I have had several really bad days in a row and so I really appreciate Nora's suggestion of coloring in a copy of the Mandala that I drew. I found that coloring them in to be just as relaxing as the original drawing of it was. I scanned it on my printer and than printed it onto card stock making several copies. For the first one I colored I wanted to do a quick and easy one, so I decided to keep it simple using just a few colors, using black to do the basic outlines of the designs and leaving quite a bit of white so I gathered markers of only a few colors, not paying attention to the brand. I quickly remembered why I now only buy certain brands. I use Sharpie markers, they come in many colors and points and are reasonably priced. I found with the off brands that they tend to run out of color quickly, have muddy colors, do not apply evenly and are generally somewhat frustrating to work with. Sharpies do tend to bleed though the paper, but that can be taken care of easily enough just by putting down a sheet or two of cheap paper. I don't use markers often enough to have tried the artist quality marker so I have no idea how much better they might be than the Sharpies.
This is the second Mandala that I colored. I decided to do a more complicated job of coloring. For this one I used colored pencils, regular ones, watercolor ones, and soft blend-able ones. It took a couple of days to complete this one and I just finished it this morning. I could have done more layering and blending, but I was anxious to see what it would look like completely filled with color. I think the next one I do I will take more time, do more layers and blending and more of the touches that add finesse and finish to a drawing.
Since I do most of my drawing and artwork in pencil both graphite and colored pencil I've tried several brand and have my favorites. Crayola colored pencils are my favorite student quality pencils and Crayola watercolor pencils are also available. They come in lots of colors work pretty well, are available easily and are reasonably priced. I used them for a long time. When I upgraded to artist quality I was lucky that the first ones that I tried were Derwent colored pencils. I noticed a vast difference in the ease and quality of the work done with the pencils from the very first stroke. The kids were impressed and noticed a significant difference in the quality from the first time I showed them a new drawing; and then when they used them they were just as excited as I was. This brand offers many different types of colored pencils and they are all wonderful and delightful to use. (All are available on amazon, just click on the colored pencil site above or the Amazon.com locator on the bottom right of this blog.) The colors are also very fade resistant. It's very disappointing to put a lot of time into a piece of artwork only to have the colors fade and that is a problem with colored pencils. I have tried many other brands and have found each one to have at least one frustrating point. Things like tips that break easy, pencils that drag, uneven color distribution. However, I have found that other artists have their favorites, too. But after trying some other highly recommended pencils only to be frustrated with them I now pretty well stick with Derwent. You may find you like others better because of the way you use your pencils or Derwent may not be as popular simply because it is a little harder to find; but now that it is on Amazon that problem is gone. Anyway find what works for you. The materials you use should not be a source of frustration. For me that is especially important which is probably why I got on such a band wagon about my favorite brands.
If you like to do art work I hope it brings as much pleasure and joy into your life as it does in mine. And with the bad days that I have had lately; art has made all the difference in the world in my life. Coloring in the Mandalas was a great suggestion and has served me well.