Whether you are new to coloring or have been coloring for a while you may have heard of grayscale, but may find yourself a bit unsure about what it is, and that's ok! Grayscale coloring has started becoming more and more popular within the coloring community but has not really had the same mainstream appeal that normal coloring has. In this post we will try to explain what grayscale coloring is, share some tips on coloring grayscale, and hopefully convince you to give it a try yourself.
What is Grayscale
Very simply explained grayscale coloring is the addition of color to a design which already has the shading added. These designs can look like black and white pictures or can be designed specifically for coloring. Basically when you color grayscale you don’t have to worry about adding shading to your designs, it’s already done for you. This makes it much easier to produce high quality realistic looking colorings without spending nearly the same amount of time coloring.
Grayscale can help produce high quality colorings
As a beginner colorist it can be easy to become intimidated by all the amazing colorings that you can find on social media. While you shouldn't let that bother you since art is a judgement free zone, grayscale designs can help you get a little more of that “professional” touch to your colorings.
Furthermore this is a great way to learn how to shade. Simply by coloring these designs and noticing where there is shading added in the designs, you can begin to learn where to add shading in non-grayscale colorings.
Requires less coloring than regular coloring designs
A lot of the time spent working on coloring pages is usually spent adding detail work and not just “simply coloring”. Because of this grayscale designs are a fantastic option for colorists who just want to spend about 30 minutes to an hour a day coloring and not have to worry about shading and adding texture while still being able to produce high quality images.
You can use your own black and white photos
This is a really great use of grayscale! You can actually create your own “grayscale designs” by printing out your favorite pictures without color. Now, to be very honest not every black and white picture works well for this but with some experimentation you will figure it out. To get you started we suggest using pictures that are very zoomed in on their subject, like a close up photograph of a flower or someones face.
Colored pencils work best
While you can use just about any coloring medium on grayscale designs we do suggest you get started with colored pencils. Colored pencils provide you with a great deal of control on how much color you are putting down based on how hard or soft you press.
This lets you figure out how much color you should be putting down in order to produce the highest quality image possible. Once you have more experience coloring with grayscale try water color paint as it can produce some really amazing images.
Start out by using just a few colors
One of the great things about grayscale is that even a design colored with just a few colors can come out looking amazing. When you are just starting out all the different color choices can be a bit overwhelming. What looks good with what? Which colors should I blend together? These are all things you will learn with practice but can produce serious roadblocks for some.
If this is a problem you have experienced, or think you may experience, you should definitely give grayscale designs a try since you can start out with just a few colors and still create very high quality images because the truth is it's not the colors that make a coloring truly great but all the little shading, texture, and detail work that goes into it, and grayscale designs already have those printed in them.
We hope that this short list has inspired you to give grayscale coloring designs a chance next time you are in the market for a new coloring book. As always happy coloring!