Coloring for adults is here to stay. With sales off the charts and colored pencils flying off the shelves, now is the time to join in the excitement. Coloring is relaxing and meditative, and the act of coloring inspires us to move away from our computer and phone screens and allows the mind to wander. If you’re just diving into adult coloring books, the options may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Read on for the scoop on the most popular coloring book designs today and discover which may be best for you.
Animal and Nature Designs
It’s no surprise that sales of furry creatures and beautiful settings continue to rise. After all, nothing brings more calm and focus than a nice walk outdoors or a quick play date with a pet, and coloring them appears to produce the same results. Further, animals bring out a playful, primitive and wild side within us while nature designs evoke excitement over landscapes that we’ve seen, or hope to see someday.
Favorite animal and nature designs include; seascapes, jungle, owls, cats and dogs, vintage nature prints, nature or animal zentangles and wild animals.
Perfect for: Those in need of escape, rejuvenation in the great outdoors and animal lovers.
City architecture can seem overwhelming to some, while beautiful and inspiring to others. Consider looking at a city from an airplane and the impact the view has on your senses. With millions of twinkling lights and energy emanating from every corner, city scapes provide an excellent canvas for exploration and, believe it or not, even relaxation.
Favorite city scape designs include, cities around the world, towering buildings, city parks and Steve Macdonald’s: “Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined.”
Perfect for: The artist that adores the busy, city life, wants to discover new places and loves coloring intricate designs. These books are also great for architects that want to delve into city structures past, present and future.
Similar to cityscapes, travel is another great option for the adventurous coloring book fanatic. Travel themed designs offer a unique view into both popular and lesser known destinations around the globe. These designs are intended to inspire, amaze and humble the artist and can also spark some ideas for new bucket list destinations.
Favorite travel designs include; New York City, famous monuments, world heritage sites and top travel destinations around the world. Check out the hand drawn designs in Around the World in 50 Pages.
Perfect for: Globetrotters, adventure seekers and anyone counting down the days to their next vacation.
Some may say that doodles are the gateway to adult coloring books because so many people start with this type of design. Almost any theme can be made into a doodle, including animals and nature, so many artists choose to combine the two types of design for an added dose of intricacy.
Favorite doodle designs include, zentangle, animal doodles, and Wild Doodles.
Perfect for: Anyone that loves intricate designs and spending time working on a single page.
Funny and Silly Designs
Sometimes we just need to lighten up the mood to get the creative juices flowing! Enter funny and silly designs, the perfect way to unwind after a long stressful day. These designs make us laugh and get back in touch with our childish side, which is beneficial for overall health and well-being.
Favorite silly designs include; hipster, activist, animals at work, aliens, 1990’s or other decade themes, funny American paintings and popular sneakers.
Perfect for: Anyone working in a high-stress job or parents that who needs to relax and disconnect from all of the stressful and demanding aspects of life and instead enjoy a good laugh and tasty adult beverage.
Unorthodox or unexpected designs open us up to new ways of thinking and may create a nice diversion from the mundane. Perhaps coloring in a celebrity’s face, a detailed Mexican skull or even a unique tattoo is what you need to let the creativity flow.
Favorite unorthodox designs include; celebrity portraits, cultural depictions (Dia De Los Muertos), hip hop artists, urban street art, and tattoos.
Perfect for: Trendsetters and risk takers who love to laugh and be inspired by unique imagery.
These sacred circles help to clear the mind, increase relaxation and stimulate creativity. Mandalas are amongst the most popular coloring book designs available, and for good reason. Mandalas, while detailed and intricate, are also great for all ages and are therapeutic to work on.
Favorite mandala designs include mandala animals, cityscapes with mandalas inside, mystical mandalas and classic mandala designs.
Perfect for: Anyone that needs a break from a busy work day, to unwind at night or when anxious thoughts arise. Also great for those processing trauma or feeling stuck in current patterns.
Which Design is Right for You?
If the choices seem daunting after reading this list, don’t despair, you’re not alone. Choosing can be difficult so go with your gut when picking a design and choose what speaks to you, or go off the beaten path and make a choice that you wouldn’t normally. Also, consider what medium you may want to use to color with. Certain designs call for specific mediums. For instance, for very small, detailed designs, watercolor pencils may be difficult to use, while normal colored pencils or gel pens may be a better choice. For animals and landscapes, watercolor pencils or some markers may create more stunning and detailed images.
Have a favorite coloring book design? Share it with us in the comments below!