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.
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:
This book review is on one of Hanna Karlzon’s most recent colouring books. I bought this book when I was in Sweden last year. I finally got around to colour some of these beautiful pages. I am really loving her books right now and intend on colouring through my other Karlzon books, while I wait for her lastest release.
Smyckeskrinet is Hanna’s fifth colouring book, which came out in 2018. It also cames in an English edition, Jewelry Box. 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.
This book has a limestone green cover with an black design and gold foiling. The design on the cover doesn’t appear in the book, but has some similar elements that you will find inside. The book format is hardcover, with high quality off-white paper. The line art is on double-sided and there are 96 pages to colour.
This book is consisent with Hanna’s style, however it is themed is Edwardian house and its garden. Similarly to her other books, there is a large variety of beautiful girls, animals, flowers, jewels and inanimlate objects. However, these designs have an old world twist that makes this book quiet unique to itself. Consistent with the title, many of the designs are adorned with jewels, which gives the images a very anique feel. There is also quite a variety of images which take up entire pages, majority, or have quiet blank backgrounds, so you colour within the confines of the designs or make an elaborate background.
This is probably my favourite book of Hanna Karlzons so far. I felt the line art was more intricate and I loved the cute animals and beautiful headdresses. I wanted to experiement a little more then I usually do in Hanna’s books, so I have used quite a few different mediums to give you an good example of what works on this paper. Below I have included a video flip through and photographs of all my completed pictures in this book so far. Any future pictures will be added to my Smyckeskrinet (Jewelry Box) gallery.
The Name plate page was the last page I coloured since it was the one I was most worried about. I initially didn’t want to go with traditional colours for the peacocks, but when I started researching the various colours of their feathers I decided there was plenty of tones I could use to make them very pretty.
The main design was all coloured in Prismacolor pencils and a little bit of white gel pen. As for the background, I used Mungyo Watercolor Crayons. I had already experiemented with these crayons in this book and I was pretty happy with them. I used a combination of purple and light green crayon and activiated them with a water pen. I then went over the crayon with Prismacolor pencils. It did come out a little streaky, but overall I’m pretty happy with it.
I did the Jewelled Bettle and Garden Goddess as a two pages spread. I started with the goddess, which I wasn’t sure I really liked when I first saw. But I really wanted to try and make her beautiful and bring out all the aspects of her floral headdress to make it more volumious.
I used Prismacolor pencils and it took me quite a while to lay them down, so that she looked more three-dimensional. I think thats really the key to perfecting my colouring, the more soft layers the better the result. Then I decided to quickily do the Jewelled Bettle, since I used most of the same colours. I also used some white and yellow gold gel pen to bring out some of the details. I am not entirely happy with how I used them on the round and tear shaped jewels, but they do look better then left black.
Next I decided to try out a background that I had seen recently in a video on the Youtube channel Colouring with Olivier. I had actually purchased the Mungyo Watercolor Crayons after watching Oliver’s video review of them. I bought them off Ebay and they are quite an inexpensive alternative to Neocolor, which is very popular at the moment. I really loved Oliver’s Cracked Wall Background, so after watching her video I tried to recreate this myself for this two page spread. I used black, brown and lime green crayons with a water pen to activate. Intitally I went lightly with the crayon on the paper and activated it, then added extra color by wiping the brush directly on the crayon. Afterwards I used a sharp black pencil to add in the cracks. I am extremely happy how it turned out. Although its not perfect, it looks great overall as a two page spread and is quite a quick background to achieve. Another great thing is that the crayon didn’t blead through and there was minimum buckling on this paper.
The Jewelled Kitty-cat was a picture I feel in love with straight away. I used Polychromos pencils with some white Prismacolor to blend and white gel pen for sparkles. Something I always have difficulty with is whether I do the background or objects first. Only thing is background take so long that I sometimes feel less passionate about the overall picture by the time I finish it. The only downside to doing the opposite is that the pencil can stain the background and it can be difficult to erase. Luckily when using Polychromos you do’t have these problems so much. Unlike soft pencils like Prismacolor, they don’t smudge very much at all. They do requite alot of soft layers to get a vibrant color and not to ruin the tooth of the paper. I also like to used the white Prismacolor to blend and remove white speckling, which you can also do with other pastle soft pencils. Anyhow, thats pretty much how I got the depth to the sky and other objects, which really enthused me to use my Polychromos pencils a bit more.
The Black Swan Princess the first picture completed in this book, which I did back in September last year. It was dedicated to the late and great Katrine and which featured in my 7# Colouring Update. I used Prismacolor Premier pencils, white Posca pen for highlights and a black Faber-Castell Artist Pitt pen for the background. You can refer to my previous post for more details.
The Jewel Carriers was one of the last pages I coloured. I wanted use an Autumn colours palette, with bright oranges and deep blues. Since I was using Prismacolor pencils. I started with the background first, before don’t the flora and fauna. I really wasn’t happy with my color choice and wanted to give up on it. But once I added in the white gel pen and completed the pictures I didn’t mind it as much. Its not so pretty but it really packs a punch to your eyes.
This Astro goddess portrait is a relatively small picture and didn’t requite a background, so it was a nice quick one. It’s a really good design if you want to practice doing skintone and hair. I took my time, trying to give her skin a more deeper complection, which is more difficult for me on larger scale. I used Polychromos pencils, so I had to be very careful to be to do soft layers, but I think I am improving in not making such harsh lines on the face. I love how she turned out. I am not so happy with my background. The black lines on around the stars were too strong and don’t look much better with the gel pen. I think I need to find a new solution to this dilema.
You can purchase this Smyckeskrinet or Jewelry Box from:
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.
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:
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:
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 publishedSagor 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:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! Some of you may be celebrating Christmas or Christmas Eve today. In Australia it’s Christmas Day, so I will be spending the day with family.
During this past month I haven’t been able to post anything on this blog, do Christmas shopping and prepare for today, as I have been very unwell. After initially getting a virus, I recovered, then my daughter got it and she recovered. However, then I got a mutated version which lead to a viral and bacterial infection. So I have been bedridden most of this week. However, today I am feeling well enough to be around people and enjoy one of my favourite days of the year.
Unfortunately for my family they won’t be getting any presents from me today. I normally start doing my Christmas shopping in November but I was a bit late to start this year and then I wasn’t able to do any. I guess I’m also not feeling as materialistic this year. In saying that Santa and Marco did leave me some presents. I got a these gorgeous two dresses from Baby Lemonade. The cookbook, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, by Samin Nosrat. I am so excited about this book after watching her series, Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix. As for colouring books I finally got Johanna Basford’s new book World of Flowers and Emelie Lidehall Oberg’s Fairy Tales Colouring Book. I am a big fan of both these ladies work, so I knew eventually they would be joining my collection.
Over this past month I planned to do as much Christmas colouring as I could. I didn’t do as much as I would like to since I wasn’t feeling up it, but I did about nine pages in a few books. Today I will just share a couple page, since the rest are from Johanna’s Christmas. I will do a book review and flip through, to showcase that book in the next few days.
The very first picture I did for Christmas colouring this year is from one of my recent books that I had yet to start. This Christmas Angel is from Creative Haven Beautiful Angels Coloring Book, by Marjorie Sarnat. I coloured her with Prismacolour and used white gel pen for some of the details and cover some of the black lines. The paper in this book is quite good, but it was a little challenging to blend too much with Prismacolor. I also find most of the pictures are quite busy, so I tried to just reuse the same colors. I am not too sure about the flowers and the pink, but I prefered not to use red. Overall I’m quite happy because the original sketch is quite flat so I think I bought a little dimension to it.
The next picture is from ESCAPE Collage Art by Marty Nobles. This is my second picture in this book and the perfect Christmas image. The paper in this book is a little different. It is thick but its closer to a old children’s colouring book. I do find that soft Prismacolor pencils work well, which is what I used. I just found it challenging when layering for animal fur. It took me a while to do this one as well, as I wanted the right colors that would be harmonious and more old fashioned rather then bright and modern. My background is a bit strange, but I had to give it a little texture. The snow dots where actually already drawn in the picture, so I just used a white gell pen to bring them out. I don’t mind this picture so much now its done. What I reallly like about this book is that you can focus on different sections, which don’t take too long to complete.
Marco’s Birthday Feast
The last thing that I will share with you today was Marco’s birthday dinner, which was a week before Christmas. If you remember last year I made him the Feast of Seven Kingdoms. Well I didn’t go that overboard this year. Octavia had just gotten better and I was on day one of my second bout of illness. I took a couple of short cuts, but I tried to make everything from scatch. We didn’t have a huge amount of guest, so there was plenty for food for that night a couple days of leftover.
So when they arrived to served this platter, which included Proscuitto di Parma, Organic Nitrate Free Legham, gerkins and Rice Croquettes. These croquettes are my Nonna’s specality, which she makes at every family event. I finally tried my hand at making them. I also made a couple gluten free for my nephew. According to Marco mine were really good, but not as good as Nonna’s since she fries hers a bit longer.
For the dinner I served homemade Papardelle with a Traditional Bolgnese sauce. I used this recipe from Food Nouveau and it was pretty good. The traditional ragu uses butter and milk, white wine and much less tomatoes. I cooked it for three hours and it was just so full of flavour. I think the secret is really pushing the meat to carmelise. Since I’m not in the habit of using milk I did use lactose free, hoping that it wouldn’t affect anyones allergies. I also made homemade Gnocchi with pesto and topped with Pecorino Romano. I normally make my own pesto but I used a good quality organic brand to save time. I also made Baked Tuna Canneloni, which had Fontina cheese in the bechemel and filling. Everyone was surprised to really enjoy this one. I also made a green salad and sauted kale with raisens (forgot the pine nuts). For bread, since Serbian’s need their bread I made Focaccia. My sister and brother in-law actually have their own Pizza restaurant, so I was able to use their dough to save time. I added lots of EVO to the dough and a salt brine and let is rise a couple of times. I should have probably split the dough in two, so that it would be more crispy and not as high. Nobody cared, they actually really liked it and there was really not much left at the end of the night.
Lastly for the birthday cake, I purchased this as an impulse buy from a the French bakery, Jocelyn’s Provisions. It was a small Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Small Round, topped with white cholate ganache and sprinkled with candied violets. It was extremely rich, but really delicious.
If you made it this far down let me know what you did for Christmas? Any special art projects, cooking or eating endeavours?
It’s been a while since I have written a colouring book review that wasn’t Colouring Heaven issue. So today I have a new review of a book from one of my most recent colouring book hauls. I decided to focus on August Reverie 2: Epic, which has the most beautiful array of artwork. I bought this book on impulse and I’m so happy I gave it a chance, since its not like an of the other books in my collection.
August Reverie II: Epic is a soft cover colouring book, which is glue bound. The artwork on the front and back cover gives beautiful examples of completed pictures that you can find in the book. You can also find more completed pages by the artist and colourists on the Vivid Publisher Instagram page.
Inside the book there are 24 hand-drawn fantasy illustrations (not including the name plate or contents page). Each design is assigned a name, which can be found on the contents page and there are page numbers on the back of each page. All of the pages except for one features a beautiful women adorned in jewels and most are surrounded by flowers, animals companions, or heraldic frames . There is only one page that does not feature a woman, instead it is a beautiful hummingbird surrounded by flowers. Some of animals companions you will find in the book include Butterflies, Bumble Bees, Dragonflies, Birds, Lion, Unicorn, Fish, Dragon, Bald Eagle, Jaguar, Dolphin and Squirrels. The flowers that you will find include Tulip, Rose, Aster, Peony, Dahlia, Petunia, Forget-Me-Not, Gazania Rigens, Henryi-Clematis, Zinnias and Jasmine. The theme of the book is royalty and dreams, which really comes through the fantasy and regal designs. The artwork is really stunning and is quite detailed, making it easier to know where to shadow and highlight. Additionally, at the the back of the book there are also two pages from August Reverie (first volume).
The pages are all one sided, so there is no need to worry about bleed through. However, paper is very thin and is only really appropriate for pencil, markers, gel pens and pastels. It is highly recommended in the book that you use thick paper or cardboard behind the page you are working on to protect the followings pages, especially when using markers. I assume if you use any water on this paper it would instantly buckle and would not be tolerated. The paper is bright white paper and does have a bit of a shine to it and quite a nice tooth. I recommend Prismacolor Premier Pencils or a softer pencil, just because I fear a harder pencil, like Faber-Castell Polychromos, may ripe the paper. I do have a firm hand, so a softer hand may be more successful using harder branded pencils. Pastels are another media that are great on this paper, which I employed in one of my own completed pictures. I was able to get quite a few layers on this paper and I didn’t get to the point where the paper wouldn’t take anymore. However I did have to be careful to colour on a flat surface, as the ends of the pages tend to curly or bend if your not careful. So greater care had to be taken when colouring near the edge of pages. The pages also show great indentation from where I coloured on the other side, which is why its so important to protect the rest of the book with some at least 1-2 pages behind your work. At the back of the book there are 3 blank test pages where you can test your art media.
Both this book and the first volume is available in PDF form, for those that prefer to print out their colouring books. You can purchase the PDF book from the Vivid Publisher’s website. Additionally if your did purchase the physical copy of either book from Amazon, you can get a free PDF copy from the website. I bought mine from Book Depository and I am still waiting to hear back if my purchase qualifies. So I recommend sending a message to Vivid directly if you purchase yours elsewhere.
Some other bonuses on the Vivid Publisher website (via Youtube), are video flip through of both books and videos of the artist colouring his work. There are currently five videos of Chinthaka colouring pages from August Reverie 2: Epic, which are speed colouring with commentary. He also regularly does colouring contests with free PDF’s of pages from the books, as well as promotional sale prices for the books on Amazon.
Below I have included my own video of August Reverie 2: Epic flip through, which includes 4 completed pictures. You can also see these completed pictures below, with commentary on what I used and my inspiration behind my colour choices. After completing this pictures I am still very much in love with this book. My only issues with this book is that the thinness of the paper and although the tooth is lovely I was not able to cover those stray hairs with pencil. In some pictures is brought the hair to life and in others it came across a little too prominent. Other then that the tooth of the paper is lovely and the artwork is just spectacular. Any more pictures that I colour from this book in the future will be added to my gallery for August Reverie 2: Epic.
This months Colouring Heaven magazine released in Australia is the Fairytales Special (Issue 36). I was pretty excited about months issue, since it features the artwork of Hannah Lynn. I don’t have any of Hannah colouring books, but I have seen the beautiful coloured works by other colourist. I was considering ordering one of her most recent colouring books, Fairy Tale Princesses & Storybook Darlings Coloring. However, when I saw some of the artwork was going to be featured in this Colouring Heaven I was pretty happy to get a chance to try out her style. This edition actually came out a little later then usual, so after about three visits to BigW I finally got my copy.
Before I show you my completed work I will tell you a bit about the featuring artist, Hannah Lynn. Also if you haven’t heard about Colouring Heaven Magazine see my previous post for more information. Hannah Lynn is a self-taught artist based in Idaho Falls, in Idaho, USA. She was an avid colourist growing up and didn’t train to be an artist. However, her passion for art lead her to make her own artwork, as well as self-publishing and illustrating her own all ages colouring books since 2006.
Hannah has published about ten colouring books to date. They all have her signature style of sweet and whimsical big eyed girls with elaborate hair and costumes. Although they are quite 2D it doesn’t take much to bring these beautiful images alive, not matter your skill level. Most of the colouring books follow different themes so they are quite unique, but there not deny who the artist is when you see any image from her books. These books can also be purchased as PDF. Hannah also often gives away free sample PDF from her books. In fact if you sign up to the Hannah Lynn Vip Lounge Subscription, you get a free exclusive colouring page and a few other treats.
The Fairytale Special issue, it features the 40 pages of line art, on single sided paper. All of the work has been taken from Hannah’s previous books, except for one. This exclusive page is the second page of Beauty and the Beast. The majority seem to be from the Fairy Tale Princesses & Storybook Darlings Coloring Book However, there are a couple from Mermaids, Fairies & Other Girls of Whimsy Coloring Book and Sweet & Simple Whimsy Girls: Mermaids and More Coloring Book. As with most Colouring Heaven magazine the images are named on the corresponding page, by character or theme. Something that is a advantage of purchasing her work in this magazine edition is the paper quality. I have seen from other reviews that the paper quality in Hannah’s book is Amazon Createspace paper. This is ideal for markers but not so great for pencils and not advisable for watercolour. However, if you can’t get a hold of this magazine, but you would still love to colour her work the paper quality bothers you, you can still purchase the PDF copies of the book and print it out yourself.
For this issue I coloured three pictures and using a few different coloured pencil brands. I also made a video flip through, which is up on my Youtube channel. You can also see more Colouring Heaven Magazine book reviews and completed pictures on my Colouring Book Reviews and Colouring Galleries pages. As well as any new pages completed from this issue on my Colouring Heaven Fairytale Special gallery. I really did love colouring Hannah’s work, so hopefully I will be able to do a few more from this book in the near future.
Today I bring you another colouring update, after completing my challenge to colour in pages from my newer books. If you didn’t catch my last post, that was the first lost of completed pages and these are the rest. The majority of these books are from my colouring hauls, which I showed you in my colouring updates 4# and 5#. I am so happy that I got a chance to try these books and get excited about them again, after leaving them on my shelf for so long.
In this post I have coloured pages from Girls with Poem, Mythomorphia, Smyckeskrinet, Daydreams and Collage Art. I’m not sure when I will return to this books but I had really enjoyed each one of them so I hope to do a series more pictures in each one before doing a review and video flip through. All of these pictures will be in my Galleries, as well as much more.
Like I already mentioned, I just recently did another haul of colouring books (yes I know I have a problem). So I will show you guys those in my next post. I also intend on working in Colouring Heaven’s Fairytale Special, which I just got yesterday. So I will probably do a review and flip through of that one next before choosing my next book to focus on. Although I’m still mid semester I just handed in my assignment today, so I’m hoping do a lot more colouring now.
I haven’t been sharing my colouring work for a while. So I thought I would show you what I’ve been up to. In my last colouring update (5#) in July, I mentioned that I bought quite a few new books on my holiday, plus I had a few more from my last colouring book haul that I hadn’t started. So I challenged myself to colouring one page in all (or most) of my new books before I do anymore book reviews.
These pages are not in order from when I coloured them, just what I have photographed so far. These first four are from Fantasia, Forest Girl’s Coloring Book, Dromenvanger and Botanicum. I still have more pages from Mythomorphia, Smyckeskrinet and Momo Girl coming up in a future post. I haven’ t decided what book I will focus on after completing this challenge, since I actually bought a few more books recently, which I will also show in a future post. I wish I had more time for colouring and blogging, but this last month has been hectic with uni assignments and a potent respiratory virus. I’m hoping to get back on track in the next couple of weeks when everything calms down.
By the way, I have recently reorganised my Colouring Book Galleries and Colouring Book Reviews. They are now easier to see and access and are under my Colour tab on the menu bar. All new completed pages will be place in gallery of the book they come from, which may not appear in previous book reviews you may of seen.
This months Colouring Heaven magazine released in Australia is the Misfits Special (issue 35). It showcases the art of White Stag aka Terra Bidlespacher. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep buying this magazine every month, but when I saw this issue I really liked the quirky artwork and wanted to see how I would go colouring this style. I really enjoyed it, so I have brought you another colouring book review for today.
White Stag aka Terra Bidlespacher is an American artists, based in Pennsylvania. She is known for her lowbrow, pop surreal, gothic fantasy art. Her unique style is characterised by the strange and cute girls and creatures, in scenes that are both intriguing, creepy and sometimes humorous. Her artwork mainly features she misfits characters painted in acrylic, but she also does drawings using ink and graphite. She has produced a series of Misfits colouring books with featured her original artworks. There are currently 10 full size colouring books and two mini colouring books. Most of these colouring books explore different themes, including aliens, zombies, unicorns and halloween. For more information of where to purchase White Stag’s colouring books see the end of this post.
I don’t currently have any of White Stag’s colouring books in my collection, so I was very happy to see her work featured in this months Colouring Heaven magazine. The issue features a compilation of 40 designs taken from White Stag’s colouring books, so there is quite a variety in themes of themes, styles and characters. The issue itself is the same format as always, matt cover (that you can colour), 40 line drawings on single sided thin-medium paper, with titles for each picture. This issue only has the names of the artworks and no other information about each work. I appreciate this anyway, as I can google the original artwork to glean inspiration for backgrounds, colours, textures and light sources. This issue also features some Christmas themed pictures, so I will be sure to return to this book in the future.