How to Use 8 Important Art Movements to Inspire Your Adult Coloring Style
Give your adult coloring pages a stylish twist by incorporating inspiration from these major fine art movements.
By Thea Voutiritsas
Looking to change up your coloring style? Try drawing inspiration from some of the most revolutionary movements in art history. Since the 1600s (and even before!), artists have been experimenting with light, color, and emotion in their work. With each new period comes unique concepts and techniques that you can add to your coloring repertoire. Use these eight awe-inspiring famous art movements to push your creative boundaries just like the greats.
Artists Known for This Style: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque
This 20th-century style makes use of simple geometric shapes from different angles and viewpoints to create an almost 3D image with plenty of texture and movement. Recreate this look by coloring squares or triangles in the large open spaces of your coloring pages. Try angling the shapes in different ways to compliment the surface of your image by using lighter colors to shade shapes facing the light, and darker colors in areas away from the light. The lighter shapes will seem to come forward, while the darker shapes will recede, giving your coloring page depth and dimension.
2. Pop Art
Artists Known for This Style: Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein
Give your coloring pages a mod twist by using dots and solid blocks of bright, bold colors for an Andy Warhol-inspired look. Focus on creating stark contrasts between colors, like purple and yellow. Look to pair complementary colors (or colors that are across the color wheel from one another) for inspiration when you’re planning those color combos.
Artists Known for This Style: Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Signac
Pointillism is a simple technique that, with patience, can make a big impact. Apply small dots of a few different colors in patterns to form a larger image. Experiment with different tools and colors to see how different dot sizes and densities can change the look of your coloring pages.
4. Abstract Expressionism
Artists Known for This Style: Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko
Abstract Expressionism had its hay day in the 40s and 50s, and focuses more on emotional expression than accurate recreation. Jackson Pollock’s splatter paint art is a prime example of this movement. Abstract Expressionism is a great excuse to break some rules and let loose in your coloring practice! For a little more inspiration on how to incorporate abstract techniques into your coloring pages, browse Posh Coloring Studio artist Alisa Burke’s colorful Instagram feed and see how she thinks outside the lines of her own works of art.
Artists Known for This Style: Henri Matisse, André Derain
While paintings in the fauvist style portrayed fairly accurate shapes, colors were exaggerated and much more expressionistic. Get creative with your color choices by swapping out subtle tones for brighter or louder ones. Fauvist painters were more worried about shapes and shadows than blending, so don’t be afraid to loosen your wrist and even get a little messy when you blend. Brush and pencil strokes will add character!
Artists Known for This Style: Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Reubens, Johannes Vermeer
This 17th and 18th-century style incorporates rich, deep colors and dark shadows to create drama. The strong contrast between light and shadow is called “chiaroscuro.” This sounds complicated, but the gist is to exaggerate the darkest and lightest areas of your work.
Artists Known for This Style: Antoine Watteau, Francois Boucher
Rococo is almost as fun to say as it is to recreate. Also called “late Baroque,” Rococo was equally as theatrical as the baroque period, but much more ornate. To recreate this style, choose coloring pages with intricate detail, or add in your own details. Focus on creating soft highlights and imagine things to be glow-y and angelic as you color.
Artists Known for This Style: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh
This 19th-century movement uses small, delicate brush strokes and focuses on accurately depicting light, especially over water. The perfect inspiration? Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies. Impressionist paintings are often meant to be viewed from a distance. Rather than getting caught up in small details, keep focused on how light will look in the bigger picture as you color.
Feel free to experiment with different styles to see what suits you best. And don’t be afraid to mix and match techniques across different time periods. Every artist had to be the first to try something new. Why not you?