5# Colouring Update

Today I have to show you all my new books that I have accumulated since my recent holiday. I knew I was going to be coming back with at least a few books, but I didn’t expect to pick up a few more since I got back. Nevertheless I am very excited to start colouring these ones as well as the last from my last colouring book haul.

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Book Review: Escape to Wonderland

For Christmas, I had a fair few books on my wishlist and Escape from Wonderland was one of the books I received from my partner. It’s taken me four months but I finally got it out to colour a couple of pictures. I enjoyed this book so much that I just keep colouring my way through.

Escape from Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure is illustrated by the Good Wives and Warriors. They are a collaboration between two English artists, Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell, who have been working together since 2007. They have illustrated numerous colouring books, including Escape to OZ, Escape to Christmas Past, Escape to Shakespeare, Exotische Urwald and To the Ends of the Earth and Back Again: The Longest Colouring Book in the World.

Escape to Wonderland is very small in comparison to other colouring books and it is the same format as the other Escape to..colouring books by Good Wives and Warriors. This book is only 18.4 cm square, so its perfect to travel with. The soft cover has a collage of line art, which can be found inside the book and is decorated with blues and bronze-gold foil. The inside cover folds out revealing a blue and white line art of an intricately decorated garden. Inside the book, there are 96 pages to colour which are double-sided. There are many double-page spreads, which do creep into the spine but can be pushed down with a little pressure. The paper is light cream in colour and is a medium quality. In my experience, it takes pencils very well, as well as water-based pencils. I will discuss this more below.

This book offers a beautiful array of line art that varies between classical, quirky, realistic, fanciful and intricate. The artwork is also in chronological order that the original story takes and many pages offer a quote from the book. In this book, you will see many different depictions familiar characters, such as Alice, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the Queen and King of Hearts and more.

I am not a huge fan of storybook colouring books, where you are colouring the same characters on every page, just in different positions. What I love about this book is that each image is been drawn so differently. There’s no need to use the same style and colours schemes on every page since the style of the illustrations differ so much. This is actually my first Alice in Wonderland colouring book, other than a few images of Alice in my Disney books. Although I’ve been a huge fan of the Disney movie and the original book since I was little, I had little interest in other Alice inspired colouring books. This one is so different though and I am now yearning to get some more of the Good Wives and Warriors colouring books. Another great aspect is the small size because you can work quicker and of course take it on the go. In regards to the paper, I have heard mixed reviews about it, but I am very happy with it. My pencils blended beautifully on it and as you can see below I tried a few different brands.

Below is a video flip through of my book, which includes my completed pictures. If you have trouble viewing it I have another video on my Instagram. My YouTube video had some issues so hopefully it will be available soon. I have also included each completed picture in this post, with more details on my thoughts and what I used. I will also update the gallery, Escape to Wonderland with new pictures as I colour them in the future.

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Book Review: Sèrene

Today I bring you another book review from one of my favourite colouring books of all time. This is Sèrene by Indonesian artist, Nicholas F. Chandrawienata. I first saw completed coloured pictures from this book a little while back on Instagram and I was intrigued by the uniqueness and intricately of the artwork. Unfortunately by the time I seriously looked into buying this book it was completely sold out. However, the artist did do a reprint not long ago, which is how I got my beloved copy of Sèrene.

Nicholas F. Chandrawienata is a freelanced illustrator, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. His artwork is so intense, yet delicate and mostly based on figures with intricate clothing or backgrounds. The majority of his work is black and white, with plenty of detailed shading and cross-hatching, which is a dream for any colourist.  You can see his amazing artwork on his Instagram account.

So far, Nicholas has released three colouring books. I am not sure what came first since there are been a few reprints. These include Sèrene, Fantasia (US and Chinese editions) and Eirene. Although they are all very much true to Nicholas’s style, they are quite different.

Sèrene is quite a large book in comparison to others, measuring 34 x 24 centimetres. It has a soft cover, featuring one of the illustrations found in the book. It is bound at the top of the book, which allows the book to lay down flat. There are 32 black and white illustrations which mostly landscape, but there are a few in portrait. The paper is just fantastic. It is thick, white, single sided, so you can really use any medium you like. Most of the pictures are of a single woman, but there are a couple with two or three women. Each woman has a unique face, expression, clothing, jewellery and embellishments. There is also a variety of close-ups, busts, half body and full bodies images. Each picture is also named and this is printed on the back of each image.

I have made a video flip through of this book which includes all of the pictures I have coloured. Below you can see all these completed pictures and find out how I coloured them. I  am very proud of what I have coloured so far. I really think this book has brought out the best in me and I look forward to colouring more from it. Any more completed pictures from this book will be added to my Serene Gallery.

 

 

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Easter Colouring in Romantic Country

Happy Easter all! This past week I wanted to do some colouring to get into the spirit of Easter. I went through my colouring book collection, looking for Easter pictures and I found a couple in my Romantic Country series by the Japanese illustrator, Eriy. I got these books for Christmas and hadn’t had a chance to colour in them yet. So this was a great opportunity to try them out. They are such beautiful books and I can’t wait to do a bit more in them.

I don’t want to do a review of these books but I will tell you impressions of these books. All three books in the series are part of the same adorable story, which is split up into chapters. The paper is great quality and the line art is just gorgeous. I believe it has all been hand-drawn using a toothpick. The print isn’t very dark but the lines vary in width.

The two pages I have coloured are from the first two books, Romantic Country: A Fantasy Coloring Book and Romantic Country: The Second Tale: A Fantasy Coloring Book. These were the only dedicated Easter pictures. There was nothing in the third tale related to Easter. While colouring these pages I did find the line art a little hard to cover, so I tried to use blend gel pens with a pencil. I am not sure I did the best job. I was a little rushed to finish them, so I’m not really happy with my results. I intend to do a couple of tutorials in these books to get the hang of being the best method to colour in them. Chris Cheng has some beautiful finished pictures that she filmed videos on, so I will probably do a couple in the near future.

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Book review: Summer Nights (Sommarnatt)

Hi there, I have another colouring book review today from a gorgeous book, which I have been working in off and on for a while. I have also released my first Youtube video, which is a flip through of Summer Nights and includes all the completed pictures I have coloured so far. I intend making more videos in the future, for the rest of my colouring books. So stay tuned for more and bare with me as I am still learning how to make videos.

This book is by the Swedish colouring book illustrator and artist, Hanna Karlzon. This book is the English edition of Sommarnatt, which was her second colouring book. If you’re a long time colourist I’m sure you are very familiar with this book and Hanna’s others books, which are very much a favourite in the colouring community.

I have previously done a book review of her first colouring book Daydreams (Dagdrommar) so I will try not repeat myself too much. If you want to know a bit more about the artist, my impressions of that book and my completed coloured pictures, please check out it.

The format of this book is the same as the rest of her colouring books. It has a hardcover with gold foiling details. The paper inside is a high-quality off-white paper and has 96 double-sided pages, with 85 illustrations to colour. The art in this book was inspired by the summer Scandinavian evenings. It features starry night scenes, whimsical gardens, sea creatures, beautiful girls, bejewelled insects, ornate birds and more.

I really cherish this book, as I do all of my Hanna Karlzon books. It just has a great range of art in Hanna’s signature style, with plenty of variety so you don’t feel like your colouring the same kind of images. Since this is a summer themed book, it really inspired me to go bit crazy with brighter colours then I would normally choose. I took a few risks, trying different techniques and colours that I normally wouldn’t use and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Below is my video flip through and all my finished coloured pages in the order in which  I coloured them. I used a variety of mediums that I have detailed below. All of these coloured pictures, plus any extra I do in the future can also be seen in my Summer Nights Gallery. If you are interested in where to purchase this book, see the end of this post.

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3# Life Update: home again, Singapore buys

Hi everyone, I’m finally home again after our 10 days trip to Singapore. I got back a couple of days ago, but I’ve been too burnt out to do much. The time difference to Brisbane is only two hours, so I’m more exhausted from the trip in general rather than jet lag. I was a bit disappointed to come back home to real life. I was enjoying having my bed made, my meals prepared and exploring new exciting places every day. However, I missed my bed, my colouring pencils, soy cappuccinos and my family (in no particular order).

So before I share some of my travel adventures and stories, I thought I would show you some of the stuff I came back with. I didn’t do that much shopping really. I planned on coming back with a lot more. Marco, on the other hand, thinks I came back with more than enough. He only came back with a couple of pairs of shoes. I guess for the amount of time I allocated to shopping I thought I would have found more things I really wanted, but I guess I’m more sensible these days. So I’m happy with all my buys.

 

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My Christmas List…

Something I love about being an adult is being able to fulfil my own Christmas list. No more disappointments or being told that my wishes too numerous and unrealistic. Ok, some of it may be even too unrealistic for me to fulfil but at least I get to decide what is attainable and will remain a dream. Unfortunately with adulthood, so come the understanding of the value of money and that ‘things’ don’t make you happy. Nevertheless, ‘Santa’ has a sack of presents for me this year, so Christmas is going to be fantastic!

My interest (and obsessions) this year mostly revolve around colouring,  reading historical, politic and fantasy novels, Disney and travel. This is probably pretty obvious if you’re a frequent visitor to my blog. My life has changed so much since becoming a mother. I prefer to spend my spare time blogging, colouring, reading, watching late night and TV series, playing Disney Magic Kingdoms, planning future travel and eating out with friends. Shopping was previously a lifelong passion, but now it just seems too hard to look in a shop, let alone try something on and make it to the cash register to buy it. Until recently, everything I bought needed to double as nursing wear. So I expect in the new year I may try to get a few new items to update my wardrobe. I’m not too worried about that yet. At the moment I’m more interested in hobbies that are a bit more solitary since I spend my of my time accompanied by a small person, whose needs are more important than my own.

 

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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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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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Books I’m reading (Sept 17)

I go through phases where I become obsessed with one book and I have to read it in every spare moment until it’s finished. Then there are other times I just float between a few books, which I’m doing right now. There’s a few book sitting on my bedside that I’m trying to get through at the moment. So I thought I would share them and tell you why I’m really savoring every page.

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