This lovely art deco-styled book illustrates lyrics from old songs -- for you to fill them in. From the Song Colouring Book.

Colouring Books with Adults in Mind

Colouring books are something we first come to know when we are kids, carefulling choosing the colors and filling in the outlines with a great deal of concentration. But these are not just for children anymore! Recently, a lovely variety of “colouring books for adults” caught our eye! They are not what you might think they are. Simply, the practice and games found in these books have gradually evolved from kids’ stuff to things more suited to adults: drawing anatomy, colouring your favourite manga, folding coloured origami or even filling in the colours on a Nintendo DS! Time for PingMag to grab its colouring pencils and fill you in with some playful examples. How fun!

Written by Ryoko
Translated by Kevin Mcgue

Japanese release of “World Mandalas: 100 New Designs for Coloring and Meditation” by Madonna Gauding is supposed to have healing effects.

Healing Energy

Colouring books for adults have become popular in the last few years for their purported mental effects, helping people to reduce stress and relax. If you are up for giving it a try, we recommend the World Mandalas: 100 New Designs for Coloring and Meditation. The book includes designs based on religious and tribal mandala. Filling in these designs with colours has a strange calming effect, and it seems that once you’ve finished, you could probably analyse your mental state by the colour combinations that you have chosen. Let’s dive into this colourful world!

This beautiful Mandala design is waiting for you to meditatively colour it!

For the Elderly

Graphic designer, Mimiko Akiyama, has created a Song Colouring Book especially for the elderly (and we are can’t wait for the English release.) The book features illustrations based on old nursery rhymes and popular songs. Filling in the colours, thus moving your hands, and singing the illustrated songs are ways for the elderly to stimulate their minds. And we all have songs that we will hold in our hearts no matter how many years pass… We hope that when you retire, you will enjoy colouring these illustrations while singing songs that you hold dear.

Sakura dreams — spread of the “Song Colouring Book,” our favourite from the main image above. Simply beautiful!
How practical! The pages of this book from the same publisher can be used as postcards. In case you’re in need of a greeting card…

Learn Anatomy!

Have you ever wanted to explore how the inside of your own body looks? An answer can be found in Coloring Guide to Human Anatomy by Alan Twietmeyer and Thomas McCracken. Originally, its illustrations were made for folks studying anatomy, and they make complex anatomical structures, such as the position of internal organs and the composition of muscles, easy to understand. Very detailed — and truly a must see!

The “Coloring Guide to Human Anatomy,” Japanese edition…

… with an illustration of arteries, veins, and organs in the chest. Intriguing!

For Techy Enthusiasts

Japanese model kit maker, Tamiya, offers popular kits for the boys. In collaboration with Nintendo DS, they have now produced an awesome electronic colouring book, Men’s Coloring Book that Awakens the Heart (we’re not sure about an English version yet.) This game features very realistic pictures of tanks and other military vehicles — for you to colour! Meaning the player begins by selecting various elements to create a picture, and then fills in the colours. Since everything is done with a touch pen, you can feel you are doing something a bit different than colouring with a real pen. And of course there is a sense of accomplishment when you finish the game!

A game! The “Men’s Coloring Book that Awakens the Heart” from Nintendo DS.
Electronic colouring! Using the upper screen as a guide, players fill in colours on the lower screen.

Creative Class!

Cute! A Rosie Flo Colouring book published by Magazine House.

The London-based graphic designer, Roz Streeten, enlightens us with her series of Rosie Flo Coloring Books, which are pretty popular around the globe. However in this book, you are encouraged not only to fill in colours for the illustrations of the dresses, but also draw in their heads, feet, and arms to complete the picture. Use your imagination! This is really a great project for parents and kids to work on together.

At first, only the clothing and objects are included in the picture…

… and you have to complete the faces and bodies yourself.

The personality of the person colouring shows in the tone selection….

… and you can even make a story through the pictures.

From Eroica with Love

The manga From Eroica with Love was a big hit back in 1976. So, the author Yasuko_Aoike has responded to fan’s requests by making the Eroica Colouring Book (again, we only found the Japanese version — but this wouldn’t stop you, for sure.) This year, all of the illustrations of the main characters from the series, along with their gorgeous costumes, were newly created by Aoike. On the last page, there are additional costumes that are to be coloured in and cut out, to give Klaus and Dorian a change of clothes. Ah, 70’s flair, here we come! As you can see, Aoike was somewhat influenced by rock band Led Zeppelin…

70s hairdos: the “Eroica Colouring Book” by Yasuko Aoike.

Some gorgeous illustration!

These two main characters are waiting for you to dress them. By the way, Aoike was a big fan of Led Zeppelin who were inspirations for the looks of her characters.

Fill them in with any color you like!


Next, illustrator Kiyoshi Kuroda (we showed you a while ago) came up with the stunning Uncoloured.1. His illustrations feature plants and insects, and were done with illustrated reference books in mind — but in a grotesque style with Kuroda’s trademark use of lines. With a colouring book, the lines are already provided and you make this picture more pleasing to the eye by colouring these delicate lines. Even with the most simple line drawings, it becomes a collaboration with the artists who made them in the first place, and you, free to fill them in any way you like.

Kiyoshi Kuroda’ “Uncolored.1.”

Beautiful illustrations of girls, insects and plants…

…and some mushrooms…

Softly colouring the leaves gives it a slightly different mood.

Colour or Fold?

Finally, we have a delicacy for you, Colouring-Origami (we also showed you before) by Japanese design group “Onchu!” is compiling various creators: The marvellous book features unique illustrations of butterflies, insects, and more. Actually, the pages are origami paper, so after colouring in, they can be removed from the book and folded into 3D shapes for further decorating. The traditional origami art can be a lot of fun!

How cute! An origami colouring book for you to play around with…
… especially when its pages are made from origami paper! Try some folding, please.
Patterns! What a stunning design after it has been coloured in!
And some of the pages folded into three-dimensional shapes afterwards. From “Colouring-Origami.”

Oh, you surely must have found something appealing today for your next creative excursion! There are so many more out there and we didn’t have space to introduce them all. So, please look out for your favourite one!

  • s.kokubo

    beautiful! here is my colouring book of Japanese street art from shibuya and kabukicho…..i do find it relieves stress :)

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  • Andrei Sarusi

    The Mandala Design looks very inviting, I wish I could colour inside the lines…

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  • marc

    i color all the time with my toddler and found myself wishing for such a thing as coloring books for adults. don’t get me wrong, i like coloring mickey, minnie, donald and goofy as much as the next guy, but once in a while it might be cool to color some tanks or the guys from led zeppelin. good stuff!

  • David

    Nice, nice, nice! I’m looking forward to having enough time for them in my last weeks of life! Or imagine one would use them as you did in your childhood… in the car (although I wasn’t allowed to because of the fear of hurting my eyes with the pens) or on the plane. One could also do them together with ones child(ren). Anatomy might be really exciting for them (and you save yourself some time in their puberty)! Nice!

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  • Heidi

    I love this! I got professional colored pencils for Christmas last year as a gift from my fiance, and I thought everyone would laugh, but I think coloring is such a great, creative outlet! I’m glad to see that there are others who agree!

  • Mike Jack

    The anatomy coloring book was very helpful to many of us in nursing school. The great thing is that in involves both sides of the brain, making learning and retention easier.

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  • Debbie Neale

    I have designed some coloring pages for adults and older children. What do you think? They can be colored on screen as well as hand colored.

    Debbie Neale, Designer

  • Debbie Neale


    Just a comment on the adult coloring site. I’m a Teacher Aide at a High School and also like drawing. I have designed 40 advanced coloring pages for the students at school and have recently made a website Just in case anyone wants something different.

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  • Lina

    Very sorry to see that Uncolored1 and the Song Couloring book are not available yet. Not in Europe and not through the US. Waiting for someone to keep up with this trend.

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  • SMac

    Check out the Intermediate and Advanced Coloring Pages on this site as well as the different styles.
    Have fun!

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  • calmiva

    stumbled across this website showing these Asian coloring books for adults which you have to check out. There’s everything

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