Writers! Down your pens. Push aside the keyboards. Remove the laptops. Now, pick up your colouring pencils and set to join the latest craze sweeping across our nations – colouring books for adults.

The intricate exquisite illustrations of these books are truly magical and delighting millions of adults as with care and affection they set to colouring.

IMG_0888Some books, like Scottish Johanna Basford’s million blockbuster ‘Secret Garden’ and latest offering ‘Enchanted Forest’ offer not only beautiful inky drawings set around forests, taking you on a journey through them; they also replicate the sense of childhood adventure as you discover hidden objects and unveil nine secret symbols to unlock the castle at the end of the quest.

Basford, who had a hard time selling her initial idea to her sceptical publishers, says she was keen to create something she herself would enjoy. Whilst she stresses the fun and relaxing element of the colouring, the books are not only about nostalgia and reliving childhood as there is certainly a deeper meditative aspect to the books.

IMG_0891In our non-stop 24/7 culture, ‘Enchanted Forest’ and many other colouring books like it allow us a few moments of quiet and solitude, time to be at utter peace within oneselves. The calm achieved, away from the bombardment of the outer world and tuning out one’s inner ‘chatterings’, is increasingly recognised as a form of therapy. Indeed other colouring books for adults are being sold as Art Therapy and Mindfulness. The market is huge with these books alone accounting for half of Amazon’s top ten non-fiction hardback book sales.

IMG_0889Has anyone caught the colouring bug already? Is it a hit abroad? I would love to hear from you and if possible share some of your colourings.

So, as I take a break, join me in this adventure. In a few minutes of vital mindful downtime. Relax, enjoy, get colouring.

Below is a time-lapse video of Basford creating an illustration for one of her books click on the link below. As you can see, it’s all done by hand.

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the imagination.”

John Keats


  1. I’d heard about coloring books for adults, and I’l admit, my internal critic reared her silly head and shouted, “Who has time for that??” BUT…these are beautiful and magical. And what a joy over all the blaring/glaring distractions that fill my ears and eyeballs. I’m going to purchase one and luxuriate in a little peaceful self-indulgence. Thank you!

    1. I first heard of these books on the radio and initially reacted the same and recalled the big pictures to be coloured as a child. However, just by listening to the illustrator I was soon convinced; she sounded so at peace and utterly absorbed with her work I had to take a look. Enjoy your moments of self-indulgence – we all get too few of those I fear.

    1. I feel one never stops learning and that’s what makes life so exciting! My own colouring in is not of the standard of many featured on her website alas…So glad you enjoyed the the post.

  2. Mike

    Fascinating – I didn’t know anything about these colouring books. It obviously had an effect on me because I had a dream the night after reading this, where I was colouring in a gigantic picture of large exotic flowers which was drawn on the living room wall. Problem was it kept changing so I knew I was never going to finish it. And in the end one of the flowers changed into a snake which then slithered out of the picture and hid itself under the sofa.

    I woke up and left someone else to deal with that.

    I still think I’ll get one of the books though!


    1. Wow! That is one heck of a reaction to my post. Amazing. Maybe it is telling you something about yourself…worries about never getting time to finish things?? Just wondering. Then the snake, blimey. One vivid dream. I think ordering the book is a very good idea; might put this dream to bed. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Mirja

    Thank you for lighting up my screen with this vivid and inspiring blog.
    Before pushing away keyboard and all the rest I want to say how glad I am to
    have been introduced to Colouring books for adults. The pictures you posted
    by Johanna Basford are exquisite. Now, how long do you let us have to produce
    and share an effort? I just have no chance to keep up with Basford in the film clip. :))

    Might even try my own interpretations of an idea that came to mind.
    Freeing to try and create in a totally new format.

    As to John Keat’s quote. It will live with me – thanks again.

    1. The coloured in drawings are beautiful aren’t they? Glad you like them. The templates are drawn by Johanna Basford but the coloured pictures are ones completed by others and posted either on her website or online. A delight all the same and something to which we can aspire. I am intrigued by your own idea – will you share?

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