Who said coloring was just for kids? Grown-ups everywhere are joining in on the fun and for good reason—coloring books create a space for people to relax, let go of any anxieties, and practice mindfulness. They’re also a wonderful outlet to be creative and have fun! While kids use crayons to do their coloring, adults can take advantage of more sophisticated tools. From markers to brush pens to even watercolors, come along as we explore the fantastic world of adult coloring supplies.
Whether coloring on a book or printed looseleaf sheets, consider a paper’s weight and texture. The texture of the paper also affects how a tool performs.Thick heavy sheets can handle ink and sometimes watercolor paint, while thin paper is more delicate and suited for tools like colored pencils. Generally, smooth paper is better for most coloring tools, but there are some (like thick markers and watercolors) that work beautifully on textured paper.
If you’re sneaking in coloring sessions between appointments, use tools that can be put away quickly such as markers and colored pencils. It’s easy to get lost in a reverie of coloring, but these elusive moments are often short-lived in our fast-paced world. Those who can dedicate more time to coloring can consider tools that are more involved, like watercolor paints.
We love having a rainbow of colors at our fingertips—having just the right colors can help elevate the coloring experience.Markers, gel pens, and brush pens offer a wide array of colors and finishes, including metallic and glitter. Colored pencils provide a similar spectrum of colors but with less variety in finishes. Color range varies depending on the brand and type of tool. Of course, tools can be mixed and matched to get the color and finish desired.
The same page can be colored in variety of ways. Are you looking to channel Monet or Picasso? For a soft, Monet-esque look, colored pencils and watercolors are ideal. If something louder is preferred, markers and gel pens pack a bold Picasso-like punch. Metallic or glitter pens are great to use as a finishing touch for adding accents and highlights that provide more depth to a coloring page.
By far the most popular among all adult coloring tools, markers provide a vibrant array of colors with saturated, opaque coverage. Easy to pull out and put away, they’re great for impromptu coloring sessions. Use them on thicker coloring books or single pages as they have a higher likelihood of showing through to the other side.
We’re smitten with the cute octagonal shape and bright orange body of the Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner. The tips are rounded, providing a nice shape for natural, even shading. There are 30 vivid shades to choose from including neon colors that are sure to satisfy every color craving. They won’t bleed through the paper unless an area is colored over multiple times.
(For a more pointed tip, we recommend going with the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.)
Runner Up: Shachihata Artline Blox Pens
These playful Artline Blox pens are the epitome of fun! The pen bodies double as building blocks that can be snapped together in various ways. This not only makes them easy to store, it also makes them entertaining to use. Although the color range is not as extensive as the Stabilo Fineliners, they perform similarly.
The Pilot FriXion markers are a godsend for those of us who can’t seem to color within the lines. Featuring patented FriXion ink, the markers erase cleanly so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. Be careful about where the coloring books are stored though—the ink may disappear in hot conditions. Check out our FriXion article for more on these fascinating pens.
We love using our fineliner markers in this series of coloring books. The Fantastic Coloring Books feature many intricate designs and illustrations of buildings, cityscapes, architecture and more. Fine-tipped markers are perfect for getting into the little nooks and crannies of windows, corners, and other details. There are illustrations on both sides–luckily, the pages are nice and thick, so there is no bleed-through from the markers.
COLORED PENCIL RECOMMENDATIONS
There’s no alternative to the artistic, sketch-like look that colored pencils produce. They offer a broad color range, allowing for different types of looks from muted to vibrant to everything in between. Use them on their side for textured shading or on their point for detail work. Colored pencils are better on smooth paper as they don’t glide as well on textured paper, resulting in unsightly gaps and white spaces.
These artist-preferred silky-smooth colored pencils are a pleasure to use. The soft cores dispense rich color consistently with the slightest bit of pressure. Adjust the intensity of the color by pressing down harder or softer. With 72 colors at your disposal, you’ll never want for color.
The Irojiten pencils are works of art in themselves with their pleasant white body and color-coded ends. Slightly harder than the Prismacolor pencils, what sets this line apart is the unique color offerings. We love the fluorescent pencils in particular, but they also have subdued and grayscale tones to choose from.
Who knew that colored pencils could double as watercolors? These specialty pencils deliver intense, almost inky color when hit with water. You can also use them as paints by grabbing color directly from the tips with a water brush. Pair these pencils with thick paper, especially when using them as watercolors.
This gorgeous coloring book is an avian paradise brimming with a diverse collection of tropical and woodland birds as well as other animal friends. The pages are colored a subtle cream hue, while the illustrations are in white, indicating where you should color. Some of the pages are already inked with lovely, vibrant shading. This shading effect is best replicated with colored pencils, which is our preferred tool of choice for Birdtopia.