Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Alternative colouring books for cynics and the dirty-minded


The adult colouring book craze still appears to be in full swing. For some of us, however, the idea of returning to a childhood activity for the purposes of mindfulness is enough to upset our equilibrium in itself.

It’s not just that indulging in a primary school pursuit feels infantilising, it’s also the emphasis on the calming benefits of the hobby that sometimes gets our goat.

For the truly anxious, it will take more than cracking open a packet of Crayola to soothe our troubled minds. 

There is a new breed of adult colouring books, however, that might be more appealing. Top of our list is The Passive-Aggressive Colouring Book.

Author Charlotte Farmer, an illustrator based in Bath, says "The book came about as a reaction to all the calm colouring books that are everywhere at the moment, full of beautiful flowers... and cute birds - one of the first pages I did was the garden full of weeds, slugs and snails, quickly followed by the noisy and slightly angry looking dawn chorus birds."
Farmer's illustrations are a welcome antidote to supposedly calming scenes of nature. She says" Other inspirations are my inability to touch my toes, my noisy neighbours and my failure to eat kale and juice carrots on a regular basis - which I guess could be summed up as my lack of perfect life, I'm not mindful and can't function without background noise and coffee!"

If The Passive-Aggressive Colouring Book doesn’t take your fancy however, maybe Fill Me In by Sarah McDonnell – a raunchier take on the trend – might.

McDonnell, a London-based designer said she took her inspiration from the famous erotic text, The Kama Sutra. Whilst strictly NSFW, colouring in pictures of couples in various scenarios and positions might prove stress-busting for some.

And possibly more niche is The Corbyn Colouring Book by illustrator James Nunn, depicting the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in various comic scenarios.

Perhaps most pointed is the illustration of Corbyn as King Canute, the 11th century King who allegedly thought he had supernatural powers and could hold back the tide.

Old Street Publishing , the company behind The Corbyn Colouring Book are thinking of publishing a David Bowie colouring book next.


digital detox.jpg

What happened when a social media addict tuned out for two weeks


Inside the beguiling world of illustrators at work


The best-selling books coming to the big screen


The best colouring books for adults

Emma Watson.jpg

Emma Watson is launching a feminist book club


The most exciting new books of January 2016


Woman makes brilliant bags inspired by pasta, bread and cake


Costa Book of the Year winner: get this on your to-read list


The Stylist wedding blog: welcome to my gothic romantic vision



Harry Potter fans, there's a Roald Dahl collaboration in the works

Are you ready for a magical Willy Wonka prequel?

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a new line of fiction books

She’s channelling her inner Carrie Bradshaw…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

New Ladybird books for grown-ups are all our work woes

Old pics, new problems

by Anna Pollitt
18 Oct 2016

These are the UK’s favourite pearls of Winnie-the-Pooh wisdom

He’s far more than a bear of very little brain, you know.

by Moya Crockett
14 Oct 2016

Bridget Jones's author on life, love and the importance of friendship

“No one can have it all”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016

There's now going to be a Good Sex in Fiction award

“We have laughed enough”

by Amy Swales
12 Oct 2016

Meet the winner of Stylist’s gothic short story competition

The big short

by The Stylist web team
10 Oct 2016

9 important life lessons from cult feminist Instagram poet Rupi Kaur

Happy National Poetry Day.

by Moya Crockett
06 Oct 2016

Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz to star in adaptation of Disobedience

They will bring Naomi Alderman’s debut novel to life on the silver screen

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Oct 2016

Watch eerie trailer for Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events

We’re sorry to say that the trailer you’re about to watch is extremely unpleasant…

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Oct 2016