Art For Mindfulness - coloring book
Despite coloring being generally considered a children’s activity, more and more coloring books are printed these days and they target adults.
These books are usually called “Art for Mindfulness” or “Mandalas for Mindfulness” and they’re a perfect way to relax at the end of a stressful day, especially for those who dislike watching TV and prefer a more rewarding activity instead.
Opinions on the book
I got one of these books too, as a Christmas present - I really wanted one. My motive was to have another way to explore my creativity and to express myself, other than writing or cooking.
I’m not the best when it comes to colors and combining them on paper or canvas, but I think I can improve with practice. I think I’m better at combining colors when it comes to clothes, but that’s something others might disagree with me.
I managed to color in a couple of pages - as I type this is January the 7th (2018) and surely this will appear on the blog at a much later date. One of the mandalas I consider as complete, was really easy to color since it wasn’t very detailed.
I chose this book because it was one of the thickest [something I wanted, to last me a while], and because of its large pages. Of course, this book is for home use, as it is pretty heavy to carry around.
I found this particular art book at a book outlet - most books there cost 20 lei [about USD 5], and the original price of this item was USD 30. How could I NOT get it, when I’m a cheapo? Ahaha!
That place has a decent selection of such books, of various sizes, and some of them also came with coloring pencils [I might call them “coloring sticks” later on, I’m not sure why].
This book is a finger thick, therefore there are many pages waiting for someone to color in. As far as sizing goes, this is a large book, about the size of a 13' laptop? it's also pretty heavy, so i wouldn't carry it with me around town. Maybe on longer train journeys.
The pages are pretty thick. This allows you to use watercolors or acrylics if you want to paint instead of coloring. I don't recommend using colored markers on this book as they might be seen on the other side, ruining the other image.
There are abstract shapes, animals, plants, and some mandalas. The very first image in the book, that you can color is the cover art, including the title.
I do have to point out that some of the images have rather thick black lines. If you want to outline your drawings with a darker shade than you used inside the shape, this can't be done on all images.
This book doesn’t come with coloring tools, so I had to purchase them separately. Luckily for me, I found them still in this outlet, for the same price of 20 lei. (later edit: the prices change in this outlet, in time).
Opinions on the pencils
As you can probably tell from the picture, there are 30 different pencils in the tin box ... except for my non-artistic eye some of the blues and purples look identical, especially on paper. There was a plastic support for each pencil, that I quickly removed, making space for 3 extra pencils. And if you count closely in the image with the open box, you’ll be able to notice them if you count them, and analyze their length too.
I did a quick search for these pencils [after getting them] and saw that people that used them had a poor opinion of them. I sadly have to agree with them. The light shades are a bit too “light” or not light enough, and also seem to have a waxy feel to them. The area where you use them on seems to have a wax film on top, and I can hardly use another color on top. Their “artist quality” label couldn’t be more misleading.
People also complain they break easily when they needed to sharpen them. This is true: I already needed to sharpen 3 of them, and the lead broke. Luckily for me, I have 2 mechanical pencils that can hold the lead of regular pencils [and I love them]. This means that I can still use the broken tip of the “sharpened” sticks, to avoid wasting them.
I can safely say these coloring sticks are good for a beginner [like me] or maybe for kids to use. I’m happy I got the box with 30 pencils as they had boxes with less colors, for the same price - from the same manufacturer, as well as from other manufacturers. Sadly, I don’t think the boxes under the same brand with less colors would have had a better quality. :(
I tried getting the most straight box I could find, so that I can use it even after the original pencils are gone. And I plan on getting single coloring sticks, as I use up the colors, to replace the missing ones.
So, how can you benefit from a coloring book for adults?
Other than offering an alternative way to relax, there are several other things you can do with it. One of them is “means to expand your creativity.” For instance, if you like motivational quotes, calligraphy, or want to make a personalized card for someone you can use a book like this as inspiration.
You can either trace various elements on a separate piece of paper or draw your own in a similar style, color them in and add the text. Copying various elements is good for those who can only or barely freehand stick-figurines, like myself. Check out my creations below and keep in mind they are for personal use only! I wonder if anyone would guess or think the drawings are copied if I didn’t tell them.
You can use the elements in the book to decorate your agendas, notebooks, planners or bullet journals. With a little practice, you can use your own elements. Again, make sure these are once again for personal use only.
If you don’t have the means to buy stuff like washi tape and pretty stickers, or find them a waste of money in the first place, these drawings are a fun way to prettify some of your belongings while also relaxing when creating them. What I like most about this type of notebook decoration is that the decorated item won’t be gaining in thickness like it usually happens when I add stickers.
Let’s not forget that these books make for a great gift idea for those who like coloring, but are embarrassed to use children’s books, say teenagers. These books will allow them to continue with their passion and not be scared of their friends finding out.
© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.