These pages are great to have on hand when children visit. Use photos of your friends, pets or accessories (teacups and ornaments make great coloring pages!). Pair them with a tub of crayons in areas where your family gathers.
Choose an image with a fairly simple background if you can. If your background is complicated, such as a street scene, it will take more time to clean up the image in order to make white space for coloring. Using a drawing tablet, such as Wacom, makes this process easier but I have also done everything I mention here with a mouse.
Converting your photos to black and white line drawings:
Open your photo in Photoshop and save under a new name. This preserves the original photo in case you want to print it some other time.
Click on Image/Auto Contrast to bump up the contrast in your photo.
Make the color swatches black (foreground) and white (background).
Duplicate your photo layer. You will be converting the duplicate, leaving the original photo on the layer below.
Make sure you are on the duplicate photo layer. Use the Filter/Sketch/Stamp tool to convert your photo into a black and white line drawing. Use the sliders to get more or less detail until you like how it looks.
Save your file.
You now have a black and white image that will likely have some pixilation and grey areas that you will want to clean up. Decide what part of the photo is the focal point and what parts can be eliminated.
In my conversion of the cat and doll photo above (image 2) I wanted the wall and table to be pure white. I also wanted to redraw some of the doll's jacket and add one of the cat's eyes that disappeared in the conversion.
To clean up the background I used the pencil tool to color over the wall and table areas with white. I set my pencil size anywhere from 19 - 100 pixels depending upon where I was working. A 100 pixel pencil will clean up large areas very quickly while smaller sizes allow you to get close to but not erase the focal areas you want to keep.
To redraw the edges of the jacket on the right of the doll I set my image layer transparency to 40%. This allowed me to see the original photo on the layer underneath. Using a 19 pixel black pencil I redrew the outline of the jacket and other areas that I wanted to emphasize. I colored in the cat's missing eye with white pencil. You might also want to white out the interior of a dark area in your photo such as a hat, jacket or doll hair so that it can be colored in later.
Once I had the areas I wanted visible I reset the opacity of my image layer back to 100%. Then I flattened my file and saved it. The coloring page is now ready to print and color as you wish.
Before printing you can also add some holiday touches, such as drawing holly berries on a hat, a Santa beard on a face or adding a greeting.
I also converted my photo of Poppy as this year's "Fruitcake Delivery Ambassador". You can download it here if you like: FruitcakeAmbassador
My downloads are for personal use only, please.
Have fun creating your own coloring pages from your photos.