It was around two years ago that colouring truly made a comeback. Bookshops started devoting full shelves to this trendy pursuit and you might remember The Secret Garden (colouring in book) being a bestseller on Amazon. So what is the allure that colouring in for adults holds? Well a group of New Zealand researchers, found that colouring in for just ten minutes every day has a big impact on lowering feelings of stress and depression.
Adult colouring-in fans like the nostalgic undertones that colouring in books has on us. Author and Illustrator of The Secret Garden Joanna Basford has sold a record 1.4 million copies of her The Secret Garden book. “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 when their kids were in bed. Now it is socially acceptable, it’s a category of its own. These are books for adults.” said Basford.
Not only is it fun and less daunting than staring down at a blank piece of paper the health benefits can be likened to meditation. If you find sitting and switching off a difficult pastime you might be better off colouring in. Colouring has been shown to relax your brain and improve brain function; colouring relaxes the fear centre of the brain called the amygdala. This has a soothing effect on your nervous system which overall will have a great effect on your long-term mental health.
Among other things, it is known to effectively help reduce anxiety, improve motor skills, and help with focus and sleep. Colouring offers a distraction from our tech and screen-heavy world, placing our concentration on a peaceful hobby.
Here are some tips on buying good quality colouring in books. If you are able to: go to a bookstore where you can feel the paper. Thin paper is not a good idea as certain pens will bleed right through. You might not have time to be looking at paper gsm but if you do: look for hot press watercolour paper 200gsm, this is great for colouring in pencils and can also work for wet media like watercolour pens and paint.
Look through the designs and see if they captivate you enough before buying. The more you love the design the more you will be enticed to colour and hey you might even end up framing some of them!
Be sure to buy decent colouring in pencils and crayons. Good quality pencils have more pigment and less binder hence they will produce rich colours compared to cheap pencils which have more binder and less pigment often giving you a scratchy streaky look.
If you don’t want to buy a colouring book you can download free colouring-in sheets to print at home. If you want something that you can frame and put on your wall I have a Chanel Colouring sheet on my website (£8 including free p&p).
Printed onto uncoated poster paper which allows you to work with felt tips, crayons, pastels and watercolour pens.
Paper Weight 380 (mic)
30 x 42cm