book the first time, the artist has researched the world and brought us 100 different dragons, and each looks like a dragon but is different from the rest.

The artist has included 34 dragons from myth & lore from around the globe, you will find famous dragons like: Ammit from Egypt, Kukulkan from Mexico, Yinglong from China, La Velue from France, an Elephant Dragon from Thailand, Naga from Thailand, Zilant from Russia and many more. On each of these the artist has added the country they are from and that specific dragon’s name on the bottom of the page. The rest of the book is filled with imaginative dragons flying with wings, swimming with fins, spewing fire, and each are different. This book is not for everyone. Although this is considered a level 2 by the artist, this book is perfect for those adults and children who enjoy and find coloring simpler images with only a few details relaxing and inspiring.

The book is 101 single sided pages (100 dragons plus the requisite “This Book Belongs To” page) of illustrations. The paper is a bit thin, so if you are one of them marker junkies, I’m going to suggest that you use a piece of backing paper.  Otherwise you can be like me and realize before it’s too late that you have not just colored one picture but two. You can call it a mess up, but I call it a twofer!

So in closing, if you like big books and cannot lie, then this big ole book of dragons might just be for you.


Coloring 101: Coloring on Fabric


By Anisa Claire.

Recently, I ordered a color-able bag with an Absur’D pattern on it. I was really excited to get it in the mail, couldn’t wait, in fact, to get going on it. Until it arrived… then, suddenly, I became intimidated by the project and worried I would mess it up, costing myself money I didn’t want to loose.

So, on went the research. I pulled out my Google-Fu and got to work. There were a lot of different options, but one name kept popping up… Sharpie. Well, just so happens, I love me some Sharpie markers and happened to have a small army of them. The one thing people were saying was that they ran a bit if they weren’t “set” first.

Some examples showed a bit of runnage (is that a word? It is now!) after washing. Unfortunately, I didn’t have what I needed to “set” Sharpie, so I just went for it and decided to spot wash my bag rather than fully wash it in a washing machine if needed.

Sharpies work well, but there are a few things I noticed.

1. They bleed past the black lines fairly easily. I found if I applied less pressure closer to the black edges, it helped.

2. They’re time consuming, as they don’t just ‘flow” like some markers. You definitely need patience for Sharpies on fabric.

3. I had read that if you outline the black with aloe, it would reduce the bleed. This is true, but it takes even longer to outline it all in aloe, and though it works, it’s not 100% foolproof.

My conclusion for the Sharpies is that if you’re not extremely picky about little bits of bleed through, they are a good option. If some bleed through is going to bother you, I would not recommend plain Sharpie markers for fabric coloring.

The next on my list was Sharpie, again, but these are called: Stained by Sharpie. They are meant for fabric coloring. I snatched up a package and hit the bag again. First thing I’ll say? Wow! What a difference from the regular Sharpies. They are easy to use on fabric, flow nicely and provide a full looking color. I was impressed, but there are a few things about them to consider before buying your own set.

1. The color selection is extremely limited. You only get eight markers. That’s not enough colors to really justify doing a full bag or shirt with them. They would be good for smaller pictures printed on fabric, such as team shirts or things of that nature.

2. Of those eight markers, at least three are neon. I like neon, personally, but it has its place, and I wouldn’t want to be forced to color all fabric in neon colors.

3. Most of the pens did not bleed past the black line. However, the blue marker did. I don’t know if it was just this package or if all of the blue Stained markers are like that. This color, specifically, was difficult to manage.

All-in-all, I liked Stained by Sharpie more than I liked regular Sharpies.

The next marker I tried was Chameleon. Now I love Chameleon markers. They’re a bit pricey, but totally worth the extra money you have to spend on them. That said, I wouldn’t recommend them for fabric.

1. They allow you to do shading on fabric, but are quite difficult to control and run a lot, so you end up with a lot of bleed through past the black lines. I only did a few small sections with Chameleon before I knew they weren’t going to do what I wanted on the fabric.

2. Since they are a bit pricey, it’s hard to justify using them on a project that needs a decent amount of ink.

Finally, and very randomly, I stumbled across Derwent Inktense colored PENCILS. Yes, you read that right. I couldn’t believe it either. Colored pencils… for fabric? Can’t be true. But yes, it is true! You can actually use Inktense colored pencils on fabric, and they’re fantastic. They are watercolor pencils, and there is a bit of a trick to applying them. Here’s what I did.

1. The color won’t set if you don’t wet it. So, you can color it on like you would with regular pencils, and then use a paint brush or Q-tip to apply the water.  I didn’t have a paintbrush, so I used a Q-tip. It worked. You do need to dab the excess water off, though, or you will get bleed through past the black lines.

2. When you first apply the pencil, it looks lame. Don’t get discouraged because once you wet it, it looks awesome.

3. You can also dip the pencil tip directly into water and do it that way. You still need to dab off the excess though. I found doing it directly in water actually gave me more control.

4. As a final step, you need to use some kind of Textile Medium to set the color.

Of the four products I tested, I would without question, recommend Derwent Inktense pencils over all the other markers I tried. If price is an issue, I would then recommend Sharpies, but urge you to remember… patience, patience, patience! They do work and the end result is quite nice, but you need to be extremely aware of your borders and the amount of pressure you apply while coloring.

May Feature Colorist

Our feature colorists for May are Michelle Huntley Herrema, Janet Dickerson-Deshotel, and Emilie Springfield.


Colored by Michelle Huntley Herrema. Image drawn by feature artist Neetika Agarwal.

Colored by Janet Dickerson-Deshotel‎. Image drawn by contributing artist Ruth Sanderson.

Colored by Emilie Springfield.Image drawn by contributing artist Mark Coyle.