Are you the world’s biggest fan of Sherlock? Or is your friend the world’s biggest fan of Doctor Who? What do you get for a fan who has everything? More and more, the answer could be an adult coloring book.
More and more book, TV, and movie franchises are coming out with coloring books designed for the ultimate fans. Spend hours pouring over the perfect shade of blue-green to color in Benedict Cumberbatch’s eyes; the perfect bright yellow for Walter White’s meth cooking outfit. Color between the lines to create your own work of fan art!
The coloring books below are the best ones I could find for some of the most popular series today. Many are currently available for preorder and will be released in the coming months. All are available with Amazon’s Preorder Price Guarantee, which will only charge you the lowest price for the book you order between the date you order and the release date. That way, if the item goes down in price between when you order and when it’s available, you are guaranteed the best price! It’s a good reason to order early!
If you come across another well-loved series coloring book not included in this list, please let me know in the comments or via the contact form! With the coloring book trend, more and more of these books are being announced all the time! Me personally? I’m holding out for a Downton Abbey coloring book.
Super duper quick pro tip: Did you know that you can get your coloring books in just TWO DAYS with free shipping by signing up for a free trial of Amazon Prime? That’s almost as fast as buying your coloring books at the store, except you get a million times the selection and you don’t have to change out of your PJs! (Win-win!)
The trial lasts for 30 days, and there is no minimum order price in order to get the free shipping (without Prime, you generally need to hit $35 to get the free shipping)! Get those books ASAP by signing up for the free trial (click here!), and if you don’t want to keep the Prime benefits, just cancel before your 30 days are up. You might end up loving Prime, too — I know we do! With the amount we order from Amazon, I’m sure our Prime membership has paid for itself many times over in free shipping.
Last Updated: March 5, 2016
The Official Harry Potter Coloring Book #1
Months before its release, this coloring book had already set off a frenzy on social media. According to the description, the book is packed with detailed line drawings that were used to make the Harry Potter movies. From Amazon: “This coloring book includes fan favorite scenes, creatures, and characters: from Dobby and baby Norbert to Quidditch games and the unforgettable final battle between Harry and Lord Voldemort.”
This book is sure to be a hot collector’s item, and it is really the perfect gift for the Harry Potter fan who has everything. And, not to get all nostalgic or something on you, but I’m sure this book is going to take me way back, and will do the same to any longtime Potter fan.
Psst — if the #1 in the title wasn’t enough to tip you off, it looks like there’s already a follow-up book due out in March 2016.
Release Date: November 24, 2015
The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book
Game of Thrones fans, rejoice! This official coloring book brings to life the intensely detailed world of George R R Martin’s masterpiece A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones and contains 45 illustrations created just for the book.
From Amazon: “In a world where weddings are red, fire is green, and debts are paid in gold, countless images leap off the page thanks to the eye-popping intricacy of the vivid settings and details. Now, for the first time, fans of this blockbuster saga can fill in the blanks and marvel as this meticulously imagined universe comes to life, one sword, sigil, and castle at a time. With dozens of stunning original black-and-white illustrations from world-renowned illustrators Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomić, Adam Stower, and Levi Pinfold, this unique collector’s item expands the reach of an international phenomenon with flying colors.”
Watch out for the book just before Halloween, ready to be snatched up in time to be an awesome Christmas gift for the world’s biggest Game of Thrones fans.
Release Date: October 27, 2015
The Sherlock Coloring Book: The Mind Palace
The official BBC Sherlock coloring book: starring 221B Baker Street’s crazy wallpaper, tons of recognizable scenes from the various episodes, and Sherlock’s popped collar and high cheekbones.
Guys, I am so on the edge of my seat for this one. Seriously, I am in love with Benedict Cumberbatch and his high cheekbones.
From Random House: “The Mind Palace is a unique celebration of the rich visual landscape of Sherlock, featuring over 50 intricate pieces of artwork by artist Mike Collins. Recreate classic scenes, add colour to intricate interiors and illuminate the fascinating world of Sherlock with the power of your imagination.
A vital clue from each episode is hidden within the original black and white illustrations, and only by completing the scene can they be found. Fill Sherlock’s world with colour and find the secrets hidden within The Mind Palace.”
The book is due out in early November for Sherlock fans to start creating their own beautiful colored fan art. I can think of more than one Sherlock-obsessed friend of mine who would love this under the Christmas tree.
Release Date: November 3, 2015
The Official Doctor Who Colouring Book
If my time in a liberal arts college taught me anything, it is that there are two kinds of fans: fans of anything else, and fans of Doctor Who. Oh my, Doctor Who fans sure are obsessive about their favorite show.
There isn’t much out about this coloring book yet, but the first couple pages that have been released look amazing. I love the letters spelling out “Doctor Who” featuring different characters and scenes, and the page with the weeping angel is incredibly intricately detailed. You are going to want sharp pencils or fine-tipped markers for this one. (See my coloring supply recommendations at the bottom of the page.)
From Amazon: “Planets, galaxies, villains, heroes, the Doctor, the TARDIS and the time vortex–all intricately illustrated in this adult coloring book packed with original Doctor Who art. With 96 stunning pages to color, plus all the best quotes from the beloved TV show, this out-of-this-world adult coloring book is perfect for any creative Doctor Who fan.”
Any fan of the show is going to love this Doctor Who coloring book. It’s due out in February 2016.
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Doctor Who Travels in Time Coloring Book
The second Doctor Who Coloring Book is on its way, and I love the look they are going for with these square black and white covers with a single accent color. They’re gorgeous!
From Amazon: “Experience the timey-wimey travels of the Doctor moment by moment with this historical Doctor Who coloring book. Inside you’ll find the Doctor’s greatest friends and foes from throughout all of history, with original illustrations featuring Churchill, Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Dickens, Madame de Pompadour and many more. Color in kings and queens, Romans and Egyptians, Viking villages and erupting volcanoes… not forgetting the occasional dinosaur on a spaceship. With 45 brand new images to color, Travels in Time is a fantastic addition to any coloring collection.”
Pick up your copy now and take advantage of Amazon’s pre-order price guarantee — you’ll end up paying the lowest price listed between when you preorder and when the book is available.
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Doctor Who: Dot-to-Doc (Dot to Dot Book)
Okay, it’s not quite a coloring book per se, but this dot to dot book for adults will certainly keep you busy! With over 500 dots in every drawing, you will watch a page with nothing but numbers magically turn into The Doctor, Rose, a Dalek, and more. You won’t know what it will turn into until you start connecting the dots!
Release Date: July 7, 2016
The Walking Dead Coloring Book
Before it was a hit TV show, The Walking Dead was a comic book series. This coloring book is based on the comic book rendition of the show.
From Amazon: “This oversized adult coloring book features art from throughout the long-running series. Sure, The Walking Dead has never had color, but don’t let that stop you from coloring in all your favorite survivors and zombies! Just make sure to stock up on plenty of red…”
Release Date: May 10, 2016
The Walking Dead Colouring Book
Based on the hit show by AMC, this coloring book will have you seeing red.
From Amazon: “Filled with incredible line art inspired by the hit television show, this horrifying coloring book gives readers the opportunity to color their way through over eighty pages of memorable scenes and characters from The Walking Dead. Featuring fan-favorite characters, including Rick, Daryl, and Michonne; locations like Woodbury, Alexandria, and the prison; and hordes of flesh-chomping walkers, this coloring book offers a wealth of gloriously gory designs to color. Filled with frightening fun, The Walking Dead Coloring Book is the perfect gift for fans of the show.”
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Supernatural: The Official Coloring Book
Love Supernatural? Well, you’re in luck — soon, there will be a coloring book to feed your addiction. You can color it while rewatching the show, of course.
From Amazon: “Based on WB’s hit show Supernatural, this deluxe coloring book features line art and patterns inspired by Dean, Sam, Castiel, and the monsters that they hunt. The perfect gift for the aspiring hunter, this gorgeous coloring book is filled with detailed illustrations of the characters and creatures of Supernatural. From the rich black of the Winchesters’ car to the blood red of a devil’s trap, the world of Supernatural is yours to design and color. Featuring patterns inspired by Dean, Sam, Castiel, Crowley, and a host of angels, demons, and other creatures, these minutely detailed drawings offer hours of creative fun.”
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Star Wars: 100 Images to Inspire Creativity and Relaxation (Art Therapy)
Update! It’s here it’s here it’s here! Well, it will be very soon. The Star Wars coloring book! Two, in fact! These books are adapted from the French coloring books by Hachette. They feature a variety of illustrations for beginner and experienced colorists, from stunning character portraits to fully-patterned pages to Star Wars themed mandalas.
Here’s the description from Amazon: “Relax, and let the creativity flow through you. Whether a skilled artist or an everyday dabbler of drawings and doodles, fans of all ages will enjoy these stunning pen-and-ink illustrations of beautiful landscapes, elaborate patterns, and memorable characters from the Star Wars universe. The lovely packaging includes a board cover with metallic foil stamping.”
These books are must-haves for any Star Wars fan who loves to color!
Release Dates: November 10, 2015 & February 25, 2016
Breaking Bad Coloring Book: Cookin’ Up Some Color, Yo
Breaking Bad fan? Get ready to get cooking, because this coloring book was made for you.
A little different than other books on this list, the Breaking Bad coloring book is also an activity book, with word searches, connect the dots, crossword puzzles, and of course coloring pages. The book is printed in full color (well, the coloring pages are still black and white) and has over 80 pages. Wow!
The coloring book moves chronologically throughout the entirety of the TV series, so make sure you finish watching before you crack open this book, lest you run into any spoilers.
From Amazon: “In just five seasons, Breaking Bad cooked viewers everywhere into a frenzy, with its wildly addictive plot and complex character development following Walter White’s transformation from mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher to dangerously successful meth cooker. Fans watched Walt’s epic transformation as he was forced to confront a new reality laced with the inevitability of terminal lung cancer and sympathized with his intentions to provide for a future for his family as he faced the evils that came with a gradual immersion into the drug world.
Breaking Bad: Cookin’ Up Some Color, Yo captures the show’s badass cast of characters, best cliff-hangers, and key locations in a creative experience designed to let you relive its adrenaline-pumping moments all over again. Featuring line art of Walt, Jesse, Mike, Saul, Gus, Hank Schrader, Marie Schrader, Skyler, and Walt Jr. in a variety of scenes, the book moves chronologically through the series, allowing you to color in highlights from each season, as well as complete word searches, crossword puzzles, and dot-to-dots all featuring favorite characters and moments from the show. Quotes and anecdotes from the show are included throughout the 80 pages, to ensure a complete experience for any Breaking Bad fan.”
The coloring pages are less detailed, more simplistic than other coloring books in this list, but that doesn’t stop you from filling them in with your own details. This coloring book would make a great gift for yourself or any Breaking Bad fan!
Release Date: October 29, 2015
The Official Outlander Coloring Book
It was a book, it was a smashing hit TV series, it was a graphic novel, and now Outlander is a coloring book. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander fans won’t be disappointed: it’s packed with 45 illustrations created just for the book.
From Amazon: “From the lush green of the Scottish Highlands to the military red of a British soldier’s coat or the vibrant hues of a tartan kilt, the colorful world of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser is now yours to explore. Featuring gorgeous natural landscapes, detailed drawings of Claire’s medicinal herbs, depictions of the books’ most beloved scenes and characters, and intricately rendered clothing, weapons, and armor straight out of eighteenth-century Scotland, these exquisite black-and-white images—from renowned illustrators Juan Alarcón, Yvonne Gilbert, Craig Phillips, Jon Proctor, Tomislav Tomić, and Rebecca Zomchek—are designed to dazzle and inspire. Fans of the series, as well as lovers of history and art, can party like it’s 1743.”
Well, I’m sure excited! It’s one of the earliest releases on this list, due out just a few days before Halloween. Grab it as a holiday present for your Outlander fan friends!
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Tolkien’s World: A Colouring Book
Update! Here’s a new coloring book, perfect for longtime fans of the Lord of the Rings series of books and movies. My dad read these books to me growing up, and I have such a soft spot for so many of the books’ (many, many) characters! Not one but two LOTR coloring books have recently appeared on Amazon, the first one due out in November 2015, and the second due out in March 2016.
From the publisher: “This mystical colouring book presents an abundance of famous scenes and characters inspired by Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. From Gandalf the Grey to the humble Hobbits, take time off from the busy pace of life and indulge your imagination while exploring the enthralling world of The Lord of the Rings and other tales. There’s something new on every page as you discover the intricate elvish designs, fearsome characters and breath-taking landscapes – perfect to satisfy Tolkien fans and beyond. This book is unofficial and is not authorised by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers.”
And here’s what we know about the second book: “This beautiful coloring book—suitable for Tolkien fans of all ages—presents over 90 pages of famous scenes from Middle-earth, from the Trees of the Valar to Mount Doom; and characters as beloved as Gandalf the wizard, or as feared as Smaug the dragon. Line art illustrations are ready to be colored in, and descriptive text puts each scene or character in context in the fantastical world of Middle-earth. This work is unofficial and is not authorized by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers.”
So we’ve got two Tolkien-inspired coloring books on the horizon for under $30 (and often you can save more with Amazon’s preorder price guarantee)… I’m psyched!
Release Dates: November 12, 2015 & March 15, 2016
Color Your Own Age of Ultron
Are you ready, Marvel Comics and Avengers fans? I present to you: Color Your Own Age of Ultron!
From Marvel: “The Avengers face their darkest hour as the metallic menace Ultron stands over a ravaged Earth in the Age of Ultron Coloring Book. Only a few of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are left standing. And it’s up to you to put the color back into their last ditch effort to save mankind! Featuring the line art of Bryan Hitch, Brandon Peterson, Carlos Pacheco and more, this is your chance to color inside the lines, or outside the lines, of this blockbuster Marvel event!”
It can be yours in October! Look out for upcoming coloring books from Marvel.
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Disney Princess: 100 Images to Inspire Creativity and Relaxation (Art Therapy)
Update! Got a thing for Disney princesses? Now you can get lost for hours in the world of Disney in this beautiful coloring book, adapted from the French version by Hachette. Illustrations are in a variety of styles and present a range of difficulty, from simpler illustrations to intensely complicated patterns. Some pages are printed in a dramatic white on black style.
From Amazon: “Relax, and let the creativity flow through you. Whether a skilled artist or an everyday dabbler of drawings and doodles, fans of all ages will enjoy these stunning pen-and-ink illustrations of beautiful landscapes, elaborate patterns, and memorable characters from Disney’s hit animated feature films featuring the Disney Princesses. The lovely packaging includes a board cover with double metallic foil stamping.”
This book can be yours in early November!
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Grimm Fairy Tales Adult Coloring Book
Update! I spotted this brand new listing while trolling around Amazon one evening recently. This new coloring book, due out just before Christmas, looks promising! It features characters from a variety of Grimm’s fairy tales.
From Amazon: “Join in the adventure and escape by coloring the lines of the world’s most recognizable characters. From Red Riding Hood to Cinderella, Little Mermaid to Robyn Hood, and OZ to Wonderland. Let your brain focus on creating great pieces of artwork while relieving the stress of everyday life. Hone your coloring skills by collaborating with some of the best artists in the comic book industry such as Jamie Tyndall, J. Scott Campbell, Dawn McTigue, and many more. Grimm Fairy Tales’ adult coloring book provides hours of great art to be filled with your imagination! Relive your childhood passion of coloring and fairy tales all in one unique book!”
Release Date: December 17, 2015
But what should I color my awesome new coloring book with?
I threw tons of my favorite coloring supply recommendations at the bottom of my list of the best adult coloring books, but in a nutshell there are two major options: colored pencils or markers.
If you’re coloring just for fun and a bit of stress relief, there is no need to break the bank on a crazy expensive set of pens or pencils. If you’re looking for a budget colored pencil set, I recommend this set of 50 Sargent colored pencils. I’m not super keen on the budget options for markers (in my experience, they are practically impossible to create an even layer of color with), but a good mid-range option would be to pick up a set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliners in 30 colors. Staedtler also has a matching, wider-tip set for coloring more expansive spaces, like those in the Breaking Bad book above.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliners, Johanna Basford’s favorite coloring pens
If you’re planning to color with markers, be sure to check if your book is printed back to back or if the reverse of the pages are left blank. I have provided that information where available, but since many of the books have yet to be released some of the details are still vague. You can still use markers if the book is printed on both sides, of course, but you might want to first scan and print the image on a fresh sheet of drawing paper.
Prismacolor Colored Pencils in 150 colors, a good set of colored pencils for a splurge
Want to splurge a little to truly indulge in your work of fan art? I recommend a nice artist’s set of colored pencils. Above is a beautiful 150 color set by Prismacolor, or below is a 120 set of Caran D’Ache Pablo pencils, my personal preference for colored pencils (but they are on the pricy side… don’t say I didn’t warn you).
Caran D’Ache Pablo Colored Pencils in 120 colors, my absolute favorite colored pencils for art and coloring
Most importantly, just get whatever supplies help you express yourself and de-stress the best. If that’s just an old set of Crayola pencils you dug out of the closet, hey, I’m not judging you! Or if that’s the huge Caran D’Ache set, that’s cool, it’s still cheaper than therapy!
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Featured image by Gage Skidmore.