The Ultimate Guide to Adult Coloring Books, Paint-By-Numbers, Coloring Sheets, & MORE!

Welcome to the ultimate guide to adult coloring books, paint-by-numbers, coloring sheets, and more! Whether you're a seasoned coloring enthusiast or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about adult coloring sheets, coloring pages, and various coloring techniques.

Simple thank you card with a painted floral image from Artistry's adult color sheets.

I. Introduction

From intricate designs to soothing patterns to stunning florals, coloring books have become a popular pastime for people of all ages. In this article, we will explore the world of adult coloring, discuss each type of coloring sheet for adults, and provide tips, tricks, and recommendations for coloring lovers. Whether you prefer the simplicity of coloring sheets or the challenge of paint-by-numbers, this guide has something for everyone. 

II. Adult Coloring Books

Watercolored flower painted with artist-grade watercolors, made using Artistry's Watercolor Coloring Book


What is an adult coloring book?

An adult coloring book is a type of coloring book designed specifically for adults, featuring intricate designs, patterns, and illustrations intended to be filled in with colored pencils, markers, or other coloring mediums. These books are often created with more complex and detailed artwork than children's coloring books, providing a creative and relaxing outlet for adults to express themselves and relieve stress. Adult coloring books have gained popularity as a form of art therapy and mindfulness practice.

Artistry's coloring book and coloring pencils

A. Features of Adult Coloring Books

There is a wide range of adult coloring books and coloring sheets featuring intricate designs and patterns available today. From botanical illustrations and nature scenes to geometric shapes and whimsical mandalas, these coloring pages showcase diverse themes to cater to various artistic preferences. The high-quality paper used in coloring books is suitable for different coloring mediums, including colored pencils, alcohol markers, and watercolors.

A half-colored color sheet from Artistry's coloring book and a few alcohol markers

B. Benefits of Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring books are not only a source of entertainment but also a means of stress relief and relaxation. Engaging in the act of coloring can promote mindfulness and creative expression, allowing individuals to unwind and focus on the present moment. Here are a few general benefits of adult color sheets and coloring books.

DIY floral framed decor, created with Artistry's coloring sheets for adults
  1. Stress Relief: Coloring can be a relaxing and meditative activity, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Creative Expression: It provides a creative outlet for self-expression and artistic exploration.
  3. Mindfulness: Coloring can promote mindfulness and focus, allowing individuals to be present in the moment.
  4. Artistic Development: It can improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, especially with intricate designs.
  5. Enjoyable Hobby: Coloring can be an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby for individuals of all skill levels.
The Little Folks’ Painting Book by the McLoughlin Brothers

The Little Folks’ Painting Book was the first coloring book published. (Source)

What was the first coloring book?

The first coloring book is believed to be "The Little Folks' Painting Book," published in the 1880s by the McLoughlin Brothers in collaboration with Kate Greenaway. This book contained outlines of various animals and was intended for children to paint or color. However, the concept of coloring books for adults gained popularity in the early 20th century as a means of relaxation and artistic expression.

Find Everything You Need to Know About Coloring Here

A half-colored coloring sheet from Artistry's coloring book and some artist alcohol markers

C. Pros and Cons of Coloring Books for Adults

Pros of Adult Coloring Books

Cons of Adult Coloring Books

One of the key advantages of adult coloring books is the diverse themes and styles they offer.

While adult coloring books offer a rewarding coloring experience, they may require a large time commitment for those who prefer detailed coloring.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, there are books suitable for all skill levels.

Some coloring books might be too big, thick,  or bulky; limiting their portability for on-the-go coloring.

The intricate designs provide ample opportunities for detailed and personalized coloring.

The price point of some adult coloring books might be higher compared to printable coloring sheets for adults.


III. Coloring Sheets/Coloring Pages

Artistry by Altenew's Whimsical Flower Bunch Adult Coloring Sheets and colored pencils

A. Features of Coloring Sheets

In addition to adult coloring books, Artistry by Altenew provides single adult coloring sheets or bound collections of coloring sheets with different themes and subjects. These sheets offer flexibility in choosing specific designs based on individual preferences. 

B. Benefits of Coloring Sheets

Printable coloring sheets for adults are ideal for experimentation with different coloring techniques, providing artists with the opportunity to explore various styles and approaches to coloring. They also offer the flexibility to work on individual designs without the constraints of a bound book.

3 colored coloring sheets for adults from Artistry's Color By Number kit, along with acrylic markers

C. Pros and Cons of Coloring Sheets for Adults

Pros of Adult Coloring Sheets

Cons of Adult Coloring Sheets

One of the advantages of coloring sheets is their ease of storage and transport.

While coloring sheets offer freedom in design selection, some may provide limited guidance compared to books. 

Whether you prefer to work at a desk or on the go, a coloring sheet can be easily carried and organized. 

Storing a collection of loose sheets may require additional storage solutions to keep them organized and protected.

Printable coloring sheets for adults can be used with various coloring mediums, allowing for versatile artistic expression.

Depending on the size of the coloring sheet or page, it might be time-consuming. 

IV. Color By Numbers

Artistry's Color-by-Number: Instant Artist - Blossoming Florals and acrylic markers

A. Features of Color By Numbers for Adults

For individuals who prefer a guided and structured coloring experience, Artistry by Altenew offers color-by-numbers. These printable coloring sheets for adults feature pre-drawn designs with numbered sections and a corresponding color key for each number, simplifying the coloring process.

B. Benefits of Adult Color By Numbers

Color-by-number sheets are suitable for beginners and those who appreciate direction in their artwork. They provide a methodical approach to coloring while helping individuals develop color recognition and coordination skills.

A coloring sheet from Artistry's Color-by-Number: Instant Artist - Blossoming Florals, along with the coordinating acrylic marker set

C. Pros and Cons of Color By Numbers 

Pros of Color By Numbers

Cons of Color By Numbers

The approachability of color-by-number kits makes them an excellent choice for individuals new to coloring.

While color-by-number kits provide structure, they may limit creative freedom compared to freeform coloring. 

Perfect for those seeking a relaxing yet structured activity.

The designs may be simplistic for experienced artists seeking more intricate artwork.

They offer a guided experience that can boost confidence in artistic endeavors.

The price point might be higher since a kit usually includes the coloring tool.

How to Color with Alcohol Markers

V. Paint By Numbers

A watercolor rose image painted with Artistry's gouache, from Artistry's Paint By Numbers Kit

A. Features of Paint By Numbers for Adults

In addition to color by numbers, Artistry by Altenew offers paint-by-number sheets that introduce individuals to the world of painting. These sets include a canvas with outlined and numbered sections along with a set of corresponding paint colors.

B. Benefits Paint By Numbers for Adults

Paint-by-number sets provide beginners with a structured approach to creating painted artwork while learning about color mixing and blending techniques. They offer an all-in-one kit for a complete painting experience.

handmade card with a watercolored rose from Artistry's adult paint by numbers kit

C. Pros and Cons of Paint By Numbers 

Pros of Paint By Numbers

Cons of Paint By Numbers

This type of adult color sheet is an ideal choice for individuals interested in exploring painting as an artistic medium. 

While paint-by-number sets offer guidance, they may limit individual artistic interpretation compared to freehand painting. 

Adult color sheets like these provide an opportunity to learn fundamental painting skills while creating a beautiful piece of art.

Completing a paint-by-numbers artwork requires time and patience.


VI. Artistry by Altenew's Coloring Sheets, Coloring Books, & More

1. Watercolor Coloring Book - Artistry by Altenew introduces a brand-new Watercolor Coloring Book designed to elevate your watercoloring experience. 

Artistry's Whimsical Flower Bunch Coloring Book with 2 sets of Alcohol Markers

Featuring popular Altenew flowers in beautiful compositions, this coloring book offers 12 floral designs with both black and gray outlines. The light gray outlined images provide a no-line watercolor look, while the black print gives a stamped look. Additionally, the high-quality 100% cotton, cold press watercolor paper is thick enough to prevent warping and ripping, allowing you to color in the designs with your favorite inks and watercolors. With 24 sheets of 5" x 7" paper, this coloring book opens up a world of creative possibilities for framed home decor projects, cards, or simply enjoying a day of coloring.

2. Exotic Blooms Marker Coloring Book - If you love coloring but don't always want to stamp or draw your own design, the Exotic Blooms Marker Coloring Book is perfect for you. 

Artistry's Exotic Blooms Marker Coloring Book with a few artist alcohol markers

This gorgeous coloring book features beautiful compositions of exotic flowers with both black and gray outlines, providing options for a no-line look or a lined stamp-like look. Measuring 4.25" x 5.5", each flower composition is designed for easy coloring and transfer onto projects. The included Color Catcher insert prevents marker bleed-through, while the 24 sheets of 80 lb White Cardstock offer endless creative possibilities for framed home decor projects, cards, or simply enjoying a day of coloring.

3. Paint-by-Number: Classical Roses - The Paint-By-Number: Classical Roses coloring book showcases 3 beautiful blooming rose arrangements on high-quality 300 gsm watercolor paper. 

A coloring sheet from Artistry's Paint by Number kit depicting a huge image of a rose and Artistry's gouache paints

With 6 one-sided sheets (2 per design) and 3 instruction sheets, this coloring book offers the perfect canvas for aspiring artists and hobbyists of all ages. Experiment with your own color combinations using four colors on the flower and 3 colors on the leaves, or use it with water-based mediums for a relaxing and unwinding experience. The acid-free & archival paper is ideal for framing your favorite colored pages to decorate your space

4. Color-by-Number: Instant Artist - Blossoming Florals (12 Sheets) - Turn into an instant artist with Artistry’s Color-by-Number: Instant Artist - Blossoming Florals. Each A2-sized page features a different floral image with both black lines and grayed-out lines for each design, offering 12 sheets (2 per design) of high-quality 80lb cardstock paper.

A color sheet from Artistry's Color-by-Number: Instant Artist - Blossoming Florals colored using acrylic markers

Perfect for aspiring artists and hobbyists of all ages, this coloring book allows you to experiment with your own color combinations or use it with your favorite coloring mediums for a relaxing and unwinding experience. Frame your favorite colored pages to decorate your space and build up your creative confidence before tackling larger projects.

Where to Buy the Best Adult Coloring Sheets and Coloring Books

VII. Conclusion

Artistry by Altenew offers diverse options for creative coloring and painting, catering to the preferences and skill levels of artists seeking artistic fulfillment. Whether you prefer the structured guidance of paint by numbers or the freedom of loose adult coloring sheets and coloring books, our range of art supplies is designed to inspire your artistic journey.

Explore Artistry by Altenew's collection of adult coloring books, color sheets, color-by-numbers, and paint-by-numbers sets and embark on a fulfilling artistic adventure filled with creativity and self-expression.

A whimsical design from Artistry's Whimsical Flower Bunch Coloring Book, colored with various coloring tools


The best things to use for adult coloring books depend on the type of paper used for each color sheet. Typically, the coloring tools used are coloring pencils, alcohol markers, and watercolors. You may also use fine-tipped markers or gel pens. These coloring tools allow for precise coloring and blending without bleeding through the pages.


Adult coloring books typically use thick, acid-free paper to prevent bleed-through, allowing you to use various coloring mediums such as colored pencils, alcohol or acrylic markers, and watercolors. The paper is often smooth to ensure a pleasant coloring experience.


Both pens and pencils are good for adult coloring, and the choice depends on personal preference. Coloring pencils offer control and precision, allowing for layering and blending, while fine-tipped markers provide more details and add interest. Gel pens are also popular for adding intricate details and accents.


The benefits of adult coloring include stress relief, relaxation, and mindfulness. It can also stimulate creativity, improve focus and fine motor skills, and serve as a form of self-expression. Additionally, adult coloring has been linked to reducing anxiety and promoting overall mental well-being.



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