Many of the coloring pages found on the Net are the print-and-play variety. Print out the black and white picture and use your crayons to color them in. Today's sites, however, are virtual coloring books you color, paint and draw right on your computer screen. These interactive coloring pages are great for preschoolers, kindergarteners and budding artists of all ages.
This site hits the mark with a large selection of pictures and the ability to e-mail your completed masterpieces to friends and family with a personal note. Not only can you fill the pictures with colors, but also with patterns such as twinkling stars, grass or granite. Free registration allows you to save completed pictures in your personal gallery, and to change the background color of the site. My only complaint is the annoying screen refresh each time color is applied.
Now for something totally different: Kaleidoscope Painter creates colorful spiraling fractal designs based on the movement of your mouse. You can change the effects by moving your mouse or resizing the brush. You can even put it on Auto and watch as the mesmerizing lacy designs create themselves. Guaranteed to capture your imagination.
Just when you think you know how to color online, Puzzle Factory comes along with new rules. Instead of clicking on a color, select it with a keyboard letter ("r" for red or "b" for blue) and hold that key down while you drag your mouse over the picture. What a fun way to learn letters! To change the size of your paintbrush (they call it a pencil), simply tap a number from 0 to 9. Want to share the fun? Pick any of the coloring pages, and send it to a friend as a postcard.
These four Shockwave pictures from the cartoonist Radicalman are equipped with not just one palette of colors, but four that range from pastel to bold. Another unique feature is Scramble, which automatically colors the picture with a selection of random colors. Very young point-and- clickers will enjoy being able to paint an entire picture with a single click -- and watching the colors change with each subsequent click.
Up To Ten is my pick of the day for their originality, variety, bright colors and great sound effects. Over the span of my coloring career, I have come to expect the pictures I am coloring to be still. So, imagine my delight upon discovering animated coloring pictures! Each picture colors a little differently (some require mouse clicks, and others operate with drags) and learning how to color each one is part of the fun. Up To Ten is a must-see site for artists of all ages.