Adult colouring books took 2015 by storm, with Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest starting the trend. Countless more started hitting the shelves, each with their own style and themes – from nature & zen illustrations to pop culture ones – and I completely fell into this craze. Truthfully, I’ve only completed 2-3 pages (they take forever!), I couldn’t resist adding quite a few of them to my collection.
Not sure which one(s) you want to get for yourself or for a gift? Today, I’ll take a look at some from my collection in hopes of helping you narrow it down by giving you my mini reviews and a snapshot inside the pages.
As I previously mentioned, Basford’s two colouring books were a runaway hit. I don’t know if anyone anticipated how much they would take off and demand was high. I remember these being sold out for a while everywhere. There are now even postcard-sized versions, as well as a larger artist’s edition for all your colouring needs. The newest addition to Basford’s beautifully illustrated colouring book collection is Lost Ocean, full of underwater drawings to colour. What sets these ones apart from others is the added fun of a scavenger hunt. Not only do you get to colour but keep your eyes peeled for some hidden objects throughout its pages.
- Enchanted Forest: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Secret Garden: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Lost Ocean: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
Local artist Steve McDonald has his collection of intricate illustrations of cities – real and imagined – in Fantastic Cities. Each of the mesmerizing cities are identified on the inside cover, each one equally hynoptic with the level of detail. While I love the city scapes (I’m more a “City Mouse” than a “Country Mouse”), I can’t help but want there to be some order to the colouring, and it’s a bit tough with so many detailed lines.
Zoé de Las Cases
The “Secret” series features a variety of drawings from the simpler to the more detailed. The subject are landmarks as well as random objects. I have the Secret Paris one (of course), and others in the series are Secret Tokyo and Secret New York. I love all the themes of this series and the drawings are cute and quirky, but I find the randomness to the pages a bit.. well, random. It’s not a pattern or a landscape so my adult mind can’t get past trying to colour, say, a bag of flour in a creative way.
- Secret Paris: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Secret New York: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Secret Tokyo: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
Pop Culture Colouring Books
It’s not just any Game of Thrones colouring book, it’s The Official Game of Thrones Coloring Book and it’s one of the many “pop culture” ones that have been released as of late. Featuring quotes/excerpts on one side and detailed drawings by world-renowned artists (Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomić, Adam Stower, and Levi Pinfold) on the other side. Similar to many of the other celebrity colouring ones (like the “Colour Me Good” series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Ryan Gosling and SO. MANY. MORE.), I would love it because -well- it’s BC but I find it a bit odd to have people and faces broken up into so many different lines, as if you’re to colour all these areas in a different colour. Give me my items and scenery…
- The Official Game of Thrones Coloring Book: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Colour Me Good Benedict Cumberbatch: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
And falling into that Pop Culture category.. last but certainly not least…
The Harry Potter Colouring Book
Colouring books featuring the boy wizard are aplenty but generally were geared more towards the younger generation. The first of four (and hopefully more) has just been released for Potter fans of all ages. The pages consist of scenes from the movie, iconic items and patterns to colour but, just in case you want to stay true to life, the bag includes colour pages of the crests, and movie stills for colour reference. The second one, Creatures, is due out February 1, 2016; the third, Magical Places & Characters out April 1, 2016; and the fourth, Artifacts, out July 1, 2016.
- Harry Potter Colouring Book #1: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Harry Potter #2 Creatures: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Harry Potter #3 Magical Places & Characters: Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
- Harry Potter #4 Artifacts: Goodreads | Chapters Indigo
While many people love these adult colouring books because they’re not as simple as its younger counterparts, I have spoken to a few friends who prefer some books with a bit less detail. It seem to have the opposite effect to some: rather than have it be a relaxing activity, it becomes stressful to colour such intricate pages. So even though, as I stated above, it’s taken me forever to complete such a few pages, it’s an enjoyable pasttime when I’m trying to unwind and not think about the daily stresses of life. Put on some Netflix and colour! Even with all my love of Harry Potter, and all the other variations of colouring books that have popped up – I still am a big fan of Johanna Basford’s series. Colouring, picture hunting, and just enough detail without it being overwhelming or boring.
I hope this helps a bit with your shopping! Maybe a colouring book will make its way into your shopping – as a gift or for yourself to destress from the crowded malls! 😉