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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Colour with Claire: an interview with colouring expert Claire Eadie

Claire Eadie discovered adult colouring as a way to deal with stress and and has since set up a brilliant online resource to help all novice and advanced colourists.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford
Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford.

Midlands based Claire Eadie discovered colouring as an antidote to stress and has built a fantastic dedicated website, Colour with Claire, to help enthusiastic colourists to choose the right books and colouring materials. She shares her insights with us here…

Colour with Claire Eadie
How and when did you catch the colouring in bug?
I started colouring back in April 2015, after noticing lots of coloured art and news articles popping up on my news feed. A naturally creative person, I knew I’d enjoy colouring and vowed to find out what were the best colouring books and materials to use. After scouring the net I realised there was no online resource dedicated entirely to adult colouring that had the wealth of information I was looking for. So, I decided to create my own little corner of the web for people like me who wanted to know things like the best colouring pencils and pen brands for colouring, what kind of paper is used in certain books, and maybe most importantly – examples of the illustrations inside! Amazon often doesn’t show you much of the book in its previews, so I made sure to add lots of images so people know what they’re buying before they commit. I’ve now reviewed over 130 adult colouring books and many brands of colouring materials! My full background in colouring and how it helps my anxiety disorder can be read on my website.

Animorphia by Kerby Rosanes
Animorphia by Kerby Rosanes.

How often do you get to colour in and what are your preferred images, and why?
As a blog reviewer, I colour ALL the time. I prefer illustrations based on realism, so I love landscapes and life images over abstract and geometrical patterns. Mandalas can look stunning when coloured, but I find them monotonous. I love anything unique and hand-drawn. Horror and the macabre are favourites too!

Where do you recommend that the novice colourist should look online to find out more about books and materials?
Blatant self promotion here but I believe Colour with Claire is the most comprehensive site on the web for colouring book information and reviews of the best materials on the market.

Bird Critters by Sue Coccia
Bird Critters by Sue Coccia

What are your favourite colouring in materials and why?
I love Faber Castell Polychromos pencils. They’re expensive but have an amazing amount of pigment and laydown of colour, and blend like a dream! As for pens, I love alcohol markers like Copics and Promarkers. They will bleed through most types of paper so I can’t use them in double sided books, but the seamless finish and range of colours is unmatched. My favourite waterbased (non-bleed) pens are Staedtler Triplus, because they have a great amount of colour, smooth nibs and the ink doesn’t feather the paper.

Mandala ART by Liz Beekman
Mandala ART by Liz Beekman

Who is your favourite illustrator, can you tell us a bit more about them?
I don’t think I have one to be honest, but like everyone I love Johanna Basford‘s work. Other favourites include Lizzie Mary Cullen for her totally unique artwork and Daria Song for simply beautiful illustrations.

Whimsical Wings by GT Haddix
Whimsical Wings by GT Haddix

Any simple tips for the creation of a top bit of artwork?
Gosh, I am no artist so I can’t really answer that one! I do have a few cheats for zhuzhing your colouring up a bit though. One of them is to grab yourself a lightboard as they are AMAZING for tracing if you can’t draw like me! I created a tree filled with Disney characters in Enchanted Forest that turned out really well.

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford
Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford

How has your life changed since you got involved with colouring and set up your own website dedicated to colouring?
I have a lot less spare time as all I ever do is colour and review when I have a minute free! I’m constantly getting emails from illustrators, publishers and companies wanting me to review and promote their works, so it’s very full-on. I care for my husband who is disabled and I have two young children so it’s all go in our house!

What is the number one book on your Christmas list and why?
I can’t wait for the BBC Sherlock book (big fan) and Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors. I have Tolkien’s World on the way and A Game of Thrones colouring book (can you tell I’m a bit of a fangirl?)

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford
Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

Lastly, have your children taken to colouring and how do you juggle being a mother and a busy colourist?
My kids love colouring, especially my youngest who is 7 and very creative. They love sitting alongside me colouring in, me with my grown up book and them with their Avengers themed book! They love telling everyone at school that I’m ‘Colour with Claire‘, much to my embarrassment. It’s not easy to juggle it all to be honest. I’ll be slowing down after Christmas once I’ve reviewed the slew of books that are weighing down my shelves, and colouring more ‘for me’ rather than to promote books. The website will still be going strong but I’ll have been doing this for a solid eight months by Christmas so I feel I need to slow it down a little before it stops becoming enjoyable and starts feeling like a chore. I have so many books I love but don’t get time to colour, so you’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of my colouring efforts rather than constant book reviews in the future.

Thankyou so much for your colouring tips Claire, they are much appreciated. Make sure you check out Colour with Claire for loads of great tips on the best books, pens and pencils to feed your colouring desires. Read a lovely blog that Claire has written about Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion here.

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