I love crayons. I can’t get enough of them. Particularly Crayola crayons. Crayons are great for coloring existing drawings, but feel limited when I try to create a drawing from scratch. I like to have hard edge black lines and that’s difficult to do with crayons.
About two years ago, I fell in love charcoal pencil. I had tried charcoal in high school and hated it. But when I saw other people using General’s Peel & Sketch charcoal pencils, I decided to give it a try. Fantastic. Love it, except for the mess.
Now my boys are always asking me draw them Pokemon, Star Wars, or Super Heroes, so that they can color them. Charcoal gives me the flexibility I want to draw thick lines, good for coloring, but charcoal is messy. The charcoal powder gets all over the place and the drawing becomes a mess.
I figured out, through the magic of an Epson WP-4530 and Photoshop, I could to turn charcoal drawings into coloring pages. I take the following steps:
- Scan the charcoal drawing into Photoshop
- Add the Black and White adjustment layer
- Add the levels layer to get the crispness that I want
- Add a solid white background layer
- Erase the smudges from the original artwork
- Print it out
These simple steps allow me to produce a coloring page from a charcoal drawing. And the beauty of it is that the boys aren’t the only ones that get to play with crayons. I just print out an extra sheet, so that I can too.