Adult coloring books are all the rage these days. I’ll admit when I first heard about them, I thought they were stupid. Then curiosity got the best of me, and when I saw the photos, I wanted to hop on the bandwagon. They’re so intricate and beautiful, and apparently also stress relieving. Who knew this childhood activity could be like art therapy for adults.
I mentioned to Jacob that we should try a coloring for one of our “C” Alphabet Dates but never followed through. I actually forgot about it until one day this baby arrived in the mail as Jacob’s surprise gift to me and a surprise date! He’s a pretty good guy, right?
That’s Mika’s face of disapproval. Have you ever wanted to see a grown man color? You’re welcome. ;) Jacob used his good ol’ crayola colored pencils, and I had to bust out my fancy prismacolor markers. I thought it was an appropriate time to use them.
Of course, like any other ungrateful wife, I had to look and see if there was anything else better out there. That’s the maximizer in me at my worst. I did find a few that I liked better, but we’ll work on finishing the current one first before we move on. ;) Also, I know not all of you are cat people. If you’ve been looking into coloring books, here are some beautifully done ones.
P.S. Some of the font / design of the covers are really ugly, but the insides (what counts) are legit! If you’re looking for the bestsellers at the moment, I wrote them on the bottom of the post, too.
11 OF OUR FAVORITE ADULT COLORING BOOKS
1. Fantastic Cities (58 Illustrations)
This book has detailed aerial views of real cities and fantastical ones. So intricate! *heart eyes*
2. Splendid Cities (42 Illustrations)
Changing your perspective to ground level, this book offers a mix of beautiful cities and creatively imagined ones. Travel all over the world while you color! They also have city-specific books, like Secret Paris, Secret Tokyo, and New York.
3. Geometric Patterns ( 30 Illustrations)
These hand-drawn geometric shapes let you focus on nothing but picking colors you like. You aren’t distracted by trying to make it mimic something in real life and can just enjoy coloring.
4. Animal Kingdom (72 Illustrations)
This book is filled with animals of every kind with tons of intricate designs. There are also pages that leave space for you to add in your own backdrops.
5. Mid Century Modern Mania (30 Illustrations)
From the same people who brought you Geometric Patterns, you can combine your favorite childhood activity with your love for mid-century modern design. If you’re obsessed and want more, they also have Mid Century Modern Animals and Patterns!
6. Color Your Own Monet Paintings (30 Illustrations)
If you enjoy art galleries, try this coloring book. I can’t guarantee it will help you feel more like an artist, but it will definitely help you study the detail in the paintings. They also have one for Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, and more! I also saw this Van Gogh book from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and it looks a lot more intense (think 1000 piece puzzle versus 100).
7. Anatomy Coloring Book (162 Illustrations)
I may have never made it to med school like my parents wanted, but I still love learning. This was probably not originally meant for adults to relieve stress, but why not get some learning in while you color! This book has been around for 35 years and is precise and clearly labeled. Now, they also have a Physiology Coloring Book.
8. The Art of Nature (60 Illustrations)
Remember encyclopedias and those beautiful black and white photos inside? These illustrations have the same vintage feel. Just add color.
9. Stress Relieving Animal Designs (50 Illustrations)
This is the #1 bestseller on Amazon. Each page has a beautifully illustrated animal on a blank background. The rest is up to you. If you like this style, here are more books by Blue Star Coloring.
10. Dream Catcher: Finding Peace (45 Illustrations)
These illustrations are all about finding peace in a busy life. Each drawing is paired with a motivational quote. Here are other books by the same artist.
11. Color Your Own Japanese Woodblock Prints (30 Illustrations)
Color in some of the most beautiful images from the age-old art of woodblock printing.
10 MOST POPULAR ADULT COLORING BOOKS
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns (they even have a volume 2!)
- Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest
- Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animal Designs (here’s volume 2)
- Creative Haven Owls Coloring Book
- Creative Haven Cats Coloring Book
- Creative Haven Art Nouveau Animal Designs
- Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation
- Balance: Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders (she’s made 45 coloring books so far)
- Anatomy Coloring Book
They say don’t get a child a coloring book, because you’ll box in their imagination. Now that we’re adults and set in our ways, these are great since our imagination is long gone! haha jk :P
We’ve only done a couple pages each and we can’t decide whether it’s a great relaxing activity or if it’s exhausting. I go back and forth. The intricate designs take forever to color in, and sometimes I lose my patience. There is this nostalgic sense when I’m coloring, but I also get stressed out when I accidentally color outside of the lines. I get more joy when I give myself permission to draw through the lines! We’ll have to do a few more before we fully decide.
What do you guys think of the coloring book craze? Have you tried Zentangles? What other activities did you love as a child that you’d love to revisit?