Book Review: Colouring Heaven Anime Special

The most recent Colouring Heaven magazine issue to be released in Australia was the Anime Special. I really loved the artwork in this book and after colouring a few images I thought I may as well do a little review as well.

Colouring Heaven Anime Special is Issue 34 and it was released in Australia at the beginning of July this year. In the UK it came out a couple of months ago, so I was already looking forward to this one. The artwork in this issue is exclusive designs by the  Singaporean artist Desti from Collateral Damage Studios (Singaporean based studio).  According to Colouring Heaven, she is a self taught artist and was influenced growing up by Japanese anime and manga. She was recruited by CDS and was commissioned to create designs for Colouring Heaven, which feature both traditional themes of manga and some recurring characters from the studio. You can find Desti’s artwork on her Instagram, Pixiv and  Deviantart accounts.

This issue is the same format as the other Colouring Heaven magazine issues. There are 40 line drawings on single sided paper, with titles for each and a little blurb for most. The paper is white thin-medium quality, which takes pencils very well. So as for this issue, it features beautiful anime girls and explores a variety of themes. The designs feature Japanese iconic styles (ei. Lolita), special occasions and festivals (e.i. Valentines day, Tsukimi ), folklore characters  (ei. Yuko-onna, Kitsune), Anime archetypes (Meido) and there is even an anime Alice in Wonderland. Typical of Colouring Heaven, most of the pictures have a little blurb explaining the concepts behind the line art. I really appreciated this in this issue, since I am not well verse in anime or Japanese culture. It was not just educational to learn about the festivals, fashion and folklore, but helpful to identify different characters.

All in all I am very happy with the Anime Special issue. The art work is gorgeous and well thought out. I did find it challenging to colour anime but it was fun to try something new and learn about a different cultural genre. I only coloured three pictures so far from this issue, but I see myself coming back to this book for Christmas, Valentines and Easter or just add some colour to this beautiful pictures.

I have made a flip through video of this book and have included below large photos of each of the three images I coloured.


This is the second page in the book and its called Late for School!The magazine states: “Having woken up late, the student has just enough time to grab a toast in their mouth and make a run for school. It is such a common anime trope to establish character, personality and setting that it is often skewered in modern anime as a joke. The situation is usually followed up with the character knocking into another character, possibly a love interest, when they are turning at a street corner”.

I thought this one was really cute and an easy one to try for my first since it was quiet simple. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and a little bit of white gel pen for the eyes. I used this picture by Kawami Nami as inspiration. I am happy with the hair but I did find it difficulty doing the anime style hair and I’m not sure I nailed it. Some parts of this picture are a bit streaky. I do find Polychromos are quicker to work with but they aren’t as smooth as other pencils and I left quite an imprint on the page from pretty to hard. Other then that I am happy how this one turned out.



This is page 4 and is entitled Gothic Lolita. There is no blurb for this picture, but there is for the previous page which is also Lolita. It explains that “Lolita is a fashion subculture in Japan, heavily inspired by Victorian, Edwardian and Rococo fashion aethetics…has an emphasis on cuteness…many subcategories of the fashion style, with ‘Gothic’ being the most popular with anime troopes..”

For this picture I used Prismacolour Premier pencils for the girl and the objects, black Mungyo soft pastel for the background and a little bit of white gel pen for details. I wish I would of gone in darker with the black pastel, since it does look a lot lighter after colouring the rest of the picture. It was a better option then a black marker, which would have been streaky or pencil since it was such a big space. For the face I did have to add in a proper nose and mouth as they were barely there, which is anime style, but it looked strange without them. This one did take a while to do but it was a lot of fun.



This last picture is from page nine and was entitled Bake-danuki. The magazine explains: “The bake-danuki is a tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) yokai found in Japanese classics and folklore. They tend to have shapeshifting abilities to become inanimate objects, such as trees or teapots or other humans. Leaves are often part of the bake-danuki’s shapeshifting magic. As playful spirits, they like to fool people, such as merchants by paying them with leaves disguises as paper money and making their victims feel silly”.

I really liked the idea behind this picture and used the anime character, Mamizou Futatsuiwa as inspiration. I used a few different water soluble pencils, including Derwent Inktense, Faber-Castell Watercolor and Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Pencils. Where I wanted to add more shadows and texture I added Prismacolor Premier pencil on top. I also used white gel pen for the eyes. I am not really happy with the texture of the fur or the skin tone for this one, but it was a nice quick one.



If you would like to purchase this Issue while stocks or future issues of Colouring Heaven magazine you can find them:

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Colouring Heaven Anime Special

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 I’m in Australia so luckily my local shops buy a few copies of the magazine every month and I’m probably their only colouring customer lol I love the new designs and look forward to seeing the new issue when it finally get here. We are two months behind the rest of the world though. But very excited 🙂 Thanks for letting me know Desti is Singaporean, I will update this post 🙂


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