If you’re new to adult coloring or have heard a lot about it but haven’t tried it yet, you probably have a question or two. Below are some of the most common questions that newbies have about adult coloring.
What Exactly Is Adult Coloring?
Adult coloring is just what it sounds like – coloring for adults! Adult coloring is a therapeutic way to relax and explore your creative side by coloring in illustrations printed in adult coloring books or published online for at-home printing.
Who Invented Adult Coloring?
Adult coloring has been around for hundreds of years. Still, the recent surge in popularity is credited to a Scottish artist named Johanna Bansford, who started publishing successful adult coloring books in 2013.
How Are Adult Coloring Books Different from Coloring Books for Children?
Coloring books for adults tend to be more detailed, and the themes and pictures are less aimed at children. Illustrations in adult coloring books often focus on relaxing images of nature or intricate designs meant to increase focus, like mandalas.
Why Is Adult Coloring So Popular?
Adults color for lots of different reasons. Some enjoy the therapeutic benefits and the chance to unwind after a stressful day, and others do it because it’s fun!
What Are the Benefits of Adult Coloring?
Adult coloring has many benefits, like:
- Increasing mindfulness
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Creative self-expression
- Time away from electronics
- Improving mental functioning and motor control
What Do I Need to Start Adult Coloring?
Getting started with adult coloring is as easy as buying a coloring book or printing out a coloring page from the computer, and choosing a coloring tool. It’s that easy!
How Much Do Adult Coloring Books Cost?
Adult coloring books can cost anywhere from a dollar to over $20, but they’re usually in the range of $7-$15. Try dollar stores and second-hand shops for better prices.
Are More Expensive, Coloring Books Worth It?
More expensive coloring books will sometimes use higher-quality paper, which will often be thicker than in less expensive books. This is good for colorists who use wetter mediums like paints since bleeding through the paper can be an issue with thinner paper.
A lot of the time, though, more expensive coloring books aren’t significantly different than cheaper alternatives unless they contain unique illustrations that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.
What Should I Use to Color With?
You can use whatever coloring tool you feel comfortable with for adult coloring:
- Colored pencils
- Gel Pens
- Watercolor brush pens
The tool you use will depend on the style you’re trying to achieve. Many colorists choose to use a mixture of different mediums in their coloring.
What Are the Types of Adult Coloring Books?
The types of adult coloring books are practically endless, as coloring book creators strive to make something for everyone. Popular themes are:
- Relaxing patterns
- Pop culture
If you can imagine it, there’s a good chance that someone has made it into a coloring book.
Where Can I Buy an Adult Coloring Book?
Because of their popularity, adult coloring books are easy to find in many types of stores:
- Grocery stores and pharmacies
- Bix box stores like Target and Walmart
- Book stores
- Art supply shops
- Arts and crafts stores
- Dollar stores
How Do I Choose a Coloring Book?
Choosing the right coloring book is mostly a matter of preference, but some things to think about are:
- The coloring book’s theme or subject
- How simple or intricate the designs are
- Whether the pages are thick enough for your chosen art medium
How Are Stress Reducing Coloring Books Different?
Stress-reducing coloring books tend to be more detailed, using soothing repetitive patterns. All coloring books reduce stress, though, so don’t feel limited in your selection.
What Is a Mandala Coloring Book?
Mandala coloring books are full of mandalas, which are intricate geometric figures that have been around for centuries. They’re said to promote relaxation and focus and reduce stress and anxiety.
How Do Adult Coloring Books Help With Stress Relief?
Creative activities like coloring help to reduce stress and anxiety by giving the mind something to focus on and increasing mindfulness. The repetitive actions of coloring are also soothing to the nervous system.
Is Adult Coloring the Same as Meditation?
Adult coloring is one form of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation involves bringing your awareness into the present moment, rather than remembering, planning, or stressing about future events.
Are Adult Coloring Books Therapeutic?
It’s hard to believe that something so simple can have such tremendous therapeutic benefits, but it’s true. This is why art therapists have been prescribing coloring for decades.
Do Coloring Books For Kids Have the Same Benefits?
Suppose you find that you prefer coloring books in the kid’s section; by all means, color in kids’ coloring books. The designs are more straightforward but provide the same stress relief. You can always add your patterns and details, too, to make it more complicated.
Can Kids Color in Adult Coloring Books?
Kids can use adult coloring books, and it might be a fun bonding activity to color in the same one. However, intricate designs might be too challenging for younger children.
How Can I Make the Most Out of My Coloring Sessions?
Try scheduling regular coloring time in a quiet space, where you can fully relax and enjoy the activity with as little interruption as possible. Try playing your favorite music in the background.
How Much Time Does Coloring Take?
The great thing about coloring is that you can do it anywhere, and it takes no time at all to set up. This makes it easy to color for as long or as short as your schedule, and attention span allow. That being said, more intricate illustrations will take longer to color than simpler ones, so keep that in mind when planning your coloring sessions.
How Can I Improve My Coloring Skills?
Your coloring skills will naturally improve the more you practice, but if you’d like to speed the process along, try experimenting with new techniques and styles. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for inspiration.
What Are Coloring Techniques?
Coloring techniques are ways of coloring that vary from the traditional back-and-forth strokes.
Some examples are:
- Polka dots
- Contouring and shading
- Color washing
While some techniques can be done regardless of the medium being used, others are medium-dependent.
What is Mixed Media Coloring?
The phrase “mixed media” refers to art created out of more than one art medium, for example, pen and paint. So mixed media coloring refers to coloring using different mediums, which can add depth and interest to your coloring.
You can try:
- Coloring the foreground with crayons and the background with watercolor
- Using mostly colored pencils, with metallic gel pen highlights
- Going over watercolor with the same shade of marker for shadow effects
Can I Fix Mistakes I Make While Coloring?
It’s sometimes possible to fix mistakes while coloring, depending on the art medium you’re using. If you’re not able to use an eraser or even white-out, try blending the mistake of turning it into an accent, so it looks like you intended it all along.
How Do I Preserve Completed Coloring Pages?
You can preserve completed coloring book pages by spraying a fixative over the top to prevent smudging. Many colorists choose to skip this step, though, since it can cause yellowing over time. If you display your finished coloring pages, make sure to keep them out of bright light, which will cause them to fade.
How Can I Display Finished Coloring Pages?
The best way to display finished coloring pages is in frames that use UV-blocking glass. This will protect them from dirt, smudging, tearing, and fading. Don’t forget; that there are many online coloring forums where members display their works, too.
How Do I Store Completed Coloring Pages?
Storing completed coloring pages flat in a dry, dark place with tracing paper between them will keep them from fading and smudging. You can also buy an artist’s portfolio with clear pockets, which will protect the art.
What Should I Do With Completed Coloring Books?
You can save completed coloring books from marking your progress over the years, or you can upcycle them into functional art. Try using the finished pages for:
- Unique gift wrap
- Laminated coasters
- Cheap wall art
- Homemade greeting cards
- Easy kitchen drawer liners
Can I Color If I Have Arthritis?
You can color if you have arthritis, and in fact, it might decrease hand stiffness. If you have a hard time with grip, try buying extra-wide crayons meant for children who are learning to hold things. You can also cut a couple of slits in a tennis ball and poke a colored pencil or paintbrush through for an easy, comfortable grip.
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