Book Review: August Reverie 2: Epic

It’s been a while since I have written a colouring book review that wasn’t Colouring Heaven issue. So today I have a new review of a book from one of my most recent colouring book hauls. I decided to focus on August Reverie 2: Epic, which has the most beautiful array of artwork. I bought this book on impulse and I’m so happy I gave it a chance, since its not like an of the other books in my collection.

August Reverie II: Epic – Fantasy Art Adult Coloring Book (Volume 2) is the second colouring book illustrated by Chinthaka Herath on behalf of Vivid Publishers. I haven’t got the first book, August Reverie: Adult Coloring Bookbut just like the second one, it has been very popular among the colouring community. Both books are quite similar in style and genre. Chinthaka also has a third book coming out on behalf of Vivid Publishers. I’m not sure if it will be similar, be here is a sneak peak of one of the possible designs. I don’t know much about this artist, only that he is the owner and art director of Intense Media and resides in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Vivid Publishers is also based in Sri Lanka in Kandy, so I’m assuming they are all in the same. This publishing house has also released one other book prior to the August Reverie, which may or not be by the same artist, Wild Animals Adult Coloring: Absolutely Amazing, Stress Relieving, Wild Animals. I’m not sure if it’s very popular, since I haven’t heard much about it but has great reviews on Amazon. 

August Reverie II: Epic is a soft cover colouring book, which is glue bound. The artwork on the front and back cover gives beautiful examples of completed pictures that you can find in the book. You can also find more completed pages by the artist and colourists on the Vivid Publisher Instagram page.

Inside the book there are 24 hand-drawn fantasy illustrations (not including the name plate or contents page). Each design is assigned a name, which can be found on the contents page and there are page numbers on the back of each page. All of the pages except for one features a beautiful women adorned in jewels and most are surrounded by flowers, animals companions, or heraldic frames . There is only one page that does not feature a woman, instead it is a beautiful hummingbird surrounded by flowers. Some of animals companions you will find in the book include Butterflies, Bumble Bees, Dragonflies, Birds, Lion, Unicorn, Fish, Dragon, Bald Eagle, Jaguar, Dolphin and Squirrels. The flowers that you will find include Tulip, Rose, Aster, Peony, Dahlia, Petunia, Forget-Me-Not, Gazania Rigens, Henryi-Clematis, Zinnias and Jasmine. The theme of the book is royalty and dreams, which really comes through the fantasy and regal designs. The artwork is really stunning and is quite detailed, making it easier to know where to shadow and highlight. Additionally, at the the back of the book there are also two pages from August Reverie (first volume).

The pages are all one sided, so there is no need to worry about bleed through. However, paper is very thin and is only really appropriate for pencil, markers, gel pens and pastels. It is highly recommended in the book that you use thick paper or cardboard behind the page you are working on to protect the followings pages, especially when using markers. I assume if you use any water on this paper it would instantly buckle and would not be tolerated. The paper is bright white paper and does have a bit of a shine to it and quite a nice tooth. I recommend Prismacolor Premier Pencils or a softer pencil, just because I fear a harder pencil,  like Faber-Castell Polychromos, may ripe the paper. I do have a firm hand, so a softer hand may be more successful using harder branded pencils. Pastels are another media that are great on this paper, which I employed in one of my own completed pictures. I was able to get quite a few layers on this paper and I didn’t get to the point where the paper wouldn’t take anymore. However I did have to be careful to colour on a flat surface, as the ends of the pages tend to curly or bend if your not careful. So greater care had to be taken when colouring near the edge of pages. The pages also show great indentation from where I coloured on the other side, which is why its so important to protect the rest of the book with some at least 1-2 pages behind your work. At the back of the book there are 3 blank test pages where you can test  your art media.

Both this book and the first volume is available in PDF form, for those that prefer to print out their colouring books. You can purchase the PDF book from the Vivid Publisher’s website. Additionally if your did purchase the physical copy of either book from Amazon, you can get a free PDF copy from the website.  I bought mine from Book Depository and I am still waiting to hear back if my purchase qualifies. So I recommend sending a message to Vivid directly if you purchase yours elsewhere.

Some other bonuses on the Vivid Publisher website (via Youtube), are video flip through of both books and videos of the artist colouring his work. There are currently five videos of Chinthaka colouring pages from August Reverie 2: Epic, which are speed colouring with commentary. He also regularly does colouring contests with free PDF’s of pages from the books, as well as promotional sale prices for the books on Amazon.

Below I have included my own video of August Reverie 2: Epic flip through, which includes 4 completed pictures. You can also see these completed pictures below, with commentary on what I used and my inspiration behind my colour choices. After completing this pictures I am still very much in love with this book. My only issues with this book is that the thinness of the paper and although the tooth is lovely I was not able to cover those stray hairs with pencil. In some pictures is brought the hair to life and in others it came across a little too prominent. Other then that the tooth of the paper is lovely and the artwork is just spectacular. Any more pictures that I colour from this book in the future will be added to my gallery for August Reverie 2: Epic.

 

 

The Name plate page is actually the very last page I coloured in this book, simply because I couldn’t think of what to do for the background. I couldn’t find any examples by other colourists, and I knew I didn’t want this lovely lady to be sitting on a stark white page. I thought about what she reminded me. What came to mind was Snow White, after she ate the apple and was place in a glass casket in the forest. So after some searching on Pinterest I found this picture from the original Disney film. The background is very basic, but had lovely range of muted green and blue turquoise. I figured these colours would work really well with a romantic middle age palette. So I did the background first, which is not something I usually do. Next came the skin, hair and rock. from there I was able to come up with colours that complemented each other and still gave her a regal middle age feel. I only used Prismacolor Premier pencils and a touch of white gel pen for some of the detailing. I’m quite happy how it all came together in the end and it was a relatively quick one to finish.

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Whispers is the second page that I coloured from this book. I just really loved this girls beautiful face and her gaze that seems to look right through you. She reminds me of Margot Robbie. The jewellery is also just gorgeous and I loved the way the squirrels were draw, with their fluffy tales. I didn’t plan out my colours for this page, I just added to the colour palette as I went to try and complement what was already there. I only drew inspiration from this medieval hair style for the hair colour. The only issue I had with this page was the adorable little squirrels. I found it hard to get the same kind of textured look that I would normally get on paper from a book of Hanna Karlzon or Maria Trolle. I also didn’t know what to do with those dark hair strands. I thought covering them with white gel pen would look funny and no amount of white would soften them. I just decided to leave them, but I’m sure there is something that can be done. Besides these issues this is my favourite out of all of the pages I coloured. I used Prismacolor Premier pencils and little bit of white gell pen for the eyes, lips and jewels.

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In Memoriam was the third page I coloured and I chose it as I thought it would be a quick one. It only took me a couple of evenings, which is quick for me. I started with the background, which I did with Mungyo Soft Pastels. I used three colours and had to do quite a few layers to strengthen the colour. I left some of the pink pastel on the outline of the girl, so that it seemed that it pink sky was reflecting off her. After a lot of searching on Pinterest I realised these flowers are zinnias, which helped in deciding how exactly to colour them. I stuck with a purple hues and for the leaves I also used quite a lot of purple with the green to give them a deeper tone.

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The Jew Prospector was the very first picture that I coloured in this book. I did not look at any pictures for inspiration. If I had seen the artists coloured example or the name of the picture would have realised that the ground meant to be water and the soil is meant to be jewels. When I saw this picture I  imagined a desert, with a big blue sky and desert flowers. It reminded me of a tarot card and is quite different to the rest of the designs in the book. I’m not disappointed that my interpretation is so different and I still like it.  I only used Prismacolor Premier pencils for this page. I tried to add a lot of pale yellow highlights for the sun, particularly on the right side of the objects. It didn’t quite come through in the photograph and also because they are subtle. I think this would also look great with a sky at dusk and I’m hoping to see other versions of this picture.

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This book and the previous volume can be purchased from:

8 thoughts on “Book Review: August Reverie 2: Epic

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