I’m currently struggling with drawing a complex, colorful lizard for my grandson. I may have bitten off a little bit more than I can chew at this time.


Isn’t the–he or she–lizard beautiful though?

All those gorgeous blues, reds and greens on one creature!

As you can tell, I started coloring in my outline, and then I got scared. I was frustrated with my progress and didn’t want to mess up the outline, so I found convenient excuses to procrastinate like cleaning, watching TV and eating chocolate.

You know chocolate fingerprints will never erase off good artist paper…that is what I told myself anyway.

So I postponed drawing one more day and then another…

Does anyone else ever procrastinate with their projects? I cannot be alone in this practice.

Practice makes perfect!

I know I have to practice to actually rise to the level of talent the artists I have scouted for Colored Pencil Magazine demonstrate in their artwork. But, I just couldn’t seem to push through…

Then, I had an epiphany. Why not practice my skills on a coloring book line drawing of a lizard?

That way I could build my confidence without the time commitment it would take to figure out the composition, coloring and shading myself.

I also wanted to show my mom creating art is easier than it looks – even if I don’t always follow my own advice.

Collaborative coloring book art

I had been wanting to purchase a artist-level coloring book for my mom for a while now. She has been getting into coloring for a hobby for about a year now, and I wanted to encourage her to keep going

A lot of coloring books look just a little too kiddish and cartoon-like for her taste. So when an artist I recently wrote about published his own coloring book, I knew it was perfect for my mom.

Tim Jeffs is a commercial artist who loves to draw details in fur, scales and feathers. I scouted him for the January 2016 Colored Pencil Magazine. The article was titled “Creating Sea Creatures,” but he pretty much loves all animals.

Later in January, Tim published a hard-backed coloring book titled, “Intricate Ink: Animals in Detail Coloring Book.”


You can order Tim’s book from his publisher Pomegranate, Amazon or Google for under $20.

Mother’s Day is coming up

His book makes a great Mother’s Day gift or at least that was my original idea.

When I was little, I used to rip out my drawings from flimsy coloring books and then hang up the frayed, curling paper on the fridge with magnets. Cute but not really archival.

So my idea was to color in a page, sign it, and then pass it onto other family members to color and sign, then wrap it up for my mom. That way she would have a drawing from each of us in a sturdy book.

But she lives three hours away from me so that really isn’t easy to coordinate.

Drawing by Tim Jeffs

Plus, I got so excited for her to see it that couldn’t wait until Mother’s Day so I gave it to for Easter.

Within a half an hour, my 8-year-old niece decided the wolf needed pink fur and started scribbling. Big mistake!

My mom snatched that coloring book up so fast, both my niece and I were shocked. My mom hide the book on high shelf out of reach and told her grandchildren to stay away from her coloring book.

My mom said the line drawings are so beautiful, she didn’t want anyone else to color in it. A grown woman in her 60s staking her claim on a coloring book – now that made me laugh.

Draw like a pro

My mother has told me all her life she doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, but coloring books like this one allow her to feel like a real artist too.


Tim Jeffs’ line drawing from his book Intricate Ink: Animals in Detail Coloring Book. Artist 

Although the paper in the book isn’t the same quality as artist grade paper, it really was helpful to loosen me up before I go back to coloring my own artwork. Still procrastinating and I’m also experimenting with my thrift store warming board.


Here is the piece I colored from Tim’s book. I think she turned out sweet and mom liked her.

If you have any family members who also need a little push to believe they have an artist inside them as well (or you just want to practice yourself), you can find some great quality coloring books at Pomegrante, the publisher for Tim’s book.

Free coloring templates 

If you don’t want to make a money investment but still want to find some quality images to color, check out Ben Kwok’s designs.

Ben uploads templates every so often and his followers share their collaborative work with the group on his Facebook page Ornation Creation at https://www.facebook.com/groups/171809746345318/. You do have to request to become a Facebook friend/member but the templates are free.

Ben also has a pretty big following on Pinterest and you can check out his templates there as well.


Happy coloring!



  • Tim’s book is published by Pomegrante, a company that manufactures coloring books, calendars and note cards. Along with Tim’s coloring book, the company also sells 15 other coloring books and cards…anything from mandalas, fractal art, unicorns, etc. You can check out Pomegranate’s products at http://www.pomegranate.com/allcoloring.html.


Melissa LeGates is a professional freelance writer and retired Air Force journalist. She specializes in long-form features and loves to write about living a victorious Christian life, art and health.

She is an avid blogger and currently maintains three blogs:

– PTSD/my first book “Set My Captives Free” launch at http://setmycaptivesfree.wordpress.com

– Writing career at http://melissalegates.wordpress.com

– The world of colored pencil art and artists at https://coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.

She and her husband live in Delaware. In her free time, she is a student of colored pencil, watercolor, acrylics and oils.

You can contact Melissa at malegates@gmail.com.

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