Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hot Trend: Adult Colouring Books {Review}

Every year on the Canada Day weekend we head to a friend's family cottage. It's a fabulously fun tradition, rain or shine, and keeps us mostly unplugged for 4 or 5 days while we relax next to the river. We bring crossword puzzles, knitting, books to read, and crafts to work on while we're there. And this year, for the first time, there were colouring books for the big kids and grown-ups.

Adult colouring books have become quite the phenomenon over the last two years. I am seeing them pop up in book and craft stores everywhere, as well as in friends' homes. What's the draw? For me it's the combination of creativity and relaxation.

You are colouring a design created by someone else, but you are in full control of the shades you choose and how you put them together. Bright and bold? Or subtle pastels? Why not combine the two and see what comes out! I'm finding out that I like symmetry and complementary colours. I seem to have a need to use a particular colour consistently throughout a design, and to balance borders and inner elements to bring an image together.

Most folks, including me, report feeling relaxed and almost meditative when they are colouring. The designs may be simple or intricate, but they take your focus. You can't worry about the dirty floor, or what's for dinner, or the bills, when you are colouring. There are no huge decisions to be made. You can let yourself just be, focus on the movement of your hand and relax into the colours.

In fact, research suggests that coloring within a premade design might help fight anxiety. Clinical psychologist Kimberly Wulfert of explains that “In coloring, you’re being mindful, and when you move in a rhythmic fashion for an extended period of time, that becomes a meditation.” I think we can all use a bit of that in our busy lives.

Skyhorse Publishing sent me a selection of their adult colouring books to try out. Their books provide 46 designs for you to colour, each on its own perforated, one-sided page. This makes it so easy to remove your design, either to work on or to frame and display once completed. At the start of each book they present smaller, full colour versions of each design, for inspiration. You could match the colours if you like, or choose your own. 

The twelve-book Creative Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book Series  includes detailed introductions highlighting the histories of the motifs featured, including paisley, mandala, art nouveau, zen, mehndi and whimsical designs. I like that you can take the opportunity to learn as well as get creative and de-stress. Plus, each set of motifs comes in both "Coloring for Everyone" and "Coloring for Artists" versions. The designs in the artist books are more intricate, so more challenging, but it's still all about how you want to approach them. Which would you choose?

Here's the design I'm currently working on, from Whimsical Designs: Coloring for Artists.

I've been enjoying working on these colouring sheets in the evenings, with a nice cup of tea, to help me relax after a long day. The books would also be a fabulous addition to your cottage library, along with a big box of coloured pencils for your guests. 

Have you joined the adult colouring movement? If you would like to give it a try, check out these printables, which Skyhorse has kindly sent along for me to share with you all. Click on each image to download. Cheers!

Disclosure: I received complimentary books to facilitate this review. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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