Coloring apps let people become artists without using physical crayons and black-and-white illustrations to show off their skills — and they’re not just for kids.
Experts say coloring has a calming effect on the amygdala, the part of the brain involved in the “fight-or-flight” response. If the amygdala is overly active, people tend to feel worried continuously and in a state of panic. If you can relate, coloring apps could help you relax.
Coloring apps are also useful if you’re frustrated by the fast-paced, high-expectation aspects of society and want to reminisce about your childhood by doing simple activities. Moreover, they’re appropriate if you’re bored by everyday life or housebound because of an illness.
Now that you know why coloring benefits people of all ages, let’s look at some applications that’ll help you enjoy it immediately.
This app has a user base of millions, and perhaps that’s because it offers so many choices. You can either pick from an assortment of drawings — ranging from flowers to fine art prints — or upload content to color. Then, tap an area of the picture to fill it with your chosen hue — there’s no need to worry about coloring inside the lines.
(Free for iOS and Android, with available in-app purchases ranging from $2.99 to $39.99.)
Besides offering thousands of images to color, Recolor has style themes that give more personality to your creations. For example, you could choose a watercolor-style theme that makes the image appear as if you added the color with a brush.
If you decide to apply a different shade to a section of a picture, tap the area to undo your previous work. Then, make another selection. The app also saves your work, which is perfect if you only have opportunities to color for sporadic sessions during the day.
(Free for iOS and Android, with available in-app purchases costing from $0.99 to $79.99.)
This app is slightly different than others covered so far, because it’s made to work with the Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. However, you can also enjoy it on the Android platform or other iOS devices.
Pigment offers 19 color palettes and eight different brush styles. Plus, you can access over 100 coloring pages for free and unlock more by paying for premium content. There are more updated every week, which is good news if you’re a frequent user.
A shade control slider lets you deepen or reduce the saturation of a selected color, allowing customization without clashes.
(Free for iOS and Android, with available in-app purchases priced from $1.99 to $39.99.)
4. Color by Disney
Maybe you’d love to settle down and color an image featuring Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” Donald Duck or other beloved characters that dominated your childhood. If so, you’re in luck, because Disney launched an app that encourages adults to color to their hearts’ content.
A sharing functionality lets users promote their creations on social media feeds after they select from a library of hundreds of designs. Besides offering Disney-themed content, the app provides coloring material based on Pixar films.
(One-week trial available for iOS and Android users. Subscriptions range from $2.99 to $39.99, based on the length of access.)
5. Color Me Coloring Book
Want to enjoy coloring without even feeling tempted to splurge on in-app purchases? This coloring app is a rarity for being one of the few that doesn’t require people to pay to interact with additional content.
Whether you want to color pictures of animals, people or mandala patterns, all those possibilities are present on the app, along with other options. The library of pictures encompasses more than a thousand images to light your creative spark. The app contains ads, but nothing that’s intrusive enough to prevent you from getting the ongoing enjoyment from artistic endeavors.
(Free for iOS.)
Color With Your Gadget and Take a Break
Apps that allow this kind of artistry combine the straightforward practice of coloring with your favorite smartphone or tablet.
Like most people, you probably feel momentarily stressed by the unexpected elements of life. When the pressure of those events gets a bit intense, these apps help you slow down and take a much-deserved time out that lets you harness your natural creativity.
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