Swans, Sommarnatt

Lesson learned from this one, blue pastel is not a great background choice. It stains like there’s no tomorrow and is near impossible to clean the drawing. Meh I say, meh.
Anyway, the swans from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon:
Prismacolor Premier, white Signo Uniball gel pen, Sennelier pastels for background.

I now notice some other mistakes as well but oh well, it’s sealed already and too late to fix.

Until I figure out lighting for my videos, I can’t continue with coloring videos, it’s noon here and I have lights on because it’s too dark. I officially hate Estonian winter. It starts in October and ends in May, dark and dreary and awfully cold. Meh in one word. But I’ll try to figure out the lighting issue soon, until May, there’s no other choice.


Book review – Romantic Country Third Tale by Eriy

Lo and behold, while looking through my in queue folders, discovered a few books still patiently waiting to be reviewed, among them, Romantic Country Third Tale by Eriy. This is the Japanese version, English version is announced for May 2, 2017.

Details: Paperback, Graphics Inc, 2016
Pages: 25.3 x 25.3 x 2.9 cm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 4766128672
ISBN13: 9784766128673
Get it from: CDJapanYesAsia and other places online. I bought mine from CDJapan and had no problems. Google before buying, this book is often overpriced and you can get a better deal.

Romantic Country. Ahh. Well you see when I first saw the books, I wasn’t all that into them. Yes, they looked kind of cute and it was strange to learn that she drew them with a toothpick (I mean.. wow much?) but other than that, no emotions were stirred. And then… Something happened. I don’t know what. But I suddenly saw the magic, I was done, converted for good. I still don’t own the second one (something like 50 days still to go on preorder, I preordered lightyears ago, it’s the longest wait for any book I’ve ever experienced) but the third one rocks my boat.
Romantic Country series is about a fantasy land Cocot, where all kinds of people and creatures live. It’s a really warm and inviting book with childlike images (not childish, mind you) that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
The linework is not black but a brownish grey that fades beautifully into the coloring, part of the charm of the book for me for sure.
The paper is great, it’s thick and smooth and loves pencils. It can take a tad bit of water but careful with it. The images are on both sides so beware when using markers.
All in all, a wonderful book. I find that it’s specially great that the style doesn’t get boring or tiresome after three books, the opposite really, they leave you wanting even more.
The only reason I don’t color more in them is because they are intensely detailed and take a huge amount of time and my life has become so fast paced that it’s a bit tricky to fit one of these in. But I do intend to pick it up again soon!

Example image I’ve done from this book:
Picture: Lamp shop, Romantic Country the third, Prismacolor Premier

Overall, it’s the bomb. Seriously, I love the book. I think the third one is even better then the first. Can’t wait for the second!

Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience and opinions

Flowers, Sommarnatt

Continuing a bit with my quest to complete Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon while I’m super excitedly waiting for Magisk Gryning, Hanna is a total rockstar of my personal tiny coloring universe, everything she does, I love.
So anyway, today these flowers:
I’m digging rough backgrounds at the moment as you can see. Done with Prismacolor Premier pencils and Signo Uniball white gel pen.

In other news, I’m going to start a new video next week, still picking the image, all I know is that I want to use Faber-Castell Polychromos this time. Or Albrecht Dürer pencils. We’ll see 🙂

Interview with Tanya Bond

Yay for the excitement! Starting a new interview with the authors section and who better to kick this off then Tanya Bond, the artist behind Inklings books! Her books are among my most treasured for sure. She also has a new book, Astro-Inklings on Kickstarter right now and you can still back her for the artist edition of the book (later you’ll have the opportunity for the Amazon version with crappier paper), take the chance while you can, Inklings 2 had great paper on the artist edition, I’m sure this one won’t disappoint either.
And now, the interview!

Iris: How old were you when you started to draw?
Tanya Bond: My mother is an art teacher so I was always surrounded by art supplies and naturally started drawing early. For as long as I remember myself I was doodling, painting, and doing all sorts of creative crafts.

I: What was your favorite subject to draw then and what is it now?
Oddly enough it rather stayed the same. I used to draw pretty princesses and portraits, and it remains my favourite subject to date:)
Water Nymph

I: How did the Inklings girls come to exist? What is the story behind the development of that style?
I think having my kids around me all the time helped me develop that soulful cute big eyed inkling face and it is slowly changing as my kids grow. As for the title, I’ve always lovingly called these big eyed girls INKLINGS as they are drawn in ink and naturally that felt like perfect title for the book.
Rosa, Inklings 2

I: How did you come to creating coloring books?
When I first discovered art markers about 5 years ago I couldn’t help but notice how well would the linework fit to become a page in a colouring book. And even though at a time there wasn’t really a known to me way of easily publishing a book I knew that at some point these illustrations will end up in a book sooner or later, so I made it a habit of scanning the lineworks before colouring them. Then about 2 years ago kickstarter started accepting Irish projects so I put together some old and new works and that’s how the first book was born.

I: You draw realistic portraits as well, did you do that before developing the style of Inklings or how did you come to that?
TB: I get a little bored if I paint in the same style or medium for a long time so I like to jump between realism and pop surrealism. Also working in realism helps me learn a lot and this knowledge can be applied to make my surreal work look more real so to speak.
Sansa Stark

I: Which of your books is your own personal favorite? Why?
TB: The first book will always have a special place in my heart as it got me started in this adult colouring world. But also every new book that I make becomes my favourite, so for now it’s Astro-INKLINGS.

I: How do you create a coloring page? What is the process for you?
TB: Since I sell original illustrations that I create, I treat colouring book pages in just that way – first and foremost it’s a work of art, and at the same if it’s suitable to become a colouring page – it’s an added bonus. If there is a theme behind the artwork, like it is with the zodiac inspired book, I first study all the aspects of the main character, symbols connected to it, associations, let it all boil inside me and then come up with a very rough sketch followed by the actual painting/drawing. If there is no theme and I just want to paint I usually get inspiration from my surrounding, from nature, from something I read and so on.

I: How long does it take for you to create a whole book?
TB: It’s hard to say as I usually use older works as well as new in a book, apart from the new zodiac one. I started working on it in the end of July – so that’s about 3 months for “Astro-INKLINGS”
Pisces, Astro-Inklings

I: What are the challenges of being an artist for you?
TB: The main challenge of being an artist I think is probably similar to those of any self-employed person – unpredictability of business and lack of financial security. The freedom however that comes with it is fantastic!

I: Can you describe your day as an artist?
TB: Apart from being an artist I’m also a mom to 4 kids, so my day usually revolves around being a mother and a housekeeper, and only afterwards (mostly at night) – an artist. I create when I get a free moment and apart from being my job it also helps me unwind.
Orphan Black

I: What are the tools you can’t live without?
TB: I can’t say there is a specific “can’t live without” tool, but there are plenty of modern inventions that make it so much easier to work – like a battery operated eraser, or electronic sharpener or waterbrush.

I: Do you have any tips for complete beginners in coloring?
TB: The main thing that helps in becoming a better artist is practice. The more you colour – the better you become. Giving an illustration enough of your time also helps, It is better to colour fewer works but to colour them well. Also getting inspiration from looking at how other people colour, watching youtube channels or learning something new from books is always a good idea when you want to become better at what you do.

I: Is there something in the works for the future as well? Can you share a bit about that?
There are at least 4 different projects in my head right now and the biggest challenge is picking which one to do next. One of them is an animal colouring book based on my charming creatures.

Thank you again, Tanya for your time and I for one can’t wait to receive my copy of the Astro-Inklings!

Tanya’s books reviewed on The Coloring Addict:
Inklings 2
Astro-Inklings by Tanya Bond

Follow Tanya:
Facebook page
Etsy store
Coloring group in Facebook dedicated to her books!

Images by Tanya Bond, used with permission.

Color with me – Floral from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon, day four

Yay, we come to an end with this girl! Today covering everything left over, jewelry and the background. The background I wanted to have a rough appearance and that is the easiest possible background ever, you really don’t need to polish it as you will see in the video. If you want a really smooth look, be way more gentle and you’ll get that as well.
We had our first heavy snow yesterday and the light was totally abnormal and blue so the photo and the video look quite different in terms of color 😀 The photo is closer to reality, the colors are warmer then in the video.

Stuff used on day four:
Prismacolor Premier Pencils, Signo Uniball white gel pen

  • Cream PC 914
  • Yellow Ochre PC 942
  • Sepia PC 948
  • 70% Cool Grey PC 1065
  • Putty Beige PC 1083
  • Lime Green PC 1005
  • Moss Green PC 1097
  • Dark Umber PC 947
  • Dark Brown PC 946
  • Chocolate PC 1082
  • Sienna Brown PC 945

Tips and tricks:

  • For a slightly textured background, this sloppy tactics really is it. But it will work only if you try to criss-cross the strokes a bit, don’t do the layers all in one direction, that won’t work well
  • For gemstones, since the light hits them above and exits below, the top is darkest and bottom lightest and the highlight is on top. I know it’s confusing but trust me, it will look the most realistic that way
  • However with pearls, everything is a lot simpler, they’re darker below and lighter on top since they’re round and not translucent. If you want translucent pearls, you’ll do them like you would gemstones
  • You can totally do a less yellow metal, I just find I like the combination of Sepia, Yellow Ochre and Cream for gold but in reality, gold is not really all that yellow so you can use more browns instead with just a hint of yellowish somewhere
  • You can freely use white Posca instead of the gel pen if you wish, for dots, there is no real difference. The gel pen is gel and Posca is acrylic. Over big surfaces it matters but with dots, not really
  • I really do suggest you spray your work with fixative when done, specially if you use Prismas, not only to protect your work from smudging but to prevent wax bloom as well

End result:

Thank you so much for watching! Next time we’ll try out Faber-Castell Polychromos instead of Prismas to color something pretty 🙂

All parts:
Day one – flowers and leaves
Day two – skin and eyes
Day three – hair
Day four – background, finishing touches

Color with me – Floral from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon, day three

Finally, part three is up. I’m sorry to have kept you guys waiting, I had some technical issues plus I don’t have much time to color these days which makes me sad. This video was shot over four days and I lost the footage for the first day so there’s a bit missing, I’ll cover what I did during that below in the tips section.
Today, the massive task of hair. I started off thinking oh I’m so doing brown, I so often sway towards reds that no no, I’m going to keep myself in line and go with brown. Well yes. So much for that plan 😀

Stuff used on day two:
Prismacolor Premier Pencils, Faber-Castell Perfection pencil eraser

  • Dark Umber PC 947 (used during the missing footage)
  • Terra Cotta PC 944
  • Mineral Orange PC 1033
  • Yellow Ochre PC 942
  • Chocolate PC 1082
  • Black Cherry PC 1078

Tips and tricks:

  • The first bit that is missing covers work with Dark Umber, I used it to mark the darkest areas. If you watch where I place the Terra Cotta, you’ll see where the Dark Umber was used and can backtrack what I did there. You don’t have to be super careful but it’d be good to try to get a smooth look, there will be tons of layers on top of this but strong lazy strokes will still show from underneath it all
  • Make a color chart for your pencils and look, there are replacements for pretty much everything, not 100% the same but will work. Like you can replace the Dark Umber with any dark brown, for instance Sepia or Espresso
  • Feel free to add purple to the mix, it will create a load of interest, I just used a tiny bit to enhance contrast with the darkest bits but you can totally do more
  • When doing hair, you can go with this type of look where you color the shapes or you can try to do a more realistic look. I prefer coloring the shapes because I find the hair looks odd with the black linework, it doesn’t look natural in the end but it is a matter of taste and also medium, I’ve seen stunning realistic results with markers. Also some images are better suited then others I find, with less noticeable lines
  • If you decide to go with coloring the shapes, think of the hair strands as ribbons. The highlights are where the light hits and the darkest where the “ribbon” turns away from the light
  • Keep your pencils as sharp as you can. Mine are pretty dull because well, as you could also see in the video, they’re Prismas, they break. A LOT. It is unnecessarily hard to try to use blunt pencils for this so if you can, sharpen!

End result of day three:

Next we’ll do some shadows on the hair from the flowers and start work on the jewelry. Maybe we can even squeeze in the background to the next session as well and finish it off with four parts 🙂 We’ll see how long it gets.

All parts:
Day one – flowers and leaves
Day two – skin and eyes
Day three – hair
Day four – background, finishing touches

Book review – Art Nouveau: Artists’ Colouring Book by Pepin Van Roojen

Time for another Pepin Van Roojen book! This time, Art Nouveau: Artists’ Colouring Book.

Details: Paperback, Pepin Press, 2014
Pages: 248 x 342 x 8mm, 16 pages, 180gsm textured high quality paper, single-sided, glue bound
ISBN10: 9460098002
ISBN13: 9789460098000
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

This time as a slideshow since that’s the only way I could get the images to appear on camera, still not great but at least you can see the book 🙂

This is another interesting book by Pepin Van Roojen. Pepin Press has a load of these on different subjects from kimonos to patterns. This book is focused on art nouveau imagery.
The paper is 180gsm high quality textured paper, best suited for wet media in my opinion.
There are 16 images, all printed in grey so when you color them in, the outlines fade into your own work, I love that feature, I’d love it if more books would be printed like that.
The book has glue binding, you can easily remove the pages before coloring and I do suggest you do that, it makes it a whole lot easier, specially with liquid mediums.
For watercolors, I suggest you stretch the paper first. I’ve touched on that several times before but basically what you do is you use painters tape to tape the selected page to a board or table and then wet it evenly with a sponge and let it dry completely. The paper will stretch when wet but because it’s taped down and sponged evenly, it will not buckle but will relax so once you wet it again with paint, it won’t buckle nearly as much as it would have before.
But back to the book. This book has a little bit of everything, including some patterns and some interesting detailed stained glass type of images.
The absolute only con I personally find with these books is that they are so big they don’t fit in my bookshelf. If that’s the only con you have, it really is a good book. But be prepared, thanks to the texture in the paper, it will not be the easiest paper to work with for pencils if you want a smooth end result.

I chose my example image because of the flowers. As I’m sure nearly every girl named Iris knows, it gets old being given irises and people saying “oh you are Iris! Do you know that’s a flower too?” so I usually tend to steer clear from irises, even though they are gorgeous flowers but I just loved this picture too much not to try it. I feel I messed it up with the background, it looked better before adding it but well, live and learn! I loved coloring it regardless.
The image was colored with Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer pencils.

Overall, I really like this book and I hope I’ll have time to try one of the stained glass panels as well one day soon. It was great to work with watercolor pencils on this, it was a dream of a paper for it. If you want to see how pencils work on this type of paper, look at the 1950s book review, it has an example with pencils.

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All of the above opinions are my own.