The uniquely pleasurable and absorbing activity of coloring is being rediscovered (and discovered) by artists of every age, thanks to the rising popularity of sophisticated coloring books, drawn by talented ink artists.
These astoundingly detailed books are more than just coloring books—they are works of art rendered in black and white. Glance at a single page of any of them and it won’t be difficult to understand why these books have been flying off the shelves at B&N stores across the country.
Paperback $15.79 | $15.95
The stunning Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, by Johanna Basford, offers an engaging tour through a lush garden. Filled with tiny creatures, challenging activities, and even the opportunity to complete some of the scenes yourself, it offers not only the satisfaction of coloring, but of creating.
Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book, also by Basford, is a similarly mesmerizing collection of magical scenes. Whether it’s a row of tiny tree houses, a riotous tangle of blooms, or a giant toad filled with patterns and surrounded by dancing dragonflies, each image cries out to be explored, relished, and colored. Like Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest contains an activity within an activity—it is filled with hidden symbols and images that questers are encouraged to search for in order to unlock a castle door at the end and discover a hidden secret.
For a beautiful change of scene, Basford’s Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book brings you beneath the waves, where you’re invited to color exotic fish, octopi, and other beautiful aquatic creatures, as well as bewitching shipwrecks and intricate coral reefs. You’ll long to be part of this undersea world.
For those who love the idea of coloring in delicately patterned creatures both great and small, there’s the vibrant Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me, by Millie Marotta. Filled with all manner of intricate birds and beasts, from roosters and rabbits to bees and jellyfish, this elegant book promises hours of enjoyment for artists (and animal enthusiasts) of all stripes.
If you like your creatures on the more stylized side, you’ll enjoy Thaneeya McArdle’s Nature Mandalas Coloring Book, which features 30 intricately detailed mandala circles of elegant, fanciful animals.
Coloring Book $16.93 | $16.99
Collaboratively designed by artist Angela Porter and art therapist Lacy Mucklow, the brilliant Color Me series takes a look at the stress-relieving benefits of relaxing, letting go of your cares, and losing yourself in coloring. Bring out your sunny side with Color Me Happy: 100 Coloring Templates That Will Make You Smile. Or, let Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation guide you through a soothing coloring experience in seven thematic chapters, including Wooded Scenes, Water Scenes, and Geometric Patterns.
If you’re looking for tips on coloring and patterning techniques, look no further than Creative Coloring Inspirations: Art Activity Pages to Relax and Enjoy!, by artist Valentina Harper. Beloved craft author Marie Browning also shares coloring advice in this charming series; each book contains of 30 inspiring images that will brighten your day as you color them—and when you finish, and can admire your handiwork.
Coming in September is Tropical World: A Coloring Book Adventure, which will sweep you away to a rainforest brimming with palm trees, parrots, and exotic animals.
Posh Coloring Book: Pretty Designs for Fun & Relaxation features over 100 pages of stunning designs for you to make your own. With a vast array of very different patterns and styles for you to choose from, you’ll love finding a page to fit every coloring mood. Other Posh Coloring Books in this delightful series include Vintage Designs and Soothing Designs.
Just flipping through any one of these books will make you long to open a brand new tray of sharpened colored pencils and spend a quiet, satisfying evening at home, losing yourself in the joy of coloring.
If you’re like those of us who suspected that your coloring book days were behind you forever, your art supplies may need a bit of sprucing up, and what better excuse to invest in a beautiful new set of pens or markers? As these books are printed on thick, creamy, high-quality paper, your options are not limited when it comes to your instrument of choice—from colored pencils to watercolor pencils; from brush markers to fine-line pens, any number of arty implements will reward careful colorers with beautiful finished pieces fit for framing.