The Pencil Playbook and How You Can Win a Copy!

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The Pencil Playbook!

I’m officially smitten with activity books for adults. The coloring pages for adults are fun and all, but sometimes you want to go a step further and work from some drawing prompts.

I was sent a copy of Ana Montiel’s new book, The Pencil Playbook, cracked it open, and got to drawing. I was extra excited because the book is from Quarry publishing, the publisher I’m working with for my book, so obviously I’m in love with them already. Seriously, I love the stuff they put out.

Flipping through the book, you get a strong sense of Ana’s style- the lovely examples she gives for the exercises make the book really fun to look at, but of course you’ll be bringing your own style to the drawings you make.

drawing exercises from the pencil playbook

I started out with the exercise on page 74, making test swatches of watercolor pencils. It’s a simple exercise, but a good one to start with. Sometimes it’s intimidating to draw in an activity book at first, so this is a good warm-up exercise. Plus, how can you not like scribbling?

color swacthes

Feeling ready to tackle a big girl project, I moved on to the Plaid and Weaving exercise on page 64. I always tend toward the more graphic, contained projects, so this gave me an hour of bliss. The glass of wine I sucked down with it didn’t hurt, either.

I’ve been meaning to try drawing simple patterns on graph paper for a while, so this was perfecto.

drawing exercises from the pencil playbook

I found myself looking really closely at her example drawings at first and trying to mimic them. I think this is a natural tendency- where you feel a little nervous at not drawing something perfectly gorgeous, so you try to copy what you see. So I forced myself to just use the colors I was drawn to and draw the patterns I wanted to draw.

Here’s where I think art activity books for adults are brilliant- they give you a completely low-pressure way to experiment and play around with art techniques and ideas, all in a contained place, that you may or may not have done on your own.

INside of the Pencil PLaybook

They’re a safe place to try lots of different ideas, see what you like to do, and maybe explore some of those ideas on your own later.

Anyway, how would you like to get your fabulous paws on a copy of this book? I’ve got one to send to you, and I’ll throw in a set of my coloring pages for adults, too. POW!

All you need to do is leave a comment below, and let me know your favorite color. Then you can visit me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram for extra entries! Whoo!

Update: I’m having a bunch of people run into troubles with Rafflecopter, so if this is the case with you, just leave a comment below and let me know you had trouble! Technology is crazy.

WINNER! Jenifer Miller is the lucky winner of the book and my coloring pages. Thanks so much to everyone who entered- giveaways are so fun.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Rachel Smith
    08/17/2015 / 8:54 pm

    This book looks great! Just read a book with my daughter that described a color as looks-like-he-might-faint-again gray. That’s my current fav 🙂

    • vicky Siegel
      08/17/2015 / 9:32 pm


  2. 08/18/2015 / 12:34 am

    Tiene muy buena pinta el libro.
    Mi color preferido es el azul.

  3. inca
    08/18/2015 / 1:02 am

    love to color…favorite color of the day is ucla blue…although i looove them all

  4. Tina Ek
    08/18/2015 / 1:36 am

    Jag håller på att starta upp en Kreativ Studio i Kungsbacka där jag kommer att ha Arts & Crafts-kurser för barn o ungdom, keramikmålning, events, workshops mm. Jag kommer också ha “målarbokscafe” (som stickcafe fast målarböcker) och tänker att denna bok skulle vara ert perfekt komplement! Letar inspiration överallt och du är en väldigt bra källa!
    Kika gärna på!

  5. Elizabeth
    08/18/2015 / 3:13 pm

    My favorite color is the red wine I will be sipping following your example and trying out this book one evening 🙂

  6. 08/18/2015 / 3:29 pm

    Turquoise or gray. Mostly gray.

  7. Dottie
    08/18/2015 / 7:09 pm

    Purple… but, like, earthy purple.

  8. Melanie
    08/19/2015 / 7:28 am


  9. Nancy Guldberg
    08/19/2015 / 7:50 am

    my favorite color is cobalt blue followed closely by lime green.

  10. Maria
    08/19/2015 / 10:23 am

    Inchworm Green! (It’s a Crayola crayon color.) 🙂 Followed closely by turquoise. They make me happy.

  11. Cathy How
    08/19/2015 / 10:57 am

    I love pink!^_^

  12. Charlotte Larragoite
    08/19/2015 / 12:16 pm

    I love the blue of the ocean and the sky. 🙂

  13. Melody F
    08/19/2015 / 2:10 pm

    Oh my lands…I must have this book! I admit, I’m a wee bit jealous of my little girl when she works in the doodle books I’ve given her…and sometimes I join her!

    My favorite color is green — all shades of it! I’ve been very fond of cobalt and navy blue these days, too!

  14. Jules
    08/19/2015 / 2:35 pm

    I have not heard of that book yet, it looks fantastic! I just love red, so vibrant.

  15. 08/19/2015 / 5:17 pm

    I’m a big fan of purple. Love the blues and greens on the graph paper, though, too!

  16. 08/19/2015 / 10:07 pm

    Paper! Pencils! Quarry! Wine! Speakin’ my language! 🙂 Do I have to pick a favorite color? I can’t. It feels mean.

  17. Jen Trette
    08/19/2015 / 11:05 pm

    Midnight Blue!

  18. 08/21/2015 / 12:12 pm

    Orange is my favorite color, which is weird maybe, seeing as I dislike red and yellow.

  19. Olivia
    08/22/2015 / 4:21 pm

    Petrol blue. That book looks amazing! Going straight on my Amazon wish list if I don’t get it here…

  20. Helciat
    08/22/2015 / 5:35 pm

    I like love, love, love gray and plum, and you are hilarious!

  21. kirstie
    08/23/2015 / 1:54 am


  22. Jane napolitano
    08/23/2015 / 6:39 am

    Great ideas art class warm-ups or post-class teacher therapy 🙂

  23. Jillian
    08/23/2015 / 6:51 am

    Purple, but a eggplant black/purple.
    Love dark colours.

  24. Ellena Shambler
    08/23/2015 / 6:52 am

    Mauve, copied of my Mumma and my Nanna!

  25. Jennifer
    08/23/2015 / 6:54 am

    My favorite is purple!

  26. 08/23/2015 / 7:27 am

    This looks like a fantastic book! I color all the time, so I know how important it is to let your inner kid out to play. My favorite color is teal, followed by eggplant. Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. Amanda
    08/23/2015 / 8:04 am


  28. Lisa Farmer
    08/23/2015 / 8:06 am

    Cobalt blue is my favorite color

  29. Pat Smith
    08/23/2015 / 8:09 am


  30. Terry Hathaway
    08/23/2015 / 8:10 am

    I love this idea of creative workbooks for Adults.

    • Terry Hathaway
      08/23/2015 / 8:11 am

      Purple – aah but what shade of Purple?

  31. Amy GOldbas
    08/23/2015 / 8:16 am

    New to Tiny Rotten Peanuts..thrilled so far with posts and info!

  32. Gonny
    08/23/2015 / 8:22 am

    I love many colors. This day I love pink

  33. Suz
    08/23/2015 / 8:29 am

    I’m a sucker for all things pink though my wardrobe tends to be all black!

  34. Julie Kovac
    08/23/2015 / 8:32 am

    My favorite color is yellow. It brightens up everything. I’d love to color and play in the Pencil Playbook.

  35. Kryste
    08/23/2015 / 8:42 am

    I actually do not have a favorite color. Without color, our world would not be as vibrant. Each shade lends to the beauty we experience around us every day 🙂

  36. Donna
    08/23/2015 / 8:51 am

    My favorite color is Magenta.

  37. 08/23/2015 / 9:05 am

    somewhere along the line my favorite colors became magenta and orange. alone i don’t care much for any of the two, but together…they make me smile. weird, right? i’ve entered the content! the artist (my 17 year old) in our family is feeling really blocked lately and I’m thinking maybe the exercises in the book will help her get back into the groove of drawing. thanks for the great giveaway!

  38. elena
    08/23/2015 / 9:08 am

    Congratulations first, for all the Creative imperium you share with us, other art thirsty and sensitive souls. my favourite color is indigo, by the way

  39. Ingrid M. Gonzalez
    08/23/2015 / 9:09 am

    The full range of blues are a sight to behold-from everything to highlighting baby bird eggs to the deepest darkest waters of the world.

  40. Joan
    08/23/2015 / 9:11 am

    Madonna Blue, so rich

  41. Meg
    08/23/2015 / 9:12 am

    my current favorite color is cadmium red deep. I would love to have this book- it looks fun!

  42. 08/23/2015 / 9:15 am

    I cannot possibly have a favorite color. I love so many. They are like kids. Each is special in its own way.

  43. Jenifer
    08/23/2015 / 9:34 am


  44. Leslie Stewart
    08/23/2015 / 9:36 am

    Wonderful! Red RED RED! Thank you:)

  45. Christie Hoagland
    08/23/2015 / 9:48 am

    I’m 66 and I still love short skirts and the color red!

  46. Sarah
    08/23/2015 / 9:52 am

    Navy blue…always and forever…

  47. Jane Norris
    08/23/2015 / 10:00 am

    Loved the idea behind this book so I’m hoping to win it! My favorite color is shocking pink or as Diana Vreeland once called it “the navy blue of India”.

  48. Lorri
    08/23/2015 / 10:22 am

    dusty purple or sage green. I vacillate on which I like better on a day to day basis. 🙂

  49. Debbie L
    08/23/2015 / 10:26 am

    My favorite color is rainbow with sprinkles of black and white.
    I can’t draw but I love to doodle.

  50. Diana
    08/23/2015 / 10:26 am

    My favorite color keeps changing over the years. Right now it is neon green.

  51. Michelle Eastridge
    08/23/2015 / 10:27 am

    I love vibrant shades of purple

  52. Carla
    08/23/2015 / 10:27 am


  53. Lisa Samuelson
    08/23/2015 / 10:35 am

    I’m a purple fan – any shade!

  54. claudia best
    08/23/2015 / 10:49 am

    Love your blog/newsletter. Never though that adult workbooks could be educational as well as creative! My favorite color is periwinkle! (all colors, but blue and purple are tied for first choice(s)!!! Thanks for sharing your passion for art and all things creative! 🙂

  55. Diane Babcock
    08/23/2015 / 10:56 am

    My favorite color is Purple! A close second is Yellow and then Blue. However, purple has always been my favorite color and I even have a purple (grape) carpet in my bedroom from when I was in high school!

  56. Savannah
    08/23/2015 / 11:02 am


  57. 08/23/2015 / 11:03 am

    One of my absolute favorite colors is a deep, rich, and very dark blue.

  58. Sarah
    08/23/2015 / 11:10 am

    Let’s be honest, my favorite color changes like a five year old’s, but currently, I love all things yellow.

  59. Wendy
    08/23/2015 / 11:39 am

    I love royal blue and teal blue and still love to color and draw.

  60. LindyLu
    08/23/2015 / 11:42 am

    This looks like a very interesting workbook & I would love to win it. Your Sunday morning e-mail is always the first one that I read. Thanks for the info that you share & your wonderful humor.:)

  61. LindyLu
    08/23/2015 / 11:43 am

    OOPS! I forgot to say that my favorite color is purple.:)

  62. LadyD
    08/23/2015 / 12:08 pm

    My favorite color is blue… but I love green too. So, there ya go… a primary and a secondary favorite…

  63. Elaine VandeMoter
    08/23/2015 / 12:26 pm

    Butter yellow!!

  64. Erin C.
    08/23/2015 / 12:50 pm

    Hot Pink!

  65. Karen Mead
    08/23/2015 / 2:26 pm

    My fav is always RED!

  66. Jeri Ryan
    08/23/2015 / 2:26 pm

    I am really drawn to Robins Egg Blue. I also like Coral and Pistachio Green?

  67. Amy/grrlTravels
    08/23/2015 / 2:31 pm

    my fav is orange, although I’m more into color combos right now. 🙂

  68. ann c
    08/23/2015 / 3:07 pm

    I love turquoise and red.. the pencil book looks like a fun way to get into water color pencils

  69. Allison
    08/23/2015 / 3:08 pm


  70. peggy sahmaunt
    08/23/2015 / 3:14 pm

    Today, my favorite color is mature pink.

  71. Lynda Atwood
    08/23/2015 / 3:37 pm

    my favorite color is blue, although hot pink runs a close second.

  72. RobinS.
    08/23/2015 / 3:53 pm

    Blue. The color of a blue, blue sky on a September day.

  73. Marcia Marcia
    08/23/2015 / 5:51 pm

    Purple…all the way!

  74. DK
    08/23/2015 / 6:45 pm

    This Pencil Playbook looks like way more fun than an adult coloring book. If I don’t win I am heading over to Amazon! Grass green is my favorite color.

  75. Beverly Murphy
    08/23/2015 / 7:20 pm

    Couldn’t get the post to work so here is my comment:

    My favorite color is somewhere in the blue family. My husband and I are recently retired and we’re learning how to paint (I do other crafts already) and I showed him this book……….this is something that would be a big help to us! It’s hard to know what to do sometimes when you’re sitting in front of a blank page just waiting for your paint…….!!

    I love all the things i learn and see on this website….thank you!
    Beverly Murphy

  76. Melanie
    08/23/2015 / 7:53 pm

    My favourite colour is BLUE! I love all the different shades of Blue. From sky blue to starry night blue to sea blue to peacock blue to slushi blue ?

  77. Julie czerenda
    08/23/2015 / 7:55 pm

    My favorite color is what mybstudents call “mafuschia”. Sort of a combination of magenta and fuchsia!

  78. Kate
    08/23/2015 / 7:58 pm

    I love turquoise and mustard yellow. Love the book so creative!

  79. Joycie Shabann
    08/23/2015 / 8:14 pm

    My favorite color is turquoise because it can’t decide whether it is more blue than green or more green than blue. And I can’t decide whether I like blue more than green or green more than blue.

  80. Kirsten
    08/23/2015 / 8:27 pm

    Yellow is the best color ever.

  81. cynthia
    08/23/2015 / 9:21 pm

    I love purple!

  82. Stacy
    08/23/2015 / 9:39 pm

    Green!!! This book looks soooo coool!!!! Thanks for this great opportunity!

  83. SusanS
    08/23/2015 / 10:05 pm

    Just started following your blog and love it. My favorite color is Red!

  84. Trish
    08/23/2015 / 10:30 pm

    Love yellow!!

  85. 2boysand2dogs1
    08/23/2015 / 10:37 pm

    I love the adult coloring books! I am partial to all colors, they are all necessary to life1

  86. Michel
    08/23/2015 / 10:46 pm

    Blue of course, almost all shades. But I love using the rainbow somewhere in most of my coloring.

  87. Hilarie
    08/23/2015 / 11:02 pm

    As my daughter puts it…. My favorite color is Rainbow. Mostly beause every color is great. I lean towards blue, but I love them all!

  88. Kristin
    09/04/2015 / 9:37 pm

    Pink. Hot pink. Or Ballet-pointe-shoe pink. It’s either bright and deep and shocking or the softest, most ethereal, barely there shade of pink- no in between.

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