Coloring Kaleidoscopes


I’m obsessed with coloring. I just can’t get enough of it. Any idle time in the evening is spent coloring. Wind-down time at night is spent coloring. Weekends? Coloring. I even thought about taking a coloring break during the work day but decided that was a much too slippery slope to go down.

I first blogged about coloring back in February 2012. After a few months, my interest waned, and I put away the colored pencils for a few years. Then this whole adult coloring craze got me thinking about coloring again, and I picked up my old coloring books a few months ago.

What really kicked my coloring into gear, though, was a gift Greg gave me for Christmas: Kaleidoscope Designs by Martha Day Zschock.

Coloring book

Since my other coloring books are color-by-number, I wasn’t sure if I’d find coloring my own designs as relaxing. And I’m not sure if it is as relaxing, but coloring these kaleidoscopes is a ton more fun. What I’m really enjoying is coming up with color palettes for each piece.

My process is to pick a color and use it in three spots in a design. Then I pick another color and use it in three spots. I keep going like that, without a real plan of what color I’ll pick next. Here’s my sequence for a recent design.

*Note: I tend to color in places where the light isn’t very good. And often at the end of the day when my eyes are tired. Plus I’m usually really excited to lay down the color and move on to the next one. All this is to say the coloring itself isn’t that great. Be kind.

Coloring 1

Coloring 2

Coloring 3

Coloring 4

On this one, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with a light purple or a darker one next, so I tried them both before going with the darker color.Coloring 5

Then I went back and used the lighter purple.

Coloring 6

The finished piece (with a different camera in different light).

Coloring 7

As you can see, I’m a bit of a kaleidoscope coloring minimalist. Coloring the whole thing doesn’t seem fun to me. I like my white space.


For this one, I challenged myself to use more contrasting colors (my other contrast challenge piece is the one at the very beginning of this post). I intended to start with an orange, but I accidentally picked up blush instead. So the piece went in an unusual (for me) direction right from the start.


And here’s my latest work-in-progress. My challenge for this one was to use colors I don’t normally use. I’m not sure what color I’ll try next—I guess I’ll see tonight!


If you haven’t picked up a coloring book recently, I highly recommend you give it a try. You just might have hours of fun in store!

Leave a comment


  1. Meryl Ann Butler

     /  January 7, 2016

    Hey Christine, I’m doing an article on adult coloring…I didn’t realize that you were into this! I guess I missed the earlier blog…Do you want to be included in my article? I like what you said below about “My process is to pick a color and use it in three spots in a design. Then I pick another color and use it in three spots. I keep going like that, without a real plan of what color I’ll pick next.” i’d like to quote that. And I love that you leave white space! These are two excellent points. I could link to your blog, and also include an image of one of your pieces…maybe a different one than what is shown here? Let me know! xoxo Meryl Ann

    Meryl Ann Butler Managing Editor, is one of the top five liberal/progressive media sites in the U.S. with 500,000 – 800,000 unique visitors a month, from 200 countries, with over 40 million hits and over two million page views monthly. According to web information company,, reaches more traffic than all but the 30 largest daily newspapers in the U.S., and Technorati ranks it in the world’s top 100 blogs (out of about 1.2 million). In a google search for the terms “liberal news” or “progressive opinion,” ranks first.

    Butler’s 250+ articles and other contributions have had over a million views.

    For bio page and list of articles and other contributions:

  2. Meryl Ann Butler

     /  February 26, 2016

    Hey Christine,

    My dad passed away last week (not unexpectedly – he was 92, had a good life, and had been in hospice for almost a year) – I have to travel to NY to bury him, so I’ll get back to the coloring book article in a month or so…meanwhile, do you know that C&T just came out with a Laurel Burch coloring book? It looks great…I am not sure if you prefer geometrics or not, but I’ll be looking for someone to submit a page from the Burch book for the article…let me know if you are interested in that, if so, you or I could request a review copy…

    xoxo Meryl Ann


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