Sadly Not an Exposé

Day 22

This is my first time hopping on the adult coloring book bandwagon in earnest. I wanted to see if doing a coloring book about architecture could help me learn different architectural styles a little better. I have heard that coloring increases mindfulness and decreases stress. The way some people talk, it’s revolutionary. I've also read articles claiming that certain coloring books lure people into meditating on religious symbols of other faiths, although I don't give that much credence. I wish I could do an exposé on the limits of coloring, or a glowing review that would make more converts, but honestly, my thoughts are fairly moderate.

The coloring book I chose came way before the coloring fad. The American House Styles of Architecture Coloring Book, by Dover Press, came out in 1988. For the first two pages I did, I tried to do nothing but color. I read the book’s short description of the architecture style, and let it sink in while I colored the corresponding page. The next few, I colored while doing something else, like talking with friends. I remember a lot more about the architecture in the first two.

The first thing I learned is that I do not have a standard box of colored pencils. I have two dark reds and no black, for example. I’m on my fifth house, and so far I’ve learned that coloring on a theme is not quite as … colorful as many coloring books. After the Pueblo I have been using a lot of brown. The book is organized chronologically, so I have hope that I’ll get to use more pencils as different paint styles come into fashion.

Dover did a whole series of history coloring books, including several on the architecture of specific regions and eras, but the jury’s still out on whether this is a worthwhile pastime for me. This book’s short summaries of architecture are of varying usefulness so far, and I like to color but don’t find it more relaxing than other crafts. I’ll reflect more after I’ve finished the book.

The American House Styles of Architecture by AG Smith. Pictured is a victorian house.


  1. Good timing - I'm looking through my collection of Dover coloring books related to Victorian fashion right now for hat ideas!


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