My Latest Obsession: Coloring Books for Adults

I know it looks like I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but I’ve been an on-and-off colorer (is that a word?) for ages. Every once in a while I’ll spot a fun-looking coloring book and pick it up, only to lose interest soon after. For instance, a couple of years ago I found a Harry Potter coloring book that I thought would be tons of fun. I think I ended up coloring about three pages in the whole massive book! It just felt too rigid, like the pictures could only be certain colors or I was “doing it wrong,” and that’s just discouraging! Not to mention the poor paper quality in most widely available coloring books.


Enter the gorgeous coloring books illustrated by Johanna Basford. I’ve got my eye on the Enchanted Forest one and if I see it in person before my next Amazon order, I’ll definitely be picking it up. Until then, I found there are a few sample pages from her Secret Garden book available here. I decided to print one of the designs on some thicker drawing paper so I could try out this set of Papermate Flair pens I just bought.

It’s really nice to be able to use ink for coloring, rather than just colored pencils. I have a set of Prismacolor pencils, but it always seems so fussy to use them, with all the sharpening and carefully making sure the color is consistent throughout. I don’t know how well the pens will work in the actual book, but I’ve seen others have used ink before (there’s a cool gallery where people show off how they’ve colored in their books), so they’ll probably be fine.

I really like how saturated it looks with the Flair pens. I searched for a little while to find a set that was more than just a few colors because I knew I wanted to use them for this purpose. I finally found a set of 16 at Michael’s and used a 40% off coupon (yay!). While I was looking to see if they had any of the Johanna Basford coloring books, I overheard one woman say to another that coloring for adults was this new trend for relaxation. I had a bit of a chuckle over that ;)

It is quite relaxing though! I personally like to listen to audiobooks while I’m coloring. It helps keep my mind from wandering from what I’m listening to. My audiobook of the moment is Longbourn by Jo Baker. I was having a hard time getting into it, so doing a bit of coloring at the same time helped me reach a point where I’m interested in where the story is going.

What about you? Have you recently jumped on the coloring bandwagon, or have you been a longtime colorer? And how do you feel about staying inside the lines? (I’m an inside-the-lines kind of girl!) Are there any other coloring books you recommend?

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