Colouring Books for Adults: How to Embrace Your Favourite Childhood Pastime Again

Colouring Books for Adults: How to Embrace Your Favourite Childhood Pastime Again

Some of us might feel a bit uncertain about picking up a colouring book, especially if it’s been a good few decades since we last had one, but it really is as simple as picking up a colouring pencil and getting stuck in. Below we’ve put together a few tips for getting the most out of your adult colouring book.


One of the main reasons adult colouring books have got people talking in 2015 is the incredibly relaxing benefits that come with this artistic activity. People are using them for everything from unwinding at the end of a hard day to coping with hugely stressful events in life, so make sure you’re setting the right environment to reap the benefits. Set aside some time free from distractions to get started and work in a quiet, bright and airy room. Make sure you’re comfortable and ensure your responsibilities are well cared for so that you can take some time for yourself. That means letting the kids stay with their grandparents for a few hours or waiting until your partner’s taken the dog out for a walk before picking up your colouring book. And there’s no reason why you need to keep your colouring activity at home. Pack up your pencils and take them down to the local park or tuck them in your bag for the next time you have 10 minutes to stop at your local coffee shop if you can’t find any time for yourself at home.

Ditch the crayons

When we mention colouring books, most of us have memories of chunky crayons with the ends snapped off and messy smears of colour all over our hands. You’ll be glad to hear that adult colouring books require a little more sophistication than that. Fineliners have a very narrow nib that makes them perfect for keeping within the lines when working on a particularly intricate piece. They also achieve a much brighter and cleaner finish than crayons. Another great option to use is colouring pencils. They’ve been upgraded since you were in primary school and you can now get a fantastic variety of shades to work with. Just make sure you keep them sharp to help you stay within the lines.

Pick a subject that you’re interested in

Most parents have learned by now that a colouring book on a subject that your child is already interested in is much more likely to have them quietly scribbling away in the corner than something they find boring. It may seem like common sense, but if you end up forcing yourself to colour in something that you just couldn’t care less about you’ll end up feeling distracted and uninspired and with a picture you’re not particularly proud of. Plants and wildlife such as in Johanna Basford’s colouring books are a popular choice but if you’re not a fan of the outdoors then there are plenty of other subjects to get stuck into too. Take the time to find a subject that motivates you.

Unleash your inner artist

Once you’ve mastered colours and keeping within the lines (trust us, if it’s been a few years then you’ll need some practise) then why not move onto more advanced techniques. Try shading and blending as you colour to create a more dynamic and defined piece. To get started, imagine the sun is just out of sight in the right hand corner of the picture. Everything exposed to the sun will be lighter whereas the bits in the shadows will be darker. You’ll be amazed by how much life it brings into your picture once you get it right!

You can take a look at our selection of adult colouring books here – including the latest book by Johanna Basford, Enchanted Forest. Don’t forget to pick up some colouring pencils and pens as well to get started.