Coloring – In and Out of the Lines

I know it’s all the rage. I bought coloring books for my DIL for Christmas because I know she enjoys coloring.

I don’t.

I didn’t like coloring when I was a child. I preferred drawing and painting and these days, photography with doodling along page edges. I am a chronic doodler, but I don’t like anything with lines.


I hate lines. I hate definitions of where each color should go. I never liked coloring in OR out of the lines, so I don’t like it now, either. Sometimes, when I wonder what Garry and I share as a couple, I realize we hate being told what to do. We resent instructions, rules, and definitions.

Downy Woodpecker

Which doesn’t mean I don’t follow directions using tools or technology. I know where (so to speak) to draw that particular line. Garry doesn’t always. He will fight with me over everything.

Squirrel on flat feeder

Squirrel on the railing

He wants to do it his way.

I don’t mind him doing it his way unless it will (a) burn down the house or set the chimney on fire; (b) destroy dinner; (c) cause injury to something or someone (including himself).

Otherwise, I let him battle it out until eventually, he asks for help. At which point, I try to explain there are things where you can do as you please, but not everything.Β  Some stuff, usually involving electricity or technology and associated parts, you have no choice but to do the right way or it won’t work. Not even if you burn incense or pray to the gods of technology.

It’s why he’s no kind of mechanic and for the most part, neither am I.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

But, just in case it’s your thing, I’ve included five photographs using my “coloring book” filter that you can print and then color. Birds and squirrels for people who find coloring relaxing and like nature. I’m going to have to try these filters on other types of pictures. I just am afraid they will be too confusing with trees and fields.

As for me, there is reading, taking pictures, watching movies — and ultimately, sleeping!

Categories: Birds, Black & White, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography, Squirrel, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , , ,

23 replies

  1. As a kid I was so good in drawing and painting (watercolours, crayons, wax crayons) that my parents ‘chose’ for my future career to become a ‘designer’. There was a word for it but since that profession doesn’t exist any more (computer graphics replaced the human designer) I don’t have to stretch my brain to find the word! I also did quite impressive linoleum cuttings, and thus showed very early my love for dogs, as many of them had dogs (reversed sides, difficult….! πŸ˜‰ ). But what I wanted, was to become a teacher, and that I couldn’t as my father did not accept for his daughter to receive a state grant…. So, after hardly talking to him for 2 years of my life I made my peace with him and I became a secretary, later PA, and, and more and I made FAR more money doing that well, I could go places (with a teacher’s certificate, on every level, you could only teach in the one county you lived!) and countries, and I always had well paid, very interesting and fascinating work to do. I absolutely couldn’t understand, when that colouring fad started, how anybody older than 5yrs could love to do that. Then, my middle sister spoke about offering herself some of those colouring books for Christmas and I nearly fainted….. She says, they calm her and she’s doing something when else she couldn’t occupy said time (like waiting at the surgery, doctor, hospital, where much, far too much of her time was spent….). And so I’ve made peace with the colouring books πŸ™‚


  2. I like line drawing more than coloring within the lines too. Color is not my strong point.


    • I was always trying to draw horses. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I kept trying. I’d like to say that after all the trying I got it right, but I didn’t. I was still doing really lame drawings of horses 20 years later. I was sure one day, I’d get it.


  3. Gary and Dan have a lot in common… πŸ™‚ Coloring inside lines is not my thing… But, I am a doodler!


  4. I’ve always admired coloring. It’s saved my sanity a bit in my later life too. It’s so relaxing to me that I can’t be tense nor upset when I’m doing it. I took some pens (I like them better than colored pencils for that kind of thing) and a book of patterns when I had knee surgery. I could focus on getting a pattern ‘just so’ and it’d help me forget about the pain and the immobility of my situation. The nurses actually brought people to look at those pictures on my bulletin board and were sad to see them go when I left. We all have gifts and it’s heartening to me that it’s that way. How dull if we all liked the same things, hmmm?


  5. Awhile back I thought I might get into coloring books. At that time, Anne Belov had just published her panda coloring book, so I bought that along with a 64-count box of Crayolas. The artwork in the coloring book is too nice to deface with my crayon scribbles, and I kind of lost interest in the whole coloring thing anyway (I think it was a about the same time that I started dabbling in photography). So I have a coloring book and brand new crayons in a drawer just waiting for someone to come over who’s really into that trend.


    • To me, coloring is like painting a picture with lines that tells you which colors go in which areas. For some it appears relaxing. For me, it’s another job to get done. Photography is much more entertaining πŸ˜€


  6. I loved colouring books as a child but never coloured in the lines. Do you remember paper dolls?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved the IDEA of paper dolls but never managed to cut them well. I always clipped off pieces. AND the paper wasn’t sturdy enough. They should have been on something sturdy like oak tag or very thin cardboard. I never gave up trying but didn’t have the right scissors. I suspect if you want to do them right, you need very sharp thin, scissors, like hair-cutting shears. You know — the sort of scissors your mother would NEVER let you use (you’ll poke your eye out). But I loved all the great outfits those dolls came with!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Most my Art is just line drawings. Black and white. I didn’t use colour much.
    Many of the great illustrators – Shepard/Winnie the Pooh; Tenniel/Alice in Wonderland; Inga Moore/Wind in the Willows; – and many more did much work like that – and it’s great stuff. They also did colour – or later colourized their work.
    S’all good to me.
    I like that top image a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually have a filter called “coloring book” that turns pictures into perfect black & white pictures. BUT it only works on strong colors where it can find the lines, so I had to use another filter to darken the lines. It worked best on the two squirrels, worst on the birds and wouldn’t work at all on the Goldfinch (too yellow, no hard dark lines).

      I always did my painting first with all black outlines, then I painted in my OWN lines, though a lot of the time, I liked the outlines better than the colored paintings.


  8. My working class family was never into creative design and I grew up with colouring books. It never came to my mind to draw something myself, it was not in the family curriculum I suppose and was never encouraged. Today my colouring is all done on the computer, but sometimes I have a little urge to create something myself.


    • My mother painted. She always wanted to be an artist and she had a bit of talent, but it was the depression and even though she had a scholarship for art school, her mother said she had to go out to work. But she spent her life trying to get it right. I don’t think she ever did. She never took the basic courses she needed.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. And don’t forget that squirrels don’t like to be told what to do either. I don’t think they’re colorers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, but the squirrels came out really well. I quite liked the way they turned out. I have a special “coloring book” filter that turns the right kind of photograph into just black and white lines. It doesn’t work on every picture — there need to be strong dark lines to begin with. The squirrels and the Cardinal came out best. Especially the squirrels!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • During my working days, I used to get mail with letters featuring blunt crayon messages. Usually unintelligble but the messages were still obvious.


    • Yes, what Squirrel said….


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