Embellishment is a decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive. Today we often see some really creative embellishments being applied to coloring pages. It can be very elaborate like adding a whole under ocean scene complete with plants, sea creatures, other fishes around the single whale illustration or simply adding bubbles around the Jelly Fishes in Johanna Basford’s Lost Ocean. Artists frequently leave empty spaces on the page to encourage embellishments. Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom has printed words throughout that ask colorist to add to the page e.g. “Draw a mountain backdrop for this dall ram”. Embellishment is a way of personalizing your color art. I truly enjoy seeing all the creativities from all the talented colonist out there. However, not everyone can draw. I mean isn’t it one of the main reasons adult coloring is so popular? We want someone else to do the drawing! Let me show you a few examples of embellishments that I have done that do not require major drawing expertise. Just need some imaginations.
Embellishment example 1: The runaway elephant
One of my favorite is the elephant in Imagimorphia. The colored page is shown above as the featured image.
Here is the original before embellishment illustration, I forgot to take a picture before I started coloring but you can still see that half the background is blank.
The way the elephant was running and stepping on the grass and disturbed all kinds of crazy things underneath made me think of an orderly elephant procession and this naughty one just runaway. I decided to draw some very distant mountains in the horizon and a silhouette of a herd of elephants in procession far away. I also added some undisturbed grass behind the elephant. Now scroll back and look at the finished work. I think the embellishments add interest to the piece. Agree?
Embellishment example 2: Embellished trees
Embellishments do not have to be realistic? It can be abstract and still convey an idea. In the following example, I was given a simple illustration of trees. It would have been a little boring if I colored them as is. I decided to embellish these trees to portray the seasons, the type of trees – fruits, flowers, etc I used simple patterns and have a lot of fun coloring these imaginary trees. On the background I tried to include colours of nature: sky, mountain, meadows, streams, ocean, and land.
Embellishment example 3: Flaming skull
This is my coloring of Johanna Basford’s Lost Ocean skull page. I wanted to portray flames in hell. The flame pattern above the skull was my addition. I think it looks like a tiara of fire.
Embellishment example 4: Plaid letters
This is a Christmas card I designed and colored for Creative Scrapbooker’s magazine. I wanted to have a little fun with the letters by creating a plaid effect. All you need is a ruler and fineliner and draw vertical and horizontal lines to make up the squares. I colored the squares with all shades of red, pink, orange in this example.
If you like to download and color this card, here’s the link.
Don’t be intimidated
Remember this is your art. There’s no right or wrong. It is a lot of fun to personalize your color art and make it uniquely yours. I hope I demonstrated that you don’t need to be an expert in drawing to add some embellishments to your work. Give it a try!