Book Review: Ivy and the Inky Butterfly

I recently got my hands on Johanna Basford’s new colouring book, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly. I always knew I had to get this book eventually but I didn’t preorder it. I have so many books to start that I was putting off this purchase. However, as soon as I saw others colourists work from this book I got online straight away to get a copy.

Unlike Johanna’s other colouring books this one is actually a storybook as well. This story was inspired by Johanna’s own little daughter, who the book was named after. It tells a magical tale of a little girl named Ivy, who finds a secret door that leads her to the land of Enchantia. As she chases an inky butterfly, she comes across many interesting characters and wondrous things along her journey. The story is very cute and imaginative. It is also quite long, so it’s probably not a bedtime story I can get through in one night with my toddler. This is in no way a negative, as it will keep me entertained as I am reading as I colour through this book. I’m sure by the time I finish it Octavia can read it to herself.

There are actually two versions of this book, the US and the UK. In Australia, the bookstores are only selling the UK edition and I figure that would be the best copy. I often noted that colouring books that have been printed for the US market never have a good paper as the original country. However, I found this book is an exception. Lucy from the blog Colouring in the Midst of Madness wrote the fantastic article Inky Butterfly: A Comparision between the UK and the US Editions (also see video). Based on her comparison I decided to purchase the US edition. Although both versions have high-quality paper, Lucy found that the “US paper is much easier to use pencils on and is less likely to bleed with water-based pens”. The other big noticeable difference is the cover. UK edition is white with gold foil detailing. The US edition is an off-white with gold foil and some mint green detailing. Both are pretty but I do prefer the splash of green on the cover.

Something else that is special about both versions of this colouring book is that the paper on the cover is ideal for colouring in. I don’t think I own any other colouring books that have been designed with this in mind. I will probably leave mine as is, but I have seen other colourists cover and they are all very unique and special.

I can only speak for the paper in my US edition. It has to be the best paper I have ever coloured on and is unique to this book. The paper has a bit of a shine and takes pencils very well. You don’t need to do much layering at all get to cover the white speckling in the paper, yet you can keep layering and the paper will take it. I think so far I have only done up to 7 layers and I could of keep adding. So far I have only coloured with Prismacolor pencils, black Faber-Castell Artist Pitt pen and gel pens. I think this paper would great most colouring materials, with the exception of alcohol markers. I have seen other colourist using other materials, such as Polychromos pencils, Staedtler Ergosoft pencils, Derwent Inktense pencils,  Winsor and Newton Watercolor, soft pastels and more. Everyone seems to have fantastic results with all of their materials. Johannah has also included a testing page in the back if you want to try before you apply a certain art material to a page.


 

These are the first pages that I have completed this book. If it wasn’t so close to Christmas I would have loved to keep colouring through this book. However, I have many Christmas themed pages to do in my other books. These pages are in ordered by page rather than which order I coloured them.

 

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Book Review: Jasmine Beckett Griffith Coloring Book

This beautiful book is one that I wanted for a while and I finally got it. It has quickly become one of my favourites. If you like colouring fantasy and you looking for something gorgeous and dark then you must add Jasmine Beckett Griffith Coloring Book: A Fantasy Art Adventure to your colouring collection.

This is the first colouring book that has been published American free-lance artist Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. She also since published Jasmine Becket-Griffith Halloween Coloring Book: A Spine-Tingling Fantasy Art Adventure and most recently Mermaids Coloring Book: An Aquatic Art Adventure. Both this book are on my Christmas list as I just fell in love with her style.

 

 

The drawings in this book have all been replicated from her original artwork. Jasmine is known for her amazing paintings of big-eyed girls. They are beautiful, quirky and often a bit dark. She based them in themes of fairies, vampires, Disney princess, mermaids, mythology, animals and holidays.  Her artwork has also been used for art prints, books, oracle desk, games, clothing, dolls and more. All of these products can be purchased from her website, Strangling. Many of the items purchased from the website will be signed by Jasmine herself.

This book has 96 pages, which contains 55 drawings. The pages are one-sided and the backside of the paper just has text giving the name and description of the original artwork across on the following page. The paper is high quality and is printed on 150gsm paper, which can handle a variety of mediums. Most of the drawings are one whole page, however, there are a few pages that have 4 smaller drawings. The line art is really a variety of Jasmine’s work. There are fairies, mermaids, fairytale characters and much more.

What I love about this book is that all of the drawings are based on her original works. The paintings are easy to find on her website. They are a great resource if you want to use the same colours or get some guidance on shading and lighting. I also loved that she has included those mini drawings, as I did start with a couple of those before I moved on to a whole page.

Below I have included all of the line art that I have coloured so far. I intend on coming back to this book. So to see up-to-date coloured work, without the commentary, see my Gallery for this book. If you want to see these pictures as I colour them step-by-step, see my Instagram.

 

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3# Colouring Update

It’s been a little while since my last colouring update. So today I wanted to show you some of my new books, colouring materials and other purchases. These were bought over the past couple of months and I intend on making some reviews of them soon.

 

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Book Review: Disney Lovely Coloring Lesson Book

Besides being a compulsive colourist, I am also a big Disney fan. So my colouring collection wouldn’t be complete without a Disney colouring book. When I visited Disney Paris I didn’t find any colouring books that I really liked. The ones that I saw were more aimed towards children. However, I saw a couple of book reviews of these wonderful Japanese colouring books, which are more for adult colourists.

Disney Lovely Coloring Lesson Book (07/16) is by Japanese illustrator and knitting artist, Inko Kotoriyama. This book is part of a series of Japanese Disney colouring books that include lessons on how to colour the characters and scenes in a variety of styles.

This is actually the first of three books of the series. The other books have very similar names, but the front cover and the line art inside are all unique from each other. The other books in the series are Adult Disney Lovely Painting Lesson Book to the world of dreams (12/16) and Adult Disney Love’s gift Lovely painting lesson book (Full of love scenes) (04/17). Inko had previously illustrated two more Japanese colouring books, which are very different to the Disney themed books. They are Romantic Journey (09/15) and Happy Birthday (02/16).  According to Amazon Japan, she also has another colouring book due this November, called Nice dream of beautiful Coloring ruby with a storyColoring Queen has done fantastic reviews and flip-throughs of all of Inko Kotoriyama’s colouring books, except for the book I am reviewing for you. Her reviews were actually the reason I bought this book. So if your interested in Inko’s books I recommend checking them out on Coloring Queens website or youtube channel.

The book has a soft cover with a dust jacket. The cover art is an evening scene of Mickey and Minnie, which is included in the book with tips on how to colour it. The back of the book gives you some examples of the kinds of lessons you will find in the book.

Once you get inside the book you will find examples of three chapters layout and recommended colouring material. The book is in Japanese, but it does show photos of the materials, which are Faber-Castell Classic Watercolor pencils 24 set, Faber-Castell Studio Oil Pastels 24 set, Black fine liners; white, gold and silver Uniball Signo gel pens, and Tombow Light Touch Eraser. There is also a colour chart for the pencils, which include the pencil numbers.

 

The book is then split up into three chapters. In Chapter one there are simple little lessons on how to colour the some of the Disney characters. You are invited to try to colour them using detailed Japanese instructions. These images are not reused later in the book. They are great to get a feel for how to colour the characters and the kind of colours and shading you will need to do to bring them to life. Although this is all written in Japanese, except for the pencil numbers, they are pretty self-explanatory. Chapter two gives you tips on how to colour elements that you will find in line art later in the book. These tips also give you the pencil numbers for the Faber-Castell Classic Watercolor pencils. In Chapter three are all the one page and two-page spreads of Disney characters. There are a variety of different styles from classic to more modern imagery. The thickness and the density of the colour of the line really varies. The kind of characters you will find include Mickey and Friends, Snow White and the Evil Queen, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Tinkerbelle, Ariel, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, Aristocats, Bambi, Nemo and Dory.

When I first got the book I tried to find the similar colours in my Faber-Castell Polychromos. However, it was difficult to figure out some of them, as the colour printing in the book is not accurate.  So the next day I went out and bought the Faber-Castell Classic Watercolor pencils 24 set from Office Works. These pencils are very cheap as they are student grade. The brush that is included is pretty cheap quality, so I prefer to use them with my  Pental Aquash Brushes.

 

 


Here are some of the Lessons that I did in Chapter one. I only did the Mickey and Friends lessons, since I intended on colouring similar pictures in Chapter three. However, there are lessons to colour Belle, Cinderella and more. The first picture below I did with my Faber-Castell Polychromos. The following two were doing with Faber-Castell Watercolour pencils and black fine liner. The paper quality is wonderful and I had no bleed through or shadowing with any of these materials.

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Derwent Products Review

I recently bought a couple of Derwent products to add to my Adult Colouring Materials, and I thought I would do a little review of them. These include Burnisher and Blender set and Super Point Mini Manual Sharpener. I also have the Derwent Artist Pencils 72 Pack and a Derwent Electric Eraser, which I would like to show you as well.

 

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Flower Fairy: first in Coloriage Wild

I recently bought a French colouring book, when I visited France a few months ago. Coloriage Wild is by French artist and illustrator Emmanuelle Colin. Her beautiful artwork has been used in storybooks, games, paper dolls, stickers and more. I will be reviewing her book next, but first I wanted to share my first picture that I coloured.

When I first looked at this book I didn’t know where to start. The line drawings are so beautiful and delicate and styled more like grey scale, which I had never coloured before. So I thought I would see what kind of art Emmanuelle does and which kind of colours she uses for her flower girls.

These are a few of her finished pieces that can be found on Pinterest and her blog::

 

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Choosing colours for adult colouring books

Choosing colours in your adult colouring books can be both daunting and intimidating. Sometimes you will see pictures that you really love but you just don’t know how to get started. This is something that I come up against a lot in my own books.

There are a few methods of choosing colours that can give you the courage to take on any line drawing in your colouring book. I have personally used all of these methods to help me.

 

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2# Colouring Update

Colouring has definitely become my number one passion at the moment. I have been colouring about a year and a half now and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I have always kept my colouring books to myself and haven’t participated much in the colouring community. But I have decided to get more involved, share my work and communicate with others who share my passion. In my personal life, I often find myself quite isolated with a toddler. So this is another way for me to be more sociable.

Since colouring is such a big part of my life I decided to update this blog to make it more colouring fan friendly. I have made a few more pages and links dedicated to my colouring book collection, materials, finished pictures and colouring book reviews. I hope you guys find them easier to view and can give you inspiration for your own work. You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest, where you can see what I’ve been working on.

Here is my entire collection so far. I’ve promised myself that I won’t be buying any more books until I have at least started all of them. To get a better look, check out the Colour section of my site menu.

 

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Book Review: Vivi söker en vän

While I was away on holidays I had major colouring withdrawals. The first book that I got started with was the Swedish colouring book Vivi söker en vän by Maria Trolle. It’s taken me a little while to get some pages coloured to share with you all, as I have been sick for the past month.

It wasn’t easy getting hold of this book. There are only a couple of Swedish retailers who sell the book online and to get it sent to Australia upwards from $50. Luckily we were travelling to Sweden on our trip.  The next problem I faced was to buy the book online and get it sent to a Swedish address without a Swedish personal number. We don’t have personal numbers in Australia, so I found this odd that Swedes need one to purchase online. Luckily I was able to get Marco’s uncle to buy the book for me for 90kr ($14Aud) from the Penstore. I have seen many other colourists with this book so I’m not sure how they got hold of the book in their countries, perhaps a bulk group order.

Anyway, I am really in love with this book. It is true to Maria’s style and is similar to her other books. However, this book a collection of drawings from a children’s book that she illustrated, also called Vivi söker en vän (Sagobok). The name translates to ‘Vivi is looking for a friend‘. Unfortunately, there is no English edition of her story book. So I can only guess what is about based on the pictures. Maria did mention on her facebook page what the story is briefly about.

“When Vivi woke at dawn the walls were darker than usual and the house felt cramped. I want a friend, someone who is just mine, she thought. Vivi lives in a tree house in the woods. One day she goes on an adventure to find herself a friend.
Vivi takes a ride with a bird and flies up into the sky where she meets the Cloudbear. She goes deep into the ocean where she meets a mermaid. In the oak, she becomes friends with the tree spirit. Vivi looks into hollows in the ground where the voles live. But who can be her very own friend who is hers always…
The Miniwolf are also looking for a friend. He is curious about Vivi and wonders if she’ll ever see him …
Vivi meets a friend is about finding your place in the world and to find yourself and meet the right person. A best friend” (Maria Trolle).

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Cover of the storybook

 

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1# Colouring Update

Hi all, it has been a while since I last posted. I’ve had to take a break after contracting Influenza and suffering from perforating my eardrum. So after nearly two weeks of bed rest, I am finally feeling like myself again. I’m still partially deaf and have constant ringing in my ear but it’s improving.

When I was in Europe I got some new colouring books! Every bookstore I came across I went straight to their Adult colouring sections to find something unique. Surprisingly I didn’t find any colouring books for the cities or countries I visited. I really didn’t see anything I hadn’t seen before but I didn’t come home empty-handed.

I received Vivi söker en vän, by Maria Trolle as a gift from a relative in Sweden. I was really excited about this one as it was ridiculously expensive to get this book sent to Australia. I did ask them to buy the book for me since Swedish citizens need to use their own personal number to buy things online. I didn’t see anything new or exciting until we were driving through Helsingborg,  and I came across Maria Trolle’s new book, Skymningstimman and Emelie Lidehall Oberg’s book Sagor Och Sägner. So I impulsively bought them. The other book I bought was from Amazon France, which I organised to be delivered to my friends in Bordeaux. This was Coloriage Wild, by French artist Emmanuelle Colin. 

I could not wait to get my pencils out as soon as I got home. I decided to start Maria Trolle’s colouring book Vivi söker en vän. To get back into the swing I did Chris Cheng’s three part tutorial, Into The Fairy World. This tutorial took me soon long. I only finished a couple of nights ago. Partly because there is so much detail and also because I’ve been too sick to colour much the last couple of weeks. 

I am so thrilled how this page turned out. It just looks just as spectacular in my book and I can’t believe I was about to achieve this much colour and depth. I absolutely love Chris’s tutorials and I learn so much from her. The biggest thing I think I have learned is how to layer with so much colour.

For my book, I decided to keep Vivi in the yellow dress so that I can continue this throughout the book. I was using a thinner Uniball Signo white gel pen to do the fox’s fur. I did upgrade to the Broad Uniball Signo, but I was happy to leave it as is.

I am so in love with this book so this will be my next project for a little while. Once I have enough pictures I will do a review and include my finished pages.

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Book Review: Twilight Garden (Blomster Mandala)

After so much colouring envy I finally bought Maria Trolle’s Twilight Garden. This beautiful Swedish colouring book has been my latest obsession. I was determined to get as many pages done before I go on my trip. It was an absolute joy to colour. I was a bit intimidated at first, but after taking a few advanced tutorials I can imagine a colour scheme for every page.

Maria Trolle is a Swedish graphic designer, gardener and mother. She is a self-taught artist and does a lot of work for Swedish garden magazines and grocery chains. She draws inspiration from the flora and fauna in her garden. She lives just outside of Stockholm on a beautiful farm. She has a blog and website, called Trolle’s Garden, which is a collaboration with her husband, who is a Garden designer and Design director. Here you can find information on their current projects and images of their amazing garden.

Maria’s first colouring book was Blomstermandala, which was a 20-page poster book, filled with flower still lifes. She also made a postcard book with the similar images. After the success of these two book, she published a full-scale colouring book in 96 pages, in the same theme. This full-scale version of Blomstermandala was eventually republished in an English version,  Twilight Garden, which is the version I bought. Both versions have been incredibly popular in the colouring community. She also illustrated a children’s book,”Vivi söker en vän” (Vivi’s looking for a friend). This was also made into a colouring book under the same name. I have actually purchased this one and waiting to pick it up in Sweden in a few weeks. I’m so excited to see it!

The paper in this book is a lovely thick ivory colour. I didn’t find any bleed through using pencils and my Prismacolor blended really well on this paper. The images include flower still lifes, garden scenes with and without animals and some blacked in backgrounds.

This collection of pictures I coloured is in order of when I coloured them. As I mentioned I did use some tutorials. They were all from Chris Cheng’s Youtube channel. These were by far the most advanced tutorials I’ve ever done and I really learned a lot. So I tried to incorporate these new skills into the pictures I coloured on my own.

 

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Book Review: Daydreams (Dagdrommar)

I finally started colouring a book that I had for a while but I was a bit intimidated to really start. Now that I’ve coloured a few pages I’m a bit more confident and hooked on this amazing colouring book by Hanna Karlzon.

Hanna is a Swedish freelance designer living in Umeå, Sweden. Everything she draws is by hand with pen and ink.  She designs patterns for interior design, wallpaper and textiles and also does commissions for magazines and other companies. Her work is quite unique and is inspired by nature, art nouveau, punk rock and 70’s design.

Hanna’s first colouring book, Daydreams was originally published in Sweden entitled Dagdrommar in May 2015. It has a hardback cover and contains 96 beautifully illustrated pages to colour. The images are printed on both sides and the paper is high quality and off-white in colour.

This book has been incredibly successful and is well known in the colourist world as a must-have book to add to your collection. Originally it was only available through the Swedish Pen Store, but now it is readily available outside of Europe from local online stores (see below).

Daydreams features Hanna’s signature whimsical artwork of delicate flowers, beautiful girls, birds and small animals, interesting insects and forest homes. There is some repetition in her style of birds and insects, but each page is still unique and gorgeous.

Hanna has since released a two more colouring books, Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) and Magical Dawn (Magisk Gryning). She is also about to release a new colouring book Seasons (Tidevarv) in August 2017. Each of her colouring books has also been published in Artist Editions books and Postcards. Both formats feature 20 images from the books, on single-sided, oversized art card (Artist Edition) or postcard sized art card. Seasons will also be released in as 20 Postcard. Winter Dreams (Vinterdrömmar) is the Postcard book that hasn’t been released as a companion to a colouring book. Each of these books is authentic but keep within her style.

I absolutely love this book. The pictures are unlike any of the colouring books I already own and the paper is just heaven to colour on. I first saw a review of Daydreams by La Artistino and feel in love, but the postage from Sweden was too high. Once it became available on Book Depository I ordered it so I could do La Artistino’s tutorials on Colouring a face and Colouring Shiny Hair. I left this book for ages, feeling really intimated by it, but continually admiring other colourists work. So I finally picked it up again, did a few tutorials and then a few more pages on my own.

I have recently ordered Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) and Magical Dawn (Magisk Gryning) and Maria Trolle’s The Twilight Garden (Blomstermandala) I can’t wait to start colouring them, so stay tuned.

 

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