by Lucy Fyles

peace-calmThe Art of Mindfulness: Peace and Calm Coloring
Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books
Copyright: 2015
Number of designs: just under 100
ISBN-10: 145470960X
ISBN-13: 978-1454709602

This book is published and was very kindly sent to me for review by Michael O’Mara Books. It contains approximately a 50:50 split between patterns and pictures of scenes and animals. The patterns are not geometric, repeating patterns and they’re not boring. They’re abstract images, zentangled sections, flowing lines and swirling designs. I’m not a fan of colouring patterns, because I tend to get quite bored of doing each section the same — the perfectionist in me forces me to do this — but these are lovely and really interesting.

Those of you who like Color Me Calm and Color Me Happy are sure to love this book. A number of the illustrations have been created by the same illustrator of those books. Her work is very distinctive, with flowing abstract patterns that are ideal for practicing mindfulness.

peace-and-calm-2The natural images are really lovely, too. They include plenty of birds, leaves, flowers, various animals — even depictions of weather and modes of transport. There is something for everyone in this book! It’s ideal for new colourists who want to try a bit of everything, or seasoned colourists who love variety.

The line thickness in this book is mostly thin, so you will need good vision and fine motor control to make the most out of this book. The images aren’t super detailed and intricate, however, so they won’t be increasing your stress levels. This is a great book for mental health for calming down your symptoms. It’s a really lovely addition to the series.

The image above was coloured using Staedtler Triplus fineliners which did bleed a little through the page.

Review Breakdown

  • Complexity: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Book Size: 7.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Design Borders: none
  • Design Lines: thin to medium thickness
  • Paper: thinner than average
  • Printing: double-sided
  • Binding: glue-bound

The Art of Mindfulness series is currently a set of 4, differently titled books, each containing almost 100 images, illustrated by various artists. The books are slightly smaller than A4 size, paperback and glue-bound. All of the images have a 1cm border around them, so none are lost into the spine. The paper is bright white and thin. Sadly, it does bleed when using water-based pens. There isn’t a lot of tooth, but it isn’t completely smooth, so you can blend and shade a little with coloured pencils.

The designs are printed double-sided, so you will need to be careful about what mediums you use to colour with, or make copies before coloring. The line work in each book varies from very thin to medium thickness, so this series isn’t great for those of you with poor vision or fine motor control. This is as you’d expect from mindfulness-themed books, since they require concentration. The images in the books vary in theme, but are mostly abstract designs and natural imagery of things like plants, flowers, weather, scenery etc.

All of the books are very pretty. They are ideal for people who are mentally ill or wanting to practice mindfulness. There are lots of intricate and detailed images to focus your attention on, so you’re distracted from your low and anxious thoughts. You can be in the here and now.

As far as books with a huge variety of images go, these are definitely some of the best I’ve seen. They’re all very different from each other, but also feel similar enough to be a cohesive series.

Editor’s Note:

Lucy is a UK member of my Facebook group, Coloring Books for Adults. She reviews books specifically for those suffering from mental illness. Lucy is able to bring a unique viewpoint to this target group, as both a person who suffers from her own severe anxiety disorder, and as someone who has worked with psychiatric inpatients. You can read Lucy’s blog for more information, or connect with her through Facebook.

(Since the UK uses the alternate spelling of “colour”, you’ll find “coloured pencils” and other alternate spellings used in her reviews.)

Do you have this book? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments!

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