Coloring books have always been a way to relieve stress and harness your creativity, but they’re especially valuable now. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, most of us are stuck indoors for long chunks of the day—and we’re starting to run out of inexpensive, stress-free hobbies. If that’s the case for you, and you love to color but can’t afford or don’t have access to supplies, there’s another option: digital coloring books.
Whether you’re an Android or iOS person, there are plenty of coloring book apps available for free and easy download. And we truly cannot recommend them enough; they’re an easy way to unwind after an anxiety-ridden day.
One of them best ones out there is Happy Color. The color-by-number app is totally free (on Google Play and Apple) and has new pages available every day. You can bring famous paintings to life, color some of your favorite characters ( like Scooby-Doo), or choose from categories like “food” and “people” and “fantasy.” The app even has pages that “blend” colors together to form a more complete and realistic result.
Other free options include Coloring Book for Adults and Color by Number. The first lets you choose your own colors and the latter is another color-by-numbers app. Neither are as robust as Happy Color, but they offer some alternative options if you’re looking for a different format or more pages to choose from. Both are also available in Android and iOS.
Coloring Book for Adults
Adobe also recently released a free digital coloring book (via Gizmodo) with the help of several talented artists, like Sofi Bastos and Ann Chen. Unlike the apps above, this coloring book is printable, however you can import the JPEGs into coloring apps like Adobe Fresco if you prefer to keep it all online. Adobe will release a new “chapter” for the coloring book every week this spring. You can download a PDF for the first issue here.
There are plenty of other digital coloring book apps available in your Google Play and Apple stores—like Colorfy and Recolor—although most come with a pay tier. Be sure to read the fine print before hitting download, or test them out for a free seven-day trial. You might like the paid versions better, and that’s a great way to get a sense of whichever app you prefer.
The best thing? These apps don’t have to simply be a coronavirus quarantine hobby. You can keep them on your phone forever; they’re a great way to de-stress at any time of the year.
Featured Image: Happy Color