Chalk It Up To Grace is a beautiful inspirational coloring book published by Paige Tate & Co. I was hoping to get this review up yesterday (National Coloring Book Day) but life happens.

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The pictures are printed on black backgrounds to look more like the chalkboard work that the artist, Shannon Roberts, is known for.

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13 of the images come in both a small and large version. There are 29 8″ x 10″ designs and 14 5″ x 7″ designs in all. The book is made of thick paper that is perforated to be easily removed but you would need scissors to cut the smaller images apart. Most of them include a scripture but a few are of inspirational phrases (such as “Let Go & Let God”). The backs of the pages are blank so you don’t  have to worry about bleed through or which one you want to display if you decide to frame one.

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I did Psalm 46:10 with colored pencils. I started out trying to do sort of realistic coloring but after realizing realistic butterflies wouldn’t show up good against the black (most have dark edges to their wings) I went a bit more fanciful. Colored pencils of course work beautifully with no show through on the back. The pencils don’t show well on the black so it’s okay if you get outside the lines a bit.

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Since this verse tells us to shine I used all my shiny gel pens; metallic, glitter, and neon. A couple of the pens had a tiny bit of show through but not enough to be an issue if you wanted to write on the back of your artwork.

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I know the publisher recommends pencils and markers but I just had to try a few other things too. This page is done with paint, most of this is watercolors but I did try both full bodied acrylics and standard acrylic craft paint too. Neither acrylic shows through and the watercolors I bought at the craft store worked fine but my Crayola watercolors actually bleed through the paper (especially the orangish red). The watercolors did crinkle the paper slightly (the acrylics didn’t seem to) but I think it will press out fairly easily. The paints will cover the black better then the pencils do (which could be good or bad). My paints were still just damp enough to make my pen not want to write in places. I plan on darkening up a few more of the lines before I press and frame this one.

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I’m working on this one with soft pastels for the chalk look. I know I will have to spray this with something to seal the pastels when I’m done. I’ve started keeping a sheet of wax paper tucked in the book to cut done on transfer to the back of the other page for now. I’ll also probably end up using a damp paintbrush to clean up the color I can’t keep in the lines. (I’ll be sure and post the end results to Twitter and Pinterest when I finish it.)

With it’s high quality paper and unique chalkboard look Chalk It Up To Grace would be a great edition to most coloring book collections. With it’s encouraging words, designs of varying difficulty, and black backgrounds that are more forgiving of mistakes (at least when using colored pencils) it might even be a perfect introduction to adult coloring for some.

This book is available from Paige Tate & Co directly, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some local Bible bookstores.


I was provided this book free for review. I was not required to give a positive review only an honest one.

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