How to Color in Adult Coloring Books

By | 01/05/2016


How to color in adult coloring books? Coloring is an intuitive activity, so intuitive that even children easily take it up, but there may be a lot of options when it comes to your new coloring hobby that you may not be totally aware of. For example, what kinds of materials do you use when you take up coloring?

Well, coloring can be as simple or as complex as you would like, honestly. On the one end of the spectrum, there’s not much you need besides an image to color in and something to color it with, but let’s take a look at those two aspects separately and take a look at your options:

Things You Can Color

There are both a few traditional and a few more modern options that you can go with.

Coloring Books. These are the more common choice and you can usually find them at a craft store, or for cheaper online. They’re easy and convenient, since all of your coloring pages are bound up and easy to take on the go.

Printed Pages from the Internet. If you’re really cheap, or you simply want to color in images that are not available in the coloring books that you’ve found, you can simply print your own. Coloring hardly has to cost you anything more than the price of printing paper (or heavier card stock, since this will work better), as you can see.

Coloring Utensils that You Can Use

You have a few choices here, and each will give you a different effect and a slightly different feel.

Crayons. If you like the smell of wax, you can use crayons to color, this will remind you about your childhood coloring joy, but generally these cause an imprecise look to your masterpiece. It can be fun to bring back the memories, but it’s hard to do any kind of detailed work and they have a tendency to snap in half if you get too enthusiastic and start pressing hard. A huge advantage is that they certainly are cheap and simple to use. There are much better options, though, like the ones listed below.

Gel Pens. These are particularly good if you are looking for a coloring utensil that doesn’t require you to press too hard while you’re working. They result in a great, crisp look and the colors are vibrant, but the light motion required is still easy on your hands. Sometimes they are prone to drying out a little, but the ease of use can more than make up for it. Depending on the kind you get, they can also be a bit on the expensive side.

Colored Pencils. The nice thing about colored pencils is that, just like regular pencils, it is easy to shade things and control how light or dark the shade is by simply pressing more or less hard. You can also blend colors in very efficiently compared to pens or crayons. The cost of these can vary, and you have choices ranging from your very dirt cheap “school supply”-type colored pencils, to more expensive, professional-level ones.

Markers. Though markers are prone to drying out and bleeding, they can create very bright colors with very little physical effort on the part of your hands. You can also buy certain brands of markers that are blendable.

Well, there are some people who use crayons like their children might, but probably most adults who play with coloring books use colored pencils. This gives a cleaner sort of look to the lines, and you can actually end up creating some very attractive masterpieces. When you’re dealing with colored pencils specifically, you can use a lot of shading techniques, too, like:

Using Thinners

You can blend your colors and make them pop using mineral spirits and other kinds of solvents.

Using Pressure

As mentioned, you can vary the pressure that you use with colored pencils to shade your pictures and give them a more three dimensional look.

Using Varied Colors

One way to make the dark colors stand out is to use lighter colors over them, or vice versa.

Now, if you’ve decided that you’re going to use a coloring book (or a certain website with print outs), another thing you might want to consider is what sort of coloring book is best for you. To answer this question most effectively, ask yourself: For what reason are you primarily taking up coloring? Are you looking for stress relief? Are you looking to help yourself get focused? Are you looking for inspiration or spiritual enhancement?

Stress Relief and Focus

Many people take up coloring because of its ability to calm a person down and help them remain in the moment—”mindful,” in meditation parlance. By focusing on the simple task of coloring, it can free the mind. If you’re looking for this effect specifically, you may want to pick one of a myriad of mandala coloring books. Mandalas are geometric patterns that traditionally have spiritual significance and a calming effect on those who view them. Some people believe that they can also enhance creativity, so give them a try!

Getting Inspired

Lots of people post “affirmations” (inspirational quotes or statements) on their walls that represent goals they want to reach or healthy mental states that they want to adopt. How effective are they, though? If they simply become part of your habitual décor, you may not even see them after awhile. It’s much better to concentrate on an affirmation or inspiring statement as part of a task; you can do this by using inspirational quotes adult coloring pages that are filled with inspirational quotes intended to improve your life.

Feeding Your Spirit

Perhaps you want to be closer to a higher power—whichever god that may be for you—and you would like to get in touch with your creative side while perusing Holy Scripture. You can also buy coloring books that include verses from the Bible and other texts.

Reminding Yourself of Your Hobbies and Interests

Are you an animal lover? There are coloring books with different animal patterns. Do you like dogs and cats? You can find drawings of the two popular pets to color as well. There’s no shortage of different kinds of coloring books to have fun with.

Now that you’re aware of the basics, buy your first coloring book and materials, you can check out the recommended best seller coloring books and coloring materials in Happy Mom Happy Toddler Store, then give this simple hobby a try.

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7 thoughts on “How to Color in Adult Coloring Books

  1. netp

    I keep meaning to buy an adult colouring book – but there are so many to choose from! I end up not getting any! I LOVE the idea of the affirmations one! That would be awesome…. could you possibly recommend me your favourite one? Thanks! Loved reading this, it’s sparked my imagination thanks.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Netp,

      So you love the affirmations one, me too! Great to find a same-minded person like you. My favourite one is ” Creative Coloring Inspirations: Art Activity Pages to Relax and Enjoy” by Valentina Harper, there are strong affirmations but not too hard to colour for beginners. If you would like to see some of the high-rated choices I picked, you can get it from my Happy Mom Happy Toddler Store ,click on page 8 & 9 for affirmative and inspirational colouring books. Make it happen, enjoy Netp!

  2. Retha

    This is an interesting article because it makes you think back to your childhood years. I’ve always loved to color and still do because I am a very imaginative and creative person. I am a dress designer and I work with colors all the time. I love to mix and match solid colors with different and interesting prints that makes onlookers do double-takes and want that dress. I also love to draw the dresses I make and I do use colored pencils to color the image with to make it look more realistic. Which coloring tool does your child prefer? Do you ever work with paint? I noticed that you didn’t mention this tool, and I just wonder.
    My kids liked the paint better because they could mix it to make a different color and it was easier to color with. I think that many people and their children will benefit from the information you have here, Keep up the good work!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Retha,

      It is amazing to know that you are a dress designer. I always dream to be one and made that as my top ambition list when I was little. My child loves Crayola crayons and I actually prefer using different kinds of coloring tools based on the patterns and designs of the coloring pages. If the lines are detailed, I will use gel pens to color and it is not so tiring, if the patterns are bold, I love crayons because they are so easy to color and I just like the smell of wax. Paint is great for blending! For the general coloring pages, I would always prefer just colored pencils. Thank you for reading the post, I will add my choices in the content as well.

  3. Hillary

    I love the adult coloring books that have come out recently! I bought two copies of The Enchanted Forest and my son and I sit side by side and work on our respective books and it’s so relaxing and enjoyable. I use marker, but he prefers colored pencils, so the final effect is very different but both are beautiful.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Hillary,

      Congratulations on the collaboration! I think the combination effect is unique and beautiful using different coloring medium, it is just like a mixed culture. I also enjoyed sitting side by side to color with my son, he seems to like adult coloring, lol. Keep up the spirit!

  4. LDStudio

    I really like the idea of adult coloring books. They are fun, reduce stress and help you focus. Plus, there are so many beautiful ones on the market. I’ve seen several at a local bookstore. Thanks for the idea to use gel pens or markers. The colored pencils are amazing. Great post!


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