The concept of adult coloring books was introduced to me last August when a participant at one of the anxiety meet ups in Greenville, SC told me how she used puzzles and drawing as a way to get over her depression. A few days later, I picked up an adult coloring book while shopping at Sam's Club, along with a pack of colored pencils. I'l admit it, coloring has a therapeutical effect and helps you glide through anxious, panic and manic episodes. Detailed coloring, repetitive use of colors aided in guiding my emotions, increase my focus and regulate hyperventilating during panic attacks. Pro tip: Read more about color therapy and what colors can you use to use to direct your emotions back to sanity.
Carrying around a stack of pencils and a sketch book may not be feasible, and obviously if you're having a panic or anxiety attack at the grocery store or the friend's place, you aren't going to get your art supplies out and begin coloring like a 5 year old. I needed a little more convenient and discreet solution. I did some research and came across the Pigment coloring book iOS application.
What's the Pigment Coloring Book?
Pigment is a free application for the latest iPhones and iPads that lets has color using your hands or a stylus. The application has hundreds of images to choose from, their simple interface is quite easy to use. You can choose to color in various styles like the color pencil, marker or simply click to fill in a color. You can set the size and opacity of the brushes and have lots of color pallets to choose from.
In the free version, you get one image everyday along with select pages from their "books" free to download under various categories. You can work on it, and come back to it later on or choose a new image for that day. There are also a few free images under various categories. Once you are done, you can share your art on social networks or send an animated gif.
Do I need a Stylus to use Pigment?
Yes, you'll need a stylus to use this application. It works fine using the touch censors, but you'll hate coloring after a few seconds. If you don't have an Apple Pencil (which integrates flawlessly with the app), you can choose to get cheap stylus (under $2 like this one) and set the brush size. Some others styluses UNDER $25 that you can use with this (and many other apps) are as follows. Click on the names to buy them on Amazon.
- BIC TECH 2 IN 1 | $5
- WACOM BAMBOO STYLUS | $15
- STUDIO NEAT COSMONAUT | $25
- SENSU SOLO | $25
- WACOM BAMBOO STYLUS SOLO | $14
Is it worth the upgrade?
- You can create your own artwork to color in by clicking a picture. It saves the outlines for you.
- You can choose various styles of brushes including metallic, glitter, sand colors, water colors and wood textures.
- Choose any image from any hundreds of coloring books.
The premium account is for $33+ a year or $8 per month. It's a little steep for and yes, there are cheaper alternatives, but believe me, nothing in the app market comes close to the Pigment. The application let's you set the level of difficulty. Users can choose to let the app help them stay within the lines, or choose to color with a free hand. There are much more advanced setting to let you get as creative as you can think of.
The free features are good enough, but if you really want to get in to some advanced coloring and creating your own artwork, the premium features are worth it. There is also a seven day trial before you commit to buying this app. If you don't like it, you can choose not to continue. I've read some of the other reviews of the application, if the developers can come up with an in between package, chances are almost everyone would sign up for their premium versions.
Review in a nutshell:
This app has a simple, intuitive interface with a lot to offer to help stabilize anxiousness on the go. If you love coloring or need to line up your focus, get a grip on your anxiety, download Pigment from the Apple store. Of course, this doesn't not replace the satisfying feeling you get while getting your hands dirty with paint or ink, but if you are looking for the best digital experience of coloring, this is it.