Adult coloring books have been pretty popular lately as a way to relieve stress and channel creativity. However, many times it’s easier said than done. Here are my 5 steps to keeping adult coloring books stress-free.
1. Pick a design that doesn’t overwhelm you.
So many adult coloring book designs have tons of tiny intricate details and can be intimidating to even look at. If you’re starting off, pick a design that seems doable and that won’t cause stress.
2. Use postcards not full sheets.
Personally, I find full page coloring sheets to be daunting. Coloring smaller postcards feels significantly less overwhelming. If you mess up along the way, you can abandon the postcard without feeling like you wasted a whole sheet of paper. Plus, if you like how it turns out, you can use it as a card for the next holiday or occasion that comes up.
3. Pick your medium: marker, pencils, gel pens.
My favorite medium for coloring at the moment is gel pens. The color is more vibrant, and it is easier to blend the ink. The drawback of gel pens is that they take time to dry, so you have to be careful not to smudge your ink as you color.
Colored pencils are also great for blending, and are a pretty inexpensive option. Markers can be great for adult coloring books. I like to use brush markers, and color exclusively with a blender marker (a brush marker with clear fluid) by dripping it in the ink from my colored markers. This gives an effect similar to that of watercolor paint.
4. Pick a color family and be creative within the confines of a few variations on a color.
Picking colors can be one of the hardest parts of coloring. When you are first starting off, a safe bet is to pick 3-5 pens/pencils/markers from a specific color family. For example, if you’re using blues, pick a true blue, a navy, a sky blue, a pastel blue, and a neon blue.
5. Stop caring so much about the end result.
Ultimately, you should be doing this for fun, relaxation, and as a creative outlet. The sooner I was able to stop being so consumed by having a perfect end result, the more fun I had.