Cats and Coloring: No Better Combination
November 17, 2015 4 Comments
It goes without saying that many of us believe that cats are the best. But to kick it up a notch? Add coloring.
The adult coloring phenomenon has been sweeping the world. No topic is off limits for markers, pencils, gel pens, and crayons. Mandalas (the original inspiration), geometric designs, scenes from nature, and architecture have all been fodder for colorists. Now the cat has become a whole genre unto itself.
Cats can be found in various books, such as “Color Me Calm.”
However, the growth of coloring books devoted to cats is sure to delight coloring-loving cat lovers. They’re all $10 to $12 or less, depending on where they’re purchased. In addition, there are Ebooks, such as Charmed and Charming Cats Coloring Book.
Creative Haven’s “Creative Cats” by Marjorie Sarnat is probably the best known and has been around the longest. I really like Marjorie’s take on coloring for kids and adults, Coloring Books for Kids and Adults: How They Can Support Creativity.
Creative Cats was published in 2015, but keep in mind that adult coloring – or the media’s reporting of it, which no doubt fueled its popularity – gained momentum just this spring. The book, which is one of my favorites, is full of stylized sweet-faced cats in incredibly detailed themed settings, such as butterflies, the moon and stars, space, music, writing, toys, and the sea. I’ve colored about half the book. Looking through my completed pages is almost as pleasurable as coloring them. The designed are printed on one side, which is ideal, since the designs just call for the vibrant colors of markers. The pages are also perforated to make for easy removal.
“Cats: Coloring for Mindfulness” is an interesting book that’s small in size, but big in content. Because the designs are printed on both sides, you have to be careful about your medium. I adore Sharpies and markers, but they bleed through on most paper, so I’ve been experimenting with colored pencils, Staedler fineliners, and gel pens. The designs are also stylized: flower patterns and geometric patterns make up the cats. The book opens from the top (making it more convenient for lefties) and the pages are detachable.
I don’t have a whole lot of time to color and have a tendency to hoard books and materials (don’t ask), so I have yet to touch pen… or pencils… or markers to three very new books.
The artist BzTat has published “Color Me Cats,” themed after her distinctive artwork. The whimsical designs are great for all levels of colorists. The pages are single sided, always a good thing, since the designs really pop with bright colors. The spiral binding lays flat and the pages are perforated. Here’s one I completed:
“Cat Therapy: 100 Designs Colouring In and Relaxation” is totally impressive.
It’s a thick hard-bound book that has an amazing array of designs, both realistic and stylized. There’s a preface that discusses the color wheel and the science behind color, and the different mediums that can be used; you’re encouraged to test them out to make sure they’re suitable for the paper. While the paper is quite thick, there is some bleed-through with the markers. In the back, a color wheel illustrates color values and their relationships. This is a very meaty book!
Hot off the press is a book by Margaret Gates Root. Margaret is passionate about feline nutrition (feline-nutrition.org), but she also has a creative side as expressed in “Color Cats.” The book is a collection of realistic illustrations of cats in their home environments, doing what cats do best, eating, playing, relaxing, investigating. The challenge will be to color the cats in a somewhat realistic way, using techniques to illustrate their fur and their diverse markings.
Here’s a page from this book.
The pages are in landscape format, for lefties or righties, and printed on a single side. If you order through the link about, a portion of proceeds from the book will go toward the Feline Nutrition organization. It’s Book One, so stay tuned for more!
I have a book from my first go-around with coloring about 10 years ago, “The Cat Coloring Book,” by Karen Baldauski, which has drawings of mostly purebred cats. The pages are doubled sided and the author has included completed illustrations on the outer covers and inside covers to guide you. The book is out of print, but you may be able to find a used copy on Amazon.
The Facebook group, Cat Colorings, is the perfect forum for sharing completed illustrations, works in progress, color techniques, and even photos of your cats supervising your efforts. There’s also a file that lists additional cat-related coloring books.
Adult Coloring Worldwide is another Facebook group where you can share your work. Members are not just colorists; many are talented artists and illustrators who often share samples of their work.
An Amazon search turns up additional books: “The Cat Lovers’ Coloring Book” (Ruth Soffer), “Cats & Quilts” (Jason Hamilton), “Cool Cats” (Elizabeth James), “Happy Coloring: Happy Cats” (Amanda Neel), “World of Cats” (John Green). And a few more: “Cats” (Grace Johnson), “Colorful Cats,” “Charming Cats” (Becky Torres Designs), “Cats Coloring Book” (Adult Coloring World), “Lucky Black Cats” (Carole Stevens Sbiisi) and “Cat Gems” (Joanna Ahns).
The Internet offers many websites where you can download free pages to color; I’ve found several interesting cat-related pages there. The designs here are rather simplistic, but are a good starting point for beginners.
Artists often free downloads of their work for personal enjoyment. I had a lot of fun with this one by Miedzy Kreskami. Check out her Facebook page.
As a courtesy, do credit the name of the artist and/or the book when posting your completed artwork.
Many local libraries or people with the coloring bug are organizing coloring groups. If you can’t find one in your area, organize one yourself! They can be instructional in nature or simply a chance to meet and share a common interest. People can bring their own materials or you can charge a small materials fee and participants get to keep markers and print-outs.
Cats give us undeniable pleasure. They’ve perfected the art of relaxation. Combine the coloring an image of a cat with a purring cat by your side and you have the ideal recipe for stress relief in this all too stressful world.