Review of Ornamentals: Volume 1 Whimsical Mandalas

Therapeutic Coloring Book For Adults

Ornamentals Volume 1: Whimsical Mandalas
Coloring books for adults, like Ornamentals Volume 1: Whimsical Mandalas, are great stress relievers!. Sue Chastain

I am a big fan of coloring books for adults--they are a proven stress relief tool (according to this research), and they are an enjoyable one at that.  Getting in touch with your artistic side (even if you haven't considered yourself particularly artistic in the past) has real benefits, so if it's something that appeals to you, there are some great options to try.  I particularly recommend mandalas, as they have a history as a therapeutic tool.

I have recommended a few other coloring books for adults, and the one I recommend here Ornamentals: Volume 1 Whimsical Mandalas, a book of 30 mandalas of varying levels of detail, great for creative coloring.  These pages are 8.2-inch squares, a nice size for sharing and even framing,  (Full disclosure: the author/artist is one of About.com's former Experts, Sue Chastain, a graphic designer, writer, and illustrator who is also a friendly colleague of mine.)

Here are some of the things I like about the book:

Creativity

This book has a nice mix of designs and pictures.  Some of the mandalas have abstract designs as pictured on the cover, but there are others that incorporate swirls and flowers, moons and stars, and arrows. I think I see mustaches in one of them!  Many of the pages are simple enough that (as the creator of the book encourages) it's possible to add your own flourishes to the pictures and truly make them your own.

 

Animals For Your Inner Child

I'm an animal lover, and my childhood drawings almost always incorporated smiling animals.  These mandalas don't disappoint, with smiling frogs, butterflies, and even sea turtles in the pages.  There are also fish, hummingbirds, and--my favorite--owls.

Pages for Adults

As a coloring book for adults, there are a couple of pages that appeal specifically to an adult crowd.

 There is one that has a skull with flowers and hearts, reminiscent of The Grateful Dead.  There's one titled, "Peace, Love, and Toke," which has hearts and the leaves of a certain plant. Another has guitars and music notes, great for music lovers.

Variety

There are many options to fit different moods.  Some are simpler to color, some more complex.  Some are whimsical, some are detailed, some seem to have a lot of movement to them.  There are many options here to fit your needs and time frame.

User-Friendliness

This book is somewhat unique in that it offers suggestions on how to best use it for relaxation ("Put on some instrumental background music while you color..." for example, and "You don't have to start and finish a page in one sitting."  There are a few pages included for testing colors, which is helpful, and coupon in the back for a 25% discount on digital downloads of other coloring pages.

This book has fewer pages than some of the other coloring books I've reviewed, which can be a drawback for some, but can also be beneficial for someone who would like to finish a book without feeling possibly overwhelmed by the amount of coloring involved.

It's a great book to give as a gift, to begin a coloring habit, or to deepen your creativity.  And, as I've mentioned, this book and books like it can be a great tool for stress relief.

You can order this book through Amazon.com. Here are some more coloring books and other books I recommend for stress relief, and some artistic activities that can really work for stress management as well. For more stress management resources, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, or check out my book, 8 Keys to Stress Management.

Continue Reading