How to colour for beginners

With simple instructions, pen and pencil recommendations, and all our best tips and tricks, this guide to colouring for beginners is just what you’ve been looking for if you’ve decided to start colouring. Perhaps learning how to colour is one of your New Year goals, or maybe you’re looking for a way to better your mental health with a new mindful hobby.

This guide will be a helpful resource for anyone new to the world of colouring. We’ll go all the way back to the basics of colouring for beginners, and gently guide you through the things you need to know before you grab your colouring pencils and get started!

Four issues of Colouring Heaven magazine laid out on a desk.

What is Colouring Heaven?

Before we get stuck in, let us introduce ourselves! We’re Colouring Heaven, the world’s best-selling colouring magazine brand. Every month we publish up to four colouring magazines – with top quality paper, single-sided designs, colourable covers, and beautiful colouring designs from artists all over the world.

If you want to get started with colouring – you’ve come to the right place! We love sharing colouring news, advice and recommendations, video tutorials and more with our fantastic colouring community. If you want to get even more stuck in, you can join our friendly colouring group on Facebook.

Why should you start colouring?

Adult colouring experienced a huge boom a few years ago, as people discovered the amazing mental health benefits colouring can offer. On the flip side, some of our colourists have been taking part in this hobby for many years before it became popular. And it’s likely most of us picked up some crayons and a colouring book when we were children!

Colouring can be an amazing mindful activity, a form of self-care, an opportunity to pick up new skills and try new things, and above all else – a lot of fun! Here’s a more detailed article about why you should start colouring.

An issue of Colouring Heaven Fantasy Figures Special laid out on a desk surrounded by packs of colouring pencils.

What do you need?

There are a few supplies you’ll need to pick up to start colouring, but don’t worry, they don’t need to be expensive. The absolute basics are: something to colour, and something to colour with.

Something to colour

Obviously when it comes to finding something to colour for beginners, we recommend Colouring Heaven! We offer a wide variety of designs, style, subjects and more for colourists of all ages, skill sets and interests.

For simple and soothing designs, try our Junior range of magazines, which feature designs that are large, clear and easy to colour. For fun themes and brand collaborations, take a look at our Collection range. For gorgeously detailed fantasy pages, take a look at our original Colouring Heaven Special range, and for roundups of all our favourite designs on specific topics, our Presents Compendium issues are the place to look.

For issues sent directly to your door every month, you can become a Colouring Heaven Plus member. With a Plus membership, there are lots of other amazing benefits you can get including discounted issues, free colouring pages, and more! Find out more here.

Or if you want to try a bit of colouring for free, take a look at our free colouring pages here.

Something to colour with

There’s so much choice when it comes to colouring supplies and materials! You can pick colouring pencils, markers, and crayons, or go all out with watercolour paints, inks and blenders.

Plus it’s entirely up to you whether you want to invest in top quality, high end colouring supplies, or stick to a budget and pick up some wonderfully affordable alternatives. We truly believe you can create beautiful colouring with both expensive and affordable colouring materials.

As well as the basic supplies like pencils or markers, you may want to pick up some other items. A good sharpener can make a world of difference to maintaining your colouring pencils, a blender can help you achieve beautifully seamless shading, and a white gel pen can be the perfect finishing touch for highlights and shimmers.

You may also want to pick up a pencil case, a hard surface to draw on (like a clipboard, tray or desk), and a good light so you can colour all night long!

We have some helpful articles on our website to guide you through the process of finding the right colouring supplies for you:

A hand holding a colouring pencil over an issue of Colouring Heaven magazine with the ear of a cat poking in from the right.

Colouring for beginners tips and advice

You’ve picked up your colouring supplies, you’ve ordered your favourite issue of Colouring Heaven – now it’s time to learn how to colour!

The most important thing about colouring for beginners is to have fun and enjoy learning new things, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. We recommend starting with a very simple design and just focusing on colouring each area and getting used to the feel of your materials and how they can be used.

Here are some articles to help you on your colouring journey:

We have lots of other fantastic resources on our website including free colouring pages, colour palette challenges, colour charts, a gallery of inspiration pages, and video tutorials on YouTube.

How to find a colouring community

The good news is we already have an amazing colouring community you can join! Our friendly and supportive Friends of Colouring Heaven group on Facebook is over 6,000 members strong. You can find advice, recommendations, and lots of colouring inspiration! Or take it one step further and find a colouring buddy, or start your own colouring club meetings.

A colouring page from an issue of Colouring Heaven magazine of a woman with blonde hair and flowers in her hair.

Frequently asked colouring questions about colouring

Have some questions about colouring for beginners? Let’s see if we can answer some of them before you get started, and if we can’t, you can try asking our Facebook group.

Can I do digital colouring?

Yes, absolutely! You’ll need some different tools for digital colouring – an app or a digital drawing software, and maybe a drawing tablet or an iPad with an Apple Pencil, or you could get creative and use a computer mouse or mobile phone. Our collection of free colouring pages are a great opportunity to experiment with some digital colouring.

Do you need to invest in expensive supplies?

You don’t need to, but you may find you are able to produce better quality results more quickly with high quality materials. However, remember that price doesn’t always equal quality! We recommend looking at lots of reviews online to get a feel for the value of new colouring supplies. You can read our roundups of the Black Widow Dragon pencil set and the new Castle Arts Gold pencil set as a place to start.

Does colouring help with mental health?

We very strongly believe it does! Read our article about colouring and mental health.

How can you colour like a professional?

With lots of time, patience, practice and good quality supplies. When you first start out, you might need to spend some time learning about colour and techniques, and over time you’ll find your pages will keep improving. To start you on your journey, we recommend this article about how to blend beautifully.

What is greyscale colouring?

Greyscale is a type of colouring page that incorporates hatching and shaded areas into the design, as opposed to clean black and white line art. This style of colouring can look very intimidating, especially for beginners, but don’t be put off – simply colour how you would a normal page. Think of the shading as a guide for where to put your highlights and shadows – it’s actually really helpful and you can get some fantastic results with relatively low effort. If you’d like to give greyscale a go, we have some greyscale pages available to download for free and a brilliant guide to greyscale colouring.

We’re so excited for you beginning your colouring journey! And we hope this guide has given you some pointers and things to think about. Take a look at more of our how to colour guides here, and find lots of amazing colouring tutorials on our YouTube channel. Don’t forget, you can join Colouring Heaven Plus to receive issues of Colouring Heaven to your door every month, which is a brilliant way to get into colouring. Find out more here.

Enjoyed this beginner’s colouring guide? You’ll love our other how to colour guides about colouring pencils and markers.

Coloured a beautiful page and want to share it with your friends and family? Take a look at this article about how to photograph colouring pages.

Stay in touch

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all things Colouring Heaven. Be sure to share your beautiful colouring with us in our Friends of Colouring Heaven Facebook group and join our friendly, lovely community!

Become a Colouring Heaven Plus member today to make sure you don’t miss an issue of Colouring Heaven, plus lots of other benefits including discounted issues and more.

To receive more colouring tutorials, advice and news direct to your inbox – plus 4 exclusive free colouring pages – sign up to our free Colouring Heaven email newsletter.

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