Today I have a book review on one of the most popular and exquisite books in the colouring world, Dromenvanger. It was on my wishlist for a while and after one failed attempt of acquring it, I finally got my beloved copy.
Dromenvanger is by the Croatian artist, Tomislav Tomic. Tomislav is originally from Zagreb and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in his home town. He began illustrating books and magazines while he was still a student and has continued to be an illustrator for Croatian and UK publishers. Today he lives with his young family in Zaprešić. His artwork is known for beening exquistitly detailed and in Resnaissance engraving style. His subjects is often based on fantasy and mythology.
Dromenvanger is actually the Dutch edition to the original Croatian colouring book, Zemlja snova (2016). It translates to dreamland from Croatian and dreamcatcher from Dutch. Tomislav also brought out a second coloring book Vilin San (2017), which also came out in a Dutch edition, Sprookjesbos (Dutch edition). He work has also featured in The Offical Game of Thrones Colouring Book and the Pictura series, A Walk Through Paris, Coloring New York Jazz, and Coloring Paris.
If you live in Australia it is near impossible to get hold of the Zemlja snova, unless you spend a small fortune. It is only availale from Croatian publisher Fokus and some private sellers. However, since a Dutch publishing house acquire the rights, Dromenvanger has been more readily available. At the end of 2017 there was an issue on Book Depository, where only a small fration of the people who purchased Dromenvanger actually receive it. I was one of the unlucky people who had purchased it, but there was no copies left to sent out. Book Depository has yet to continue selling this book, which is still listed on their website. However, there are more private sellers selling this edition for a more reasonable price. I bought my copy from Ebay, when I found a price I was willing to pay.
Dromenvanger is a square shaped book, which is about 25cm by 25 cm. It has a soft cover, which features partly coloured picture, which you can find in the book. Both the inside front and back covers are blank. The paper is high quality, cream in colour and is relatively thick. Inside the book you can find 81 line art illustrations, many of which are double page spreads. The Croatian edition contains all the same images and you can see a more in depth comparsion on Colouring in the midst of madness.
So the reason this book is in such high demand is because the artwork is spectacular. As you turn the pages you will pass through cloud lands, enchanted forests, fairytale and underwater kingdoms and will come upon fairies, dragons, mermaids, unicorns and other mythical creatures. Each pages is incredibly detailed can be quite intimidating. But once you start filling in the page with colours it will come alive.
I found the artwork in this book to be quite unique, amongst the rest of my collection. There are so many creatures and sceneries, which I haven’t found in other books. Many of the single page images have large intricate borders. Most pictures include clouds in the backgroud, however there are quite a few without backgrounds at all, which you could draw in yourself. In this book I have primarly used Prismacolor pencils, which work beautifully on this paper. I found Polychromos didn’t work as well. I didn’t try watercolor, but I have heard this paper can cope quite well with waterbased media and won’t bleed through or shadow.
Below I have included a video flip through and all the pages I have coloured in order that you will find them in the book. I have adding all these images to my Dromenvanger gallery, where I will continue to add newly coloured pictures to.
This Fairy Door is the first picture in the book after the Title and Welcome pages. Normally I would have coloured the Title page, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired the one in this book. So I coloured this first page as an introduction to this magically book.
I have seen this picture coloured by many other colourist and I wanted to do something a little different. I started colouring the building to look like it was made of sandstone and took advantage of the textured line art. I complemented the stone with purples, pinks and muted green. For the butterflies I got some inspiration from these Violette butterflies stickers. I am happy how the fairy and other objects pop out of the picture. I probably should of gone with a darker gold frame. I coloured this entirely with Prismacolor pencils and used a little bit of white gel pen for sparkly effects.
The Treehouse Palace was the first page that I stated when I returned to this book. I had no idea what colours I was going to use so I just started with the purple orange ombre sky. I tried not to rush or push too hard so that I could get a smooth texture. The white, soft pink and cream pencils really helped to blend in those more stuborn midsection in the pages. I was still stump on colour selection, so I just coloured all the trees, berries and wood. Then I was able to use colours that complemented what was already there. Gold is always an easy one for metal work and the dooms were coloured in a variety of bright colours to separate them from the sky. My last challenge was colouring the birds and I was inspired by this colourful ornamental bird. Overall I am happy with it, butI did find the large tree on the left looks a bit ashly, despite the amount of layers. I used entirely Prismacolor pencils.
This Pegafly was coloured for Octavia’s 4th Birthday back in April. She is obsessed with horses, ponies, unicorns, pegusus and pegacorns. There is one unicorn in this book, which is on a two page spread, but I prefered this pegafly because one page was do-able in a short timeframe. I coloured it entirely with Prismacolor pencils.
For the overall colour scheme I was inspired by the gorgeous artprint by Shannon Valentine. It wasn’t the easiest image to colour, and was a little intimidating as most of the images in this book are. The doted lines on the pegafly were good to know where to shade, but require many layers to cover. The flowers and plants were also very challenging because some were so simple and others very detailed. So to create more depth for the simplistic objects I added more lines for creases. For the pegafly I was inspired by the only other image of a pegafly I could find and this butterfly for wings. This is definetely my favourite of the lot that I coloured and Octavia was so happy with it.
The Princess of the hounds is another popular picture to colour. The image makes me think of a mediterranean kingdom during the Renaissance. So I used colours that inspired by that time period. I started with the sky again, so that none of the other colour pigments would get stuck in the paper. This took me the longest time to make sure the the sky appeared completely blended and smooth. Next I worked on the trees, trying to make them look textured. For the objects I was inspired by this fairytale castle, knight, and this variety of greyhoods. I wish that I used more vibrant colours for the knight, but other then that I think it looks pretty good now its all complete.
This Elf musican was the first picture that I coloured in this book back last year, which I wrote about in the post #6 Colouring Update. I don’t love it, especially since I coloured a few more in the this book and improved alot since then.
The Griffin is the only picture that I coloured entirely with Polychromos pencils. For the colour scheme I was inspired by Realm of Tranquility Card by Anne Stokes. I am really not happy with this picture. I really didn’t enjoy using Polychromos in this book and I don’t like the colour scheme I chose. The Metallic silver frame also didn’t turn out as well as I hope. I also made a big mistake with the moutains that I drew in. I probably should of done a few more layers before using a blender pencil, which really made it look scratchy. On the bright side, I am happy with the griffin and the water backgroud.
You can purchase this Dromenvanger or Zemlja snova from: