Book Review

Colouring Books: Review

Look at them allllll
Look at them allllll

Colouring books for adults are everywhere. You can hardly pass any sort of book shop without encountering this fad. But it is definitely something I can get behind. I did a foundation course in Art Therapy a few years ago. While not in the same league as ‘proper’ art therapy, relaxing colouring certainly has its place in helping to de-stress and organise thoughts.

Lots of zen pictures of Buddhist and Asia inspired imagery.
Lots of zen pictures of Buddhist and Asia inspired imagery.

Not to sounds too hipster about this, but I had a (grown up) colouring book before they were cool.
Christmas 2014 my father-in-law gave me Art Thérapie Zen. This particular colouring book is from somewhere in Europe, possibly France. Apparently, colouring books gained popularity there before reaching good ol’ Blighty. I spent a fair bit of January keeping the blues at bay with some relaxing colouring. Since then, my collection has grown. A lot.

Fun patterns, crests and characters. They even include some photos for colour reference.
Fun patterns, crests and characters. They even include some photos for colour reference.

Each of these colouring books gives me something unique. The Harry Potter Colouring Book by Studio Press I have yet to start, but I am really, really looking forward to it. You may have guessed that I am a big Harry Potter geek from my twitter feed so I am particularly looking forward to completing my house emblem (#Slytherinpride!). It is slightly different from the others in that the images of the characters are semi-realistic. I think this will make it slightly harder to colour in. I do enjoy arty things but I am not sure about my shading techniques.

Psychedelic! Great repeating patterns to keep you busy.
Psychedelic! Great repeating patterns to keep you busy.

The next, The One and Only Colouring Book for Travelling Adults from Phoenix Yard Books comes in a nice little sleeve, which helps protect it. Also, as it is on a ring binder it makes it very easy to turn to the desired page. I purchased this one right at the start of the craze, as having moved, I was unsure where my Art Thérapie one was. That and I had gone out for coffee and forgotten my book and wanted some entertainment. There is a great mix of patterns and images, but some of them are very intricate. I use felt pens on this one, which give a great vibrancy of colour but don’t allow for much detail work.

Forgot to photo the cover, but look how beautiful it is. Find the tiles scattered through the book to unlock the door!
Forgot to photo the cover, but look how beautiful it is. Find the tiles scattered through the book to unlock the door!

I received Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford for my birthday. I had seen a lot of Basford’s colouring books in stores and on my twitter feed, so I was very happy to have one of my own. I love this book. Not only is it a beautiful colouring book, it is also an adventure. You can follow the treasure map at the start through the forest to a surprise at the end. The only problem I have with this book is its awkwardness. It is large, which makes it hard to take out and it can be a little difficult to keep the pages open due to the stiff spine.

Mixture of gardeny patterns and still-life.
Mixture of gardeny patterns and still-life.

However, as I loved it so much I went and purchased the Secret Garden postcard set, also by Johanna Basford. These designs are similar to those from Enchanted Forest, without the story behind them. The book contains 20 removable postcards and is just perfect for popping in your handbag (along with some mini colouring pencils!)

I love my colouring books so much that any time any of my friends show any sort of low mood, I get them a colouring book. Or even if they are even the slightly bit arty they get a colouring book. Basically, I love them and I want everyone else to love them too. Though I find them useful when I am in a low mood and am struggling to do anything other than re-watch Harry Potter, Disney or Marvel films, they have a place in every home. You certainly do not need to be depressed to feel the benefit. There is a reason why colouring books have been beloved by children for generations. They keep you busy, they are something for your hands to do and they improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination*.

 

PS. I am now uploading weekly vlogs over on my youtube channel.

*I tried to find research for this, but wasn’t sure of the search terms to use.

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