1920s Coloring Book Cover

In March I started the online Make Art That Sells course, Assignment Bootcamp.  The course is basically a portfolio-building course, which lasts for 6 months.   At the beginning of each month, we are giving a mini assignment to make sketches and studies of a particular theme and then the following week we are given an assignment, to be posted at the end of the month.  While we are doing the mini assignment, in that first week, we don't yet know what our sketches will be used for.  The final monthly assignment might be anything from home decor items to fabric design.  During the month, we can post our sketches and assignments to a private Facebook page, for the class. There we can interact with other participants, receive feedback on our work and see what others are doing.  At the end of the month our final project is posted to a public class gallery, which can be viewed here. It's great to see all the different styles and interpretations of the project.

For our March mini assignment, we were asked to draw 1920s hairstyles.  As a huge fan of vintage  fashion, I was very excited for this assignment. I own a great vintage book called "Fashion Drawing & Design" by Luie M. Chadwick, published in the 1920s. It is full of great fashion drawings and is what I used for my research when creating my sketches. It was great fun researching and drawing the 20s hair and hat styles. I mainly sketched women's styles, but at the last minute decided I should throw in some gents as well. I don't draw men very often, so figured it would be good practice. 

In week two, we were given our March Assignment.  For this month we were asked to take out sketches and use them to design and illustrate a cover for a 1920s themed coloring book.  I took some of the sketches from my mini assignment and designed the illustration for my cover.  I decided to illustrate a 20s couple, with lots of art deco patterning.  I drew a rough sketch and then finalized the drawing and outlined in with pen and ink.


Part of the assignment was to partially color the illustration. If used as a coloring book cover, it helps to attract a buyer's attention and gives them an idea on how it could be colored in. For this, I scanned my pen and ink drawing and brought it into Photoshop.  From there I played with different color 1920s color palettes.

I ultimately decided on a limited color palette of green, grey and gold, with red accents.  I really wanted to highlight the figures so kept part of the background uncolored.  I also wanted the fringe of the woman's dress to really stand out, so left that uncolored as well.


I have seen adult coloring books in stores, but until this point they weren't something that really interested me at all.  However, I learned that really loved illustrating for them. It suited my style of illustration perfectly and was great fun to do.  I'd really love to do more of these and plan to continue with more illustrations, in this theme, to have enough for a complete coloring book.

If you are interested in coloring this yourself, you can download a PDF of the uncolored illustration to print and color.  Just click the button below to download.  This is for personal use only.  Please do not redistribute or alter in any way.