If you are looking for a well-priced coloring book with tons of a large variety of illustrations that are great for any mood, consider Mindful Coloring by Diana Dube.
Please see the Disclosure at the end of this post.
Overview of Mindful Coloring
Both the art and introduction in Mindful Coloring are by experts who have the “chops.” Artist Diana Elisabeth Dube, MsEd, has been an educator for fifteen years and has a graduate degree in early childhood general and special education. As an illustrator, she creates wedding invitations and provides interior and jacket art for many books.
The introduction is by Daniel J. Siegel, MD a graduate of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Siegel is a founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, a founding co-investigator at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain and Development, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities.
One of the things I love about Mindful Coloring is the variety of designs.
There are over 100 whimsical illustrations in this coloring book, and most of them fall into two categories: abstract/geometric and representational. Some of the designs are simple, others more involved. Subjects include mandalas, flowers, scenes, animals, and abstracts, from wavy lines to geometric patterns. In short, there is clearly something for everyone.
Line weight in the designs ranges from medium-to-heavy. None of the illustrations run into the gutter, and many have enough white space to doodle or add to the design if you want to.
Mindful Coloring is a handy-size – 8″ x 8″ – and has glossy card stock front and back covers. Although the covers are soft, the 208 pages make a supportive surface for coloring. All of the designs are printed single-sided.
Each page is perforated and tears out very easily. However, the sewn and glued binding holds the pages very well if you want to leave the pages in the book. Bending the pages back a bit ensures that the book will stay flat for coloring.
The smooth white paper is on the lighter-weight side, but more substantial than copier paper. If you leave the designs in the book while coloring, I recommend using a protective paper between pages. I was happy with the results from my Prismacolor Premier pencils although there was some speckling unless I used a heavier hand, and using a heavier hand left dents in the next page. Alcohol markers, like my Prismacolor Premiers, did bleed through. Gel pens and water-based markers did shadow on the reverse side but I did not find any color transferring to the next page.
The printing quality is excellent with no pixelation.
Most of the illustrations are in the easy-to-medium range. Even those can be made more challenging by practicing techniques such as monochrome colors or textures including cross-hatching, dots, stripes, and swirls. In fact, I found this a perfect book of designs to practice different color schemes and techniques. And when my playing around didn’t quite work out, I didn’t fuss because there are so many more pages to color in.
However, if you enjoy complex coloring you won’t be disappointed as there are some challenging patterns included as well.
This is a great coloring book option for anyone with some visual impairment as most of the designs are free of itty-bitty detailing, and line weights aren’t too fine. For the same reasons, many of the illustrations would also be appropriate for anyone who may have some limited hand mobility.
When you are feeling “at ends,” it can be very therapeutic to be able to start and finish coloring a page in one sitting. With their relative simplicity and smaller page size, you can do this with most of the designs in Mindful Coloring. You don’t need a good attention span or level of concentration to be able to enjoy each illustration, and you do not have to focus very hard to stay within the lines.
The variety of illustrations is one of its strengths here as well: you will be able to find at least one drawing to help you for every state of mind, even if you want to be mind-less!
There are so many things to love about Mindful Coloring! I do wish the paper had a bit more tooth and was a tad heavier. Regardless, this coloring book is a great value (currently $10.75 at Amazon.com), has a huge variety of original, hand-drawn designs and is well-constructed. Each page offers a unique therapeutic experience, and you can practice or even challenge your coloring skills and techniques if the mood strikes you. I can’t wait for a Volume 2! I rate it 5★ out of 5★.
DISCLOSURE: Norton Mental Health kindly sent me a copy of this coloring book. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while coloring in this book. This post does contain affiliate links.