Book Review: Seasons (Tidevarv)

I hope you all had a restful holiday break. Today I can finally bring you my book review of Seasons and the completed pictures that I coloured at the end of 2019. I received a copy of the Seasons and Spirit Animal colouring books by Swedish artist, Hanna Karzlon back in August. Since then I have been trying to work through Hanna’s previous books in order, which I had yet to start.

Seasons is Hanna’s fifth colouring book, which came out in 2018. It originally came out in the Swedish edition, Tidevarv. The format of this book is the same as the rest of her books, which you can see from my other reviews of her first two books, Day Dreams and Summer Nights. You can also see my more recent reviews of Magical Dawn and Smyckeskrinet (Jewelery box).

This book has a light blue hardcover with a black and white design with the addition of gold foiling. The paper is high quality and off-white in colour. The pages are double-sided and there are 96 pages of line art.

The theme of this colouring book is the four seasons, which have been brilliantly divided within this book. It starts with Spring and ends with Winter, following the seasons of the northern hemisphere. At the beginning of each section, there is a design with a magical potion of the essence of the season that will follow. True to Hanna’s style, there are plenty of exotic flowers, mushroom caps, bejewelled birds, insects and furry friends, pretty ladies, forest and water scenes. There are also quite a few pages dedicated to Halloween and Christmas.

I absolutely love the artwork in this book. I especially love that the book was divided by seasons, as I was able to easily choose colour palettes for the time of year. There are plenty of Halloween and Christmas inspired pages that you can refer to in the year or beautiful designs which reflect the current season your experiencing. I wanted to do at least one page for each season, as a few for the holiday season at the end of 2019. In total, I was able to complete 11 pages with a variety of media, which I have detailed below. I also made a video flip through with all the current completed pages. Future completed pictures will be added to my Seasons gallery.

The Nameplate page for this book is very pretty and detailed. It was a bit tricky for me to pick colours since I wanted to illustrate all of the seasons. I’m not sure I nailed that, but I am very happy with the colour I used. I only used Prismacolour Premier pencils and a white gel pen for details.

This Spring lassy was one of my most enjoyable to pages to colour. I love how delicate her face and clothing are. I normally go for gold or silver metallic headdresses for Hanna’s girls, but this one needed some soft lace, satin ribbon and soft spring colours. I was inspired by this French model and this spring colour palette. For the background, I did more of a bokeh effect, since there were quite a few small circled that decorated it. I tried to white them out as best I could, to keep the design nice and soft. I only used Prismacolour Premier pencils and a white gel pen for details.

The Summer sundown was a fun one to colour and use a bright summer palette. I’m not usually a fan of water scenes, as I never find mine very convincing. However, turning it into a sunset gave the opportunity to create a reflective effect on the water. Summer colour pallets are so vast, but I limited my inspiration to these two summer palettes: Blue-Pink and Orange sunset. I tried to reuse the same colours as much as possible, so it looked more cohesive. However, it also has so much going on, which also makes it more interesting to look at completed. My sky came out very smooth and vibrant with the Prismacolours. The water is a bit more course, as the muted blues don’t blend as smoothly. Again I used Prismacolour Premier pencils and a white gel pen.

The Autumn beauty is my favourite page of the bunch. I worked very hard on this double-page spread and it is probably the best face I have ever coloured in one of Hanna’s books. Colour choice was pretty easy since Autumn has probably one of the most defined palettes of all the seasons. I used these autumn leaves as my inspiration and purple ombre as a contrasting colour for the background. To give the stars, mushrooms and dots a more sparkly effect I only partly outlined or dotted each object. I think this is much more effective, then completely outlining them, which is something I usually do in these books. Again I used Prismacolour Premier pencils and a white gel pen.

The Wicked witch was completed for Halloween Colouring 2019. There are so many versions of this page by many other colourists. I wanted to use unconventional colours for this Halloween and I was inspired by this red-headed witch. I loved the smokey green background, which I tried to reproduce in my version. I used Prismacolor pencils for the main image, as well as a white gel pen for details and a black Tombow brush pen for the background

This Christmas giving double-page spread was revisited for Christmas Colouring 2019, in the winter section of this book. As I mentioned in my previous post, I started off really enjoying this page, until I got to the background. Then I took out my watercolours paints and things didn’t turn out as planned. I first used Winsor & Newton watercolour paints to add black-grey and purple background. It looked pretty terrible so I went over it with Prismacolour pencils, as well as gold and white gel pens. I am really not happy with the turn out of this page and probably should of used a different colour palette as well.

The Scandinavian winter was my major page for the winter section. I really wanted this page to be magical and reflect the Northern lights. I was inspired by this photograph of Finland by night. To get a smooth sky I did many soft layers and blended with white and pastel colours. I also used a Prismacolor blender pencil for the darker blue, which otherwise still look a little chalky. I coloured the darker objects last, to not smudge the lighter sections of the page. I used Prismalcolor Premier pencils and a white gel pen to cover black lines, stars and sparkles.

The Tiny decorator is another one I coloured for my Christmas Colouring 2019. I’m not quite happy with this page either. I envisioned using more pastel colours. I used Prismacolour pencils, which always work well on this paper. I then tried out my Winsor & Newton watercolour paints for a contrasting background. It also came out a little patchy, so I went over with a bit of pencil. This page also had a lot of small stars and spots, so perhaps if I didn’t cover them with so much gel pen it would have looked better.

The Folksy Christmas bird is my favourite page that I coloured in this book for the Christmas season. I switched to Polychromos pencils for the main objects, since the design was more intricate and needed a sharper point. They came out quite nice and smooth on this paper. For the background, I tried my Winsor & Newton watercolour paints again, which was much more effective then my previous attempts. I then used white and gold gel pens for the bell and the circular shape.

Seasons and Hanna’s other books can be purchased from:

Happy New Year!..looking forward and back at 2019

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday celebration and start to the New Years. I can’t believe its already 2020, it seems like just yesterday 2000 upon us. When we think about the people we were and the world we lived in, it completely mind-blowing. I’m feeling pretty optimistic about 2020. Not just for the world but also for myself.

Whats coming in 2020

So before I look back at the past year this blog, I thought I would do an update on what’s coming up in this year.

So my baby boy is coming in late May. I am 20 weeks today! I just had my 2nd-trimester ultrasound, which went really well. It made me feel better seeing that he’s still alive in there because he either kicks me for hours or is completely still. He was quite well behaved for the sonographer and she was easily about to capture all his important bits. He is kicking quite a lot now and finally hard enough for my family to just feel him from the outside. I’ve had quite mixed feelings about this pregnancy because I know exactly what to expect in terms of birth and all the sleep recently gained is going to be clawed back off me. But I’m also excited about meeting the little guy and having lots of fun baby time. Things will also be so different now that I can drive, have a few more parenting hacks up my sleeve and more confidence as a mother.

Before the baby comes I wanted to do another little trip with my family. So in a couple of weeks, we are heading to Tasmania! I’ve never been before, so I’m super excited to see what’s it all about and taste all the fresh produce.

I’ve already put together the itinerary for our 7-day road trip. It will begin and end in Hobart. But every day we will stay in a different town and visit others along the way. Some of the stops include Queenstown, Cradle Mountain, East Devonport, Launceston, Campbell Town, Oatlands, Richmond and Port Arthur. So it’s going to be quiet a fast pace road trip, with plenty of sites to see and cafes and restaurants to try. I won’t be able to do any hiking as I had originally hoped. This second pregnancy is a bit more difficult and I can only do 2 hrs walks in an air-conditioned shopping centre at this stage. But who knows, my usual travel boost may power me up so I can go for longer. Normally when I travel I only sleep 4 hours a night and don’t feel like I’ve had a great day unless I’ve been walking for 10-14 hrs. But it’s a lot different carrying a baby in my belly then in a baby carrier or in a pram.

As for the rest of the year ahead, I have no idea what is going to happen. I intend on being focused on my family, doing lots of activities and outings for the kids and trying my hand at meal prepping and new recipes. I’ve already been trying many new recipes from my Christmas present, Dinner: Changing the Game, by Melissa Clarke. So far I’ve made Black Bean Skillet Dinner, Sesame Chicken with Cashews and Dates, Zucchini Corn Cakes with Mint Coriander Pesto, Pomegranate Quinoa with Crunchy Chickpeas, Stir-Fried Tofu with Summer Squash, Basil and Coconut, and Fusilli & Roasted Cauliflower with Capers. And yes, they all taste just as amazing as they sound. Many are similar recipes that I have put together before, but just have that extra kick of flavour. So far my family have been a huge fan of all the recipes. Especially the Sesame Chicken, which has been requested to return weekly. I also really loved the Black Beans Skillet, which is so easy to put together and really satisfying. I recommend this book for you or as a present for any of your foodie friends. Its definitely going to be my go-to gift for upcoming birthdays this year.

The last big thing for 2020 will be renovations. At the end of last year, we completely re-tiled downstairs and began renovations on the downstairs bathroom/laundry. It’s pretty much complete, except plaster from the top cupboards to the ceiling and finding a mirror. The toilet, shower and barn door are also done. Marco did quite a bit of work by himself for this renovation. He removed the existing attachments, walls and floor tiles, sprayed the bronze windows black and painted and attached barn door. His father also did the electrical, which also saved us a bit.

Next, we will move onto my en suite and walk-in-robe, the second upstairs bathroom/toilet and lastly the kitchen. I’m most excited about getting a new kitchen, which I have been waiting for nearly 7 years. Since its the most expensive renovation and will have to outsource most of the labour, we may not do this until 2021. But I’m optimistic! We will use the same Carpentry business who did our laundry. They offer exactly the style that I wanted, use good quality materials and do an amazing job.

Look back at 2019

In 2019, I was a bit all over the place with blogging, especially towards the end of the year. The first half of the year was dedicated to my museum internship and the second half I was suffering 1st trimester morning/all day sickness. But I thought I would give you the highlights of all the major posts I wrote, in case you want to go back and check them out.

For the Live section of my blog, I continued writing about our Nordic trip. This 3-week trip took me nearly a year to write about in my off-time because we covered so much. I then began writing about my travels to the USA. It was a few years ago, but it is the only major trip that I hadn’t documented. I haven’t finished this, so I will continue writing about it this year. So far you can read about my first 6 days in New York and some of my older posts Eating through…each city, we well my Tips and guide for the Florida Disney parks and each Disney park in Pictures. Other things I covered this year was my Ancestry DNA results, which have since changed, so I intend to write about this in the future. And also O’s Unicorn Party.

For the Eat section of my blog, I mostly included posts from my travels and a few new recipes. I was pretty lazy in terms of recipe development in 2019. I found myself cooking a lot of the same old meals week to week. They were healthy but also familiar to my difficult child. Here are some of the recipes I did post:

For the Colour section of my blog, I was also quite slack this year. Although, I did spend a lot more time on the pages I coloured and I have improved a lot. Below are some of the book reviews I did with completed pictures and video flip through, as well as my special seasonal colour from a variety of my books.

Christmas Colouring Project 2019

Happy holidays! Today I can finally bring you all my completed pictures from the Christmas period for 2019. Over the past month and a bit I have completed 11 Christmas themed pictures from 5 books in my colouring collection.

This year I experimented a bit more with watercolour and acrylic paints for backgrounds. I normally use exclusively pencils, as I am afraid to ruin the paper or opposing image. However, I had pretty good results and it was much quicker.

If you would like to see my Christmas colouring from past years, see my Special Occasions Galleries, which are linked to the original posts.

Romantic Country: A Colouring Book

The Christmas Present is from Eriy’s first Romantic Country: A Colouring Book. It was the last page I coloured and my favourite one in the bunch. I forgot how much I love the paper in these books, so I would like to do a bit more in them, as I have only really done seasonal pictures. I love that the ink is a light grey, which makes it a little easier to disguise the lines. You can see other pages I have coloured in this book from my up-to-do gallery.

For this page, I only used Prismacolour pencils and a white gel pen to cover some of the white lines. It was such a fun and easy one to colour and it was pretty quick because of the paper quality. There are quite a few Christmas themed pictures in Eriy’s series, so I may take a bit more time in these books next year.

Johanna’s Christmas

The following three pictures are from Johanna’s Christmas by Johanna Basford. This gorgeous Christmas themed book is true to Johanna’s intricate inky style and is her only book that is single sided. I actually did a book review of this book last December with completed pictures. So the rest of these ones will be added to my Johanna’s Christmas gallery.

I didn’t realise this first design was a Reindeer Christmas ornament until I was halfway colouring it. I originally had plans to add fireworks or something in the background, but the time I finished filling in the background of the design I decided to leave it. I had used Prismacolor pencils for the main features and a black Tombow brush pen for the rest. I found it quite spongy and blotchy on this paper. So I didn’t want to add anything else to the black on top. I’m happy with the overall colour choice but not so much with the execution.

This next Christmas scene is one of my favourites in this book. It has also had a similar design on the opposing page. This one reminds me of the Night before Christmas. I have seen this one done beautifully by quite a few other colourists. My favourite is by Chris Cheng, which she has done a video tutorial for. This page took me for ages, because I used a lot of soft layers of Prismacolour pencils, particularly for the leaves and background. I also got a bit stumped on colour choices too, so I tried to reuse pencils as I went to make a more cohesive result. The only other addition I used was a bit of white gel pen for sparkle.

The last page I did in this book is this simple Decorated deer head. Although it looks easy it wasn’t a little difficult, as it had a lot of stylised lines in the head, which were hard to disguise with Prismacolor pencil. For the colours, I was inspired by this picture by Ruby Art and this vintage card. The main design is quite small on the page, so I wanted to do a plain background of turquoise. I used some cheap watercolour acrylic paints, I bought a while ago from Eckersley. I mixed Viridian (dark green) with White and a touch of Sap Green. I applied it with a water pen and watered the paint down a lot, which made it easier to apply the paint onto the paper. I did have to do a couple of layers, so it would cover properly. I am quite happy with the result, as I wanted a bit of a textured look. Other than that I used a bit of silver gel pen for the ornaments.

Seasons

The few pages are from Hanna Karlzon’s Seasons. There are quiet a few Christmas themed pictures in the winter section of this book, so I have plenty to come back to next year. I actually had a review lined up for this book which is already coloured and filmed, so look out for that soon.

When I first started this double-page spread I was really enjoying it. I loved the oversized cat and dog and I think I did a pretty good job on the fur. However, once it came time to do the background things went a bit downhill. I first used Winsor & Newton watercolour paints, to add black-grey and purple. It looked pretty terrible so I went over with Prismacolour pencils, as well as gold and white gel pens. The result looks pretty terrible. I’m still getting used to using watercolour so I will have to practise a bit more. I probably would have been better off using acrylic, but at this point I hadn’t tried it yet.

This Tiny decorator also started off pretty well as I envisioned using more pastel colours. I used Prismacolour pencils, which always work well on this paper. I then tried out my Winsor & Newton watercolour paints for a contrasting background. It also came out a little patchy, so I went over with a bit of pencil. This page also had a lot of small stars and spots, so perhaps if I didn’t cover them with so much gel pen it would have looked better.

My last page in this book is my favourite one I completed. It was definitely the most simple of the four but came out looking exactly how I wanted. I used Polychromos pencils, white and gold gel pen and Winsor & Newton watercolour paints. I improved a lot more at the watercolour effect for the background. I will still keep trying until I get better. I forgot to mention that the paper in this book took the watercolour really well and there was minimal to no buckling.

Botanicum

The following two pages are from Maria Trolle’s Botanicum, which I worked on while I was completing a series of pages for a book review I did last month.

I am pretty happy with this Round robin wreath. It took me a long time with Polychromos pencils, but with plenty of soft layers, it gave it plenty of depth. These pencils are easy to sharpen to a sharp point and don’t dull as easily as other brands, so it was much easier to get into the small spaces.

The Kitty-cat Christmas was a relatively quick one for the mediums I used, which included Prismacolor Premier pencils. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils, Derwent Inkense pencils and a white gel pen. I was surprised that I was able to glide over coloured leaves with a water pen to activate the watercolour background without disturbing the colour.

Sagor Och Sägner

The last page is from Emelie Lidehäll Öberg’s Sagor Och Sägner. You can see my previous book review and up-to-date gallery from this book.

I was a bit intimidated to start this one compared to the others I have worked on this season. I coloured it all with Prismacolour and then switched to black watercolour acrylic paints. I was a bit worried it would stain through to the other page, which is a double-page spread I would really like to do, but it didn’t at all. To apply the paint, I watered it down quite a lot and applied it with a water pen. This helped get it down a lot smoother, as it was quite dry. It took a couple of lays to get a nearly mat finish. I then used a fine line Posca pen to add the white strings, etc. I did have to keep cleaning my Posca pen that was becoming grey, but other than that it went over the black paint quite well and didn’t fade.

Book Review: Botanicum

It’s been a while since I’ve done a colouring review, as I have been working in a couple of books for the last few months. The book I am reviewing today is one that I bought in Sweden last year on my Nordic Trip. At the time it was Maria Trolle’s most recent colouring book. Since purchasing it I had visited this book a couple of times, but I finally got to work on doing a series of completed pictures.

Botanicum is the fourth book by Swedish artist, Maria Trolle. I have the Swedish edition, but you can also find an English special edition (with 8 additional pictures) and a Dutch edition. She has recently also brought out a new colouring book Flora, which is on my Christmas list.

This book is the same format as Maria Trolle’s Twilight Garden/Blomster Mandala and Nightfall/Skymingstimman; and Hanna Karlzon’s colouring books. It has a hardcover, which has one of the designs that you will find in the book. Similarly to the line art, the background is also black, but objects have been filled in with colour. The English edition has a different cover image, which is also found inside the book. There are 96 pages inside, which are double-sided, on high0quality ivory paper.

Similarly to Maria Trolle’s other books, this book has a garden theme. However, this book takes us through a floral adventure through different seasons and includes some designs for Easter, Halloween and Christmas. There is also some new animal that we haven’t seen before, including seals, unicorn and dragons; and many more girls and fairies of various sizes. Another new feature in this book is that many of the pages have defined or lose borders. This book also includes several pages with black backgrounds and an index of both the flora and fauna you will find in the book. Since my book is in Swedish, I was able to find many of the Swedish/Latin names flowers and plant life quite easily, but I did have to use a translator for some of the animals.

This has to be my favourite of Maria’s Trolle books in my collection. I love the variety of intricate line art, new creatures, very pretty girls and seasonal themed designs. I love that the name of the flora and fauna is listed in the book, so I can make easy colour choices. Lastly, I love the bordered line art and some of the circular designs, which allows me to just colour within the boundaries of the artwork.

Below I have included a video flip through and photographs of all the pages that I have coloured, in order that you will find them in the book. These include 10 completed pictures, which I have coloured in a variety of medium, which I have detailed below. I have added all of these images to my Botanicum gallery, where I will continue to add newly coloured pictures from this book. If you interested to see my other reviews of Maria Trolle’s colouring books, see: Twilight Garden (Blomster Mandala), Vivi söker en vän and Skymningstimman (Nightfall).

The Name plate page in this book is quite a simple design. Since the line art was quite delicate I wanted to leave a clean crisp background behind the brightly coloured flora and detailed fauna. I spent my time trying to get the bird and the snail to look as life-like as possible. The flowers were a little easier since I was able to easily find examples of the colours of the flowers. I only used Prismacolour Premier pencils for this page, which works beautifully on this paper.

I coloured this Easter bunny for my Happy Easter Colouring for 2019. It was the second page I had coloured in this book. I really loved how it turned out, so I knew I really wanted to revisit this book. Since these flowers didn’t come in a variety of colours, I started with them. I was later able to use complementing colours for the rest of the picture. I always find this helpful when I have no idea where to start with colours. For this page, I used Primacolour Premier pencils and a white Uniball gel pen (for the blue flowers).

This Thumbelina in the garden scene is one of the pictures that have a defined border. It is straight, but my photo came out a bit warped. These Peony flowers come in quite a few varieties, but I choose yellow and orange to complement the small blue flowers. It took quite a while to colour this page with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. I tried to do many light layers to avoid hard lines coming through. I also used a white Prismacolor pencil to blend for highlights and a white Uniball gel pen for the blue flower and the bee wings. Polychromos pencils do work well on this paper as well and also have the added bonus of not leaving pencil dust on the page. This is probably my favourite of the bunch.

I coloured this Floral lady for my 6# Colouring Update, so it was the first page I coloured in this book. I tried a darker skin tone, which I did find a bit difficult. I think because of the numerous layers, I may have blended too soon. I used Prismacolour Premier pencils, which are my prefered pencils for this paper. However, you do have to be careful not to get pencil dust on the black background. Otherwise, if you try to rub it out you will remove the black a little. I don’t love this page because I found my pencils came out a bit waxy on the small flowers.

When I saw these Playful seals, I knew I had to do colour this page. I started with the background, trying to layer to make it appear to have a seafloor and expansive ocean. I’m not sure I pulled it off too well, but the rest came together well. I am happy with the seaweed and bright fish. I used Prismacolour pencils and a white Uniball gel pen.

This Resting Unicorn is a special page I coloured for my little girl, who is obsessed with unicorns. We had a few disagreements on the colour of the unicorn, so I left that until last. I spent time colouring each flower and its leaves exactly as it would appear in real life. They looked quite detailed before I added the rest of the elements and then they a bit flat. I decided on a white and electric blue unicorn to stand out amongst the sea of green, pinks and purples. It was entirely coloured with Prismacolour Premier pencils and a little bit of white Uniball gel pen for details.

This Little old town reminded me of the paintings of the old towns you for sale in Europe squares. I fell in love with the Elena Moskaleva version, so I tried to use a bit of watercolour as well. I used Derwent Inkense and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils. My version didn’t come out very good. I think I didn’t add enough colour before I activated the pencils. I went the page with Prismacolor pencils, which always work nicely over watercolour pencils. The paper took the water quite well and I had no buckling or bleed through at all.

I coloured this Halloween scene for my post, Halloween Colouring 2019, where you can read more about it. Its was coloured with Prismacolor Premier pencils. I did use Mungyo watercolor crayons for the background. It did come out a bit streaky and I tried to blend it and deep the colour with pencil over the top. I also used a Unibal white gel pen to hide some lines and add stars. It’s not my best work, but I am happy that it came out a bit less conventional than other Halloween pictures.

I was going to come back to this book for Christmas, but I decided to make a start on my Christmas colouring before reviewing this book. This Round robin wreath took me a very long time to colour. So many little elements and confusion on colour selection. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos, so that I could get into the little nooks and keep the line art sharp. Once the main image was completed I decided to go with a simple caramel wood. I just realised I forgot to add the wood grain, oh well. I did use a Derwent blender pencil for the background because despite the number of layers it was still quite ashy. I’m happy with the overall effect of the picture.

The very last page in the book and that I coloured is this Kitty-cat Christmas. It’s not a page I would normally choose because of the huge empty background. I started with the main elements which I used Prismacolor Premier pencils. Afterwards, I was faced on what to do with that huge empty background. So I used a cream Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencil and activated it with water. I then did some shading with Derwent Inkense pencils. Since it was hard to get into the little spaces around the leaves, I found myself brushing the water brush over the leaves. Luckily the Prismacolor pencil stayed intact. Lastly I used a lot of Uniball white gel pen to bring out some of the details on the Christmas ornaments and the cat’s fur.

Botanicum and Maria’s other books can be purchased from:

Halloween Colouring 2019

Happy Halloween friends! This year I did a small series from four colouring books, from the artists Hanna Karlzon, Maria Trolle and Nicholas F. Chandrawienata. This year I really wanted to use unconventional colors, that aren’t associated with this occasion.

I’m starting to run out of Halloween picture, so I may have to purchase Halloween themed book for next year. Any ideas for me? If you want to see my Halloween colouring from last two years, see Halloween 2017, Halloween 2018. For more completed pictures from these books see my Colouring Book Galleries.

Hanna Karlzon’s Seasons

This first page is from one of my more recent purchases, Seasons, which I will be bring out a review of in a few days. I have seen this picture done quite a few times and I wanted to do something a bit different. I still wanted to stay with autumn colours, since this picture is found in the autumn section of the book. I used Prismacolor pencils for the main image, as well as a white gel pen for details and a black Tombow brush pen for the background. It was a pretty quick and easy one and I am happy how it turned out.

Maria Trolle’s Botanicum

This next page is from another book that I am working in at the moment and will be bring out a review soon. I like this page because it more cute then scary, but I was pretty stumbled to what kind of background it needed. I began with white painted pumpkins and then coloured the flowers as realistic to the species (listed in index of book). Then I decided to use watercolor crayons for the starry night background and black for the ground. It did come up a bit scratchy, so I had to go over it all with pencil. It didn’t come out perfect, but I am happy with the overall effect. The medium I used include Prismacolour pencils, Mungyo watercolor crayons and white gel pen.

Nicholas F. Chandrawienata’s Fantasia

The follow two pages are from Fantasia colouring book. For the first, I was a little unsure how to tackle it. It has so many decorative elements, which didn’t seem to relate to the main subject. I decided to add a large moon to the background, which I traced with one of my daughters round toys, with a white gel pen. I then came up with a basic colour palette of black, lilac, yellow orange and blue. This paper is quite textured, so it took quite a bit of shading to cover the white specking. It also doesn’t allow you to scratch off or colour over white gel pen. However, once completed Prismacolor pencils work lovely on this paper. I am very happy how my page turned out and the colour combination.

This werewolf picture is one that I have been looking forward to colour for a while. I decided to use Polychromos pencils for this page, since there was so many fine details. This pencils require ever more layers on this paper and I still struggled to cover some of the white speckles. I had no idea what colour combo I wanted to use, I just knew that that I wanted a dark brown fur with electric blue. I found it difficult to figure out what to colour the other elements, so I tried not to introduce to many new colours. For the background I used a black Tombow brush pen. This is probably my least favourite of the bunch, but it still looks pretty wicked.

Book Review: Magical Dawn (Magisk Gryning)

I’ve had Magical Dawn sitting on my shelf for so long. I bought it near two years ago when I ordered Hanna’s first three colouring books. Since I was waiting for Hanna’s two newer books, I thought I better go back to her third book and try out it.

Magical Dawn (Magisk Gryning) is by the Swedish artist Hanna Karlzon, published in 2017. I have had the pleasure to colour and review in her other books, Daydreams (Dagdrommar), Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) and most recently Smyckeskrinet (Jewelry Box). Each are just as gorgeous as the next and have a distinctive theme which flavour Hanna’s unique style. With the exception of Smyckeskrinet, I have the English editions of Hanna’s colouring books, since they are much easier to get hold than the original Swedish editions. I haven’t compared the books in great detail, but they are pretty much the identical.

This book has a musky pink hard cover with an black and white design with gold foiling. The beetle on the cover can be found inside the book, but is framed a little differently. The paper is a high quality and off-white in colour. The pages are double-sided and there are 96 pages to colour.

The line art in Magical Dawn was inspired by the magical creatures that emerge at the break of dawn. There are jewelled winged and four-legged creatures, lovely ladies adorned with jewels, sparkling crystals, mushroom studded abodes, hour glasses and potion bottles fuming with magic dust and smokey essences.

This is not my favourite of Hanna Karlzon’s book, simply because its extremely hard to choose one over another. It is probably my favourite if I have to compare it to the first three though. The designs are intericate, interesting, and inspired the wonder of magic. I coloured eight pages in this book and used alot of blue and purples. I guess since these rarer colours found in the natural world, they inspired a sense of magic to me. I also did a video flip through, which included all of my completed pages. Any new pages coloured in this book in the future will be added to my Magical Dawn gallery page.

The Title page is always my most dreaded page to colour in all my books and this one was no different. I was really nervous about colouring those smokey essences and all those stars. I am not convinced I pulled it off either. I went crazy with the white gel pen to cover the black lines. In the end it all came together, but I think I will have to find a new technique for stars and smoke. This this page I used Polychromos pencils and a variety of gel pens.

This Rocker Witch was not a picture I would normally gravitate towards and I really didn’t like the design when I first saw it. However, I wanted to try to make something beautiful out of it and I am pretty happy how she turned out. I put a lot of work into her skin and hair and I was able to appreciate her unconventional beauty. Probably the hardest part of this picture was colouring the owl, as the design was very detailed and not very lifelike. I tried to use some inspiration from a real owl for texture and colouring and was surprised it came out looking relatively decent. I decided on a black ink background, to give the central image a bit of pop. I used Prismacolor pencils, a white Uniball gel pen and black Tombow Brush pen.

The Starwalker is another picture that I have seen done a few times and found really intimidating. There was just so much background and so many little stars to colour. I decided to try a galaxy background using Polychromos pencils, white Prismacolor and white gel pen. It started off really great from the right, but soon enough I lose my rhythm, so its a bit streaky in some areas. For the main design, I used Prismacolor pencils and a white gel pen. I find those Prisma’s blend a lot better so they were ideal for blending the colours in this turquoise-purple dress. My inspiration for colours scheme is from this anime fairy (not sure of the artist).

The Stardust Hourglass is a quick page, to practise magic dust. I was going to do a background, but then I wasn’t in the mood for experimentation. I’m very happy how the stardust turned out. I found using a bit of neon pink really helped give life to do the sky/electric blue dust. I used Prismacolor pencils, as well as a white and silver gel pens.

The Serpent Sorceress is another page I have seen done so many times. I just loved her gaze and her beautiful face that looks freakishly like Angelina Jolie. I really wanted to do this page in bright red, get away from the blue and purple hues. I didn’t turn out how I originally imagined, which is probably a good thing. I spent a lot of time doing her skin and I was inspired by this gypsy-inspired model. I find it really difficult to do darker skin tones, the skin can get a little streaky and a bit patchy. This wasn’t so apparent until the page was completed. Other than that I am happy with her hair, eyes, lips, jewellery and snake. I also tried something a little different with the background stars, but still not convinced it was the best technique. I used Prismacolor pencils, white and gold gel pens.

This picture reminded me so much of Emerald City of the Wizard of Oz, which was my inspiration for colour scheme. I used mostly Polychromos for this page, since they have plenty of interesting greens. I only used a few Prismacolors to blend for lighter shades, as well as gold and white gel pen. It turned out pretty close to what I intended so I am happy.

My very last and favourite picture of the bunch is the Blue jewelled moth. It didn’t stand out as an uniquely magical design, so I wanted to use blues and purple-pink to inspire a sense of fantasy. I chose gold, soft and bright blue, fushia, purple, brown and peach colour scheme. I am really thrilled how it turned out. For the main design, I used Prismacolor pencils with a bit of white gel pen for details. For the background I started with prussian blue, light blue and grey Mungyo Watercolor crayons, activated with water. The background turned out pretty terrible, so I used alot of Prismacolor layers to get it looking more like a galaxy sky. I then used a white gel pen for stars, which gave it more pizzazz.

You can purchase this Magical Dawn or Magisk Gryning from:

9# Colouring update: New Books

Hi everyone, I recently bought a few more books I wanted to share with you. I haven’t actually bought anything new in a while, as I have been trying to colour in the books I already have. However, the heart wants what it wants.

Before I show you my goodies, I’ll just let you know what I have been up to in regards to colouring. So I have been working in my Hanna Karlzon books more recently. As you would have seen my last book review was Jewelry Box and soon to see, in Magical Dawn. I am just in the process of organising my book review, which will be out soon, with about 7 completed pictures. Next I will start some work in my new Karlzon books, I just haven’t decided which one to start with yet.

Seasons by Hanna Karlzon

Not long ago I had a discount coupon on Book Depository and I noticed Hanna’s new book was soon to be released. So I decided to order it, as well as Seasons, since it was the only one of Hanna’s books I didn’t have. Seasons was realeased back in 2017 and was preceded by Jewelry Box.

I thought my favourite one of Hanna’s books was Jewelry Books, but I was quite also pretty impressed with Seasons. This book takes us through all the season, from Spring to Winter. You can pick whatever season you are currently experience or another you would prefer and have fun with traditional seasonal colours (or something else entirely). I also love that this book includes so many seasonal occasions themed pictures, such as Halloween and Christmas. I’m will probably do a review of this book next, so stay tuned.

Spirit Animals by Hanna Karlzon

Spirit Animals is Hanna’s latest colouring book, which I had on preorder. It just arrived and I am in love. I won’t say too much but yes its pretty and again total different to Hanna Karlzon’s other books. One big difference I noticed was that most of the single pages correspond directly to the adacent page. So although they aren’t two-page spreads, they can be treated as such if you want. I can’t wait to get tucked into this book as well, and a book review will follow soon.

The Fashion Through Time Colouring Book

This next book is one that I picked up at the Reject shop for about $4. Although its was cheap, it’s still pretty great. It takes you from Western Antiquity all the way through to the glam of the 1960s fashion. Although it mostly Western fashion, there are a few other cultures represented as well. I just loved the art so much, that I probably will colour a few and do a review when I get a chance.

Mungyo Watercolor Crayons

I mentioned in my last colouring book review, Smyckeskrinet (Jewelry Box), that I had recently bought these watercolor crayons. I saw them on Colouring with Olivier channel and experimented with them in Jewelry Box. I am still getting accustom to using them, but I have used them again in Magical Dawn and will continue to in my other Karlzon colouring books. They are pretty cheap and a fun medium to use to fill in backgrounds. Best of all they don’t bleed through and don’t cause the paper to buckle much.

Have you bought any new books lately? or the ones I have show you today?

Book Review: Dromenvanger

Today I have a book review on one of the most popular and exquisite books in the colouring world, Dromenvanger. It was on my wishlist for a while and after one failed attempt of acquring it, I finally got my beloved copy.

Dromenvanger is by the Croatian artist, Tomislav Tomic. Tomislav is originally from Zagreb and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in his home town. He began illustrating books and magazines while he was still a student and has continued to be an illustrator for Croatian and UK publishers. Today he lives with his young family in Zaprešić. His artwork is known for beening exquistitly detailed and in Resnaissance engraving style. His subjects is often based on fantasy and mythology.

Dromenvanger is actually the Dutch edition to the original Croatian colouring book, Zemlja snova (2016). It translates to dreamland from Croatian and dreamcatcher from Dutch. Tomislav also brought out a second coloring book Vilin San (2017), which also came out in a Dutch edition, Sprookjesbos (Dutch edition). He work has also featured in The Offical Game of Thrones Colouring Book and the Pictura series, A Walk Through Paris, Coloring New York Jazz, and Coloring Paris.

If you live in Australia it is near impossible to get hold of the Zemlja snova, unless you spend a small fortune. It is only availale from Croatian publisher Fokus and some private sellers. However, since a Dutch publishing house acquire the rights, Dromenvanger has been more readily available. At the end of 2017 there was an issue on Book Depository, where only a small fration of the people who purchased Dromenvanger actually receive it. I was one of the unlucky people who had purchased it, but there was no copies left to sent out. Book Depository has yet to continue selling this book, which is still listed on their website. However, there are more private sellers selling this edition for a more reasonable price. I bought my copy from Ebay, when I found a price I was willing to pay.

Dromenvanger is a square shaped book, which is about 25cm by 25 cm. It has a soft cover, which features partly coloured picture, which you can find in the book. Both the inside front and back covers are blank. The paper is high quality, cream in colour and is relatively thick. Inside the book you can find 81 line art illustrations, many of which are double page spreads. The Croatian edition contains all the same images and you can see a more in depth comparsion on Colouring in the midst of madness.

So the reason this book is in such high demand is because the artwork is spectacular. As you turn the pages you will pass through cloud lands, enchanted forests, fairytale and underwater kingdoms and will come upon fairies, dragons, mermaids, unicorns and other mythical creatures. Each pages is incredibly detailed can be quite intimidating. But once you start filling in the page with colours it will come alive.

I found the artwork in this book to be quite unique, amongst the rest of my collection. There are so many creatures and sceneries, which I haven’t found in other books. Many of the single page images have large intricate borders. Most pictures include clouds in the backgroud, however there are quite a few without backgrounds at all, which you could draw in yourself. In this book I have primarly used Prismacolor pencils, which work beautifully on this paper. I found Polychromos didn’t work as well. I didn’t try watercolor, but I have heard this paper can cope quite well with waterbased media and won’t bleed through or shadow.

Below I have included a video flip through and all the pages I have coloured in order that you will find them in the book.  I have adding all these images to my Dromenvanger gallery, where I will continue to add newly coloured pictures to.

This Fairy Door is the first picture in the book after the Title and Welcome pages. Normally I would have coloured the Title page, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired the one in this book. So I coloured this first page as an introduction to this magically book.

I have seen this picture coloured by many other colourist and I wanted to do something a little different. I started colouring the building to look like it was made of sandstone and took advantage of the textured line art. I complemented the stone with purples, pinks and muted green. For the butterflies I got some inspiration from these Violette butterflies stickers. I am happy how the fairy and other objects pop out of the picture. I probably should of gone with a darker gold frame. I coloured this entirely with Prismacolor pencils and used a little bit of white gel pen for sparkly effects.

The Treehouse Palace was the first page that I stated when I returned to this book. I had no idea what colours I was going to use so I just started with the purple orange ombre sky. I tried not to rush or push too hard so that I could get a smooth texture. The white, soft pink and cream pencils really helped to blend in those more stuborn midsection in the pages. I was still stump on colour selection, so I just coloured all the trees, berries and wood. Then I was able to use colours that complemented what was already there. Gold is always an easy one for metal work and the dooms were coloured in a variety of bright colours to separate them from the sky. My last challenge was colouring the birds and I was inspired by this colourful ornamental bird. Overall I am happy with it, butI did find the large tree on the left looks a bit ashly, despite the amount of layers. I used entirely Prismacolor pencils.

This Pegafly was coloured for Octavia’s 4th Birthday back in April. She is obsessed with horses, ponies, unicorns, pegusus and pegacorns. There is one unicorn in this book, which is on a two page spread, but I prefered this pegafly because one page was do-able in a short timeframe. I coloured it entirely with Prismacolor pencils.

For the overall colour scheme I was inspired by the gorgeous artprint by Shannon Valentine. It wasn’t the easiest image to colour, and was a little intimidating as most of the images in this book are. The doted lines on the pegafly were good to know where to shade, but require many layers to cover. The flowers and plants were also very challenging because some were so simple and others very detailed. So to create more depth for the simplistic objects I added more lines for creases. For the pegafly I was inspired by the only other image of a pegafly I could find and this butterfly for wings. This is definetely my favourite of the lot that I coloured and Octavia was so happy with it.

The Princess of the hounds is another popular picture to colour. The image makes me think of a mediterranean kingdom during the Renaissance. So I used colours that inspired by that time period. I started with the sky again, so that none of the other colour pigments would get stuck in the paper. This took me the longest time to make sure the the sky appeared completely blended and smooth. Next I worked on the trees, trying to make them look textured. For the objects I was inspired by this fairytale castle, knight, and this variety of greyhoods. I wish that I used more vibrant colours for the knight, but other then that I think it looks pretty good now its all complete.

This Elf musican was the first picture that I coloured in this book back last year, which I wrote about in the post #6 Colouring Update. I don’t love it, especially since I coloured a few more in the this book and improved alot since then.

The Griffin is the only picture that I coloured entirely with Polychromos pencils. For the colour scheme I was inspired by Realm of Tranquility Card by Anne Stokes. I am really not happy with this picture. I really didn’t enjoy using Polychromos in this book and I don’t like the colour scheme I chose. The Metallic silver frame also didn’t turn out as well as I hope. I also made a big mistake with the moutains that I drew in. I probably should of done a few more layers before using a blender pencil, which really made it look scratchy. On the bright side, I am happy with the griffin and the water backgroud.

You can purchase this Dromenvanger or Zemlja snova from:

Happy Easter Colouring

Happy Easter everyone! I hope your having a great long weekend. Today I have the Easter themed pictures that I have been colouring over the past week. These pictures are from Fantasia, Sagor Och Sägner, Escape from Wonderland, and Botanicum. I haven’t reviewed all of these books yet, but you can see more completed pages in my Colouring Galleries. As for the pictures below, I used a few different mediums and I didn’t take them too seriously. It was just a bit of fun to set myself an Easter challenge to colour as many pages as I could.

The first page I coloured is from Nicholas F. Chandrawienata’s Fantasia. I have been looking forward to coming back to this book and I was saving this one for Easter. I was a bit unsure what to do. Easter colours are usually pastel, so I got out my Holbein Artists Pastel Pencils. I love these pencils because they lay down so evenly and they don’t have any streaky pigment, like some of my lighter Prismacolor pencils.

I originally left the background because I really wasn’t sure what to do. I did want to try watercolour on this paper, so I got out a set of cheap set of no-brand Water Colour paint tubes, that I bought from Eckersley. The paper didnt seem to mind the water, but it did pill a little where I put too much. I really wasn’t happy with what I was doing to my picture, so I tried to smooth the colour and add some shadows with a few Prismacolor Premier pencils pencils. If I could go back I would have used a different set of paint, because this one was more like acrylic then water colour, even with lots of water added. Anyway it looks better with a background and a lesson was learned.

The second pages is from Emelie Lidehäll Öberg’s Sagor Och Sägner. This is one of my favourite books, so I was very happy to revisit it. This isn’t a page I would usually choose but since it was Easter I’m happy I gave it a chance. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and a white Prismacolor pencil for blending. I am so happy how this one turned out. I took my time added softly blending the colours, rather then pressing too hard and rushing. I was a bit stumped on what to do for a background so I just left it.

The next two pages are side-by-side in Good Wives and Warriors’ Escape from Wonderland. I believe they are meant to be pigeon eggs, but they look like faberge eggs to me. I used both Faber-Castell Polychromos and Prismacolor Premier pencils. I much prefer the first egg, which reminded me Mexican art. I used this colour pallete as a guide. For the second one, I used this colour pallette, which probably wasn’t the best reference. Although this design was a bit difficult for me and less inspiring to colour.

This last picture is from Maria Trolle’s Botanicum. It is my favourite one in the bunch. I just found by chance when I was looking for a cute bunny picture to colour. I think this book has more themed pictures then her previous books and it also has all the flowers and plants listed in the back of the book for reference. I only used Prismacolor Premier pencils, which work really well on this paper. I thought about a pastel background but it looked so pretty on the ivory paper so I just filled in the bottom.

Well thats for Easter colouring this year. See the post below for what I coloured last year in Eriy’s Romantic Country Series.

Did you do some art or cooking for easter this year?

Unicorn Party

This week O turned into a big four year old girl. So of course we have been celebrating since the anniversary of her birth until her birthday party over the weekend. She calls her self the unicorn keeper, so it was only fitting that she should have a unicorn themed party.

Here she is. She was so happy to celebrate her birthday with her friends, who she hand picked to invite. Usually we invite all our friends but this year it was just a couple of little girls that she wanted to invite with their families, as well her cousins. For me it was also nice to have time with a few guests so that we could talk in a group, rather then having 10 minutes with each person. The little ones also played really nicely and had a blast together.

For the last few years I have been buying O’s cakes, but this year she asked her aunty to make her a unicorn cake. Didn’t she do such an amazing job! She always makes beautiful cakes for her kids, but I was blown away by this one. I believe it was buttercream on the outside with some fondont for the eats and eyes. The horn is actually an icecream cone with fondant wrapped around it. Inside it was a Serbian layered cake with layers of sponge, made of almond meal and plasma biscuits and custard made with Milka chocolate. What I loved about it was that it wasn’t too sweet, which is what I usually find with Serbian cakes.

I made two sweet treats, cupcakes and shortbread cookies with sprinkles. I forgot to photograph my cookies, but you may seem them in the background of one of the other photos. They were just a basic shortbread biscuit, made of butter, brown sugar, flour and vanilla and I stired through some coloured sprinkles. I used Hooper 100’s and 1000s, since I wanted something free of artifical colours, flavours and preservatives.

As for the cupcakes I used Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake (vegan). I also added some vegan chocolate chips and blueberries. This recipe was a little naughty because it had coffee, but it was so lovely and fudgey. For the frosting, I made a basic butter cream recipe with butter, icing sugar and soy milk. This year I decided to use organic butter because I am sick of using Nutlex and having the oil separate from the frosting. I usually like to make everything dairy free but I think the butter tasted better, looked better and lasted better.For the colours I used Queen Rainbow Natural Extracts and Hooper Pink Sprinkles. I made a couple of batches of the frosting so that I could pipe both colours at the same time. I am not really happy that I couldn’t manage to get purple or orange with the Queen’s food colouring. This orangy-flesh colour was not exactly what I was after but it was ok with the pink.

Now for the savoury food. My mum made this amazing grazing table. It had Proscuitto di Parma, nitrate-free hot salami, crackers, olives, brie, gerkins, sundried tomatoes, dates, nuts, grapes and pears. I served made my Fried Zucchini (see my recipe), which were a hit. I also made homemade pork sausage rolls with nitrate-free free-range pork sausages and I used both normal and gluten free puff pastry. I did have a little hitch with the Simply Wize gluten free pastry sheets.They initially cracked when I tried to wrap the sausages, so I did need to re-knead and roll out out the dough with some arrowroot flour. Once I did that they were perfect for pastry use. Since I had left mine in the over a little long to keep warm my normal puff pastry did split, but the gluten free remained perfect and there was little difference with the taste, it was just a little less flakey. The last thing I served was a homemade lasenge; cherry tomatoes for the kids and salad of Rocket, cherry tomatoes and avocado. The Lasanga turned out great, except that I left it on warm in the over and it blackened the top a little. Everyone said it still tasted great and thank goodness it didn’t taste burned.

I also organised a little Dress-up Station for the girls. That wasn’t really used, but everyone. They did enjoy the games that I organised. We played Pass-the-Parcel and Musical Chairs. My daughter knew what the prizes were and was very competitive. She actually won both games. I let her keep the prize from Pass-the-Parcel, but for the Musical Chairs the second winner got the prize. I also made the girls some little gift bags, that had fairy wands, sparkely unicorn stickers, unicorn animal erasers and some of my Shortbread cookies.

Oh the last thing I will show you is the picture I coloured for O’s birthday. This is from Dromenvanger by Tomislav Tomic. I intend doing my next review on this book, as I am currently working in it. She was pretty happy with it, since it featured one of her favourite creatures.

I hope you liked O’s unicorn party. If you are wanting to find the same decorations you can find the Unicorn themed banner, table cloth and candles from Big W’s party section. The rest of the unicorns come from the collection of my little unicorn keeper.

If you want to see what I did for O’s parties in the past few years see these posts below:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Party
Troll party
Frozen Party

Book Review: World of Flowers

World of Flowers is the newest book by colouring evangelist Johanna Basford. I received this gorgeous book from Marco for Christmas and I finally started it this last month. I had been putting it off a little because sometimes I get a little sick of colouring flowers. However, I actually had quite a lot of fun with this book. It has quite a bit of variety and very different to the flowers in Johanna’s other books as you will see.

So if you have been living under a rock you may have not heard of Johanna Basford. But I doubt this would be the case if your a colourist. This is Johanna’s seven colouring book (not including all the artist edition, journals, calendars, etc). It was only published in mid December 2018 in both the UK and US. I have the UK edition, like the rest of my collection. As they are readily available in Australia and online. From what I have read in the past I do prefer the UK editions, but if you would like to see a side-by-side comparison of this book, see this video by Colouring in the Midst of Madness.

World of Flowers is the same format of most of Johanna’s other colouring books. It is a square shape, sized at 25.1 x 25.1 cm. Like all the UK editions, it has a soft cover with a dust cover over the top. The cover is bright white, with black inked flowers and some rose-gold foiling. You can find the same flowers inside the book, but not in the same formation. However, the inside cover and does have the same design that you will find in the book. Inside this book you will find 80 pages to colour with a variety of new designs. The paper is ivory in colour and medium thickness. It has the same paper that you will find in Johanna’s later colouring books ei. Magic Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas. Toward the back of the book there is a page to test your mediums and a page that extends, which is double sided.

The floral designs in this book are gorgeous and as I mentioned, is a lot different to what we have seen before from Johanna’s other colouring books. Since flowers are the subject of the book they are much more detailed and vary in shapes, sizes and design style. Flowers aren’t the only things you will find in this book. You will also find succulents and other potted plants, magic potion bottles, butterflies and other insects, household objects and furniture, fairy homes, etc. The designs range from the usually wreaths, wallpaper and mandalas, to garden scenes, busy shelving, large and small circular and square designs. There is just so much variety that you won’t feel like your colouring the same stuff that you have come across previously in her books.

So as you guessed by now I do love this book. I did find some of pages with the larger spaces a bit intimating because I don’t love doing large backgrounds. However, if your like me you can skip some of these pages or just do put in more effort to the suspended objects and they will speak for themselves on the ivory paper. Something I really loved was the last couple of pages that pull out, which I would like to return to in the future.

Below I have included a video flip through and all the pages I have coloured in order that you will find them in the book. I have only used Prismacolor Premier pencils and a couple of gel pens so far. As you will see these pencils work very beautifully on this paper. I don’t see that there would be any problems with other harder pencils or water colour, so long as you are careful. There are plenty of examples by other colourist using other pencils, so I recommend checking out Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration.

The Title pages is always a challenge for me and I usually come back to it last. I wanted it to be an explosion of bright colours, which complemented each other. I also wanted to use different techniques for each flower, so they didn’t look so similar and flat. I am quite happy how this one turned out and it makes me happy when I open this book.

The Name plate pages was also another one I was stumped on because the flowers were so tiny, so it would be difficult for them to pop out of the paper. I started with a navy and coral colour scheme and added some complementary colours as I went. I also added some gold gel pen to cover some of the little black dots and lines, which really brightened it up.

This gorgeous selection of Flower motifs are not my colour scheme, but rather the from the mind of the amazing Chris Cheng. I started following her four-part video tutorial when I started this book, but I ended up coming back to right at the end. They just took me so long, but it was well worth it. So many layers went into it, which is why they look so stunning. She also done another gorgeous tutorial of a flower wreath. Peta Hewitt also did a tutorial for the same picture, so I still have to do decide which one I will do at a later date.

This Alchemy Garden is another one of the last picture I did. I took my time adding many layers to the background, flowers and bottles to try and make the objects look more three dimensional. I am happy with most of the elements but now I’m wishing I did a stone wall for the background, as it looks a bit bare. For the magic potions I was inspire by this Chris Cheng’s Fairy Potions from Fairy Miracles. This was my first attempt at something like this, but now I think I can tackle a few more magic potions in Hanna Karlzon’s Magically Dawn, which I’m yet to start.

This Sunflower and Tulip is the first page I that completed. I started with the sunflower and I was very disappointed in it until I finished the tulip. I only wanted to use a few colours for each and with both side-by-side it has the effect that I wanted. The page beside this has another two flowers with the same frames, so I plan to do those in red and green to complement this page.

This Flower Fairy Garden is the second page I did and it took me so long. I was thinking of doing a grey purple stone frame, but by the time I got this far I just wanted to move on to something else. This picture remind me a lot of some of the double page spreads in Secret Garden. If you see some of the pages I did my Secret Garden gallery, you can definitely see an improvement in both my colouring and Johanna’s flowers. These flowers were a lot more interesting to colour and I like how oversized they are.

If you’re interested in purchasing World of Flowers you can find it from:

Book Review: Fairy Tales

Hello friends, today I have another colouring book review for you. Fairy Taleshas been on my wish list for a while, so I asked Santa to bring it for Christmas and it is just as sweet as I could of imagined.

Fairy Tales is by the freelance artist and illustrator, Emelie Lidehäll Öberg. Emelie is based Timrå, Sweden and has a background in graphic design and communications. If you want to know more about her, Color with Iris did a great interview with her. It talks of her life as an artist and how she began creating colouring books.

Fairy Tales actually the English edition of Emelie’s first book Sagolikt (2016)
and was published in April 2017 . Emelie has also published Sagor Och Sägner, En Sagolik Vinter (postcard book) and Hem ljuva hem. I actually have Sagor Och Sägner, and did a book review quite a while ago (see book review and gallery). Since Sagor Och Sägner is one of my favourite books I was sure that I would love another book by Emelie. Unfortunately for many, there is currently no English edition of Sagor Och Sägner, however Fairy Tales is alot easy to hold off (see end of post for distributors), and is quite similar in theme and style.

Fairy Tales has a soft cover that features one of the illustrations found in the book and is decorated in soft pinks and limestone green, with gold foil accents. The inside covers also have french flaps which open out to feature many of the designs found inside the book. This book is square and measures 24.9 x 24.9 cm. It contains 96 pages of gorgeous illustrations, which are printed double sided on high-quality cream paper. The pages are able to lay quite flat, which makes colouring and photographing pages quite easy. I did find that this book can handle both soft and harder pencils quite well, as well as water soluable pencils, with no bleed through.

The line art in the book is inspired by Swedish fairy tales and is whismical and true to Emelie’s unique style. There are woodland animals, sweet doll-like girls, quite an array of birds, wallpaper designs, wooden structures, teapots, tea cups and plenty of flowers and sweet foods to colour. All-in-all there is alot of variety, so you don’t feel like your fliping through she same designs throughout the book. What makes Emelie’s work unique is the that many of the elements in the pictures are quite oversized, which can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t coloured her work before. However, as you will see from pages I have worked on, the illustrations really come to life with a bit of colour and little bit of shading.

Below I have included a video flip through of Fairy Tales, which includes all the finished pictures that I did. I have also included five full sided photographs of the pictures I coloured with some details on what I used. These are in order as they are found in the book.


The Name plate page was not the first page I coloured and to be honest not one I expected to get to. There are so many elements in this page and that I was a bit overwhelmed. But I started colouring each picture in colours that came naturally and slowly I was able to use complementy colours for the pictures I wasn’t sure about. Its not perfect but I am happy overall how it turned out. I used Prismacolor Premier pencils, which work beautifully on this paper and don’t need to many layers to get a nice result.


The Princess and the Frog is one that I was really excited to bring to life because I just love everything about the design. Since I had already experiment with Derwent Inktense pencils in the book, I decided to try them out again. So I first layed down one or two colors for each element with the Inktense pencils and used a water pen to blend. Then I went over the top with Prismacolor Premier pencils to give a soft, chalky and vibrant look. I found that the Inktense pencils were also quite helpful for forming clouds, since I am really terrible at drawing them in. I also used a white gel pen to bring out some of the details and cover some of the black lines. If I could do this page again, I may give a bit more distiction to parts that are submerged in the water. But other then that I’m very happy with it.


The Storybook Mansion reminded me of a grand Swedish house. For the colour scheme I was inspired by the Korstäppan Hotel and this bright floral print. I decided not to do a background, as I just wanted to do something colouring, fun and quick. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos, which also work lovely on this paper. To blend I did use a white Prismacolor pencil and the Derwent blender. This picture wasn’t ovely complicated to do, but the large scale of the flowers really make it something special.


The Pup Prince was one of the pictures I just had to do in this book. I don’t often come across dogs in my colouring books and this one was just so regal and elegant that I had to give it some colour. This is one of the few pictures that I knew the colour scheme before I coloured it. I just wanted the background to be fairly simple so that I could make sure my pup would stand out. The hardest thing was giving the pup the furry texture. I don’t think I nailed it because I found it quite hard do a short hair. I was inspired by this Rodesian Ridgeback by EscyKane. Mine doesn’t come close to this artwork, but then again this illustration isn’t mean to be true to life. I used Prismacolor Premier pencils. I was going to use a Slate Grey Posca for the background, but changed my mine at the last minute, since the tip wasn’t thin enough to get inbetween the flowers. Initially I wasn’t happy with this picture, but once it was finished and I looked at it with fresh eyes I didn’t mind it so much.


The Mole Family was the very first picture I coloured in this book. It is definetely my favourite of the bunch. It took me a bit of seaching to work out what animal was being depicted in this picture, since I havent’ come across these furry friends in Australia. But once I realised what they were I had to makes sure they were very flurry and just as cute as the real thing.

Since this is the last page in the book I thought I was experiement with Derwent Inktense pencils. So I coloured the entire picture with with Inktense and activated it with water. I then went over it with Prismacolor Premier pencils, to add brighter colour and depth. I found this method is a hell of a lot quicker, produced vibrant colour and makes it easier do create an more interesting background. The only downside is that it can look a bit scratch in some areas where I wasn’t as careful. I found this paper really didn’t buckle much and I had no bleed through. Well actually there is one spot on the backside of this page that had a faint blue spot. However, I think I did by accident when I lift the page and it would be very easy to cover up. To cover the black lines in some aspects of the picture I used a white thin tipped Posca pen. Its not perfect but its just so magical and I love it.


If you’re interested in purchasing Fairy Tales you can find it from: