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Top 10 Coloring Books for Adults

Updated on April 14, 2018

Coloring As An Adult

Years ago, one of my favorite things to do was to go to dollar stores and drug stores. I'd go to their coloring section, where there were coloring books under five dollars and cheap crayons. I'd purchase several of them and spend hours coloring pictures of princesses and flowers.

I love arts and crafts. I write all the time, play piano, compose music, and I even took up jewelry making for awhile. I'm not great at drawing, but I adore colors. I like watching them blend together and bring a picture to life, which is why coloring is so much fun to me.

For a long time, it was viewed as a child's hobby. Cashiers assumed that I bought coloring books because I had a child at home and I didn't correct them.

It was really exciting when coloring books for adults first came out. I realized that there were many others like me, probably, who had enjoying coloring children's books. And even if they hadn't, they were finding their joy of coloring again.

Adult coloring books are so much better than the ones I used to buy at the dollar store. It's not just about the price, it's about the intricacy. Children's coloring books have simplistic pictures that aren't a challenge to color. Pictures in adult coloring books can take weeks to finish on the other hand. They're more detailed, vivid, and beautiful to look at. I will never go back to coloring children's books again.

They're also not that expensive. The majority of them are under ten dollars. This surprised me. I expected them to cost more money and for me to be able to purchase very few of them.

I used to only color in crayons, but with the rise of coloring books for adults, I've been able to find thinner markers to color with, elaborate colored pencil kits, and pens that I use now as well.

Coloring is a way to relieve stress. It's a way to relax, while also concentrating and producing something.

But not all adult coloring books are fantastic. Some are better than others. After collecting several of them, I've been able to make a top ten list of the best coloring books for adults that I've been able to find.

At the end of each entry there will be a video or a link that will allow you to preview the coloring pages in each book, so you can take that into consideration before you purchase.

#10 Secret Garden

I had to include this one. It's a classic. Adult coloring books became a trend when this book as released and became a bestseller.

You'll like it more if you enjoy doodling. There's several pages that ask for you to finish the picture with doodles. I'm not a big fan of doodling because I can't draw very well, but this coloring book makes me want to try, since the doodles in it are half-drawn already (to give you inspiration.)

Even if you don't like doodling though, the pictures that are there for coloring only, are very detailed and beautiful. It has a stunning picture of a peacock that made me obsessed with finding adult coloring books with pictures of peacocks in them. I had a friend on facebook who colored that picture (I haven't gotten around to doing this myself yet) and it turned out gorgeous!

One of the best features of this coloring book is that the pages are very thick, so you're not going to get any bleed through.

What You Can Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

Good news for all SECRET GARDEN fans! All editions of SECRET GARDEN now feature thicker and heavier paper stock, fighting bleed-through from ink pens.

Experience the phenomenon that has sold 2 million copies worldwide and launched the coloring craze for adults.

This beautiful and interactive coloring book features delicate and highly detailed pen-and-ink illustrations—all waiting to be brought to life with color. As added entertainment, tiny garden creatures are hidden on the pages, waiting to be found, and a key and index are included in the back. The book's cover and jacket are also colorable.

Appealing to all ages, SECRET GARDEN is the original and first book by Johanna Basford.

#9 Designs

When I first saw this coloring book, I thought it was a Mandala coloring book. Mandalas can be soothing and beautiful to color, but I usually prefer to color something with more of a theme than most mandalas have with their repetitive patterns. I prefer pictures in a garden setting or with an animal normally.

But this coloring book is not filled with mandalas. Like the cover says, it's filled with random designs. A lot of them are very intriguing, things like symbols and hand gestures with weird designs in them. They're pictures within pictures.

I put this coloring book in the top ten because I felt like the designs in it are very unique and unlike other coloring books you'll find out there. They are also elaborate, detailed, and gorgeous, which is important for any adult coloring book.

What To Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

  • 48 unique coloring pages featuring mandalas, geometric shapes and other unique designs.
  • Variety of levels of difficulty
  • One-sided pages; only one picture printed on each sheet
  • High-resolution images
  • A comfortable and convenient 8" x 10" size

Relax and let your stress melt away as you give your artistic side the center stage. This diverse assortment of mandalas, geometric shapes and other unique designs is the perfect escape from your busy life!

Enjoy the delightful, stress-relieving benefits of coloring for adults with Designs!

#8 Flower Mandalas

Mandalas are perfect for adult coloring because they're so intricate, but I usually avoid them in favor of a more real picture. This is the best of both worlds. You're coloring flowers, but in the intricate patterns and shapes of mandalas. They resemble bouquets more than actual mandalas. Each design is beautiful. Not to mention that this collection was drawn by one of my favorite coloring book artists of all.

What To Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

Enter a world of creative self-expression with this relaxing coloring book for grownups. Inside you ll find 30 amazing art activities that will take you to a mystical garden of patterning, shading, and coloring. These whimsical images of beautiful floral mandalas offer a easy way to de-stress and unleash your inner artist.Thaneeya McArdle s transcendental art explores a visual language of shape, form, line, and color. Each vibrantly detailed illustration is designed to exercise your creativity. Beautifully colored finished examples are provided, along with a handy guide to basic art techniques, from patterning and combinations to shading and color theory.This therapeutic coloring book is perfect for decorating with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, or watercolors. Printed on high-quality, extra-thick paper that won t bleed through, all of the pages are pre-perforated for easy removal and display. "

#7 Mandalas: Stress Relief

As I've said before, I usually dislike mandalas, but these mandalas are more beautiful and intricate than in other coloring books. They're an exception to me.

If I'm going to color an mandala, I prefer for it to be extremely detailed and complicated. The more complicated they are, the more interesting the designs become as I color them. These ones are beautiful and not as repetitive as most mandalas are.

You want some repetition with your mandalas (that's what makes them mandalas after all), but enough variety in them to make them interesting to color.

Blurb

50 Mandala Designs to Color!
• Dozens of detailed mandala designs created for adults
• Each coloring page is designed to help relax and inspire
• Use your choice of coloring tool (pens, pencils, markers, crayons)
• Each design is on a separate sheet

#6 Creative Haven: Owls

Owls are animals that are perfect for adult coloring books. They're whimsical creatures of the night, often seen in fantasy stories because of their wisdom and beauty. Adult coloring books tend to focus more on being decorative than physically accurate. Because of the ways owls are seen in society, they fit right in with these types of whimsical pictures.

The owls in this coloring book are gorgeous and the pictures are detailed. There are a lot of owl coloring books for adults out there, but I think this one is the best.

What To Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

More than 30 fanciful full-page illustrations depict the wisest of birds in lush, tapestry-like settings. Covered with flowers, paisleys, and other fun-to-color patterns, these adorable owls are posed against vivid backgrounds brimming with intricate designs. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Owls and other Creative Haven® adult coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

#5 Dazzling Dogs

If you're like me and you love dogs, then this is a great coloring book for you. Most of the time, the animals with the ridiculous designs on their bodies look weird to me, but this is an exception. The pictures are detailed, but the dogs still remain adorable and beautiful. There's just enough realism for the animals not to look too ridiculous, but still enough patterns on them for the pictures to be complicated and interesting to color.

Blurb

Thirty-one intricate portraits of pooches form the perfect coloring book for dog lovers with a taste for the fanciful. Flowers, paisley patterns, and other ornaments highlight pictures of dogs on road trips, digging fossils, and reveling in nature. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Dazzling Dogs and other Creative Haven® adult coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

#4 Creative Cats

Since you're on the internet right now, it's safe for me to assume that you love cats. A lot of us share pictures of cats (whether they are ours or other peoples) more than any other pictures on social media.

This coloring book is filled with cats. Gorgeous cats. Some of them look like humans. Some of them look like queens. It makes sense that this coloring book is so popular.

Also, one of the best things about the company Creative Haven is all their coloring books tend to be one-sided on every page, so you don't have to worry about bleed through as much.

I have several Creative Haven adult coloring books on this list. They make a lot of them that are high quality, so even though I can't fit them on here, if you see one that interests you on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever else, you should consider purchasing it. I own many by them.

Blurb

  • Cat fanciers and coloring enthusiasts will be enchanted with this gallery of original designs
  • Form a rich tapestry of motifs that includes hearts flowers and paisleys in various patterns
  • This book contains more than thirty full-page portraits of pretty pussycats

#3 Free Spirit

This coloring book was created by the same person who made the #1 coloring book on this list. This woman is very talented. I love how unique all the pictures she drew in this coloring book are. Even though they follow one central theme, they are all different from each other. A lot of them have positive messages that I enjoy. When you're staring at a message for hours or days or weeks as you color in a picture, it's more enjoyable if the message is positive. All the pictures are all intricate and they're all beautiful.

I especially like that she has a picture of a dream catcher in this coloring book. Dream catchers are beautiful to look at in person and also very fun to color in a coloring book. Especially with how detailed many of the artists who make adult coloring books can draw them.

This woman who made this coloring book also tends to make quality coloring books using thick paper so you don't have to worry as much about bleed through from markers and pens.

What You Can Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

Enter a world of creative self-expression with this relaxing coloring book for grownups. Inside you ll find 30 amazing art activities that will take you on a limitless journey of patterning, shading, and coloring. These whimsical images offer a easy way to de-stress and unleash your inner artist.Thaneeya McArdle s transcendental art explores a visual language of shape, form, line, and color. Each vibrantly detailed illustration is designed to exercise your creativity. Beautifully colored finished examples are provided, along with a handy guide to basic art techniques, from patterning and combinations to shading and color theory.This therapeutic coloring book is perfect for decorating with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, or watercolors. Printed on high-quality, extra-thick paper that won t bleed through, all of the pages are pre-perforated for easy removal and display."

#2 Steampunk Fashion

Steampunk is great for adult coloring books. All the gears and intricate designs of their clothing and tools is perfect for complicated, adult coloring books. It's also beautiful.

If you don't know what steampunk is, it's a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy. It's based off of the 19th century. It's what our world would look like if we used only "steam" technology from that time and made futuristic gadgets with them, instead of the gadgets we have now using computer technology. It iinvolved the use of a lot of gears and fashions from that time period.

This coloring book has pages that are only one-sided, so you don't have to worry as much about bleed through and you can rip out the pages and hang them up if you want to.

A lot of these steampunk pictures are so pretty and intricate that they remind me of stained glass windows.

What You Can Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

Based on fashions from steampunk literature, these 31 original designs combine Victorian-era clothing with goggles, clocks, and other technological accessories. The illustrations' intricacy and post-apocalyptic air offer mature colorists creatively challenging and unique coloring experiences. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Steampunk Fashions and other Creative Haven® adult coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

#1 Good Vibes

This is, by far, my favorite coloring book because it's so uplifting. Every page has an inspiring message to color, which I think is better than just the standard landscape or mandala. It allows you to sit and contemplate the positive message for hours as you decorate it. When I'm done, I'm often tempted to hang the pictures on the wall, so I can fill my house with positive messages.

I like that the messages seem to come alive in the pictures and also that the designs are all beautiful and intricate. You're not just coloring in a couple of bubble letters. Every picture is so much more than that.

Another thing I like is how the pages are only one sided, so if you use markers or pens, it doesn't matter if the colors show up on the back. Also, you can rip the pages out and hang them on the wall if you want to after you are finished coloring without harming any of the other pictures.

There are also examples in the book of every picture already colored. If you can't figure out what colors you want to use, you can copy those or at least look to them for inspiration.

What You Can Expect If You Buy This Book

Blurb

Product Description

Enter a world of creative self-expression with this relaxing coloring book for grownups. Inside you ll find 30 amazing art activities that will take you to a happy place of patterning, shading, and coloring. These whimsical images offer a easy way to de-stress and unleash your inner artist.Thaneeya McArdle s transcendental art explores a visual language of shape, form, line, and color. Each vibrantly detailed illustration is designed to exercise your creativity. Beautifully colored finished examples are provided, along with a handy guide to basic art techniques, from patterning and combinations to shading and color theory.This therapeutic coloring book is perfect for decorating with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, or watercolors. Printed on high-quality, extra-thick paper that won t bleed through, all of the pages are pre-perforated for easy removal and display."

From the Back Cover

Get Your Coloring Groove OnWelcome to the Good Vibes Coloring Book! I d like to invite you to come inside and play with doodles, shapes, and patterns. Coloring and patterning are relaxing, meditative activities that encourage self-expression, sending you on a creative adventure. I hope that you ll use each of these pages as a launching pad to spark your creativity and unleash your inner artist.Inside you ll find 30 whimsical art activities that are sure to send good vibes your way. Optimism is contagious, and focusing on these cheerful images is a great way to generate good feelings and radiate positive energy. I've provided you with coloring suggestions, but there is no right way or wrong way to color these groovy visions.Each illustration is perfect for decorating with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, watercolors, or crayons. Good Vibes Coloring Book is printed on high-quality, extra-thick paper to eliminate bleed-through, and each page is pre-perforated for easy removal and display.Happy art making!Thaneeya"

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