Crazy about colouring

Of the top 10 books sold by Amazon this year, four were colouring books for adults.

Forget the idea that colouring books are for children. In a time-short world dominated by digital screens, many adults are now embracing the concept of the soothing art of colouring. Chosen for their creativity and the quality of the illustrations and paper, colouring books for adults are of an exceptionally high quality. They are designed to help calm, destress and focus the mind in the belief that exploring colour and space occupies parts of the brain that might normally be involved in anxiety.

‘I love to colour whilst I’m listening to the radio’

But can you really find relief in colouring carefully between the lines? Hephzibah Kaplan, director of the London Art Therapy Centre told the BBC that she believed so. ‘Colouring between the lines requires a relaxed focus where the mark-making is repetitive and smooth, so rather like repeating a mantra where repetition is a means of relaxation, colouring-in is also a type of meditation.’ She added, ‘When focussing on a simple yet safe task, other anxieties become less present, less pervasive’.

‘A page of colouring may take me a whole week – it’s very relaxing’

There are many themed and exquisite colouring books readily available. The beautiful, nature-inspired pages of illustrations of woodlands, tropical gardens and exotic creatures lend themselves to this colouring experience. Extensive landscapes are also captured, including cityscapes such as London, Moscow and Paris.

‘Consider it a digital detox’ Johanna Basford, Illustrator

TIP: Try mixing different coloured pencils to create new colours and tones on the page. Cross hatching also create textures, whilst metallic pencils give a totally different feel to a design.

Enter our Christmas Colouring Competition to win a colouring book and complete colouring kit. 

Jeanette House
NWR trustee

Photo: Colouring together by Lea Latumahina on flickrogether’ by Lea Latumahina on flickr