Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bookish Radar (9): Adult Colouring Books

a compilation of some books that have caught my attention recently.

Adult colouring books have been all the rage recently and I admit that I have been swept up by the craze as well. I wasn’t a child who enjoyed colouring books very much – something about the feel and the texture of the pages of the books, the lack of detail in the drawings (like over-simplicity) and the crayons I were typically given to colour with just didn’t do it for me – but as still-somewhat-of-a-child but definitely older, I do see the allure of adult colouring books. In the past few months, I have been aggressively Googling new adult colouring books to add to my TBR and the ones I have featured here are the books I think are the most interesting and sound like the most fun. And just to preface this post, let me say that I had the hardest time narrowing my selections to four for this post out of all the Bookish Radars I've done so far so that should give you an indication of how obsessed I am with colouring books. I still have yet to actually buy a copy of a colouring book and try my hand at it but if you have, tell me how your experience went!

Published June 19, 2015 by Little, Brown and Company

A coloring book that will relax and inspire--all the while transporting you to the City of Light.

Get your pens out, open this book, and discover Paris. Stroll the picturesque streets, cross the Seine, and live like the French do, in a world of bistros, flea markets, and opulent architecture. Feel the stress melt away as your inner artist comes alive.

Appealing to all ages, this intricate coloring book will inspire and delight.

- synopsis from

Secret Paris is actually part of a new line of colouring books from Hachette by Zoe de Las Cases centering on different cities / places in the world. There's a Secret Tokyo and a Secret New York as well though I've only seen this particular one in stores. I like my colouring books to have a certain level of complexity but not to be TOO complex that I spend more time THINKING about how the colouring and shading works rather than actually colouring. I suck at art and visualizing things in my head gets increasingly harder as the sophistication of the drawing increases. It may not appear to be in thought but sorting out to colour a colour where can get really complicated if you're having really detailed black-and-white outlines. I liked Secret Paris for the fact that it wasn't OVERLY simple but it also wasn't OVERLY complex. It wasn't so hard that I was overwhelmed but it also had the perfect amount of detail that would still ensure my attention wouldn't wane. Of course, I haven't actually tried this yet but my first impression was very good. Because besides the amazing drawings, I love the travel theme of this book. I have a serious bug for travelling so I'll probably end up buying this entire line of colouring books to sate my wanderlust.

Published January 1, 2015 by Boxtree Ltd

Working with your hands is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and eliminate stress. This stunning, pocket-sized colouring book offers a practical exercise in mindfulness that draws on your creativity and hones your focus.

Beautifully illustrated, The Mindfulness Colouring Book is filled with templates for exquisite scenes and intricate, sophisticated patterns, prompting you to meditate on your artwork as you mindfully and creatively fill these pages with colour. Take a few minutes out of your day, wherever you are, and colour your way to peace and calm.

- synopsis from

I've seen some examples of the illustrations inside floating around on the Internet and this book just seems like so much fun. I typically don't go for the pattern-based colouring books - I like colouring books that aren't just swirls and boxes and lines - and it's partially because they get confusing to my eye and then I'll probably mess up but the designs in this book actually all seem pretty feasible for me and I love that it's pocket sized which means that I could probably use my markers to colour the illustrations in! I am firmly on Team Marker when it comes to colouring. I like pencil crayons enough and for most of these colouring books, they're probably the ideal medium to use but markers are just so satisfying for me. They're easy to use, they produce a vibrant colour without you having to shred your hands by pressing down hard and they just look really clean and sharp. But anyway yes, this colouring book looks like a lot of fun (see how sidetracked I get?).

Expected to be released August 11, 2015 by Chronicle Books

This unique coloring book features immersive aerial views of real cities from around the world alongside gorgeously illustrated, Inception-like architectural mandalas. Artist Steve McDonald's beautifully rendered and detailed line work offers bird's-eye perspectives of visually arresting global locales from New York, London, and Paris to Istanbul, Tokyo, and Melbourne, Rio, Amsterdam, and many more. The adult coloring book's distinctive large square format offers absorbingly complex vistas to color, the crisp white pages are conducive to a range of artistic applications, and a middle margin keeps all the artwork fully colorable. Complementing the cityscapes are a selection of mind-bending labyrinthine architectural illustrations for still deeper meditative coloring adventures and imaginative flights of fancy.

- synopsis from

This is a book that I am actually quite intimidated by. There was one page I saw of a famous building I can't name and it honestly made my eyes water because it was SO confusing. This one is similar to Secret Paris where it features cities and obviously for the travel-obsessed part of me, that's a huge draw. I may not be able to fly to all those places and visit them in person but at least I can colour in aerial-view outlines of them, right? So I'm willing to take on the challenge of tackling it.

Just Add Color: Geometric Patterns: 30 Original Illustrations To Color, Customize, and Hang by Lisa Congdon
Published September 1st 2014 by Rockport Publishers

Who doesn't love to color? As an adult, now that you can stay in the lines, you only need to think about what color to use! Rockport Books presents a series of grown-up coloring books for art and design lovers. Just Add Color: Geometric Patterns includes 30 original designs from artist and illustratorLisa Congdon. Each book contains 64 perforated pages to make it easy to share, frame and hang your artwork. You'll be inspired by the sumptuous artwork in this book, and the use of color is endless. Relax, enjoy your creativity and Just Add Color.

- synopsis from

One of my favourite things is colouring in patterns and shapes. Like mandalas? I draw mandalas sometimes in class and then like to colour them in. I don't know why, I just find it so fun because you don't even have to think about it. It doesn't matter if the colours are totally random, you can just do whatever. But the problem I run into is that I can't draw and really suck at being imaginative and creative so cannot ever think of exciting, interesting patterns to draw to then colour in. All my mandalas look the same and it is so aggravating. BUT. THIS IS WHY THIS BOOK IS MADE FOR ME. There are some really cool designs inside, ranging from pretty simple to BAM WOW INSANE SO COOL. And also POSSIBILITY OF THE ABILITY TO USE MARKERS HERE. Because they're all geometric patterns, there are little segments I can reasonably use my markers to colour in without having to, for example, colour in a whole big background which is honestly my worst nightmare. Like if someone forced me to colour an entire page using a marker. WORST. I hate that so much. But I DIGRESS (I got sidetracked again!!). Although I don't have anything else to really add so, yeah! I definitely have this one on my list!

Colouring books are fantastic. I can't believe they didn't become a thing for "adults" (I'm not an adult) until recently. EVERYONE LOVES COLOURING. This is a known fact of the world. Especially me. As you might be able to tell. I have yet to try any of these colouring books - or any one, as a matter of fact - but I'll probably think of buying one before I leave for summer vacation, just because I feel like they'd be fun to have while travelling to do on buses or planes. And since I'm always finding so many new colouring books, I might do another edition of this just because there are a lot of ones I didn't end up picking for this particular post but still REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT. 

But now, it's your turn to talk (even if you don't want to, I'M FORCING YOU HA): have you tried an adult colouring book? If you have, pleasee let me know how the experience went. I am super curious! And also, do you have any other recommendations for colouring books? Or words of wisdom from an experienced colour-er? Like what supplies are best, etc etc?

also happy canada day to anyone who is reading this and also happens to be canadian!

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