If, like me, you find yourself unable to sleep around 1 a.m. and end up watching “Frasier” on the Hallmark channel, you’ll witness some interesting ads promoting products you never knew you needed. One particular item that has taken the market by storm, believe it or not, is the adult coloring book. Now this doesn’t mean coloring books with saucy, racy pictures in them; it simply means patterns that are very complex and therefore require patience and a steady hand to complete.
People are raving about how they melt the stress away and help them relax. The TV commercials take the whole thing to a ridiculous level, saying that the designs are printed on acid-free paper, so you can frame your finished works or “give them as a gift.” If you start handing out framed coloring book art to your friends, don’t be surprised if they disappear off your Facebook feed or announce that they would have preferred a mango.
Regardless of what the naysayers think, there is no doubt that these coloring books are very popular, and if they offer harried parents or executives some mental down time and stress relief, who are we to argue?
Perhaps you’ve been interested in giving this form of therapy a go, but can’t face the awkward conversations with acquaintances at Foster’s Food Fair as you clutch your coloring book to your chest, babbling on about “a present for a teenager.” Luckily, there’s an app that allows you to indulge your coloring fantasies without having to step foot outside your house.
Simply head to the App Store, and download Recolor – Coloring Book For Adults. It’s free to try, and easy to use. Let the artistry begin!
How it works
When you first open the app, it will present you with a simple looking design. You can either start with that, or immediately get to the more complicated stuff. Pay attention to the hints/instruction it gives you at the beginning.
The most important thing to know is that you have to use two fingers (or a finger and thumb) to move the picture around, with the usual pinch gestures to zoom in and out. If you try to move the picture with just one finger, you’ll end up coloring whatever part you touch with the active color at the time.
Tap on the picture symbol in the top left-hand corner of the screen. This brings up all the different options you’ve got: Animals, Bouquets, Fishes, Floral, Insects, Isometric, Low polys, Mandalas, Mortes and Ornates.
When you tap on any one of these, you’ll see that you get a few of each topic for free, but then you have to unlock the remainder. If you just want to bypass any fuss, unlocking all 10 packs costs a grand total of $4.99. Methinks it won’t be long before you reckon that’s a bargain, considering how addictive this app can become.
Anyway, before you do that, give one a try. Tap on, say, Animals, and then tap on the owl image. A black and white owl will appear on your workspace, along with a set of five colors down the right-hand side of the screen. This set of colors is called Salamander.
Zoom in on the owl by using your finger and thumb together, and then tap the color from the Salamander group that you want to use. Follow this with a tap on a segment of the owl, and that segment will fill with the color you chose.
In case you’re worried that you’ll be restricted to the Salamander palette, fear not; you can swipe down from the top of the screen on that side to reveal Into Dreams, Star Seeker, Cynicide, Birds of Paradise and Broken Glass.
After that, there are six more palettes you can unlock, but you have to share Recolor with your friends on Facebook to do so. Hmmm … perhaps wait until you’re confident in your desire to share your dirty secret before you go all flauntin’ it on social media.
If you’ve colored a segment by mistake, simply tap on it again to reverse coloring it. There are also undo and redo arrows on either side of the top of the screen to take you all the way back or all the way forward.
When you’re finally happy with your masterpiece, you tap on the check mark symbol along the top. This takes you to a whole new lot of decision-making; namely, what finish to give your work. You’ve got everything from Plain and Crayon to Shadow and Shiny (my favorite) from which to choose. They really add some fab effects!
Of course once you’re done, you know you can share the art with everyone you know through social media and email, or simply keep it to yourself by saving it to your photo album.
When I tried it
Well, what can I say? I started this off as a cynical adult, yet ended up taking great care in what colors I used so my owl would look perfect. He would starve to death in the wild, as prey would see him coming from a mile away, but he looked gorgeous (in my eyes, anyway). The colors were so vibrant on my iPad, and as I only had to tap on a section to color it, there was none of that pesky outside-the-lines nonsense to worry about.
As if all of the above wasn’t enough, I was downright emotional about those finishing touches. Again, I found the Shiny option to be my favorite, but then Shadow was beckoning as well. I was almost giddy over the choices.
I hate to tell you this, but you’re really gonna like the Recolor app. It’s fun, has beautiful patterns, and those colors just pop on the high-res screen of an iPad. Whether you’ll want to share your newfound hobby with anyone is up to you, and no matter how glorious your finished products look, I still wouldn’t print them out and give them as gifts.
I confess that I purchased all the sets (for testing purposes of course), and realized that all I had to do was share the info about the app on Facebook to unlock those other color palettes. It wasn’t like asking friends for farm lives or something equally ghastly. I shared it.
Recolor is a lot cheaper than therapy, so why not give it a try? Just hide it from your kids, or you may have to explain why you’re fighting with your children over a coloring book.
Free to try.
Easy to use.
Fantastic designs and colors.
You will officially be known as an adult colorer.
Recolor – Coloring Book For Adults
- Cost: Free (plus in-app purchases)
- Seller: Sumoing Ltd
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
- Rating: E for Everyone
- Three stars