Have you ever looked at a coloring page and been put off by the small detailed patterns used in the design? I know I have! Sometimes, if a design has too many intricate details, on first look, it can feel like coloring it would be a chore more than a pleasure. In this blog we try and help you combat that coloring page fear and show you why coloring pages with intricate design is fun!
Follow along with our step by step coloring and Download a free coloring page too!
All in the Details
Let’s take a look at the page that we will be coloring. This design has lots of those intricate details that, depending upon your coloring mood, may make you balk at the thought of reaching for your coloring tools!
There is beautiful design in this fish themed coloring page, but some of the intricate details may make you think there is way too much work here to hit the print button!
Look closely and you will see there are minute areas of design in this page, but fear not! This does not mean you shouldn’t attempt to color the page!
What Should We Use to Color This Page?
With extra small details, this page will need a very fine coloring tool. Forget chunky crayons or fat markers, this coloring page will work best with fine tipped felt pens, gel pens or pin sharp coloring pencils.
I am going to use the Fiskars gel pens I wrote about in our guide to the best 5 gel pens. Gel pens are ideal for intricate coloring pages since they are able to produce very fine lines and at the same time apply a thick opaque color. This means you can tackle the small design with minimum effort.
Choose Your Colors
As always I start by choosing some colors that work well together, start by creating a swatch on a separate piece of paper to find the colors you want to use on the real design.
Lay Down the Color
I start by applying color to the outer rim of the circle design.
These lines are so thin that it literally takes a line of the gel pen to fill the space. When you can fill the space with a single stroke it just takes a steady hand and repetitive action to lay down the first color.
Work Around the Page
I continue to apply colors, working my way round the design. With gel pens you need to be careful not to smudge the ink as you move around the page. A circular pattern like this one helps because you can simply rotate the page as you go around the design.
Color, Rotate, Repeat!
Zen coloring at it’s best!
Take regular breaks between coloring, after each full circle I stretch my hands and give the ink on the page time to dry.
Each individual element is the same shape which means I can get into a rhythm, it also means the kind of repetitive action that can help your mind completely switch off – Zen coloring at it’s best!
Mix It Up!
I used a silver glitter pen and mixed things up a little by not coloring the space fully. Instead, leaving an area of white, sandwiched between the blue and silver adds extra interest to the page and also extra interest to my coloring action!
Reel That Fish In!
The colors of the fish will mainly be gold, orange and yellow. These colors will compliment well with the blues and yellow used in the outer circle.
I choose the orange and gold and try coloring the areas of the fish by alternating between the two colors.
Bring on the Blue
Having applied the gold and orange, I reach for my blue. I try to ensure that no single color is used in neighboring cells, this avoids blobs of the same color which can sometimes blight a design.
Finally I finish the fish off using a silver glitter gel pen. This pen can be so shiny that it can be difficult to capture on camera, but can also be difficult to see when you are coloring the page. Extra time is required when using pens like this to make sure you are coloring the entire area and not leaving patches of paper showing through.
Next I switch to the most intricate are of the design, that rope like border the encircles the fish. Each of these elements is no more than a couple of millimeters, take your time, steady your hand and slowly work around the edge.
I started by coloring with the orange pen first, then going around a second time with the darker blue color. This saves having to swap pens after every minute moment of coloring!
I repeat the same color choice on the outer rope border and block that triangular design in with my gold gel pen. I quite like the effect at this point because it feels like a shining sun surrounding that bright fish.
I could easily have left the design at this point, but I was engrossed in the coloring by now and wanted to continue the blue of the fish into that triangular border. I like having some white areas on the design, but it still felt a little unfinished for my taste.
One Last Detail
To round off the coloring I chose to make that area of space between the triangular outer circle pattern and the inner fish design more interesting. I took my darkest blue gel pen and, using the inner border pattern as a reference added equally spaced dots around the edge.
I then took my glitter gold gel pen and made a simple donut around those blue circles. Adding little touches of your own to the design can really add to your enjoyment when coloring and I am pleased with the way this worked out.
One Fancy Fish Finished!
Intricate pages like this can take time to color, you don’t have to finish a page all in one day, you can easily make this page last a whole week of coloring by revisiting it for snatches of 15 minute coloring fun!
For now I am leaving this page in my folder so I can dip back in as the weeks progress. The intricate details looked a chore when I first printed out the page, but I soon found my flow and really relaxed as I got into the flow of coloring those borders. It was also a great page to use those gel pens on! I hope I have convinced you that coloring pages with intricate design can be fun!
Over to you!
I could take the details in my page further by applying more embellishments to those triangles and I am a bit torn about whether to do anything with that white area in the center of the design. Should I color a backdrop to the fish, create a patterned area or leave it blank? What would you do? Let me know in the comments below, or download and print the free fish coloring page and share exactly what you would do with us on Facebook or Instagram!