SB Style File: Holiday Stress? Try Coloring Inside the Lines!

Excerpt from "100 Things to Draw With a Triangle," by Sarah Walsh.

Excerpt from “100 Things to Draw With a Triangle,” by Sarah Walsh.

When young children need to “settle down” there’s something very calming about focusing their energies on a coloring book, which is probably why adult coloring and doodling books have become so popular.

I finally got around to trying out some of the coloring books and, I have to say, coloring inside—or outside—the lines really is a great stress reliever. It’s also a fun gift idea.

Here are some of titles to check out, all of which are widely available at local bookstores and craft stores:

20 Ways to Draw a Star and 44 Other Far-Out Wonders from the Sky and Galaxy_cover_web_large

20 Ways to Draw a Star by Studio SSS – A new take on the world of sketching, doodling, and designing that encourages you to take a step-back and think about all the different ways to draw something.

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle_Cover Large

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle by Sarah Walsh – Think of all the possibilities! Stars, snowflakes, trees, gifts and more! Doodle your way to getting into the holiday spirit, this book includes 112 pages of art prompts and inspiration based on one simple geometric shape, a triangle.

adult coloring book

Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns by Blue Star Coloring – A book to let you relax, decompress, and let your inner child out to play for a while.

Change Your Life One Doodle at a Time_Cover_Web_Large

Change Your Life One Doodle at a Time by Salli S. Swindell – Making small changes through this fully illustrated, interactive art doodle journal is about embracing change in many ways, and seeing it as a positive force. Features 150 art prompts.

Portable Color Me Happy_Cover_Large

Color Me Stress-Free, Color Me Fearless, Color Me Calm, Color Me Happy – by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter – Organized into therapeutically­ themed chapters, these books examine the benefits of putting pencil (or crayon, marker, and ink) to paper and offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment. Also available in smaller, portable versions that fit perfectly inside a stocking!


Doodling for Bookworms by Gemma Correll – Your favorite book nerd will love this great activity book filled with literature-themed prompts from Shakespeare, George Orwell, and Jane Austen.


Doodling for Tree Huggers and Nature Lovers by Gemma Correll – This sassy journal is packed with more than 50 fun and inspirational prompts, doodling exercises, and outdoorsy factoids—perfect for those who love the great wide open.


Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford – Fall under the spell of the #1 New York Times Bestseller with a magical coloring book that takes you through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle.

Tangled Gardens

Tangled Gardens Coloring Book by Jane Monk – This book helps you create a warm and inviting garden while you wait for spring to return.

Tangled Treasures Coloring Book_Cover

Tangled Treasures Coloring Book by Jane Monk – Jump into the relaxing spell woven by Zentangles with the meditative action of coloring.

Happy coloring!

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on December 17, 2015.