So, there are lots of adult coloring books out there. Supermarkets even put them in the checkout lane impulse-buy section. For my first venture into designing them, I've published 5 seashell-themed designs on Etsy. Why seashells? First, I like them; I've been collecting them for years. Second, when I researched the competition on Amazon, I saw lots of designs of various types, but very few ocean life themes. So I'm hoping those who have had enough animals, people, flowers, butterflies, and fairies might like a change.
To make the designs, I photographed specimens from my own collection and also downloaded some pictures of seashells from Google images. Then I opened them in Photoshop and used the Bezier tool to outline them. It was laborious, painstaking work. Of course I had to use some artistic license in transforming them into line art; many shells have subtle gradients of color over much of their surfaces. Remembering how Chinese jade carvers translated soft-form things like clouds into solid waves and tiers, I made the sections work as line or just left them out. I think I succeeded with most, but there are a few unfinished images that still have me stumped.
While I worked on preliminary designs I talked to people who like to color, about their preferences. Some love complex designs, the more detailed the better, while others want simple images that will be relaxing for them to fill with color. So I did one design which is just two columns of the plainest shells, and another which is slightly more complicated and features a big seahorse in the middle.
Next I have to finish coloring one of my own designs so I can publish it online for everyone to see how gorgeous the finished product can be. To check out my designs, go to www.etsy.com/shop/Jennysartycolori