Coloring books are great fun for children and adults. Religious coloring books also help adults meditate on the beauty of their faith and help children learn it.
Buddhist coloring books also help visualize the Buddha and other Buddhist deities, which are a part of Buddhist meditation – at least in some Buddhist traditions like Tibetan Buddhism.
Whether you want to give away a Buddhist coloring book because you feel a child should know about Buddhism, or because you feel an adult would love it, these are the best Buddhist Coloring books I could find.
However, let me start with this free Buddhist Coloring book provided by Buddhanet. The art work isn’t the best you’ll find, however it is for free and it does feature the life story of Gautama Buddha.
It’s perhaps not surprising given the rich painting tradition in Tibet that most of these coloring books feature specifically Tibetan Buddhist images to be colored in. Shown on the right is the Buddhist Paintings Coloring BookPainting Books).
Pomegranate’s Buddhist Paintings coloring book features 22 drawings of figures important in Buddhism. Coloring pages are blank on the back so they can be cut out and displayed. Published with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. One forty-eight page 8 1/2 x 11 in. book with twenty-two images to color. Each illustration is reproduced in a small, color version of the original artwork and as a full-page black line drawing.
Marty Nobel is inspired by the living legacy of Tibetan art. She used that inspiration to create this vibrant coloring book featuring 30 designs adapted from authentic scroll paintings and mandalas. The detailed images depict Buddhas, deities, Tibetan astrology signs, ritual instruments, and other traditional motifs. The book is treat for colorists, designers, and anyone with an interest in religious iconography.
A thangka is a sacred religious icon in the form of a cloth scroll painted with luminous pigment made from powdered minerals, ground gem-stones, plants, insects and other natural substances. The 12 outlines in this colouring book enable readers to explore these ancient Tibetan religious artefacts. J. Jamyang Singe is a leading thangka artist whose works have been widely exhibited and are in the collections of museums, galleries, monasteries and dharma centres. The introduction explains the design principles and the deities and symbolic objects that appear in these Buddhist picture stories.
We give all sorts of things an extra layer of meaning, a symbolic meaning. A white bird in a painting is a dove, but it’s also a symbol of peace. Since peace is an idea, it can not be drawn directly, so artists have found a way to convey that idea with a picture of a white bird. In Tibet, carpets and other fabrics are decorated with monsters, birds, flowers, and designs. The designs don not have a symbolic meaning, but the dragons and cranes and lotus blossoms each carry a special meaning, like the dove. Pomegranate chose 22 Tibetan objects from the collection of the Newark Museum, each of them covered with pictures, for you to color. They are shown as small reproductions on the inside front and back covers. The captions on the pages that follow tell you something about Tibetan symbolism. The last page of this book is blank so that you can draw and color your own favorite Tibetan God. Fill it with snow lions, lotus flowers, and your own symbolic creatures and plants.Pomegranate’s Tibetan Symbols and Designs coloring book features drawings based on 22 Tibetan objects. Each illustration is reproduced in a small, color version of the original artwork and as a full-page black line drawing. Coloring pages are blank on the back so they can be cut out and displayed.
Coloring mandalas as a homeschool project
Spiritual art ideas
Mandalas are calming, inspiring and symmetrical. Learning about mandalas will give your kids a sense of the links between cultures and our common humanity. To illustrate this it would be good to have mandalas from various cultures in the house.
At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art – Tibetan Mandala
Lots of information on the ceremony and the process of making a Tibetan Sand Mandala.
Sand mandalas as a form of meditation
Sand mandalas come west as a form of therapy and meditation for kids and disabled people.
Coloring mandalas – Inspiring spiritual art
This is the easiest way to introduce mandalas to your kids. As soon as they can hold a pencil, they can color mandalas. Unless they really enjoy it, I would think this suits kids till the age of 12 or 13. You can use this as a reward for a days good work for instance.
I could not resist also adding this example of perhaps the most popular type of Buddhist coloring: mandala coloring. These mandala’s are not specifically Buddhist, but mandala’s do play an essential part in the iconography of Tibetan Buddhism. Their symmetry evokes the balance and spiritual health hidden in all of us. Coloring such mandalas will help you find your own balance. Did I mention it’s fun too?