It’s no secret that most forms of creative expression have connections with stress-relief, whether it’s art, music or the written word.

Adult colouring books might seem a novel idea, but it’s one that’s quickly catching on. In fact, in April 2015, this colouring book topped Amazon’s bestseller list! Today, the appeal of adult colouring books is piquing interests all over the globe. From something that was quintessentially a childhood hobby or activity, colouring has become a go-to activity for adults to find inspiration, calm and an outlet for artistic expression.

What is an adult colouring book? As the name implies, an adult colouring book is precisely what it sounds like. A colouring book designed for adults in mind. This means that the pictures are a lot more detailed and you definitely need a little more patience and dexterity.

So, what exactly are the benefits of using an adult colouring book over, say, painting on a blank canvas?

First and most importantly, it’s ideal for people who enjoy the process of colouring or painting but are unable to draw. For the price of the book, you get dozens of different pictures and all you have to do is fill in the spaces with colours!

Unlike a canvas which requires space for storage (or perhaps space on the wall), your colouring masterpieces are easy to store since they’re in the form of a book. All you have to do is to close the book and place it back on your bookshelf! Also, if you want, you can remove the pages from the book by tearing them out (if they have perforated edges) or by using a penknife and carefully cutting the page. You can then frame and display or give away your completed masterpieces!

Are you restricted to just coloured pencils? While coloured pencils might seem like the most convenient colouring medium for colouring books, many people have actually had great success with Sharpies and other coloured markers, fine-tipped coloured pens and watercolour pencils.  Once again, this depends largely on the quality of the paper. If the paper is very thin, the ink from your Sharpies or coloured pens is bound to bleed through on to the next page. Also, watercolour pencils are not ideal on very thin paper as the paper tends to warp if too much water is used.

Getting Started

If you’re living in Singapore, you can find a wide variety of adult colouring books at Popular bookstores or Kinokuniya. You can also get copies of your favourite books on bookdepository.com or on Amazon. One of the drawbacks of buying your colouring books online is that you’re not able to check out all the designs before you buy the books. You may be able to find some sample pictures online, but this may not be sufficient for you to make a choice. An alternative would be to check out YouTube videos of people who review these books, or who wish to share their tips and tricks.

Choosing A Colouring Book

There is a large variety of colouring books to choose from. Here are a few factors to consider when picking a colouring book.

First and foremost, the designs of the picture should appeal to you immediately. Most books are subdivided by theme. The more popular designs include animals, flowers, food, doodles and patterned designs. Some books have more than one type of design. Choose something that appeals to you and that you’re confident of colouring. There is a wide range of adult colouring books in the market. Apart from the usual colouring books, you can also find those with riddles and games. There’s also a market for “fill-me-in” books where people can add drawings to the existing pictures.

The quality of paper is another important factor, as this will decide the type of colouring medium you can use safely and effectively. If you want to use coloured pens, markers, paint or watercolour pencils, you will need to use paper that’s thick enough so that your colours won’t bleed through onto the next page.

If you wish to tear out pages and frame your work after you’re done, there are a few extra considerations to make. Firstly, check to see that the pictures are printed on single sides, i.e. there should be only one side of each page printed. If you’re using a book which has pictures printed on both sides, you’d have to make a decision on which of the pictures to colour and which to sacrifice! In addition, some books come with perforated pages, so it makes it much easier to tear out the pages when you’re done. Of course, you can use a ruler and a sharp penknife to remove the pages too!

Tanisha Manocha graduated with a degree in Life Sciences, but has since left the  swanky science scene, and is now an English language educator at a local tertiary institution. When she’s not yammering on about the rules of grammar and syntax, she finds herself drawn to the magic of food, nutrition and culinary art. In 2014, Tanisha served as Chief Editor of a book on Chinese ceramic art history. Tanisha also tries to indulge in her all-consuming passion for travel as often as she can, and enjoys forging meaningful relationships with people she meets on the road.

 

Written by Tanisha M

Singaporean. Educator. Home Cook. Global Citizen. Nervous Traveller.

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