FIRST time around we had colouring-in books for children.

Some we painted with clean water and a brush to reveal pre-treated colours on drawings, as if by magic.

Other booklets required coloured pencils in order to scribble in landscapes, farmyard animals and so on, in the colour of your imagination.

The reason was to encourage creativity, simple as that.

A new fad has arisen today, colouring-in books for adults.

I cannot see that this vogue will be encouraged by any art group I know, and not by Keighley Art Club.

Whether schools and colleges take this up as an artistic pursuit in the curriculum remains to be seen.

There are many positive and negative sides to these books which can be bought in numerous bookshops and stationers.

They depict the usual flowers, creatures and buildings, but also mostly intricate patterns without any apparent generic composition.

Purchasers need only wax crayons or coloured pencils in the way of equipment, and they are away.

So far, people I have seen with them have never completed more than one or two pictures, before relegating the book to the back of the cupboard. I hope that many others find this a rewarding hobby.

Intense concentration is needed to coordinate colours on the intricate swirls and shapes, but at the end the item cannot normally be displayed on the wall, nor framed for future enjoyment.

The titles often include the word “art” but you cannot disguise the fact that the books are black and white images on fairly thin paper to be coloured in, knowing that no two people will produce an identical end result.

Greetings cards or postcards cannot be sent from your friends containing the end product, nor can they be used for any other useful by-product. Self-motivated people who therefore complete the task are to be admired.

No one can deny that these colouring-in books are very popular, with more and more books for adults appearing in lots of shops.

On the positive side, they make sure that people enjoy some “me” time, meaning their attention and pressures of day-to-day life are diverted for as little or as long as they prefer.

No specific artistic skill is needed as the outline is on the page already. The minimum of equipment is needed and if you are broken off, you can easily go back and start again.

We are told the colouring in is calming and provides art therapy. Others grandly say it can improve mental and physical well-being.

A strong claim, and some people may well enjoy the process and results in the belief it is doing them good.

It isn’t very expensive as a hobby, and I’d hope it continues to attract people. Maybe one day someone will progress to attempting their own drawings and paintings.

In May, Keighley Art Club has two member-led sessions, one of holiday snaps and the other with Tony Pratt on the subject of treescapes.

Artist Jo Grady will lead a workshop on watercolour landscapes on May 18. Visitors are welcome.