Book Review: Vivi söker en vän

While I was away on holidays I had major colouring withdrawals. The first book that I got started with was the Swedish colouring book Vivi söker en vän by Maria Trolle. It’s taken me a little while to get some pages coloured to share with you all, as I have been sick for the past month.

It wasn’t easy getting hold of this book. There are only a couple of Swedish retailers who sell the book online and to get it sent to Australia upwards from $50. Luckily we were travelling to Sweden on our trip.  The next problem I faced was to buy the book online and get it sent to a Swedish address without a Swedish personal number. We don’t have personal numbers in Australia, so I found this odd that Swedes need one to purchase online. Luckily I was able to get Marco’s uncle to buy the book for me for 90kr ($14Aud) from the Penstore. I have seen many other colourists with this book so I’m not sure how they got hold of the book in their countries, perhaps a bulk group order.

Anyway, I am really in love with this book. It is true to Maria’s style and is similar to her other books. However, this book a collection of drawings from a children’s book that she illustrated, also called Vivi söker en vän (Sagobok). The name translates to ‘Vivi is looking for a friend‘. Unfortunately, there is no English edition of her story book. So I can only guess what is about based on the pictures. Maria did mention on her facebook page what the story is briefly about.

“When Vivi woke at dawn the walls were darker than usual and the house felt cramped. I want a friend, someone who is just mine, she thought. Vivi lives in a tree house in the woods. One day she goes on an adventure to find herself a friend.
Vivi takes a ride with a bird and flies up into the sky where she meets the Cloudbear. She goes deep into the ocean where she meets a mermaid. In the oak, she becomes friends with the tree spirit. Vivi looks into hollows in the ground where the voles live. But who can be her very own friend who is hers always…
The Miniwolf are also looking for a friend. He is curious about Vivi and wonders if she’ll ever see him …
Vivi meets a friend is about finding your place in the world and to find yourself and meet the right person. A best friend” (Maria Trolle).

Cover of the storybook


The colouring book has 28 more drawings than the original storybook, making it 96 pages in total. Each page is printed single sided, so you don’t have to worry about bleed through using different mediums. The paper quality is similar to her first colouring book Blomstermandala (The Twilight Garden), but thicker. The pages are also perforated, so they can easily be removed. There is also no text in the book, except for the two title page at the beginning and midway through the book.

This colouring book has recently been released in a Dutch edition, called Droomreis (kleurboek). It is currently available on Amazon UK, Amazon France and Amazon De (Germany) and in a variety of Dutch online retailers. From flip throughs I’ve seen, it looks very similar but with a few double page spreads of pages from the storybook.

Before I show you my completed pages I wanted to share some of the pages from the storybook that corresponds with the colouring book.


Ok so now for my completed pages. All of these pictures were completed using Prismacolor Premier Pencils, White Uniball Signo pen and a White Posca pen.

I started with Chris Cheng’s tutorial, Into the Fairy World, because her version made me want to buy this book. This tutorial is in 3 parts, each taking 40-50 minutes. It took me nearly 3 weeks to complete while I was sick. My previous post, Colouring Update has some close ups of completed image. I decided to keep Vivi’s dress yellow through out my book, so that is the only difference from the tutorial.  I just love it so much and haven’t been able to do anything as beautiful as this one.



The title page was the next page I did since my books feel strange until I complete the first page. I’m happy with how the flowers turned out. The banner was a disaster which is why it is grey. I tossed up about doing a background but then I just left it.



This page I wanted to do a night scene since the background in the trees was already blacked out. This is probably my least favourite picture I’ve completed. I really don’t like the colours I chose. It also took me a long time, probably because I wasn’t enjoying it. I used Prismacolor Premier Pencils and a White Uniball Signo.



I needed a change after the last picture, so I decided to do something bright and playful for the mermaid. I was inspired by Nu_Ngning watercolour mermaid. This was the first time I have done hair and skin with Prismacolor pencils. I am happy how it turned out, I did find that the pencil dust did stain the skin a little. I had the same problem with my previous image.



I decided to redeem myself with the next image. It is very similar to the tree house scene I already coloured. I wanted to make sure I used a limited colours palette that all worked together. I’m not sure I nailed it but I’m much happier with this one.



I don’t know what most of the flowers are in Maria’s books. I love that this picture had the names of them, which helped me find the best botanical images for inspiration. I prefer to use the correct images for inspiration to help me figure out where shading goes, even if I chose different colours. Chris Cheng has the tutorial, The Beautiful Day, for this picture, if you’re looking for a quick one with her guidance.



I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the time doing another tutorial for this book. However, every time I see Chris Cheng’s version of this wreath I really want to learn how she colours these poppies so beautifully. I just love the colour palette and the depth she has achieved. The tutorial Sweet Garden, doesn’t take too long, but only shows you how to do a small part of this picture so that you can replicate what you learned.



This book can be purchased from:

PenstoreLittle Eco and other Swedish retailers

Amazon UK , Amazon FranceAmazon DE (Germany) and other Dutch retailers (Dutch edition)

For a flip through and reviews, check out these videos and posts:

Book review – Vivi Söker en Vän by Maria Trolle and Flip through by Iris, Color with Iris

Malarbok Vivi soker en van (Vivi-is-looking-for-a-friend), book review and flip through (with commentary) by Lea, Colouring Queen

VIVI SÖKER EN VÄN MÅLARBOK (VIVI’S LOOKING FOR A FRIEND) – A REVIEW, by Lucy, Colouring in the Midst of Madness

MARIA TROLLE – droomreis – flip through of Dutch edition by Julie, Julie’s passion for coloring

Vivi söker en vän Sagobok Maria Trolle flip through of Storybook by Matilda Furness

For Colouring tutorials and completed pictures check out these videos:

Sweet Garden tutorial by Chris Cheng

Beautiful Day tutorial by Chris Cheng

Poppy Love tutorial by Chris Cheng

Into the Fairy World (3-part tutorial and speed colouring) by Chris Cheng

VIVI SOKER EN VAN by Maria Trolle – prismacolor pencils tutorial by Julie’s passion for coloring

Tutorial – Vivi Soker En Van – A Raposa – Parte 1 & 2 by Cris Lopez

How to color – Vivi on SWING – (Vivi söker en vän) – tutorial by Mia Fox

LIVESTREAM: Coloring with Inktense, Polychromos and nail polish tutorial by AlwaysColoring

VIVI SÖKER EN VÄN: Soft pastel background tutorial by AlwaysColoring

VIVI SÖKER EN VÄN: Coloring a little girl tutorial by AlwaysColoring

Completed! Vivi söker en van (Vivi needs s friends) by Maria Trolle, by DS Poškoláci

Coloring Remedy with me Vivi soker en van by Maria Trolle (speed colouring) by Cindy Cink

Coloring with water color Vivi soker en van by Maria Trolle (speed colouring) by Cindy Cink





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