The other day we asked ourselves a puzzling question and decided to you bring you into it, if it were possible, what artist’s works would make the best adult coloring designs. In an attempt to answer this question we thought of what our favorite coloring designs had in common: intricate details, original, and one of the best things...a new discovery during the process of coloring that you did not realize when you first opened the page. With those in mind here are the 6 artists, old and new, whose work we think would make amazing coloring pages.
Over his career Picasso went through several artistic styles each very different from the other. It is during his cubism period of the early 20th century that he created some of his most famous works and coincidently the ones we think would make for some pretty good coloring. During this part of his career Picasso employed a style called analytical cubism in which the artist attempts to reduce the natural form to its most simple two-dimensional form.
Paintings like “Window Opened To The Street”, “Le pigeon aux ptits pois”, and the famous portrait of “Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler” reduce complex natural forms to small repetitive geometric patterns that together form the overall image. As coloring designs, these paintings would be both entertaining and complex, and demanding a time commitment that would allow for the discovery of new meanings in the lines.
While Picasso attempted to reduce the natural form to it’s most simple iteration, Dali wanted to extrapolate it beyond what nature itself could create. Many of his art pieces show animals and items of everyday life that have been converted into new wonderful and mysterious equipment. Perhaps the most commonplace items of daily life - the clock, melting over the hot desert sands, a place where few people have ever found themselves. Although his images do not employ the style that we often associate with coloring designs what they do present is an opportunity at discovery.
Dali’s images are anything but one-dimensional. Even with the most simple seeming of his pieces the viewer can discover new detail that can completely change the meaning of the piece. Coloring some of Dali’s painting would allow you to go through this process of discovery by making you focus on the details of his work.
To say that Paul Gauguin was a man who spent his entire life trying to escape the stress of the modern world would be an understatement. As an artist of the late 19th century Gauguin witnessed the rise of the machine and modernity and attempted to escape these changing times by moving to less developed parts of the world. He first escaped the busy Parisian life for the calmness of Brittany, and when modernity geared up in that part of France as well he made the ultimate move to Tahiti where he spent the rest of his life.
In Tahiti he created pieces that depicted the life of the common Tahitian in a colorful simplicity. If the paintings from this part of Gauguin's life were to be turned into coloring designs they would be a joy to color not only because of the bright colors but also because of their instilled illustration of calmness that many of us seek when we reach for the coloring book.
The artistic wonder-boy of the 1980’s created some of the most iconic images of that period and worked with the most esteemed artists of his time including Madonna, Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Despite having a brief artistic career due to his death at the young age of 31 after being diagnosed with AIDS, Haring created images that are recognizable and memorable even if you are not familiar with the artistic world.
While studying art in New York, Haring began created chalk murals in subway tunnels and during these “experiments” developed his iconic continuous line style. His cartoon like pieces have the appearance of labyrinths made up of human figures intertwined on paper. It is these labyrinths of continuous line that would make Keith Haring’s work a wonderful subject for coloring. The best part is that since Haring himself experimented with color we know that these colorings would turn out amazing!
The modern reincarnation of 1911’s Picasso and an outpouring of talent that may overshadow even the great artist himself. Zio Ziegler creates immensely intricate and communicative pieces on mediums ranging from canvas to sculpture, walls, and even cars and shoes. If Ziegler’s work was made into a coloring book it would provide its owner with many hours of entertainment.
Although Ziegler’s work can differ significantly from piece to piece one of the things that remains constant is a large amount of detail and often times bright pops of color. These would be an absolute joy for any colorist to spend an hour a day on.
Liqen is perhaps the least known artist on this list but don’t let that fool you, he is extremely talented and his work would make fantastic colorings. His mural in Spain titled “Agujero Rojo” or “Red Hole” is a great example of this rising star’s style. This mural in particular would make an awesome coloring page due to all the detail. Imagine receiving this image without the color and getting the opportunity to add your own color variation wherever you feel and make it your own.
Although the chances of a coloring book made up of these artists work are very very slim due to legal reproduction issues it doesn't hurt to dream. One this is for sure, if that book ever does come out we will camp out to get a copy. Happy Coloring!