Coloring can be a great way to relax. Coloring on an iPad is even better!

You've probably noticed more and more coloring books for adults popping up at retail stores recently. That's because it is a great way for grownups to take some time to relax and focus on art without having to be particularly artistic. There are some great coloring book apps built specifically for the iPad that cater to different techniques. We've got a list of the best coloring books for adults for all occasions.



Pigment offers the most versatile coloring experience. You can color with a variety of tools, including pencils, markers, airbrushes, water colors, oil paints, and more. You can blend colors, including lighter on top of dark, and press light or hard to produce different thickness of strokes. There are hundreds of colors to choose from, each with a shading gradient so you can customize your hues.

There are three ways to color with Pigment. You can use Automatic, which will allow you to color wildly, but you will still stay within the lines, Freehand, which is like real-life coloring where you will go outside of the lines if you aren't careful, and Advanced, which lets you select multiple spots on an illustration to color in at once. This last option allows you to color across different sections, while only coloring the objects you want.

There are also a few tools that are not at all realistic, but can be loads of fun to work with. The Fade and Broom brushes create a unique shading on your illustrations and the Fill brush lets you simply tap to add color to an object.

The best part is that Pigment works beautifully with Apple Pencil to create shades and depth to each page you color.

There are dozens of free pages, and plenty of great tools, but if you are a coloring fanatic, you can subscribe to Pigment's premium service for hundreds of illustrations, additional brushes, and new coloring books each week.

If you color in real life and are looking to recreate that experience on your iPad, Pigment is the best app in the App Store.



Colorfy offers a simple fill-in-the-object style of coloring so that you don't have to work as hard to get a beautiful illustration. You can choose from a few dozen hues or upgrade to a monthly subscription to unlock more than 100 different shades. Plus, you can create your own shades using the pigment shading tools.

When you are finished coloring, you're definitely not done creating. The next step is to add a filter. These fun overlays will make your page look like an oil painting, graffiti on a brick wall, or even a knitted swatch. Your finished artwork can be shared to various social networking sites. You can also publish pages to the Colorfy feed for others to comment on, or even add their own colors to.

You can also create your own illustrations to color by creating artwork from pre-made stickers and backgrounds, or by taking a picture of something you've drawn in real life.

If coloring can sometimes stress you out because of all of that movement you have to use with your hands, Colorfy will give you a pleasant experience without all of the scribbling action.



Recolor takes the whole digital coloring thing to the next level with 3D objects that you can actually color all sides of. Grab a soda can or ceramic vase and turn it into a virtual work of art. There are more than a dozen categories with hundreds of illustrations.

Recolor uses the tap-to-fill style of coloring, which can be very helpful when you are trying to fill in those tiny objects. In addition to the flat color gamut, you can upgrade to gradients and "Live" colors, which make things have a sort of swirling effect.

You can submit your artwork to the Recolor gallery where others in the community can "Like" your stuff.

My favorite tool in Recolor, though, is the scanner. You can scan in illustrations and color them digitally. I have a couple of vintage Star Wars comic books that I've been afraid to jump into because I don't want to ruin their value. Recolor's scanner lets me color the pages without affecting the original book

If you like fill-in style coloring, but want a lot of hue options, give Recolor a try.

Coloring for Grownups

Coloring for GrownupsColoring for Grownups

Coloring for Grownups is more of an adult coloring book than a coloring book for adults, if you get my meaning. It has plenty of raunchy quips and lowbrow humor. It's based on the real-life coloring book of the same name.

It features hilariously realistic depiction of everything that is wrong in life. You can solve the labyrinth to escape a toxic relationship or draw cool things in a lonely guy's empty room.

The more you color, the more secret pages you can unlock. You earn achievements for completing such things as customizing a crayon or coloring a page in less than 30 seconds.

If you find the whole, "coloring books for adults" thing to be a bit silly, why not make it really silly with Coloring for Grownups.

Do you have a favorite coloring book on the iPad? Let us know what makes it so special in the comments below.