PET PORTRAITS from photos

Welcome! to the Inky Colouring book series!


I'd love to see your version of my designs!

-use the hashtag #inkyocean #inkygarden or #inkycolouringbooks on your social media platforms, or send me an email.





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Enquiries email: [email protected]

Some colouring tips, and designs from the books which I have coloured in myself, as examples of what they can look like.






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Helen Elliston Inky ocean adult colouring book ill

Inky Ocean: 106 pages of single-sided 54 large hand-drawn illustrations, plus some smaller illustrations on the left pages.




Demonstrating (from top left to bottom right)

solid, stippled, hatching, cross-hatching, scumbling, and another form of cross-hatching.





IMAGE2: blending two colours...

Demonstrating (from top left to bottom right)

pencil faded over pen, stippling, loose lines, hatching, pencil only,





An expanse of white can be daunting to some, a creative opportunity to others... it is okay to leave white space in artwork, but if you prefer to fill it in there that is your opportunity to be creative! If you don't want just a solid colour there is plenty you can do... embellish with your own doodles, or use some colouring techniques to make it more visually interesting, a light source, blend two or more colours together to create a rainbow effect, add an ocean swishing water background (see below) crosshatch...

IMAGE3: creating a background ocean with varying colour





The stages of me colouring this mermaid design...


I decided to keep the background in mainly blues and greens, and the other areas in warmer tones, so that the mermaid, gems and starfish would really pop off the page.  Introducing some pink/reddish tones into the blue wave background helps echo the colours around the whole design so that the foreground and background are still working together.


This is mixed media.  Pen gives a brighter hue, but the pencil gives the piece a lovely softness and of course enables shading.

DIVE CIRCLE!  (illustration from a real life underwater photograph provided by a friend)


This illustration in the book is very simplistic.  But I kept it that way to allow those who wish to attempt colouring water to do so... if you don't, then colour it any way you wish!


I used 3 blue pencils for the water: light, medium and darkest - Faber Castell pencils as I wanted to try them out. There's a hint of yellow and purple in the water too, but only a hint, plus some light to medium pressure black at the four corners of the design - so that i was creating a circle around the divers that gets lighter toward the centre.  They are oil based pencils as opposed to wax, and are great for building up more layers (dependant on the 'key' of the paper) as they do not slide over the previous layer like some wax pencils do.


The ocean was created with varying sections of light and shade using my blue pencils, - lightest first as a base - swirling around the divers (see photo) but the finishing touches of water ripples were added with a very simple technique!  


Yes... I used blue tac!!  


I find blue tac lifts the pencil off the paper better than a putty rubber, but both can be manipulated into shapes...into long shapes, narrow lengths, blob shapes...   So that isn't a blue worm crawling across my page in the photo above!  You have to knead (or fold over) the blue tac after you lay it on the paper and press it down with your fingers, because it LIFTS the colour off the page (what we want to happen) the colour then sticks to the blue tac... so it needs a clean surface of blue tac to be able to lift another area of pencil off the page.  But it works a treat!  Fantastic, quick and easy for creating a rippling ocean scene with varying size and shaped ripples...


Give it a go on scrap paper to get used to the technique!

inky ocean colouring book cover by Helen Elliston

Watch my colouring tips video demos on my Amazon author page, & on my facebook page!