Designing Creative Coloring Pages using AI Art Generators

Something fun that I have been exploring has been to use AI art generators to create complex, beautiful, and fun coloring pages. I've used different prompts that include the words "children's coloring book page illustration" and "black and white, white background." I also sometimes have added the term "zentangles" to the description. Prompts like "intricate, fantasy, whimsical, and detailed" are also good to test out. Here are some city coloring pages made in Adobe Firefly:

 

AI generated coloring pages of a city

For these cat illustrations, I added terms of things I might want as part of the decoration like stars, flowers, swirls, fish, and clouds.

 

AI generated coloring page of a cat
 
AI generated coloring page of a cat

I've found that different AI art generators produce results of differing quality and styles. Sometimes the lines can be rough and random. Things like tails and feet can appear in unexpected places! These castle pages below were generated using the Bing Image Creator. You can see the stars have some unusual shapes!

 

AI generated coloring page of a castle
  
AI generated coloring page of a castle

To integrate creating coloring pages as a learning activity, why not generate a page that illustrates a vocabulary word, a science concept, or a historical event? Students would then need to explain what the illustration is trying to show.

It also would be a fun end of the year activity to make pages that could be printed and colored by the students. Most of the AI art sites are designated for older ages, but a teacher could put the site up on the screen and have students give ideas for what to put into the coloring illustration that the teacher could type in. Students would be using descriptive writing using nouns and adjectives and would need to think creatively to revise to get a result that makes the class happy! Best designs could be printed!

Coloring these pages digitally on an iPad is a little more difficult because it is hard to stay inside such complex lines. I used this website to erase the white in the illustration to create a transparent png. I then put that transparent black lined Png on a layer in Procreate, then put a layer underneath where you could color under the black lines. 

https://tech-lagoon.com/imagechef/en/white-to-transparent.html

 

If you wanted to do this using Pages or Keynote, you could color over the top of the transparent black lined image. It would look a bit messy because you would cover up some of the black lines. Then, when you are done, just move the black lined layer to the top! Bingo, you will have a neatly colored picture!

Call to Action: Do you have any other idea how these coloring pages might be used in the classroom? I'd love for you to share your ideas in the comments!

One Best Thing:

This post is a part of my One Best Thing Project "AI Art for Inspiration, Creativity, and Learning." I am collecting my AI Art project ideas and resources at this website:

https://sites.google.com/view/creativeapptitude/ai-art


All Replies

Posted on May 19, 2023

These are wonderful Karen! You are right - perfect for the end of the school year, and coloring is such a calming task.

Thanks for exploring and sharing more AI in education possibilities. I like your idea of having the class suggest design ideas and the teacher putting them into an AI generator for setting up a coloring template.

Just looking at these makes me want to grab my Apple Pencil and start coloring in Keynote!

Posted on May 20, 2023

Thanks, Cheryl. I am discovering so many creative ideas with the AI art that would be great in the classroom!

Posted on June 10, 2023

How fun are these coloring pages?! I agree with Cheryl (and you) that crowd-sourcing words and phrases to generate the coloring sheets would be an interesting whole class activity that would support students' understanding of how AI works in a way that's scaffolded by the teacher -- great opportunity to build digital citizenship skills and consider new avenues for creativity. Thanks for sharing, Karen!

Posted on July 18, 2023

My 6th grade students enjoyed these types of intricate coloring pages. I would love to see what types they could come up with using AI.

I would use these coloring sheets (student chose digitally to color or on paper) right after lunch for about 5 minutes. It gave students a chance to refocus and get ready for learning. They came in hyped up, this was a great calming activity.


Posted on July 19, 2023

Great idea to use these as a focusing/wind down activity!

Posted on November 30, 2023

This is awesome, Karen! I teach high school graphic design and I think this could potentially be a great starting point for a collaborative project with my students and elementary students. Thank you so much for sharing!

Posted on December 02, 2023

Lindsay, this would be great for graphic design! There often are wonky areas that could be cleaned up! I love the collaboration idea - elem kids would love it!

Posted on December 01, 2023

You never fail to disappoint, Karen! Love your One Best Thing project idea and I must check our your other posts so far. Creating such beautiful designs as these, a cat fan perchance?!!

It feels like an ongoing practice to improve at giving prompts to create exactly what you want. Well done!


Posted on December 02, 2023

Mary, LOL, yes, love my cats, so “cat” is often my default that I use when testing out various prompts!

Posted on December 02, 2023

They're so many AI website now. Is Adobe Firefly the best one in your opinion? Are any free one worth the try?

Posted on December 02, 2023

I've had good luck doing this with Adobe Firefly and Bing Image Creator, both gave free options. If you have an Ai generator that you already use go head and try it. I find the quality of results is constantly improving. Let me know if you discover another one that works great making the coloring pages




Posted on February 15, 2024

Really loved your article and it inspired me to create better coloring pages for my kids and even publish them on a new website for free - https://freecoloring.co/

Thanks for the idea!

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