Kol Ami gets lesson in artful gratitude

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Joanne Fink Zoom Screenshot
Joanne Fink demonstrates coloring techniques at the Zoom workshop. (Screenshot)

For adults, coloring can be relaxing, said Orlando-based artist Joanne Fink, who led a Zoom art workshop for two dozen members of Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community in Arlington.

On Sunday, they printed, drew on and colored greeting cards Fink designed to show gratitude to others. Here are five tips Fink gave participants on enjoying coloring as an adult.


It’s relaxing. “It is a stress reducer,” she said. “And so, while you are making these cards to show appreciation for others, it hopefully will have the impact of reducing your blood pressure and making you feel a lot calmer.”

When drawing patterns, start simple and embellish later. “Patterning looks best when it’s rhythmic,” she said. “As long as the pattern is rhythmic, it’s going to look good. The specifics of it are not as critical as the rhythm.”

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Color in different directions.“You’ll notice that I am moving my colored pencil in different directions because I don’t want to see lines,” she told the group. “This is more homogenous, and I wanted the homogenous kind of look.”

Joanne Fink
Joanne Fink (Photo courtesy of Joanne Fink)

Text and lettering can be used to personalize the designs. Fink said going back to add strokes over letters can give them weight. “Having that little bit of flair just automatically gives the eye an anchor point of interest. So, I think that’s another tip I can share with you: Don’t be afraid to go back and outline or enhance anything that is on your sheet originally.”


If you make a mistake, cover it up with an additional line. “One, it covers up the mistakes I’ve made. And two, it adds interest to the design. It gives the eye a place to focus and so I encourage you to add a little bit of weight,” she said. WJW

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