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Old 10-19-2017, 05:43 AM   #1
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Question Coloring recommendations for a senior beginner?

Pencils only... + gel pens... or markers...


My FIL recently passed away so hubby and I go over to my MIL's house to help out with financial stuff weekly. Yesterday I decided to take a coloring book for something to do while they were on the computer. When she saw it she made a comment that she used to love to color when she was younger and has thought about getting one. So naturally I would love to surprise her with a book and coloring medium next time we go over there.



Question is though what medium/brands should I give her. I don't want to spend a small fortune on higher end brands that she may used for a while and then abandon but don't want to give her stuff that is so bad it is frustrating to use and looks terrible when you color with it. Honestly she is the very thrifty type and if I spend much $$ she would probably feel guilty and never use whatever I give her.


I don't expect her to suddenly become an avid stamper and mixed media artist at 80+ years old but she gets lonely and depressed at times, especially at night. This would give her something to do to help take her mind off missing her husband.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:58 AM   #2
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That is very sweet of you. I would suggest the pencils. Those would be easy to use. There is a basic Prisms pencil set that comes in a tin. I bought a set at Wal-Mart. Sounds like a great gift for her.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Stacy,

Really nice thing for you to do. I've tried using markers and I stink at them so I've moved on and recently started using pencils and have, of course, tried out a few of the 'affordable' brands. I really like the Dick Blick brand pencils. When I started using them it was like the Angels were singing because you can get a few layers of these before they bloom. I probably spent enough money trying all those brands wherein I could've just bought the expensive ones! I previously tried Colore', Spectrum Noir, and some brand that didn't even print their name on the pencils so I don't remember who they are. The Blicks are sold separately or come in a set of 72 even though there are 91 colors (tin or wood case depending on how much you want to spend and how easily she could mange a long thin tin that could go wonky - speaking from experience! I put mine in a lovely case from Amazon). I think the 72 would work fine in regards to the range of colors. I would include a few of the blender pencils, as well; they work beautifully.

Besides how well they color I like the price and ability to purchase colors separately because of how much you have to sharpen colored pencils.

Blick webpage:

https://www.dickblick.com/products/b...cils-and-sets/

Amazon case:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If she's going to stamp, I've found the type of paper also makes quite a difference with these pencils. Watercolor paper with some tooth grabs the colors and makes them vibrant but I really needed to go over the images a lot with the blender. The paper made specifically for colored pencils worked well, as did the mixed media paper.

I hope my 2 cents regarding my experimenting with colored pencils is helpful and I'm very sorry for the loss of your FIL; your MIL is blessed to have you.

Last edited by fifiwesfan; 10-19-2017 at 07:10 AM..
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:08 AM   #4
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Ahem, being member of the senior citizen persuasion, I love to color with good pencils (get the ones that say...soft) and because of arthritis I would add some of those cushiony tubes to slip on the pencils. I love gel pens. Kaiser crafts makes the best. A pack of 24 costs around$14. I usually mix pencils with gels when I color.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:36 AM   #5
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Walmart has a large box of colored pencils by the brand Cra-Z-Art, and I thought they were as good as, if not better than, my expensive Prismacolor pencils. The box I bought at walmart, that I think has 72 pencils, cost $5.72.

I would also include for her a pencil sharpener and a white eraser.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:37 AM   #6
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What a lovely idea! Long story, but when I did some volunteer work with some older ladies ... the loved coloring in a coloring page type project.

On the coloring book side ... single sided pages are the best, imho. There are some nice post card and greeting card sized coloring books, fun to do, and not so intimidating. Also ... if she's comfortable on the internet and using a printer, there are many sites with printable pages to play with.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:19 AM   #7
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What a lovely idea! I got my mum a postcard-sized colouring book and she enjoys the smaller format of that - as Jeanie says, it can be a bit less intimdating. When she was unwell recently and didn't want to read or even watch TV, she found she was still able to do some colouring and enjoy it so that was a bit of diversion for her.

I bought a set of 72 Marco Raffine pencils for a friend's daughter who wanted to graduate to more "grown up" colouring. You can get a set plus pencil roll for storage on Amazon for about $20 at the moment. They seem good quality, soft cores and a decent amount of pigment. She enjoys using them and makes sure her younger brother knows they're hers, not shared!
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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This is so sweet of you. I have Crayola pencils and I have never tried out the expensive brands so I am in no way comparing. But I am pretty happy with my Crayola ones. They are a set of 50 for around $6. I am not hesitant to use or sharp them as they are not pricey and I love all the color selection I get from that set. It is also easy to blend them.

You could maybe also consider getting water based brush pens like Tombows. I have those and love them immensely. Easier and faster to color in images with Tombows than with color pencils.


Never tried out the alcohol markers so can't really say which medium would be better.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:27 AM   #9
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I would also suggest colored pencils, and if you're ok with shopping online, my recommendation is Prismacolors - they're essentially top-of-the-line pencil with lovely soft lead, but you can still get a pack of 24 for under 10$ on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Prismacolor-P...dp/B00006IEEU/

Or if you want to go all out, you can get a set of 72 colors for only 24$:
https://www.amazon.com/Prismacolor-P...dp/B000E23RSQ/
(I paid 50$ for that same set a couple of years ago, and even then it was an amazing bargain)

In addition, I would also add a metallic gel pen like this one - because it's fun to add some shiny detail:
https://www.amazon.com/Uni-Ball-Impa...dp/B00ODS5YMY/
https://www.amazon.com/Uni-Ball-Sign.../dp/B00MIEEU2A
Since both of them come in a set of 3, you could keep a couple for yourself too.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:19 PM   #10
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Well, you're talking to a real cheapskate here.

I use colored pencils all the time (I'm a senior, too). My brand of choice is Crayola. I watched some videos about coloring and can blend my pencils just fine. If I'm lucky I can find boxes of them at Goodwill!! My stash grows all the time.

Also, I bought some inexpensive Watercolor pencils at JoAnn's with a coupon. I can bet your MIL could do that technique if you show her how it's done. Aqua brushes are inexpensive,, too.

As far as books/coloring materials, I'd give her a smaller book but with images that have larger spaces. Sometimes, my eyes go crossed trying to color those teeny tiny flower petals, etc.

Most of all, enjoy, brings back memories of the days when coloring was something kids did to pass the time.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:29 PM   #11
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I was going to suggest what Emily (SkyNacho) did - the Walmart Cra-Z-Art 72 pack of colored pencils are dirt cheap, and work great. I'm not at all good at coloring, and find colored pencils are much more forgiving than markers for sure.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:26 AM   #12
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I thought I was done adding to my pencil collection but now I MUST try the Crayolas and Cra-Z-Arts.

Thank you for the enabling!
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:37 AM   #13
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I bought a box of 72 pencils for a Parkinson's patient with some minor dementia issues and he was totally overwhelmed. He had enjoyed his 12 pencil set so much that I thought I would "help him out". He rejects the 72 set and goes for the 12 set all the time.

I'm not saying your MIL would have this issue, but I just wanted to share my experience.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:35 AM   #14
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total pencil lover here too ( and I own lots of colors in most brands) so one thing I would add to your list, is maybe go by M's and pick up a ( they sell them loose on the shelf so you could use a coupon is a
prisma color colorless blender marker. ( it will melt the pigments) and its not a big messy thing like using gamsol and a stub... ( depending on the thickness of the paper of the coloring book)
(and show her to just scribble the pen on a scrap to clean off between switching colors in the image)
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:37 AM   #15
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one more thought, esp. if you pick say prisma pencils to buy a good sharpener is a big deal... and this one ( Dina recommended it) I have two its fantastic.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006CQW2LQ...=2A4X7IT1S5OCT
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:56 AM   #16
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Thank you for all the replies.

I'll probably get some Crayola or Cra-Z-Art pencils but am still on the fence about gel pens. Maybe a gold and silver to start with, then go from there if she decides she likes and continues to color. Never even thought about too many colors being overwhelming, thanks for pointing that out.

Y'all are right about getting simpler designs with larger coloring spaces too. I have gone back and forth about the size of the coloring book I should get. Smaller book ( which was what I was using ) may be less intimidating but coloring areas would be smaller in general. Guess it will depend on what I find, there aren't as many around to choose from as this time last year.



Thanks again for your imput.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:54 PM   #17
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my most favorite gel pen is white followed by a clear glitter one called stardust by gellyroll. ( I hardly ever reach for gold or silver) so, I guess it would depend on the kind of coloring book you buy?

just another random thought, I think this is a fabulous gift you are giving her
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:37 PM   #18
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I am sorry for the loss.

I like the idea of postcard size. You can get pre-prints from a number of places...working on a single piece vs juggling a coloring book would be easier I think? A number of companies make them.

Then, if they come out nicely-you can take them and turn them into cards she can use! Or if she does a pattern page, you could cut it down and add sentiments to it. Or prep sentiments with double sided tape and she can decide which to stick on.

https://www.simonsaysstamp.com/produ...ht-SZGRA17/977

BTW-you may be able to make them for her too. CAS is a nice look.

I might start with 24 colors. You can either give her inexpensive ones suggested here or the kind you use so if she doesnt take to it, you can use them. That way she will be honest if she doesnt like them knowing you would use them.

If it she takes to it, you could move to wc pencils of pens and an aqua brush and an acrylic block. Scribble the pen and pick it up with the brush. Easy painting.

I have a single senior female neighbor who has totally jumped into coloring. Now she advanced and is sketching.

I would also suggest you color with her in the beginning a couple of times. Just hang out, watch a movie, reassure her about it and color-gives her company and gets her started out. If you get along with her well enough that is. (not asking, just saying)
You can tell her it is all the rage and everyone is doing it.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:05 PM   #19
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Don't know why I forgot about this:

You could stamp some larger images for her to color. My sister and I do this often, we are both stampers and we share our stamps that way. We stamp on different kinds of card stock, or watercolor paper and then cut them out and use them on our card fronts.

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Old 10-22-2017, 06:39 AM   #20
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I inherited some Crayola markers and discovered that they are water color pens. They are cheap and can be found in the kids area in HL or M's. I copy some pages of my coloring book. Why? well if I like the pattern I might want to use it again and some books have flimsy pages. Be aware if you want to use water ©color you need to use water color paper.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:38 AM   #21
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For those who copy pages onto watercolor paper, what kind of printer has ink that doesn’t smear when exposed to water?
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:28 AM   #22
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I use a Brother printer and don't have trouble with it smearing.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:45 PM   #23
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I'm late to this.....but Dick Blick has a great sale right now on Prisma colored pencils. Oh, and don't forget to get her a good pencil sharpener!
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:40 PM   #24
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Please tell us what you chose and if she loved your gift. How very thoughtful you are!
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:08 AM   #25
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Hello - what a great idea for her. As for dsigns to color - Dollar Tree has some very nice coloring books with larger patterns.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:57 AM   #26
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What a great idea! I think ALL ages love to color. Another vote for pencils. They do not have to be expensive, as long as they are of decent quality. I think the Crayola brand might even be quite comforting in a familiar way. They work well. As others have said, you can make her some smallish sized pieces she can tuck in her bag, by stamping a nice open/detailed outline stamp in permanent black. As was stated before for highlighting, a white gel pen and clear star pen are sensational for a small price.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:14 AM   #27
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Everyone has such great advice and opinions. I love the idea of you getting her something to take her mind off of everyday lonliness and coloring fits the bill. Your such a thoughtful DIL. Please let everyone know what you finally decided on and your MIL's reaction. I'm sure we all would like to hear a follow up.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:42 AM   #28
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I'm a little late in responding, but wanted to toss this out there. Perhaps you can also give her a small box of crayons too? Crayola crayons have that wonderful smell, and it may remind her of her kids/grandkids. Plus, there's something wonderful doubt picking up a new crayon to color.

My mom is 71 and she recently sent me a colored Halloween photo. To say I was shocked is an understatement (she is not a paper crafter). She used crayons and did a great job. So crayons are fun at any age!
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:42 PM   #29
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Another vote from me for the Cra-Z-Art pencils - great for a starter set and lots of colours. I'd recommend the Stardust gel pen to add a bit of clear sparkle to some areas.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:49 AM   #30
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Just wanted to add a note here-colored pencils are a yes! But I would go for a higher quality brand. You could even go to a student grade pencil set - Faber Castell, Prismacolor, or something like that. You could get those at Hobby Lobby or Michael's and use a coupon. I am by no means an expert, but I found the Crazy Art brand frustrating because I had to work harder to a decent depth of color. I like the Crayola, but they are a rather hard pencil. So if your MIL has arthritis issues you may need to take that into consideration. And by all means, a blender pencil works with any pencil.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:43 PM   #31
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I'd start with one of the cheapish suggestions for a pack of 24. She can always get more if she gets into it. Also as an older person she may not have terrific colour differentiation so 24 colours may be as good as 72. I'd also get get a quality pencil sharpener as a cheap one is hard to use for older hands. Last I'd recommend a book with larger spaces rather than tiny sections. Again, older eye sight.
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