8 reasons why you should try digital colouring
If you’re a fan of adult colouring, it’s likely that you’re already aware of the perks that it can bring:
It’s insanely addictive and fun
Encourages a state of calm, and is the perfect way to enter a meditative state and simply “zone out”
Can be a great activity to do with your kids – any excuse to get some colouring time in!
Improves your ability to focus
Impacts mental health in a positive way, and equally, can help manage or distract from symptoms of physical pain
Allows you to creatively express yourself, and provides endless hours of creativity without the pressure of having to be “an artist”
I’m part of many colouring Facebook groups, and it’s clear to me as a digital artist that I’m of the minority when it comes to enjoying colouring in the digital realm.
There are many apps available to download – Pigment, Recolor and Procreate to name a few – that can be used to experiment with digital colouring, and they all vary in their level of complexity with the learning curve involved. Some are simply tap and fill with solid colours, and others are much more akin to working with traditional mediums and allow super flexible art creation.
I’d love to try and help you get started with digital adult colouring, so below is my rundown of what I believe are the perks of digital colouring vs. traditional colouring. This isn’t meant to discredit how blimmin’ awesome colouring is with traditional mediums, it’s simply to highlight why I absolutely LOVE digital.
Digital colouring is portable
Forget carrying around your colouring supplies and having the tough decision of which colouring book(s) to pack in your bag. Those days are GONE!
Digital colouring means you can have a whole creative studio with you as long as you have your device handy – and who doesn’t carry their phone or tablet around with them everywhere these days?
Furthermore, it allows you to have access to all your favourite artists line art at the touch of a button.
Most apps allow you to import your own line art (for example, pages you’ve purchased from Etsy) or give you the option to browse colouring pages by artist or genre. Oh, and humble brag, I'm a featured artist in the popular colouring app Pigment, and have 10 illustrations from Doodles from The Den available for premium users to enjoy. I’d love to see your work if you are a Pigment fan!
Personally speaking, I used to love being able to take my iPad with me on my hour commute to work (before I became a mama) to enjoy some creative down time before I started my day job as a designer – it was a great way to relax, and warm up my creative juices for the day ahead. I still love colouring at my desk with my favourite Johanna Basford book and Prismacolor pencils, but I find those moments are few and far between. Digital makes it easier to colour in all the in-betweeny moments of my day. ☺️
EDIT: If you’re into digital colouring but can only do it on your computer at home, then I’m sorry that this point excludes you :(
2. Digital colouring is eco-friendly
Obviously, if you wanted, you could print off your digital purchases and colour in with traditional mediums (I sometimes do this), buuuuut if you wanted to be super eco-friendly and avoid printing on paper and using any printer ink, you could enjoy your hobby in a purely digital way.
This means zero wasted paper when you make a mistake, no need to use printer ink to print your pages, and no need to hoard a load of books that you'll colour a few pages from and then forget about when something more exciting comes along.
3. Digital colouring can be more accessible for some individuals
For some, particularly those that suffer with chronic pain, digital colouring can be much more accessible than using traditional mediums for colouring.
It requires less pressure, and less repetitive motions with the hands (especially with tap and fill colouring apps) , but still allows the individual to express themselves creatively and reap the benefits and enjoyment of colouring.
If someone is visually impaired, the ability to zoom in on the picture can make life a lot easier too.
Generally speaking, both digital and traditional colouring can be a great way to manage physical and mental symptoms of pain and can be enjoyed by all ages.
4. Digital colouring is more forgiving
Before I started creating colouring pages using Procreate, I used to draw them by hand with pen and ink – and sometimes I still revert back to these roots.
However, one thing that bothered me was how tedious it was to correct mistakes, and I’d often end up using loads of tracing paper and having to re-draw my images or tidying them up in Photoshop on my iMac. By switching to digital colouring page illustration and digital colouring, it’s so easy to correct mistakes and gives me the flexibility to change creative direction...and for someone as indecisive as myself, this is essential!
5. Digital colouring is free, but you can still upgrade your colouring supplies if you love to splurge!
You may think digital colouring only offers you a limited set of pages to colour and tools to use, but if you wanted to splurge, you can definitely do so!
For example, if you choose to upgrade to a premium account on the Pigment app, you’ll get access to a plethora of amazing colouring pages from talented artists, and also have access to more colour palettes and special effects to use on your work. If you love working in the Procreate app, you can buy fancy new brushes and fonts.
Yes – there’s so much amazing free content out there that you can experiment with before committing to purchase anything, but if you get addicted to digital colouring like I have, there are certainly many ways to feed your digital colouring addiction and up level your resources.
Go on…treat yourself!
6. Digital colouring eradicates shipping costs when you purchase from your favourite artist
There are so many talented artists that are producing gorgeous line art for colourists to enjoy, and they're from every corner of the globe! I love how diverse the colouring community is, but it does pose the problem of high shipping costs for buying books from an overseas independent artist.
As an artist myself, I know how HUGE shipping costs are to my USA fans, but I have to charge it in order to stop myself getting out of pocket.
I realised that by adding digital editions of my colouring books in my Etsy store, I could allow more people to enjoy my work without them having to pay unnecessary shipping fees, and equally, appeal to those that just love the instant gratification of getting their purchase immediately to play with!
In more recent times, it does seem that digital colouring books are now becoming a staple offering in other artists' shops, which is brilliant – just do a quick search on Etsy or Gumroad and you’ll find plenty to satisfy your colouring taste buds.
If you use a colouring app such as Pigment or Recolor, then these have regularly updated pages from artists for you to enjoy as well, yippee!
7. Digital colouring can still look “traditional” with the right tools and experience
I know, I know. You’re going to say that digital art simply cannot compare to art created with traditional mediums...and to be honest, you are kinda right. However, you can get pretty damn close to producing a piece of art on a digital canvas that looks like it's been brought to life using traditional mediums, particularly with Procreate app for iPad.
There are endless amounts of authentic-looking digital brushes you can use – it just takes a little bit of practice to hone in your skills when working in a digital environment.
YouTube is most definitely your friend, and I'll be covering some beginner digital colouring tutorials on my blog too. Make sure you sign up to my newsletter to be kept in the loop for when new tutorials drop on my YouTube channel.
8. Digital colouring can be shared easily on social media
No need to wait for the perfect daytime lighting to snap a photo of your beautiful masterpiece, simply upload your artwork to your social platforms instantly from or device.
If you’re looking to share your digital artwork to Facebook, check out my previous blog post on Digital-friendly Facebook groups.
Wanna come join my Facebook group for Procreate colourists?
Simply head to the Facebook group for Procreate colourists and request to join.
Feel free to submit a tutorial request, or ask any pressing questions you have, and I’ll aim to cover these topics in a future video. I can’t wait to help you on your colouring journey with Procreate. It really is the BEST app for digital art creation in my opinion!