About Vintage Coloring

Vintage: noun  – vin·tage\ˈvin-tij\ – Embodies excellence and enduring appeal; classic.

Curator Prime (Heidi Berthiaume) has loved coloring for quite some time. The current proliferation of adult coloring books (books of increased detail in the drawings, usually intended for those interested in using colored pencils or markers over crayons), does wonders for her daily mood and the reduction of her bank account balance.

Big Ben from All The Colors of Magic coloring book by James A. Owen

She noticed, however, after a time, the designs and styles of these adult coloring books tended to blend together for her. A noticeable exception was the All The Colors Of Magic coloring book by James A. Owen.

Here was a ludicrous amount of detail that made her fledgling attempts at using colored pencils look like she knew what she was doing. This pleased her. Each illustration was also based on a scene or cover from a novel, therefore there was inherent story to why the lines were created, another aspect rarely found in the current crop of adult coloring books. Curator Prime searched for more such story-based, detailed illustrations … and was disappointed.

Through her virtual wanderings of museum and archival websites, and physical browsings of the Nostalgia/Collections/Old Stuff sections of bookstores, she did find a treasure trove of public domain artists and illustrations.

A very, very, very large treasure trove of artists and illustrations.

And as with most treasure, the really good stuff was buried. It is one thing to have all knowledge at one’s fingertips. It’s another thing entirely to find what one is searching for within that mass of knowledge. But the idea for vintage coloring books had sparked and neither inadequately tagged material, poor online connections, nor any requirement to go to sleep before 4 am would stop Curator Prime from her goal. The domain was purchased, a proof of concept proven, the website created, and here we find ourselves today, where the first Vintage Coloring book, The Art of Charles Robinson, Volume 1, went on sale November 11, 2015.

Example scan from Vintage ColoringAll images are curated from scans of books published prior to 1923.  Due to the condition of the scans and sometimes the original source material, images require electronic and manual “clean-up”. The resulting linework is kept as close to the original as possible, though some variation does occur so if necessary, images can be proven to have come from Vintage Coloring.

The illustrations contained within the vintage coloring books and Free Coloring Page Friday posts are for your personal coloring enjoyment. These illustrations, colored or not, are not for re-sale in any format or variance, such as on products (cards, mugs, tshirts, Cafe Press, Zazzle, etc.) or in electronic collections (clip art, PDFs, etc.).

An incredible amount of work has been given to this endeavor, to bring these artists and artwork back into the world’s awareness, and Curator Prime appreciates your respect of her efforts.