‘Free’ is my favorite four-letter word beginning with ‘F’. When I started designing coloring patterns, having access to free sites and apps saved me several hundred pounds and a lot of guilt.
If you pay for it, you have to use it.
If I had paid for the best programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, then not taken to designing, I would’ve been a few hundred £££ poorer.
Having access to http://colormandala.com to draw my base designs made designing easy to do. All I needed were ideas and a willingness to experiment. Best keep quiet about the cat’s ears set – they weren’t popular. Couldn’t give them away.
Reckon you can’t draw? No artistic bones in your body? Get yourself along to ColorMandala and let your imagination soar.
The image at the top was done in ColorMandala. I didn’t have any particular plan, it was just “I wonder if this’ll work” and it did.
The test of any design is to color it preferably with coloring pencils. It’s too easy to color digitally because the color goes where you click the mouse, but some pencil tips can’t get in those tight spaces. Frustrating!
Mega Important Tip: Practice, practice and practice.
When you can create mandalas that look 3-D, you know you’re getting somewhere.
ColorMandala.com is easy to use and you can produce brilliant designs easily, but if you go deeper into it, you can produce AMAZING designs.
Check out this YouTube video from Curiozities: Color Mandala Advanced Techniques: Over-Under. My first reaction was “Wow – I didn’t know you could do that!!”
What Else is Free?
www.SumoPaint.com has both free and paid versions.
The good people at SumoPaint.com describe it as an online picture editor. You can download it and use it online.
SumoPaint.com is my favorite free editor to make variations of designs I create in ColorMandala.com. It has a useful Kaleidoscope filter in Filters -> Distort. I make one lot of variations then another.
Mega Important Tip: The ‘trick’ is to ensure there’s a border around the design. Colorists don’t like designs with no borders.
Check out this video I made about making variations on designs with SumoPaint.com.
Many people have discovered this amazing site – the number of instruction videos has multiplied since I made mine!
If your designs are going to be published, whether in a physical book or in single designs or packs to be printed off, you’ll need a certain print quality. Industry-standard print quality for publishing is 300 dpi (dots per inch).
You’ll be looking at what size to have them, too.
For size/resolution (dpi), I use two apps, Inkscape from Inkscape.com and Gimp from https://www.gimp.org/. As with the other sites, these are free.
I wrote a blog post explaining how to make your coloring designs ready to publish, here.
When your designs are the required size and resolution, you’re ready to go!
What Can You Do With Your Designs?
Coloring designs isn’t just about publishing coloring books.
Yep – bit of a shocker!
You can design for:
Charities, cake makers, card makers, business stationery, writers, coaches, journals, bookmarks, and so on.
Make a list of where else you can sell your designs – let your imagination run free!