Artist Marty Noble

Colorists everywhere rejoice in Marty Noble’s great coloring books!

Marty at a National Coloring Day event.

Artist Marty Noble has been working steadily since the 1960’s, when she started selling her batik fabrics at street fairs in Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

How to Draw Trees

Marty’s a prolific artist for Dover. She’s created an amazing assortment of work, from design collections to temporary tattoos to coloring books. Marty’s also a great teacher. Many of her Dover titles include drawing instructions.

We’re so happy to have caught up with Marty to ask her some questions about her work and her process.

Dover Publications: What was your first coloring book for Dover?

Marty Noble: The first book was an angels stained glass coloring book. That was in 1993 so I have been working with Dover for 24 years.

DP: Could you provide some insight about how you design a coloring
book? What works for you as an artist?

MN: I have many ways of working when designing a coloring book
for Dover depending on the type of book and the subject matter. I start by researching the subject, usually online, from books in my own library or from books Dover has sent as reference. Doing research for the books is one of my favorite parts of the process, especially when it involves looking into the art history of an area of the world I am unfamiliar with.

As far as how I design a book, I have a template to go by: whatever illustration I come up with it needs to fill the space in a pleasing way. I often work on separate components, main subject, backgrounds and borders and fit them together after fine tuning the illustration. I start with a pencil
drawing, then go over it with ink, specifically a Micron pen that comes in a variety of point sizes. All drawings are then scanned into the computer and refined in Photoshop and illustrator. Some of the finer details I may draw using a pen tablet.

Steam Punk

DP: How do you work with Dover to create new books?

MN: I have been most fortunate to have ongoing assignments with
Dover since I started working with them. The first several years Dover provided me with projects of all sorts — sticker books, tattoo books, design library, clip art and a few other types of publications. As time went on I pitched ideas that were given the green light. Some of my favorite subjects in that category involve art and design from different cultures around the world. At this point I would say half of the books are my ideas and the other half, Dover’s. I have been fortunate to have very fine editors to work with. We work together on four or five projects at a time with due dates for a fall or spring list.

DP: What kind of feedback to you get from coloring book fans? Do
you take requests and suggestions for coloring books?

MN: I periodically go to Amazon to read reviews of my Dover
books — It is always a pleasure to know how much people are enjoying
 the books and using them in various ways including in
nursing homes, rehab settings, coloring book groups and the like.
Since I do not meet the folks who buy the books it is great to hear
from them on book review sites. People occasionally send requests or
 suggestions which I will pass on to Dover.

DP: What are some of your most recent non-Dover projects that you
can tell us about?

MN: Since I am so booked up with book assignments I have not
had time to paint or pursue other creative endeavors. I do have a
 bucket list of projects I will delve into when time allows. I plan to resume batik and painting on silk and watercolor.

Be sure to check out Dover’s website to check out Marty’s amazing body of work.