Colouring books for adults have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to relax, unwind, and tap into one’s creativity. Choosing the right colouring book can enhance the experience and help adults get the most benefit from this therapeutic hobby. When selecting an adult colouring book, there are several factors to consider including the book’s illustrations, paper quality, size, binding, and more. Taking the time to find a colouring book that suits your personal preferences will ensure a fulfilling, enjoyable colouring experience.
Look for Complex or Intricate Illustrations
One of the most important factors in choosing an adult colouring book is the complexity and detail of the illustrations. Look for intricate designs with fine lines and plenty of small spaces to colour. More complex pictures provide a challenging and absorbing colouring experience. Simple or sparse drawings tend to be boring for adults to colour. Aim for illustrations with lots of interesting patterns, shapes, and layers to bring out your creativity. Books featuring mandala designs, animals, nature scenes, and fantasy images often have suitable complex illustrations for adults. Stay away from children’s colouring books with basic line drawings.
Consider the Paper Type and Weight
An adult colouring book should have high quality, heavyweight paper that can stand up to colouring mediums like markers, gel pens, or watercolours without bleeding through. Thinner paper tends to let the colours seep onto the next pages. Look for colouring books printed on 60-110lb paper for the best experience. The paper surface is also important. Smooth paper is good for markers, while textured paper can add interesting dimension for colouring with pencils or pastels. Avoid books with perforated pages which can tear easily. Quality paper makes colouring easier and more enjoyable.
Pick a Book with Designs You Enjoy
Since you’ll be spending many hours colouring the pictures, it’s essential to pick an adult colouring book with images you actually like. Whether you love animals, mandalas, gardens, abstract shapes or other themes, choose designs that appeal to your personal interests and taste. This will make the colouring process more fun and pleasing. You can find adult colouring books catering to every interest from horses, flowers and landscapes to Harry Potter, Outlander and other pop culture themes. Select images you’ll be excited to colour.
Consider the Book Size and Binding
The physical size of the colouring book and how it’s bound can impact your colouring experience. Small books around 6 x 9 inches are highly portable for colouring on the go. Larger books allow you to render more detail and are best for colouring at home. Sturdy bindings that keep pages flat are ideal. Avoid flimsy glued bindings that lose pages easily. Lay-flat spiral binding enables you to open pages fully to easily colour the entire image. Hardcover books also keep pages smooth. Take size and binding into account when selecting an adult colouring book.
Look for Colouring Books with Coloured Images
While many adult colouring books contain blank black and white line drawings, some feature partially coloured or greyscale illustrations. Coloured images provide guidance and inspiration for your colour choices. They can help spark creativity in how you use and blend hues. On greyscale designs, you can add shades and textures to black areas while leaving lighter areas mostly white. Partially completed pictures are also excellent for beginners who want some direction. Just be sure the existing colours don’t overwhelm the spaces left for you to colour.
Consider Single-Sided or Double-Sided Pages
Adult colouring books typically have illustrations printed on either one or both sides of each page. Single-sided pages let you colour without the next image showing through, avoiding potential bleed-through. But they also leave some blank pages in the finished book. Double-sided pages maximize the designs but require placing extra paper behind the page you’re colouring to prevent bleed-through. Choose based on your personal preference and colouring style. Single-sided is best if you use markers or watercolours.
Look for Perforated Pages to Remove Finished Art
Some adult colouring books have perforated edges so coloured pages can be removed easily. This allows you to display or share your finished colouring artwork. Just be sure the paper is thick enough not to tear when removed, around 100lb or more. Non-perforated pages mean your work remains in the book. Consider whether you want to exhibit your coloured pieces or keep them private in the book when deciding on perforations.
Pick Colouring Books with Extra Design Elements
For added creativity, look for adult colouring books that incorporate design elements beyond basic line drawings. Some feature backgrounds like intricate frames or borders you can colour. Others include embellishments like swirls, paisleys, flowers and more. These extra details give you more options for creative expression. Just be sure they aren’t overwhelming or distract from the main illustrations. A few tasteful embellishments can enhance your colouring experience.
Choose Colouring Books Printed on One or Both Sides
Adult colouring books typically have the illustrations printed on one or both sides of each page. One-sided printing provides a blank page behind each design, avoiding bleed-through if you use markers or heavy pressure. The downside is some empty pages in the finished book. Two-sided printing maximizes the number of images but requires a blotter page behind each design to prevent bleed-through. Choose based on whether you want to maximize designs or avoid bleed-through.
Consider a Colouring Book with Mixed Design Styles
Some adult colouring books feature a compilation of designs from multiple artists, providing a variety of illustration styles within a single book. These allow you to switch up your creative experience by colouring different techniques, levels of detail, and themes. Choosing a book with mixed designs also helps if you occasionally get tired of a certain style and want to change things up. Just be sure the blend of illustrations appeals to your preferences.
Look for Coloring Books with Lay Flat Binding
The type of binding used can significantly impact your coloring experience. Lay flat binding allows a book to open completely flat so you can easily color all the way to the inside margins. Spiral binding also enables full page access. Avoid coloring books with tight bindings that restrict access to inner portions of designs. You want to be able to comfortably color the entire image without struggling with the binding. Lay flat or spiral bindings are best for adult coloring books.
Make Sure the Paper Won’t Bleed Through
Thin paper that allows markers or watercolor to bleed through can ruin coloring pages below your current one. Before purchasing an adult coloring book, ensure the paper is thick enough to hold liquid media without bleeding. At least medium to heavy weight paper (60lb+) is best. You can also place scrap paper behind pages as you color. Bleed-through resistant paper makes coloring much more enjoyable.
Choosing the ideal adult coloring book involves assessing illustrations, paper quality, binding, and other features against your personal preferences. Look for intricate, challenging designs on high quality paper in a lay flat format from your favorite genres. Taking the time to find a coloring book suited to your tastes will ensure many happy hours of relaxing, creative coloring. The right book makes all the difference in experiencing the full benefits of this popular hobby. Let your inner artist shine through with a coloring book you’ll love.