When I first saw these images of darling little girls with floral head dresses start to pop up in colouring community I knew I had to have this book. I found it they came from the delightful French colouring book Coloriage Wild. Unfortunately, I was unable to get hold of it in Australia. However, if you have been following me recently you know we went to Europe this year and visited Bourdeaux. I was able to purchase this book on Amazon France and have it shipped to my friends, who live there.
Coloriage Wild is by French artist and illustrator Emmanuelle Colin. She was originally an architect, however, her artistic passion led her to become an independent illustrator. She has since illustrated books and her designs have been used for puzzles, games and wall decals. This book is her first colouring book and she just recently published her second book, Coloriage Wild 2.
It includes the fourteen of her sketches from her Wild collection. These drawings have originally been done with graphite on paper and been reproduced in a 20 x 20 cm spiral bound book. The designs have been repeated twice, giving you 28 drawings to colour. The pages thick 250gr paper and all are perforated so they can be easily removed from the book.
The drawings in this book are in grayscale. This was my first time coloring grayscale images and I quite liked it. I did have to be careful not to completely color over the top of the existing shading so I could see where to go in lighter and darker. It did make it a lot easier to know where the shadows and light source are. I found I had to use a lot of care to colour the flora and this took me the longest in all the drawings. However, the skin and hair have been sketched so naturally that it was quite quick and easy to colour these details with realism. If these sketches were not done with grayscale I doubt they would look so realistic and three dimensional for an amateur like myself.
In this book, I decided to experiment with a variety of mediums. I used Prismacolor Premium pencils, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Faber-Castell Water Colour Paints, Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils and Derwent Inktense. Surprisingly, I had very different results. Some materials really were not suited to this paper, while others worked really well. However, depending on your technique you may come to different conclusions. I did find I had to use a lot of layers and a bit of pressure to get a smooth finish on this paper. I also found that my pencils left quite a bit of dust and I had to be careful not to smudge colours all over the paper. Below I detail my experiences with each medium.
In conclusion, I do love and highly recommend Coloriage Wild. The artwork is gorgeous and would be lovely to display in their original form or with colour. The grayscale sketches prompt light and shadows, so even if you are a beginner it would not be difficult to colour. The paper is high quality and allows for many different mediums and experimentation.
I was a bit stuck on picking my first picture, so I decided to do something similar to Emmanuelle’s artwork. She draws beautiful fairy children, so I decided to emulate that. I actually wrote a post about the process of colouring this picture, which you can see here: Flower Fairy: first in Coloriage Wild.
I first drew the fairy wings and extended the body past the shoulders with a lead pencil. I then coloured the picture with Prismacolor Premier pencils. I am really happy how it turned out. The Prismacolor pencils work beautifully on this thick paper. I found the white pencil and paler colours help blend the other colours really smoothly. A lot of layers were required to get a smooth finish.
This next picture, which I call the Sad Sunflower girl was done with Faber-Castell Polychromos. When I first started the sunflowers I really enjoying these pencils on this paper. However, as I made my way to the smaller flowers I really struggled to get a smooth finish without going in too dark. I also found it really hard to blend with this pencils on this paper. I had to use quite a heavy hand and it was really not enjoyable. On the upside it the colour pigment didn’t move as much once it was on the paper like it did with the Prismacolor pencils. So I didn’t need as many layers for the background.
For this Lily baby, I was inspired by the beautiful flower, Lilium Captain Tricolore. I used Prismacolor Premier Pencils, again because I found they were the best so far for soft tones and layering.
For the background, I wanted to experiment with watercolor. I don’t have much experience with this medium, so I thought it was best to do something simple. I used my Faber-Castell Water Colour Paints Box, which has 12 colors and a water pen. I did try out my water colours on watercolor paper first and I had no problems. I thought this paper would do well with watercolor but sadly it did not. The paper instantly started to warp and the paper piled as well. I had small balls of paper coming off and it just looked dreadful up close. Luckily I was able to save the picture with pencils over the top. I used a lot of white, with some blues, pale pink and purple. It now longs lovely, so may try this method again, as I still used a lot less pencil this way and the paper was fine after the book was weighed down for a couple of hours.
For this Girl with the hummingbird, I again used my preferred Prismacolor pencils. It looked so beautiful without a background that I was nearly going to leave it but then I thought I would try to do a lot of soft layers with pencils. I did struggle to get the colours to keep their pigment when I was blending it. I tried a white pencil, paler shades, and my Prismacolor blender but it just seemed to make the pencil chalking and move the color off the paper. Perhaps with more patience and time, I could have done a better job.
For my last picture, I wanted to try to do a darker skin tone. This is my first time trying this and this picture was a perfect choice. I did find it a lot more challenging to do dark skin, but I think it was more due to the thickness of the paper. Her complexion is not perfect but I was able to experiment with colors then I don’t usually use. Overall I am happy with how she turned out. I wanted to give her a beautiful background so I decided to try Derwent Inktense pencils and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils, with a water pen. This time I had no problems with the paper. The pencils blended really well and even when I went in with more water the paper was not affected.
You can purchase this book from:
- Amazon France
- Amazon UK
- Emmanuelle’s Etsy store Emmanuellecolinshop
- Other European independent retailers