Adult coloring continues to thrive, and with its popularity the number of coloring books being published is overwhelming. I spent this past week poring over publishers’ and authors’ recent and scheduled releases (hundreds!) to find some of the most unique ones in interesting categories.
A few things I have noticed that are great: more and more single-sided illustrations, and perforated pages. And sub-genres in coloring books are expanding – if you have a special interest, there is probably an adult coloring book for it!
Connect the Dots.
I have just completed my first extreme dot-to-dot coloring book, and I quite enjoyed immersing myself in the surprisingly mindful challenge. If you are interested in adding connect-the-dots to your coloring, these two new books may be perfect.
Tip: Use a small ruler when you are connecting the dots – it will make it easier.
Ultimate Dot to Dot: Extreme Puzzle Challenge
Paperback, 64 pages, $10.38, 15″ x10.7″, Available Now
This book is a great place to start if you are new to extreme dot-to-dot. There are a range of levels, from “easy” (!) ones with only 500 dots, to more complex ones with over 1,000 dots and covering two pages. The 32 designs are single-sided so no worries about marker bleed-through, although putting a sheet of paper between the pages when you color is a good idea. The pages are perforated as well which I find perfect for working on them on my clipboard. The illustrations include animals, objects, scenes, and more.
Extreme Dot-to-Dot Spectacular Places: Relax and Unwind, One Splash of Color at a Time
Paperback, 96 pages, $12.99, 10″ x 11.2″, Available March 1
The specially commissioned designs in this book include inspirational quotes so you are intrigued and informed while you connect the dots and color. Perforated pages – yeah!
One of my most treasured possessions is a quilt that my grandmother made by hand for me. The beautiful, varied fabrics Nanny used sparked my interest in all types of fabric art. Whether the subject is Heritage quilts, Native American blankets, European tapestries, or Indian saris you can find a lot of great inspiration in the colors, textures, patterns, or all three.
Tapestries, Fabrics, and Quilts: Coloring for Artists
Paperback, $9.99, 112 pages, 8.4″ x 10.7″, Available Now
This new coloring book has 45 single-sided designs accompanied by pre-colored examples that you can use as inspiration. The pages are perforated. Along with the illustrations themselves, the book also has a great introduction about the history of fabric art and its role in society and art in general.
Patchwork of the Heart
Paperback, $10.99, 96 pages, 8.5″ x 8.9″, Available March 1
The 44 illustrations in this book are inspired by the Amish, and can calm your mind and uplift your soul. Every design has a short Bible quotation for contemplation.
Orla Kiely Colouring Book
Paperback, $9.80, 96 pages, 8.7″ x 11.2″, Available March 3
I have been a fan of Orla Kiely’s bags for a while : her beautifully graphic 60’s-style prints are simple and classic. I won’t travel without my Orla Kiely tote bag. This is Orla’s first coloring book, and in it she has included commentary on her color choices, and gives some tips for adding texture and creating colors through layering.
Seek and Find.
Following Johanna Basford’s success with the hidden gems in her illustrations, other coloring book publishers and artists are starting to include “hide-and-seek” challenges as well.
Thrill of Discovery: A Hide & Seek Coloring Book
Paperback, $7.95, 96 pages, 8.5″ x 10.9″, Available March 1
Each of the 34 detailed, hand-drawn illustrations in this book includes a hidden item worked into the design. The secret elements are revealed as you color and include, among others, a top in a toy store, a muffin in a bakery case, and a moon in outer space. The illustrations are on perforated, single-sided pages.
Hidden Faces Coloring Book
Paperback, $9.95, 96 pages, 8.5″ x 10.9″ , Available Now
You will find a woman’s face hidden in each of the 45 abstract illustrations in this collection that remind me of cubist art. All pages are perforated and illustrations are single-sided. The dens are not too complex.
No Detail is Too Small.
If you are looking to immerse yourself in a more intense coloring experience, here are a few new and upcoming coloring books to give your mindful meditation a real workout. Get out those pencil sharpeners and ultra-fine markers!
Llewellyn’s Shadowscapes Coloring Book
Paperback, $11.45, 120 pages, 8.5″ x 11″, Available February 8
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law is a professional artist who specializes in fantasy illustrations. These 60 single-sided designs feature scenes from fairy tales, myths, and folklore found in cultures around the world. Each page is perforated.
Extreme Coloring Mandalas: Relax and Unwind, One Splash of Color at a Time
Paperback, , $12.99, 96 pages, 10″ x 11.2″, Available March 1
This is another unique book for people who like to take their coloring to the next level. The intricate mandalas are accompanied by inspirational quotes to intrigue and inform you as you color. Perforated pages.
Having been born in the Land of the Rising Sun, anything Japanese=themed gets my attention. I have been doing Japanese paper-folding (origami) since I was little and I have a collection of treasured, original Japanese prints. So no surprise that a couple of new Japanese-themed coloring books caught my eye.
Floating World Japanese Prints Coloring Book: Color your Masterpiece & Clear Your Mind
Paperback, $11.37, 96 pages, 9″ x 12″, Available February 23
“Ukiyo-e” (“floating world”) is a type of Japanese art – usually woodblock prints and paintings – that was made for wealthy people in the 17th through 19th centuries. Subjects represented the luxuries of life and included people, landscapes, animals, and plants.
Each of the 23 black and white illustrations, some of them grayscale, is accompanied by a copy of the fully-colored original and a brief story about the artist. Illustrations range from easy to complex. Pages are perforated.
Color-Gami: Color and Fold Your Way to Calm
Hardcover, $19.99, 80 pages, 8.2″ x 9.8″, Available April 12
If you are like me, you have a pile of colored-in illustrations all dressed up with nowhere to go. I am collecting some great ideas for repurposing them, but in the meantime I love the idea of using colored-in pages as origami. This book has almost 40 designs to put your coloring talents to work, and then gives you easy step-by-step instructions for folding your one-of-a-kind paper into flowers, animals, and more.
Food glorious food!
I’ve colored a lot of flowers and animals – a LOT of flowers and animals. But as I practice upping the quality of my coloring to include life-like shading, I find food items are great subjects to use. I am also a prodigious cook, so food in general interests me. I love the idea of creating beautiful “platings” of food with my coloring!
Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Paperback, $12.62, 96 pages, 10″ x 10″, Available March 15
Artist Jessie Kanelos Weiner is an American living in Paris (what a dream!) who writes a wonderful blog about the experience. She creates vibrant watercolor illustrations and fine line drawings for clients and publications worldwide. Edible Paradise is her first coloring book, and her description of the book is dead on:
“[Edible Paradise] sets its readers of all ages on an enchanted journey, discovering the seasonal delicacies and creatures found in forests, fields, gardens, and urban farmer’s markets all in richly detailed freehand drawings. But in the humble opinion of its creator, the true beauty of the book lies in the hands of whoever colors it in.”
This beauty would be great for not only foodies, but also nature fans and gardeners.
Fruit Garden Adult Colouring Book
Paperback, $9.95, 64 pages, 8.5″ x 11″, Available Now
This book has 20 hand drawn grayscale illustrations of fruit still-lifes, gardens and mandalas with both dark gradient and white backgrounds – a unique offering. It also gives you a practice sheet and a link to a great PDF that shows shows you how to use blending techniques to color cherries – an awesome bonus. Pages are single-sided.
Sometimes you just want to get a little chuckle or immerse yourself in something easy to color. Here are a couple of adult coloring books to satisfy that yearning.
Designs to Color Book 1: The Original Coloring Books for Adults
Paperback, $9.95, 48 pages, 8.5″ x 10.8″, Available March 22
Betty Schaffner was a nurse, housewife, and mother. In the late 1950’s, she started doodling. Her children loved to color the doodles, and begged her for more. So she made larger doodles for them, and added “real” things to the collection such as shoes, typewriters, trash cans, and cars. She finally made coloring books and they became one of longest-running coloring books series in the 70s and 80s. Designs to Color is the original coloring book and has 23 original single-sided illustrations.
A Trip to Jeremyville Adult Coloring Book
Paperback, $12.99, 128 pages, 7.2″ x 9.5″, Available March 8
Until I saw this book, I had never heard of Jeremyville and I now wonder what rock I was living under! Artist Jeremyville creates entertaining and thought-provoking illustrations and products with positive and encouraging messages. For a taste of his work, check out his daily messages about environmental action, social change, inner growth and positive actions by searching for #jeremyvilleCSA.
This coloring book – Jeremyville’s first – has mostly simple illustrations but you will find a few “busy” ones to keep you really focused.
Have you made any new adult coloring book discoveries? What about interesting themes? Share with all of us in the comments below!
Title image from Banalities; all others copyright respective authors/publishers.