Book Review: Botanicum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halloween Colouring 2019

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

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

Hanna Karlzon’s Seasons

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

Maria Trolle’s Botanicum

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

Nicholas F. Chandrawienata’s Fantasia

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

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

Happy Easter Colouring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6# Colouring Update

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.

 

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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: Skymningstimman (Nightfall)

This beautiful book is the third colouring book is by Swedish artist Maria Trolle. I bought it when last year on our Euro Trip 2017, when making a Quick stop in Heisenberg. I am ashamed to say its taken me nearly a year start colouring in this book. I am currently back in Scandinavia and on the look out for her next book, Botanicum.

This book is the same format at Twilight Garden/ Blomstermandala and Hanna Karlzon’s colouring books, since they are all published by Pagina Förlags. It has a hard cover and 96 pages, which are printed on double sided ivory pages. This book is also available in the English edition, called Nightfall, which is identical except for English titles, blurb and copyright. I have already reviewed Maria’s first two colouring books Twilight Garden (Blomstermandala) and Vivi söker en vän. Check them out if your interested in Maria’s colouring books and a bit more information about the artist herself and the format of the books, as well as my completed coloured pages.

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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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