Masterpiece Coloring (Free) by Simple Simple is a pixel perfect adult coloring book. If you've been wanting a creative new way to find your zen, and you appreciate pixel art, then this may be your perfect match.
The trend of adult coloring books seems to have died down a bit, at least from what I've noticed. They're still pretty popular among those who use them to relax, but I definitely don't see them mentioned as much anymore. Still, they're fun and tranquil ways to take your mind off of things for a bit. I fell in love with Pigment a few years ago, but I've always wondered — when can I just color in some pixel art? And now I got my wish with Masterpiece Coloring.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Masterpiece has a simple and clean interface that makes it easy to pick up, get some coloring in, and then get out. There's a brief intro that shows up on the first launch of the app, which explains the basics, but then it's out of the way and gone forever. Masterpiece has three sections in the app that are laid out in the bottom toolbar: Library, My Artwork, and Settings. No frills, no fuss to deal with. Just scroll through your selection of pixel drawings, find one you like, and just color. It's simple, fast, and incredibly responsive with no lag. The developers have done an excellent job making this one incredibly accessible for everyone.
The first step with Masterpiece is to find something to color in. The free download gets you some drawings for free, but you can also opt for the full collection of art with Masterpiece Premium, an in-app purchase subscription. It costs $2.99 per week, $7.99 per month, or $39.99 a year, and grants you access to all art for the duration of your subscription.
Once you find a drawing that piques your interest, just tap it to select it, and then you're in the Painting screen. Each drawing has a predetermined color palette, and you'll see all of the colors appropriately numbered at the bottom.
The colors are numbered because they go in certain places for the best result. To see what I mean, perform a multitouch pinching gesture to zoom in on the pixel art, and you'll find numbered boxes, which represent an individual pixel. The colors are labeled as such to show you where they go on the drawing.
You can tap each block to color the pixel individually, or touch-and-drag to paint in the color as you normally would. If you color out of the boundary, there's haptic feedback to let you know. At the bottom is an undo button, and you can also use the eraser to erase unwanted color. I love the haptic feedback, because otherwise I would not know that I strayed past the lines.
There's a nice variety of drawings in Masterpiece that range from simple ones with a few colors to more complex and intricate ones with many more hues to paint with. This means you can pick something up to keep yourself busy while waiting around in line or spend a few hours with, nitpicking over every last pixel. It's a good selection and offers something for all skill levels.
When you finish coloring a drawing, Masterpiece shows you a time lapse video of you painting it. It's fun and entertaining to watch, and you can save the video clip to your Camera Roll. You can also send it to Instagram or share it via the Share Sheet. If you choose to Edit again, you'll erase all the colors and start over. Any finished or in-progress drawings end up in the "My Artwork" section.
Masterpiece Coloring combines retro pixel art and adult coloring techniques into a true zen experience.
Masterpiece Coloring is a charming and unique adult coloring book that I find simple and intuitive. The app is simple, fast, and incredibly easy to use. The drawings are a nice variety of objects, and there's a nice range for colors to paint with. The celebratory animation when you're finished painting is cute, and the time lapse clips are entertaining.
While Masterpiece Coloring is a great coloring app, it feels a bit restrictive with the predetermined color palettes for each drawing. I think there should be an option to have your own color palette if you want to truly get creative with things. Hopefully this can be considered in the future.
I'm also not a big fan of subscriptions for coloring apps, honestly, but the price seems fair if you get a lot of value from the app. Fortunately, Masterpiece comes with over 100 drawings for free, which should keep you busy for a while before you need to consider subbing.
Another note is the fact that the app is iPhone only, so you can't paint pixel perfect drawings on your iPad for now.
I tend to get stressed out easily, so I'm always looking for new ways to help me relax. Masterpiece is helpful in doing that, and it's going in my repertoire of things to help me calm down. I love pixel art to begin with, so this coloring app is perfect for my needs. There's a lot of variety too, from simple drawings that only take minutes to more complex ones that require more time. The celebration animation and time lapse videos are also a nice touch, bringing a smile to my face each time. A stylus is recommended.
I just hope to see the option for custom color palettes in the future. An iPad version would also be perfect.
Masterpiece Coloring is available on the iPhone App Store for free. There are in-app purchases.