How long has it been since you opened that box of Crayons and saw all those new shiny coloring points in the big yellow box? I know I always wanted the HUGE Box of Crayola’s but we couldn’t afford that one so I got the one that the school asked for with the supply list. Now that I’m grown up I can get the BIG Box… so I did.
For the brand new colorist, I HIGHLY recommend this book if you want to learn techniques and go beyond the simple filling-in of color.
The New Guide To Coloring – Colored Pencil Techniques + Tips and Tricks for Colorists of all skill levels
Inside this friendly guidebook, you’ll find plenty of easy-to-follow advice from best-selling coloring book artists. Their tips and tricks will have you drawing like an accomplished “colorista” in no time. Discover the differences between gel pens and marker pens. Learn the best way to use watercolor pencils. Understand why expensive materials are different from those that are cheaper. Master exciting techniques like patterning, blending, cross-hatching, shading and other cool ways to “up” your coloring experience. It is published by Design Originals and the editors of DO Magazine.
Click to Order Amazon US, UK or Canada or Book Depository
I LOVE CRAYONS
Remember the smell of that new box of crayons the first day of school? Go for the biggest box or 96 Crayons, if you don’t like them they’ll be perfect to let the kids or grandkids. There are some spectacularly detailed coloring books being produced just for adults that you are sure to fall in love with. There are so many to choose from you will get lost on Amazon as I did. My dad used to enjoy painting scale model airplanes and I even found him some coloring books with World War I and WWII airplanes and tanks along with an Audubon Bird Coloring book.
I LOVE COLORED PENCILS
These coloring books for adults have some very fine detailing in them that really needs either fine-tipped markers or colored pencils. Gosh you mean I need some more art supplies? That makes me a happy camper.
You are fine starting out with Crayola Pencils just to see if you like that medium. If you decide you love them as much as I do depending on your budget you will want to upgrade to Marco Raffine, Prismacolor Premiere or a big upgrade to Faber-Castell Polychromos. You can also play with watercolor pencils. I love Derwent watercolor pencils. You can put a dab of water in the center of a flower and get some really neat effects without all the mess of real watercolors.. and by a dab I mean I put my finger in my mouth and rub it around. This is for having fun, not for becoming a professional artist. Derwent Inktense colored pencils are more like paint in a stick form and just like the name says the colors are very intense. (Since I wrote this I’ve learned much more about pencils, please read my Best Colored Pencils & Watercolor Pencils articles linked here.
I LOVE GEL PENS
You are going to want at least a few gel pens and I’m particularly in love with the ones that sparkle, and shimmer from Sakura’s gelly roll pen line. You DO need to be careful to let them dry a few moments before you touch them or they smear but they dry quickly and look just lovely on the page.
Below I’ve listed some of my favorite coloring books (So far) along with my favorite supplies for you to check out.
Joanna Basford’s two coloring books are an absolute delight! I still don’t have Enchanted Forest but it’s on my wishlist because the one I DO have “Secret Garden
” is so completely beautiful you save it for your favorite time of day to color in. Each page has fine details and she hides forest creatures throughout that you will love discovering as you color.
This magical coloring book by Johanna Basford takes colorists through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle. Similarly interactive like SECRET GARDEN, ENCHANTED FOREST also features hidden objects and fun mazes. Beginning at the entrance to a fairy-tale forest, the journey progresses through highly embellished woods and through intricate flora. Castles, treasure chests, and other magical elements add a fairy tale narrative to the designs. Special features include a gate-folded two-page spread and a colorable jacket.
Secret Garden was my first coloring book and I just adore it!
This magical coloring book by Johanna Basford takes colorists through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle. Similarly interactive like SECRET GARDEN, ENCHANTED FOREST also features hidden objects and fun mazes. Beginning at the entrance to a fairy-tale forest, the journey progresses through highly embellished woods and through intricate flora. Castles, treasure chests, and other magical elements add a fairy tale narrative to the designs. Special features include a gate-folded two-page spread and a colorable jacket. The jacket also has some shiny golden details.
It is just a beautiful book you are going to want ASAP.
I share my coloring book pages on Instagram so please come follow me there.
CREATIVE HAVEN has the most budget-friendly option.
If you have a cat lover in the family you are going to want to get “Creative Cats“. The great thing about most of the Creative Haven books is that the coloring pages are one-sided so if things bleed through, you haven’t ruined the page below. I still recommend you tear the page out or put a piece of paper behind just in case the markers you buy bleed through. Many of them do, so test that first.
These are MY favorite books so your results may vary.
Hanna Karlzon Coloring Books Dagdrömmar (Daydreams)
Click to Order on Amazon: US UK Canada or Book Depository
Blomster Mandala Coloring Book aka Twilight Garden by Maria Trolle
I probably have more pictures colored in this book than any other. There’s just something really magical about Maria Trolle’s drawings and they are easy to figure out. The paper is SPECTACULAR! If you are familiar with Hanna Karlzon’s books, this paper is the same Swedish type including the bookbinding. I purchased the Swedish edition from the Pen store, but the same publisher that recreated Hanan’s books are also working with Maria Trolle so I’m sure they are going to be just fabulous. I promise you will want this one for your collection. My video flip-thru
Click to Order Blomster Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Book Depository
All four of the Good Wives & Warriors small-sized coloring books are my go-to for on the go coloring because of the compact size or just when I want to complete a page in an evening of TV “watching” and coloring.
Escape to Wonderland – Escape to Oz – Escape to Christmas Past – Escape to Shakespeare
Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) by Hanna Karlzon
Click to Pre-order on Amazon: US UK Canada or Book Depository
Secret Garden – Johanna Basford
Of course returning to Secret Garden is always a bit magical because like for many of you, it was the gateway drug to my coloring book addiction. It holds my very first adult colorings that now look quite childish to me by my new jaded standards but then again it’s great to see how much my style has changed in the last year. This book is a bit of history and whimsey for those of us who started with Johanna as our coloring queen. Enchanted Forest is a close runner up!
Floribunda Coloring Book by Leila Duly
This one is very special for me because I discovered it while I was on a girl’s weekend with my two favorite people on the planet, my two grown daughters. It’s really a gorgeous book with artist quality paper. You can order on Amazon Floribunda US ~ UK ~ Canada and Book Depository
Leila Duly has a new book for 2017 that looks gorgeous too. Done more in the Hanna Karlzon fashion as a 2-sided bound book. I can’t wait to see a copy. It’s called “The Flower Year“
Favorite Coloring Books that are harder to find
The adult coloring book craze started in Europe with Scottish illustrator Johanna’s Secret Garden, so some of my favorite books aren’t available in the US or on Amazon! I see them by following some fabulous colorists like Morena Vajak on Instagram. She’s always posting colorings from books that I desperately NEED to have.
Fantastisches Malbuch (Fantasmical Coloring Book) by Colin Thompson
This book still isn’t available on US Amazon so I checked Ebay, Etsy and finally located it on the wonderful free shipping book site Book Depository. You would never know how fabulous this book is by looking at this listing BUT I saw images from it on Instagram This is my first coloring from the book. It’s that really cool grayscale that makes it look like you are a fabulous artist. I love that!
You can order on Amazon UK and nationwide and on Book Depository You can buy it on Amazon US here but I’d still recommend Book Depository.
Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me
I’m pretty sure I need at least one of the coloring books by Millie Marotta, She seems to combine Zentangle and coloring into one book.
Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imagination
This unique coloring book takes all sorts of artists drawings and illustrations and plops them into this book.
Creative Coloring: Animals
This is a fabulous book for beginners. “Tangled Treasures Coloring Book: 52 Intricate Tangle Drawings to Color with Pens, Markers, or Pencils – Plus: Coloring schemes and techniques”
Beginners Colored Pencils:
Good Old Crayola Colored Pencils work great too for those of us who may or may NOT really know the difference, and the price point can’t be beaten.
50 Pack of Long Crayola Colored Pencils. Do watch out that you don’t get short ones or classroom packs that don’t have 50 different colors. These are an excellent value for sure and a great way to let your kids and grandkids color with you without worrying about them ruining your expensive pencils. Twistable Crayola Crayons are also lots of fun and you don’t have to sharpen them.
Better Colored Pencils
Prismacolor Colored Pencils – Wax Based Pencils
Click to Order Amazon US – Amazon UK – Amazon Canada
Derwent Inktense – Water Color Pencils – very vibrant color
Click to Order Amazon US – Amazon UK – Amazon Canada
Read about how to use watercolors in Coloring Books here.
Best Colored Pencils
Faber Castell Polychromos are fabulous, oil-based colored pencil that gives you the deepest colors, the best blending, and the smoothest application out there for the very detailed books. If you are a Johanna Basford fan then you are going to want the largest pack of these you can afford.
I STRONGLY recommend downloading the Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann’s App to your smartphone. That way you always have the coupons with you. Being the clumsy person I am.. I ALWAY forget the coupons at home or in the other car or the other purse.. you get me. right?
I’ve also heard wonderful things about Lyra Colored Pencils but haven’t used them myself. Update, They are OK, but are in 4th or 5th place behind Prismas, Polys, Marco Raffines etc.
Getting started with Adult Coloring books? Check out this post Supplies for New Colorists and the top 13 tips you need to know.
AMAZON PRIME – If you aren’t a member you should look into it.
You get free 2-day shipping every day at Amazon with Amazon Prime. You can try it for free right now. The Amazon Prime membership program offers other special benefits. Members can instantly watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes and borrow 1000’s of books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Topical Lists of Coloring Books for Grown-Ups to check out
- Fashion Coloring Books
- Jewish Coloring Books for Adults
- Coloring Postcards for Adults
- Adult Coloring Books for Men
- Dog Lover Coloring Books for Adults
- Coloring Books for History Buffs
- Inspirational Adult Coloring Books – Scripture – Bible Study
- Dagdrömmar Day Dreams, Sommarnatt Summer Nights by Hanna Karlzon
- Top 25 Christmas Coloring Books for Adults
- Coloring Books for Science Fiction Geeks
- Best Fantasy Coloring Books-Fairies, Fairy Tales, and Whimsy
- Coloring Books on Etsy
- Foodie Coloring Books
- Funny Naughty & Sexy Coloring Books for Adults
- Watercolor Coloring Books
- Best Halloween & Fall Coloring Books for Adults
- Cat Coloring Books for Adults
- Coloring Book Art of Kerby Rosanes – Animorphia Imagimorphia
- Posh Coloring Books
- Political Coloring Books
- Millie Marotta Coloring Books
- Fairy Tale Coloring Books
- Flower and Garden Coloring Books for Adults
- Color By Number Adult Coloring Books
- Swear Word Coloring Books for adults only
- Spring Easter Holiday Coloring Pages
- Meet Johanna Basford and Explore her Coloring Books
- African Coloring Books For Adults
- Adult Coloring Books – Top 13 Tips for New Colorists
- Top 10 Stress Relieving Coloring Books for Adults
- Top Selling Adult Coloring Books For Christmas
- Zenspirations – Easy to Learn Patterned Drawing
- Zentangle the Zen and The Tangle of Patterned Drawing