The Chalk-Style Holiday Coloring Book – Review


“Chalk-Style Holiday Coloring Book” by Valerie MCKeehan, Design Originals an imprint by Fox Chapel Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4972-0164-4, $9,99 or 6,99€

The “Chalk Style Holiday Coloring Book” caught my attention because I hadn’t seen coloring books with a black background before. The colors are so much brighter this way.


Valerie’s colored samples

The book starts out with an introduction of the author, handletterer and chalk-style artist Valerie McKeehan. She gives a short insight into her work how she transfers her pencil sketches on the chalk board and digitalizing them to add color on her computer. Valerie includes many of her colored examples to inspire her audience.

Tips and tricks on coloring in chalk-style art help you to get the best effect for your picture. Valerie suggests using gel-pens to add your own design on the black background. I would also use a white pen to create extra (snow) decorations. Gold and silver pens add a festive touch to it. She also uses layering and shading to create 3D-effects in the drawings. To learn more about these techniques, stay tuned for my series “How to Color”.

The individually detachable pages are made of acid-free paper under fair-trade principles. Each page has a quote on the back and space to include a personal message.

In a section called “Color Theory” Valerie serves you with basic ideas of combining and mixing colors. Here she says to use black and white to create shades and tints, but I would rather advise you to use complementary colors on the color circle. If you use black or white the color might fade and lose its brightness with the black background. Try it and see which effect you like better. In case you need suggestions for color pallets, Valerie gives you a choice of colors and her fully colored picture on “super easy coloring pages”.


super easy coloring page

Pencils suit the typical chalk-style best, even though the colors might need some layering to make them stand out more. Gel pens can create a great contrast to the black background and Valerie even recommends neon colors for highlights. The only disadvantage of some of the designs is that the drawings presuppose certain colors, because you would not normally color a Christmas tree blue or yellow. Hence, there are limited color options, if you want to make the pictures look authentic and realistic.

If you are a beginner and you still have trouble staying in the lines, this book makes it easy for you to practice, since the black background hides your mishaps better than white paper does.

Some of the designs feature a drawn recipe that will sweeten-up your holidays.

Since I love Christmas, I cannot get enough of this book! There are so many playful designs with wonderful lettering that get you in the Christmas mood. You can find the “Chalk-Style Holiday Coloring Book” by Design Originals on amazon.

In case you are looking for a non-Christmas item, there are various other themes available such as “Blessings”, “Simple Life”, “Nature”, and “Garden”.


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