Wayne Schmidt's Spaceship Coloring Pages 20 free line drawings for crayon or computer coloring
When I discovered that my five year old grandson Joshua loved to color spaceships I scoured local variety, book and toy stores for coloring books of them, only to discover that there weren't any. Next I tried the Internet. Although I found several sites that had a few, most required waiting for 2 megabytes of advertising to download before getting a couple of kilobytes of picture. Many times this process had to be repeated through layers of thumbnails before getting to the final image. Even after all that the image often ended up being too small, too rough, or too detailed to be ideal. It was very frustrating.
My answer to this problem was to collect as many free, public-access space ship pictures as I could, redraw them to an appropriate size and simplicity and post them on this page. They load up directly so you don't have to wait on advertising or wade through thumbnails. The following 19 images should supply any young child with many hours of coloring pleasure. (Joshua has certainly enjoyed them.)
(I grant anyone visiting this page permission to copy and print the following image for their personal use, but not to copy them into another website, book or text.)
To use, right click on the image and then left click on "save as." Then print them out using your favorite program. How they are printed will effect the size of the image. Using the "print" icon that appears in the upper left corner of the image when the cursor is on it results in a picture that's only 4-inches across, a little too small. Opening the image and printing it in "My Images" in Windows results in an image that fills an 8x10-inch sheet of paper, a little too large. The actual and optimal size of each image is about 7-inches wide. This size is achieved by opening the picture in Adobe Photoshop for printing. Opening the image in any image processing software will enable you to size it any way you want.
(This elongated flying saucer design was inspired by
a space ship featured in the science fiction cult classic movie This Island Earth.)
This final image obviously isn't of a space ship, but I'm including it because many children who enjoy coloring space ships also enjoy coloring the planets.
Watching Joshua color these pictures taught me a lot about how to improve things to maximize his coloring pleasure. The first thing I observed was that he became very frustrated by the apparent color of the crayon not being even close to the color it produced when on paper. This problem was solved by taping a small piece of white paper with the color that crayon produced around the bottom of the crayon. That way he knew exactly what color he would get from it. The second problem was that he found it difficult pulling crayons out of the boxes in which they were sold. Dumping them into an open box solved this problem but created a new one by forcing him to hunt around for the color he needed. Both problems were solved by placing the crayons in a box with a spacer behind them so that they were easy to grab. The box also kept them in chromatic order so he instantly knew where to get the color he wanted. Finally, while the mega-boxes of crayons containing 100 or more crayons look good, the fact is they offer so many different color choices that he was quickly overwhelmed. My solution was to pick through the 120+ colors offered by Crayola crayons and select 21 that provide a wide range of colors without being so many as to confuse him. The image below shows all these solutions wrapped up in a single, simple crayon delivery and storage system:
The colors I selected were, from left to right: silver, gray, black, brown, raw sienna, red, red violet, violet red, shocking pink, orange, red orange, yellow, dandelion, inchworm, green, pine green, sky blue, metallic steel blue, blue, periwinkle and royal purple. (All of these are Crayola brand colors.)
A strip of white paper taped on the front of the box has a sample of the color each crayon makes. This helps keeps them in order. I was concerned that a young child, 5-years old in Joshua's case, would forget to put them back in the right place. To my surprise he quickly grasped the value of doing so and made very few mistakes.
One way to increase the fun factor is to use fluorescent crayons then take the picture in a dark room and illuminate it with a blacklight (ultraviolet or UV light.) These lights can be purchased as plug-in units from Walmart for as little as $12 or as battery powered flashlights that use LEDs for $15 on Amazon. The following video shows how well this works:
Coloring using crayons is extremely good for young children. It teaches them the joys of art while at the same time developing the finger dexterity needed for writing. But, teaching them how to use a computer to color the images on this page is also good because it develops their skill using a mouse and familiarizes them with the common menus and control buttons on a computer screen. It is easy to do this with these drawings.
First, save the desired images in a convenient folder on your computer. Second, open one of the pictures in a photo-processing software routine such as Adobe Photoshop. Since most of these pictures are saved as black-and-white images to reduce bandwidth, click on the "image" menu and under it click on "mode" and finally click on "RGB color." This will convert the image from black and white to color. (These instructions are for Adobe Photoshop. Other programs may have different menus and buttons but the process should be the same.) After that simply select a color and use the "paint bucket" tool to instantly fill any part of the drawing. Best of all is coloring the empty space around the space ship with solid black so that it really looks like it's a scene in space. The color picture at the top of this page was made using this technique. It only takes a few minutes at most. Joshua actually enjoys computer coloring more than using crayons. Even though he is only five, he quickly mastered the few steps required to select a color and fill in the drawing with colors. The resulting color picture can be printed and if glossy paper is used the result can be quite attractive.
(One other improvement would be to upsample the image from 72 to 300 ppi before coloring. This will sharpen it up a bit for the printer.)
Coloring as Adult Therapy
While working on the drawings for this page I tested several of them prior to giving them to my grandson to make sure they weren't too complicated. In doing so I was surprised at how satisfying coloring a simple line drawing could be. After all, this is only child's play. It's so simple that any adult would be embarrassed to admit enjoying it. Yet I think this very simplicity is what makes it so pleasant. It's easy, quick, simple, and if it doesn't turn out you haven't wasted any significant amount of time. materials or effort. On the other hand, if you like the result you're rewarded with something attractive, although very simple, to look at. There aren't many things in these complicated, stress-filled days like this. It's just barely involving enough to take us away from whatever issues are troubling us yet is so simple that it in no way adds to our stress. The same applies to coloring them on the computer.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this page and that your children, or grandchildren, like the pictures.
(Click on main site to browse 70 other topics ranging from exotic kaleidoscope designs to the strange world of lucid dreaming. There you will also find several other pages dealing with chocolate.)