Book Review: Escape to Wonderland

For Christmas, I had a fair few books on my wishlist and Escape from Wonderland was one of the books I received from my partner. It’s taken me four months but I finally got it out to colour a couple of pictures. I enjoyed this book so much that I just keep colouring my way through.

Escape from Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure is illustrated by the Good Wives and Warriors. They are a collaboration between two English artists, Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell, who have been working together since 2007. They have illustrated numerous colouring books, including Escape to OZ, Escape to Christmas Past, Escape to Shakespeare, Exotische Urwald and To the Ends of the Earth and Back Again: The Longest Colouring Book in the World.

Escape to Wonderland is very small in comparison to other colouring books and it is the same format as the other Escape to..colouring books by Good Wives and Warriors. This book is only 18.4 cm square, so its perfect to travel with. The soft cover has a collage of line art, which can be found inside the book and is decorated with blues and bronze-gold foil. The inside cover folds out revealing a blue and white line art of an intricately decorated garden. Inside the book, there are 96 pages to colour which are double-sided. There are many double-page spreads, which do creep into the spine but can be pushed down with a little pressure. The paper is light cream in colour and is a medium quality. In my experience, it takes pencils very well, as well as water-based pencils. I will discuss this more below.

This book offers a beautiful array of line art that varies between classical, quirky, realistic, fanciful and intricate. The artwork is also in chronological order that the original story takes and many pages offer a quote from the book. In this book, you will see many different depictions familiar characters, such as Alice, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the Queen and King of Hearts and more.

I am not a huge fan of storybook colouring books, where you are colouring the same characters on every page, just in different positions. What I love about this book is that each image is been drawn so differently. There’s no need to use the same style and colours schemes on every page since the style of the illustrations differ so much. This is actually my first Alice in Wonderland colouring book, other than a few images of Alice in my Disney books. Although I’ve been a huge fan of the Disney movie and the original book since I was little, I had little interest in other Alice inspired colouring books. This one is so different though and I am now yearning to get some more of the Good Wives and Warriors colouring books. Another great aspect is the small size because you can work quicker and of course take it on the go. In regards to the paper, I have heard mixed reviews about it, but I am very happy with it. My pencils blended beautifully on it and as you can see below I tried a few different brands.

Below is a video flip through of my book, which includes my completed pictures. If you have trouble viewing it I have another video on my Instagram. My YouTube video had some issues so hopefully it will be available soon. I have also included each completed picture in this post, with more details on my thoughts and what I used. I will also update the gallery, Escape to Wonderland with new pictures as I colour them in the future.

This is the very first picture I coloured from this book. I was planning on just doing one page from this book, but I had so much fun colouring this one I couldn’t wait to bring some colours to more pages in the book. I really like this title page, as its more realistic than many of the other pages in the book. There is another image in this book of a mushroom mandala, which is really the same, just with more mushrooms in the centre.

I only used Prismacolor Premier pencils for this page. I found they blended very nicely on this paper. My only issue was trying to get into the little mushroom on the left, which was going into the spine.

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The next picture I coloured was pages 2-3. Again I used the Prismacolor Premier pencils,  as well as a white gel pen for a couple of highlights. I found it very nice to blend these pencils to give Alice some more definition to her face. I don’t love the face she was drawn with, but I do like that it’s not typically what I would normally colour. I think with the right shading she a bit more attractive now. My only regret with this page is that my flowers are a little dark, I would have prefered to use more pastels tones.

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I really wanted to do this page, since its one of my favourite lines in the story. I switched over to Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and used a white gel pen for highlights. I used a very light hand to blend the colours, as well as some help from a white Prismacolor pencil and Derwent colourless blender. I just love how this page turned out.

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Next, I moved onto the Smoking Caterpillar. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils again. I also used a Prismacolor Colourless blender pencil for the sky and a few other details. It did wash the colours out a little and my sky is a bit scratchy, but then I usually have trouble getting a smooth look in larger areas. For the smoke, I used a Prismacolor white pencil, as it has a nice waxy translucent look.  Since there was a lot of black heavy lines I used a white gel pen some of the lines and for highlights. I do like this one, but next time I would have used soft pastels for the sky.

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I was really excited to colour this page since its one of my favourite scenes from the movie and those hedges were just screaming for colour. I also love the classic look of Alice and the Queen of hearts. I used only Prismacolor Premier pencils and a white gel pen for highlights. This picture did take me quite a few days, but mainly because I had trouble choosing the colours. I tried to blend most of the details in the pictures as best I could, but I did leave the hedges and grass a little rough for texture.

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This white rabbit is actually quite a classic version from an older edition of the book. It looked pretty bland on the paper, but I wanted to try some watercolour in a smaller area of the book. I used mainly Derwent Inktense pencils, as well as a couple of Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor pencils, with a water pen. I also used quite a bit of white gel pens to bring out some highlights. I haven’t used watercolours in a while, so I’m a bit out of practice. I did pretty well except I did get a bit of red in the yellow. This paper took the watercolour extremely well. I had almost no buckling and bleed through or shadowing at all. This was a really quick and fun one to do and it only took me an hour.

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The very last image I did was mostly coloured with Derwent Inktense pencils, a few Faber-Castell Albrecht pencils and a lot of white gel pen. Again I had fantastic results on this paper using so much water. I think I shouldn’t have used so much gel pen, but its done now. After colouring such a large area with watercolours, I would definitely use more watercolours in this book.

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I hope you liked what I coloured in this book. If you’re interested in purchasing Escape from Wonderland you can find it:

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Escape to Wonderland

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