These Websites & Apps Offer Free, High-Quality Adult Coloring Books
Gone are the days of coloring inside the lines to prove our worth to fellow third graders. We are adults now, scribbling chaotically in the privacy of our own homes. And while it may feel like the golden age of adult coloring books ended a couple years ago, there is certainly renewed interest now that many of us are spending our days in government-mandated privacy, looking for something stress-reducing to do with our sanitized hands.
Thankfully, your closest quarantine friends -- the internet and your phone -- can help you get your hands on coloring books. There are myriad ways to access free coloring books and sheets online and, in some cases, you won't even need a printer. Here's our running list of some of the best places to find free coloring pages.
Libraries & Museums
First off, a good way to find coloring book sheets from museums and libraries is to peruse the hashtag #ColorOurCollections on Twitter. Here you'll find a ton of organizations sharing free resources on their platforms.
Here's a list of some of the most impressive coloring books available in online collections:
- Lane Medical Library – Medical History Center, Stanford Medicine Coloring Book
- Brooklyn Collection at Brooklyn Public Library
- Cambridge University Library Coloring Book
- Carnegie Hall Archives Coloring Book
- Digita Vaticana
- Europeana Coloring Book
- Harvard Center for the History of Medicine
- The Bodleian Libraries Coloring Book (Oxford)
- The British Library
- Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán Coloring Book
- The Biodiversity Heritage Library
- The New York Botanical Garden
- The Smithsonian
- Newberry Library Coloring Book
- Northwestern University Distinctive Collections Coloring Book
- Queens’ College Library, Cambridge Coloring Book
Google "free adult coloring books" and you're bound to find 1,000 websites offering some sort of black and white swirly thing, but here are three high-quality coloring resources for the dignified scribbler:
Yes, the website is not saying hello to anyone over 12, but they do offer a page of adult coloring sheets with intricate designs that are very similar to those in those trendy big kid coloring books of yore. One page on their site is even called "sophisticated adult picture."
Faber-Castell is an online shop for colored pencils art supplies, but we'll look past this act of blatant self-service because the drawings available are gorgeous. The website offers a nice blend of mandalas, images of nature, and tastefully sexy images of humans.
OK, this site requires you to sign up for a 30-day free trial, but I think it's a top option because it gives you one high-quality drawing for each day of the month. You also don't have to provide any credit card information upfront. Once you sign up, click the "free pages" tab on the top left and follow the prompts to download your first daily drawing.
Apps are a little treat for the printer-less. Keep in mind that a lot of applications you find in the Apple App Store and Google Play provide free trials that auto-renew and charge you after a certain amount of days. Here are the ones that are a little less sneaky:
This is my personal favorite app -- It's currently ranked #11 in the store's Books category. You have the option to color by number or get a little wild with your own palette. Here's what I'm working on:
FreeColorBook offers the most flexibility of any app I've seen -- you can choose between a crap-ton of colors and pictures. The mandalas are especially gorgeous, and you're able to zoom in on the screen to get as precise as you'd like with your coloring. The app also offers images of stained glass, fashion, food, holidays, gothic letters, and more.
Pigment asks you about your image, color palette, and brush preferences before you get started with the app. It's not my top choice because most of the images are reserved for premium members, but you still get one really cool image a day, like with the aforementioned web service Coloring Bliss. Find the free image at the top, where it says "color today's daily download." This is a worthy app to spend your money on ($5 a week).
While you're looking for things to keep yourself busy, consider checking out some iconic museums via virtual tour or appreciating the art that is our glorious natural world with Google Earth's tours of 31 national parks. Happy time occupying!