When I was in college studying art history one of the classes that both impressed me the most and I came the closest to failing was Study of Japanese Prints. Japanese prints are famous for their delicate flat colors and minimalism. They are an absolutely mesmerizing example of eastern art and I have been impressed with them ever since I took that class despite perhaps not performing as well as I would have liked. So you can imagine my excitement when I found this selection of coloring books inspired by Japanese prints and as always I just had to share them with you guys.
This adult coloring book illustrated by Abrams Noterie features 72 amazing examples of classic Japanese minimalism. The designs in this coloring book range from very minimalistic to ones that feature a concentration of complexity in one area while the rest of the illustration has minimal detail which helps to give it that minimalistic look. The designs are based on classic Japanese gardens, koi fish, dragons, and seascapes.
The designs in this book are printed single sided on medium weight bright white paper. The binding in this coloring book is actually on the top which makes it easy for both right and left handed artists to color. The binding however is glue which makes it a little bit more difficult to remove your designs if you choose to do so. Also be aware that this coloring book is smaller than usual with it measuring only 7” by 7”.
This adult coloring book produced by Papeterie Bleu features 30 designs inspired by classic Japanese woodblock prints. The designs are printed single sided on thin white paper and the back of every design is completely colored black in order to not show any bleed through that may occur. The back of the illustrations do feature a nice Japanese quote.
I found that the coloring designs in this adult coloring book did a great job of portraying the style of actual classic Japanese woodblock prints. The designs display male and female Japanese forms along with animals, floral scenes, geishas, and seascapes. Since the book uses thin paper we suggest sticking with colored pencils but if you do decide to go with markers we advise using a spare piece of paper or even better a piece of card stock to soak up any ink that may bleed through.
This adult coloring book created by Andrew Vigar features 22 designs that are perfect copies of actual ukiyo-e style woodblock prints. Each design is printed single sided with the back of the page featuring a colored picture of the actual print that the next design is based on. This means that when you are coloring one of the designs you can see the actual design on the opposite page. This gives you the option of either trying to recreate the designs as the original artist intended, or going out on your own and using whatever colors you desire. The page featuring a picture of the original print also has a few sentences naming the print and providing some info about it.
This adult coloring book is a wonderful way to become familiar with Japanese style prints. The designs are printed on heavyweight paper that is micro-perforated making the removing of your colored designs a breeze. While the designs are printed on heavyweight paper we would still recommend using a spare piece of paper or card stock between pages if you are using markers to make sure that severe bleed through does not ruin any of the other designs.
I hope that this article has given you a little bit of a glimpse into the beauty of Japanese prints and that you will mix up your regular animal and mandala coloring designs with some of these Japanese woodblock prints inspired illustrations. As always Happy Coloring!