If your colouring radar is always on when out (like me) you may have noticed a magazine on sale called Zen Colouring in your local supermarket or news agent. I hesitate to call it a magazine as it's sized and formatted like a book, with its thick card cover and binding. The publisher, GMC, have now released two books not only for the colourist but any creative mind. These are not strictly colouring books, so those who don't enjoy drawing may not be interested but I thought some of my followers might appreciate finding out about other avenues of Art Therapy.
The first book, Doodle Challenge, is designed to get that creativity flowing with step-by-step instructions on how to draw an assortment of objects, colouring techniques and spaces to test colour palettes. There's plenty of actual colouring designs interspersed with the tutorials, so if one day you don't feel like drawing you can always flip through and find a colouring page.
The second book, Draw it Now, contains 365 drawing challenges, formatted as a blank box with a prompt in the caption. This book is naturally a lot less detailed and leaves you to decide how you will approach each idea. Here's a look into both books with a little more detail on what's inside, plus some of my work.
As you can see this book concentrates on helping you develop your drawing skills in a back-to-basics way, with helpful instructions and tips to guide you along the way. I can't draw to save my life (as you can see in the pages I attempted!), so it definitely lived up to its name of being a challenge as my drawing skills are rudimentary at best, but it's all about having fun and giving it a go. Animals, flowers, nature and mandalas are big themes in the book, so if you're looking to learn skills or nurture your talents in these areas then it's a fantastic starting point.
Draw It Now
I personally preferred this book out of the two as it's a lot more hands-off, simply giving you inspiration and letting you get on with it. I'm one of these parents who always gets pestered to 'Draw something Mum!' and stare at the blank paper without a clue, so it's great to have a book full of prompts (one for every day of the year in fact) to give me a starting point. The book is split into 8 categories including Objects, Natural World, Food & Drink and People, alongside a neat 'Challenge' section (draw using your other hand, create a coat of arms, etc).
At £5.99 each these books make an affordable and interesting partner to colouring books, serving as another outlet for mindfulness and winding down at the end of the day. The only qualm I have with the books is physical- the binding. It's impossible to get them to open flat (the reason some of my photos look warped) and is difficult to hold open whilst you're drawing, so this is the only thing I'd change for further editions.
You can find the books in WH Smith, most supermarkets and all good retailers, or buy online here:
Draw It Now
These books were given to me in exchange for an honest review.