Colorist Highlight – Diane Blair

One of my favorite things is seeing the vision that colorists bring to my work. I’ve often been stuck in a little rut of what I see the piece as, and then when they add color, I’m amazed and delighted.  Every once in awhile, a colorist comes along and manages to create something similar to the original without ever having SEEN the original.  I find that fascinating.

Butterfly Queen – Colored by Diane Blair
My Original Watercolor painting

For this piece, the original was set as unlisted on Etsy, not listed on any website while I put Weirdlings & Wildlings together.

Diane Blair is an incredible colorist. She’s the one who created the wonderful piece of At Peace for the front cover of the book, Weirdlings & Wildlings, and is such an awesome human being as well. She is talented. When I saw her version of “At Peace,” the entire book cover idea came to me and I knew that this image was just what I needed.


So, having worked with her for a few months now, I wanted to know more about Diane.

“I only started colouring late last year and immediately became addicted. I bought all the books that appealed to me on the shelves, all Johanna Basford’s and many others. I quickly had a pile of 15 books. THEN I found Joseph Shivery’s artwork and became addicted to his stuff, bought his first book and coloured to my heart’s content, then got more involved by entering a competition to colour the cover for his second book.

I didn’t win, but did get to order my cover on my own book. So colouring continued as my addiction, and I did the same thing with his 3rd book. During this time, I started amassing supplies.

At the beginning, I bought a 48 pack of Faber Castel Classics and a pack of 12 Steadtler Fine Liners. Loved both at the time, BUT had to have more. Bought Marco Raffines, Marco Reniors and Marco Metallics on line as we cant buy them in NZ. Loved them more, then heard about Faber Castell Polychromos and splurged and bought the tin of 60. Well I was totally hooked on them, everything else took a back seat from then on and I have used some colours so much I have had to replace about 5 of them.

I love gel pens, but only for small spaces as I have never learnt to fill large areas without lines.  The only other pens or markers I use is a black brush pen for the black backgrounds I love to do. My favourite is the ZIG Art & Graphic Twin brush pen. Unfortunatley, not refillable but I find the brush nicer to use than others I have tried and it has a nice fine tip on the other end instead of a blunt chisel type.

I found Shelah Dow and her weird and wonderful fairies and elves and again I was hooked. It has been a fun journey having the privilage of helping Shelah, secretely colouring her pictures for her book Weirdlings and Wildlings. And I have been very blessed for one of my colourings to be chosen for the front cover of this book and another on the back.

Needless to say Shelah’s book is at the top of my pile of favourites, as are more of her drawings of dragons and cats that I have been lucky enough to be able to colour. Along with Joe’s 3 books, even Animorphia and Imagimorphia and Jasmine Becket-Griffith’s books are just underneath them and hardly get bought out any more, but I do love them. Sadly, everything else I originally bought has not been used for months now. So it’s pretty obvious my preference is very much for the Weird and Wild and not at all ordinary. So Shelah’s artwork suits me perfectly, and I am so enjoying my journey with her.”

What I do know is that I’m thankful to know Diane and already she’s putting forth amazing pieces for my next upcoming book. There could be another cover with her work in the future!

Please enjoy some of Diane’s other favorite colored pieces.




International Cat day!

I like to add in a special freebie once in awhile. I couldn’t resist adding one for International Cat Day since my fairy cat book is currently in the works! This is Ornery Lou. He is a simpler style than most of my cats and more cartoony and playful. You can click on get the printable PDF below his image. He’s a limited time only freebie! – His time has passed now as of 8/12/2016.

Don’t worry though! I’m working on a whole book for this ornery little guy!

Did you have the chance to color Lou? I’d love to see it! I will gladly add him to a gallery of colored images with your name. Lou-ShelahDowArt-ColoringPageHappyIntlCatDay