The best colouring app? It’s a draw.

We’ve narrowed the list down to three. From here it’s up to you.

Colouring, whether in a physical book or on your iPhone or iPad, is said to help soothe anxiety, provide focus and reduce stress after a long day. Here are three of our favourite colouring apps.

Lake: Colouring Books

Lake offers a broad range of illustration styles. Each book includes one free design.

Lake partners with artists to create books in a variety of styles. Simple brushes and palettes make it easy to create something beautiful, whether you’re colouring quirky people, cuddly animals, cheery typography, or abstract shapes.

When you subscribe to Lake, a substantial portion of the proceeds goes directly to the artists.

    Lake: Colouring Books

    Relax & paint the stress away


Tayasui Color

Tayasui Color’s designs were created by Paris-based illustrator Olivia de Bona.

Tayasui Color has a minimalist design but a surprising range of advanced features. This app only offers 12 illustrations and four tools, which keeps you from getting overwhelmed.

Tayasui Color also makes helpful use of 3D Touch. Press (rather than tap) a tool icon to adjust its opacity and size; do the same with a colour in your palette and the entire spectrum pops up.

    Tayasui Color

    A relaxing experience


Bloom - Mystery Coloring

The Mystery Designs section of Bloom uses a colour-by-shape approach.

Bloom has a huge library (more than 600 designs, with new ones added every month).

The tools in Bloom are especially powerful. The paint bucket quickly fills in an entire section (and always stays within the lines), the crayon adds texture and the gradient creates a sense of depth.

The colour wheel includes a vast range of hues, but if you need more, use your iPhone or iPad’s camera to add new ones. You can also now colour-by-symbols in the Mystery Designs section of the app.

April Coloring

April Coloring is a classic paint-by-numbers activity that doubles as a meditative experience. It’s an especially great way to destress. There’s no danger of coloring outside the lines or picking the wrong hues; in April Coloring it’s impossible to make a mistake. Complete a painting to get real sense of accomplishment—and a feeling of warm nostalgia.

    Paint by number:April Coloring

    Color by number for adults