Coloring Books for Grown-Ups

Adult coloring books – so called not because of any questionable content but because of their intricate and time-intensive patterns – have become mega-trendy lately. Case in point, this excerpt from an article posted in The Guardian last month:

“The bestselling title on Amazon in the US right now is not Harper Lee’s hugely anticipated second novel, Go Set a Watchman, or George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, or even Zoella’s much-mocked but much-bought young adult hit, Girl Online. Instead, Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford is topping the charts, with her colouring books for adults taking top spots on’s bestseller lists.

Basford’s intricately drawn pictures of flora and fauna in Secret Garden have sold 1.4m copies worldwide to date, with the newly released follow-up Enchanted Forest selling just under 226,000 copies already. They have drawn fans from Zooey Deschanel, who shared a link about the book with her Facebook followers, to the South Korean pop star Kim Ki-Bum, who posted an image on Instagram for his 1.6 million followers.

“I think it is really relaxing, to do something analogue, to unplug,” said Basford. “And it’s creative. For many people, a blank sheet is very daunting; with a colouring book you just need to bring the colour. Also there’s a bit of nostalgia there. So many people have said to me that they used to do secret colouring in when their kids were in bed. Now it is socially acceptable, it’s a category of its own. These are books for adults. The art in my books is super intricate.” ”

Source: Alison Flood,


Coloring provides a fun, safe and creative outlet to those who may not have the skill or time to draw images and then color them in themselves. Coloring has also proven itself to be a good stress reliever and relaxation or meditation tool – one that is easily used by anyone with markers, crayons or colored pencils. And it’s fun!

I haven’t tried a particular coloring book yet myself, but have been researching the most popular, so I was excited to come across this link this morning. It’s about this new coloring book full of architecture and cityscape scenes. Which, since am a huge architecture and urban design fan, SOLD! I mean, how awesome does this look!?




This beauty by Steve McDonald is available for pre-order on Amazon, and has a release date of August 11th.

Here are some of the other popular coloring book choices.

The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford (as mentioned in the quote above)

The Secret Garden Coloring Book

The Secret Garden Coloring Book



Balance by Angie Grace (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders, Volume 1)

Colored by Angie Grace - from Balance (Angie's Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1)

Colored by Angie Grace – from Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1)


Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford:

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford


Splendid Cities: Color Your Way To Calm by Rosie Goodwin:

Splendid Cities by Rosie Goodwin

Splendid Cities by Rosie Goodwin


Detailed Designs and Beautiful Patterns (Sacred Mandala Designs and Patterns Coloring Books for Adults) by Lilt Kids Coloring Books

Detailed Designs and Beautiful Patterns Colored Books

Detailed Designs and Beautiful Patterns Colored Books


Helpful Tip:

As I was researching these coloring books, I learned from reading the reviews on Amazon that marker bleedthrough is a big concern in some books. Some are printed on only one side of the page, which minimizes the concern of markers bleeding through – and can easily be combated by inserting a blank piece of paper underneath the one being colored. But in other cases – particularly the most-popular Secret Garden – the pages are printed double-sided, and if you are not careful with what medium you’re coloring with, the markers will bleed through to the other side. Lesson learned: always read the reviews first!



2 thoughts on “Coloring Books for Grown-Ups

  1. Michelle Smith May 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm Reply

    Wow! That city one is pretty awesome!

  2. selbygirl December 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm Reply

    I do not colour in the books but have them copied onto 200gsm paper. The colours do not bleed. Great solution and easier to colour than fiddling with the book itself.

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