The process behind a colouring book design

I'm excited to be working on some designs for a North East colouring book. Some of the locations that I am drawing, I've already sketched out so I thought it would be a good idea to share the process with you.

As I said in an earlier blog post, I want some of the locations to be less obvious than the well known landmarks. Last year I took an hour out to do some sketches at Plessey woods in Northumberland. One of those sketches was the road bridge that takes you over the river Blyth. I loved the reflections in the water and the structure of the bridge.

I almost always take a phone pic of the scene that I've sketched. For reference in case I want to do anything more with the view. So for this design, I had the photo and the sketch for reference.

Drawing a colouring in design means you have to simplify a lot of the detail, especially in trees and foliage. My designs tend to have a lot of space for colourists to do their own shading if they like.

I enjoy seeing the different versions side by side here and it would be interesting to see a coloured in version of the design next to them as well.

Plessey bridge


Up to now, I've only done a couple of designs so the book won't be out for a while yet. You can follow me on any of my social media platforms for updates. Links are below.




I now have an author page on Amazon, so you can view all of my colouring books in one place!

Thank you for reading, and if you'd like to find out more about my design process, you may like this article about preparing a colouring book.

Add new comment

Subscribe to my newsletter

* indicates required

Gillian Cross Art will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please confirm by clicking the email box below, that you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.