For some time now, you may have noticed that the practical books section of many bookstores has been filled with coloring notebooks. But they are not of these with Peppa Pig drawings for children, but oriented to adults, with very intricate designs that show animal animals, elements of nature or simply abstract schemes.
There will be those who think that all this is nothing more than a passing fad, a hobby for hipsters or bored housewives who have nothing better to do. But the truth is that at the least that you like this type of activity a little, and you are encouraged to try it without prejudice, coloring relax … and engage.
Some of the best known names of this new literary genre are Johanna basford, author of some of the world’s best-selling coloring books, and Michael O’Mara, publisher of a series of coloring books that has also sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Basford’s best known book, Secret garden, sold three million copies in China in less than three months – proving that this movement is much more than just a fashion trend.
However, Does coloring really have any benefit? Beyond getting pictures to decorate your home with, coloring helps eliminate stress and anxiety, since it is an artistic activity, focused on the senses, which can help calm certain areas of your brain.
It also helps to disconnect from the rush of day to day, and achieve a relaxed state similar to that achieved through meditation. By having to color such complicated designs, the brain “forgets” about problems and worries, and concentrates on the here and now – a capacity that is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.
The truth is that although it may not be an activity for everyone, when you try it it has something relaxing and addictive at the same time, as well as a certain nostalgic memory of childhood. And unsurprisingly, the adult coloring book movement has also made the leap to the Internet.
Here are a few resources, in the form of web pages and applications, with which you can try this new activity and see if it convinces you, before deciding to buy your first coloring book in many years.
On the Internet: websites with drawings to print
Johanna Basford Pages
The first option had to be Basford’s drawings, thanks to which many have started in this hobby. Five plates of his book Secret Garden can be downloaded for free in The Guardian newspaper, in PDF format, with very good definition. It is recommended to print them with good quality – not in “draft”.
Free Printable Adult Coloring Pages
Although there will never be an award for the best design, on this website you can find a hundred pages in PDF format, ready to print and color. There is a menu at the top that allows you browse content, classified according to theme: animals, mandalas, abstract designs, geometric patterns, flowers, etc. As it is material obtained from other pages, the quality may vary, but in general it is good. Some drawings include a watermark, and others display an advertisement before uploading the PDF.
Coloring Pages for Adults
If you finish all the drawings on the previous page, you can continue with the extensive catalog that you will find here, classified by categories. There are so many to choose You are sure to find something that you want to color, from architectural designs to drawings inspired by television series. The quality, yes, is quite variable.
On this page the collection of coloring pages it is not so varied, but has some very attractive designs. The drawings are not in PDF format, but are simply images that you can print directly from the browser, or save to your hard drive to color with an image editor.
Material on Pinterest
Such a list wouldn’t be complete without Pinterest, the quintessential site of creativity. A quick search lets you find things like this, with thousands of coloring pages from various sources ready to print and color. There are so many and so many variety that this is the bad thing: you can get lost among so many possibilities and end up more time trying to decide what to print than coloring itself …
The great beneficiaries of the popularity of this activity, in addition to the authors of the books, are the manufacturers of pencils and markers coloring. In the case of Faber-Castell, for example, they have launched a whole range of special pencils for these books, and of course, they also offer on their website some drawings that can be downloaded for free to try. They are in PDF format and are of very good quality.
The last to join this trend has been IKEA. The Swedish furniture manufacturer has made available to its customers a PDF design collection, which can be downloaded for free on this website, and thanks to which it is possible to color a Poang armchair, an Ektorp sofa, a Malm dresser or a Billy bookcase.
On your tablet: coloring apps
This free app includes several dozen designs abstracts, with animals, flowers, elements of nature or the classic Celtic mandalas and patterns. You have access to all of them (plus a palette with more than 60 shades different), and you have the option to purchase more drawings and extra palettes through in-app purchases. It is available for iPad (of course it also works on iPhone and iPod, but with such a small screen it is much more complicated …)
Despite the similarity in name, this app has nothing to do with the previous one. It is available for Android tablets and for iPad, and has a catalog of one thirty designs florals and mandalas. The difference is that the catalog of this app it is renewed weekly, and you can purchase the new designs through in-app purchases. In this way it becomes like a coloring book that never ends.
MOMI Coloring Book
This app is also available for iPad and Android tablets, with a varied image catalog that includes animals, jewelry designs, floral patterns or architectural scenes. Some drawings are paid, but according to the developer, more than 90% of the drawings are free – as well as the complete color palette, with more than 80 shades.
This other application, available for iPad. The free version brings together a thirty drawings classified into categories such as floral patterns, cities, animals, mandalas, geometric motifs, and more; and paying for the Pro version license all 145 designs unlocked of the complete catalog. It includes an impressive palette of 170 colors with which you are sure to always find the right tone for each moment.
Finally, this app only available for iPad includes more than 40 drawings with various motifs, but what really stands out is due to two characteristics of its own: on the one hand, it includes eight types of brush and is ready to use with stylus; On the other hand, its Premium version is not acquired through a single payment, but rather follows a subscription model in which you pay a weekly, monthly or annual fee and have access to the full catalog of the app (more than 200 drawings, and in permanent growth).
In Genbeta | 11 websites and YouTube channels to learn digital drawing from 0 to expert level