Color with me – Poppies from the Painterly Days: Flower Watercoloring book by Kristy Rice

Today we’ll do a sort of an exercise, in one part and everything so a quick one!
A reader wrote to me, telling me she has a box of Inktense but is deadly afraid of using them, how to get started? Well, lets try to do just that today. I chose the Painterly Days book because it’s filled with sketches and not really clear lines, you benefit from being a little messy on this one, it will allow you to slap color down freely.

Stuff used:
Derwent Inktense, Kuretake water brushes in sizes M and L (L for background, M for everything else), Signo Uniball white gel pen

  • Shiraz 0600
  • Poppy Red 0400
  • Cadmium Orange 0250
  • Ionian Green 1320
  • Beech Green 1510 (can skip this one if you want)
  • Felt Green 1530
  • Oak 1730
  • Deep Indigo 1100
  • Payne’s Gret 2110
  • Ink Black 2200
  • Mustard 1700


  • I used a set of 72, if you have a smaller set and don’t have a specific color, don’t worry, just use something else that you do have
  • You can easily do a second layer on the flowers, deepening the red and making it even better, stronger contrast will make the flowers pop. I omitted the second layer to keep the video a little shorter. If you do choose to deepen the red, don’t do the black and blue bits until you’re happy, otherwise you’ll just bleed the blue and black into the red
  • I used Kuretake water brushes but you can use any water brush or a regular brush, as long as it’s not too big or too small, experiment on a scrap piece of paper and find what is comfortable for you. Kuretake works for me. I also have Derwent water brushes but I haven’t tested them out yet so can’t comment but I will do a comparison for you someday soon
  • You can freely skip the gel pen, it’s completely okay if you don’t want to do the dots or don’t have a gel pen or white Posca, in here, they’re interchangeable
  • Always work from light to dark when wetting the areas, otherwise you’ll lose your lights
  • Keep a scrap piece of paper nearby and wipe your brush clean often. It’s also good to keep a piece of paper towel handy in case you accidentally flood the brush, you can dry it up a bit by blotting the brush on the paper towel
  • You can totally do a rainbow of colors on the petals if you want instead, these are Icelandic poppies, they come in a variety of shades (though hey, it’s a coloring book, do what you like, you can color the petals green and leaves red if you want)
  • You can also add colors to the background or make it more even. I wanted it to look varied, so I colored some places in dark, others I left blank and dragged the color into it for a very light wash. If you did a second layer on the flowers, you might also want to add a bit of variety to the background, maybe add some Baked Earth here and there as well
  • This paper is good with water but try to keep it to two layers, it won’t take endless amounts of water well
  • If you want, you can also treat this as an underpainting and use regular pencils on top to work with it further, detail the flowers and so on, this here can be only the beginning if you so choose
  • You’ll be fine, honest, just try! And have fun!

End result:

Hope you had fun playing along! If you do decide to follow it, do share your results with me, you can post on the Facebook page HERE or tag me in Instagram (@coloringaddict). Hope this color along will help alleviate some fears about Inktense, though we will revisit Inktense quite a bit in the future as well so fear, be gone, we’ll get rid of you!

In other news, today is the last day of November (well here it is, early morning but still), isn’t that great? To me it is, the only part about the winter I like is December, things like the Christmas lights in the dreary cold dark. The Christmas giveaway is still running until Saturday HERE so enter if you haven’t. I will also have more book reviews for you soon, as always, I don’t know how this queue never ends 😀 Gotta love the trend of coloring books! And yes, we’ll start a new color with me soon as well, I’ll try to make them more frequent, they’re a lot of work so it’s not quite as easy but I’ll try! Anyway, see you in December! 😀 So, tomorrow.

Book review – Mini-Inklings by Tanya Bond

Yay for Inklings! And Christmas. And giveaways. One of which you can enter HERE. Part of that giveaway, Mini-Inklings by Tanya Bond. Also, if you haven’t read the interview with her, you should, you can find it HERE.

Details: Paperback, self-published, 2016
Pages: 152 x 229 x 4mm, 30 images, thinner paper, single-sided
ISBN10: 1535109920
ISBN13: 9781535109925
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Mini-Inklings is the third coloring book by Tanya Bond, first two being Inklings and Inklings 2. Mini-Inklings is only available in the Amazon version, meaning the paper is basically copy paper. Which is a shame but I can live with crap paper if the images are good and that they really are here.
Mini-Inklings has 30 single-sided images, all of the lovely Inklings. The book is small, you can carry it around easily for some downtime here and there, like for waiting rooms and such. All of the images are of the Inklings girls. Great for practicing coloring skin if you’re scared of that. If you mess up, you have 29 more to try.
I love the Inklings girls as you might know from the past. I tend to love girls in general but there’s something about Tanya’s style that is really enchanting, the big eyes maybe? I don’t know but they’re charming.

I don’t have an example image for you since this is part of the Christmas giveaway and I only own the one copy. So lets look at the cover:
Well aren’t they just gorgeous? I must admit, I thought long about adding it into the giveaway, I wanted to keep it 😀

Overall, I think this is a great book, filled with the Inklings we’ve come to love, in a small and quick format, great for carrying around but also for small interim coloring projects when you don’t feel like you want to tackle something big and crazy.

In other news, we’ll also take a look at her new Astro-Inklings soon, plus there’s a neverending queue of other books as well (yay for this hobby being so trendy!) and we’ll do the Painterly Days color along soon as well.

Interview with Lizzie Mary Cullen

Raise your hands, who doesn’t know The Magical City? Everyone does? Thought so. But just in case, go read the review HERE if you need to and come back to join us in our chat with the cool and fun Lizzie Mary Cullen, the author of many awesome books, The Magical City just being one of them, the one that won my heart personally.
Lizzie, BT artbox First Direct campaign / Agency : Story

Iris: How old were you when you started to draw?
Lizzie Mary Cullen: I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember, but my first muse was Ariel. I didn’t know how shell bras worked back then, so it often looked more like a necklace than effective bust support.

I: What was your favorite subject to draw then and what is it now?
LMC: I loved drawing women with long flowing hair. I love long hair. I think now it’s the world we live in, I’m really fascinated by architecture.
London Transport Museum print

I: How did you come to creating coloring books?
LMC: After the success of the great JB’s Secret Garden there was lots of buzz in the publishing world about colouring books. It was a gift to illustrators like me who work in black ink – I was in the right place at the right time!

I: Do you paint or draw for other projects as well? Can you show and tell us a bit about it?
LMC: I do mural for brands and companies, and I write a lot. I just love keeping creative and doing work that makes me happy.
Mural / Zizzi / Harborne

I: Which of your books is your own personal favorite? Why?
LMC: I think my favourite it Magical Journey, because when I look at it I think of all the people I met around the world, and all the places I saw. I’ll remember that trip all my days.
The Magical Journey / Penguin, book review and flip through HERE

I: How do you create a coloring page? What is the process for you?
LMC: I just draw, and hope for the best!

I: How long does it take for you to create a whole book?
LMC: It really depends on how busy my schedule is.

I: What are the challenges of being an artist for you?
LMC: Keeping fresh and knowing when you’ve gone off the boil. When I realise my work is suffering, I go for a walk or gallery, see a film, see friends. Anything but worry. Easier said than done!
Mural / Harvey Nichols

I: Can you describe your day as an artist?
LMC: Get up, coffee, walk pointlessly around for a bit. Brush teeth. Mutter inanely to myself. Go for walk. More coffee. Draw for a few hours, radio always on. Sometimes I put an old movie on in the background. Do some more inane muttering. Draw some more.
Music video for Universal, watch the video HERE

I: What are the tools you can’t live without?
LMC: My 0,3 rapidograph pen, and ink. And paper. And coffee. And drugs. JOKE!! Kind of.

I: Do you have any tips for complete beginners in coloring?
LMC: Just enjoy it!!

I: Is there something in the works for the future as well? Can you share a bit about that?
LMC: I’m working on a picture book. I haven’t pitched it yet though, so don’t hold your breath!!

I: You seem to travel a lot, judging by your books. Can you tell us a bit about your favorite trip?
LMC: I LOVED Japan. I loved Perth, Australia – I met a beautiful family at the local pub who I lived with for 3 months. I miss them. San Francisco was amazing. I met a kindred spirit there, and we had some beautiful moments.
Private commission

I: I’m curious, you have done coloring books for French and Spanish, what languages do you yourself speak?
LMC: If I’m in France, I can ask the way to the hospital in a very loud voice. I also learned the phrase for ‘Is this alive?’ in Japanese but I’ve forgotten it now.

I: And last, for fun, if you could be any fairytale or fantasy character, who would you be and why?
LMC: GREAT QUESTION – I think I would be a hobbit. They love eating, gardening and a simple life. But there’s always the possibility of an adventure…

Thank you, Lizzie, for taking the time to chat with us a bit! Fingers crossed for the picture book! I’d love to see it!

Lizzie Mary Cullen books reviewed on The Coloring Addict:
The Magical City
The Magical Journey
Bon Voyage!

Follow Lizzie:
Web page

Lizzie’s books are available at Amazon, Bookdepository and many other well stocked bookstores, online and physical.

Images by Lizzie Mary Cullen, used with permission.

Book review – Painterly Days: The Flower Watercoloring Book by Kristy Rice

Drumroll, yes, here’s the book we’ll be using for the next color along, Painterly Days: The Flower Watercoloring Book by Kristy Rice. I have already done a review on the Woodland version HERE, check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.
Also, if you still haven’t entered the Christmas giveaway, do so HERE, it’s open until Dec 4.

Details: Paperback, Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2016
Pages: 22.9 x 1 x 30.5 cm, 60 pages, 90 lbs watercolor paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 0764350919
ISBN13: 9780764350917
Get it: available from all good booksellers, or direct from Gazelle on 01524 528500, e-mail: Priced at 21.99 GBP.

The Painterly Days series is consisted of three books, Woodland, Flowers and Patterns. This is the Flower one. This book has a ton of different flowers in it, my special favorite being the poppies page. I love poppies, what can I say.
First of all, the book itself is beautiful, they do say don’t judge a book by its cover but here, please do! The book has tips and tricks for each page but I recommend you read all of them, the tips are universal really. The pages are easily removed but don’t fall out on their own spontaneously so that’s also very good.
Each of the designs is printed twice, on both sides of the page. So if you muck up one, you still have a second go at it.
The book has 25 images to color and the linework is not black, it will blend beautifully into your paint and will look like a light sketch underneath, if it shows at all. It’s really quite liberating. I also love that the sketch isn’t too exact, it leaves plenty of breathing space for the flowy watercolor medium, you don’t have to try to be really careful with this. It’s really good for beginners really, it forgives a lot, you can make mistakes and have them looking cool in the end.
The paper is gorgeous, it’s 90 lbs so not the thickest watercolor paper out there but it takes water beautifully. Don’t soak it too much though, it will still buckle. Though if you want to use a lot of water, it’s a good idea to stretch the paper first. Take the page you want to paint out, tape it on a board or table with painters tape, wet a clean sponge and go over the page with it, making it wet evenly. Then let dry. Once it dries, it will relax and can take more water then before without buckling.

The example page we will be doing together this time, it will be the poppies page with Derwent Inktense pencils so get your books and get ready, the video will be up in a few days. Until then, just look at this cover, isn’t it gorgeous?

Overall, I love this book! It is a bit pricey for a coloring book but it’s really worth it if you’re into water mediums and don’t know where to start. I think you might not even be a colorist to want this book, it would be great for any watercolorist, specially beginners.

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

Color with me – Star Queen from Magisk Gryning by Hanna Karlzon, day four, finishing

Yay for the final bit! This one is longer, it covers a whole lot, everything we didn’t do last time, background, hair, eyes and such. The hair took quite some time but you don’t have to do it like I did, I changed my mind in the process, I initally planned to do a more realistic look but then I thought it would look a bit off and too much so I changed tactics halfway through. So you don’t have to be as careful with your layers, or even do so many layers.

Stuff used on day four:
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor replacements given below as well. Signo Uniball white gel pen. Blending pencil (I used Prismacolor one but you can use any brand, they all do the same job). Faber-Castell Perfection pencil eraser but you can use any other brand or cut a piece from any eraser, as long as it has a pointy bit, it will do the trick

  • Magenta 133 (PC Pomegranate)
  • Light Purple-Pink 128 (PC Hot Pink)
  • Ivory 103 (PC no replacement, use PC Cream lightly with PC White on top)
  • Cinnamon 189 (PC Nectar)
  • Alizarin Crimson 226 (PC Scarlet Lake or Crimson Red)
  • Red-Violet 194 (PC no exact match, Black Cherry would be a good replacement though)
  • Dark Sepia 175 (PC Sepia)
  • Cream 102 (PC Cream)
  • Cadmium Yellow 107 (PC Canary Yellow)
  • Dark Cadmium Yellow 108 (PC Sunburst Yellow or Spanish Orange)
  • Cold Grey I (PC 10% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey V (PC 50% Cool Grey)
  • Sky Blue 146 (PC Sky Blue Light)
  • Cobalt Blue 143 (PC True Blue)
  • Indianthrene Blue 247 (PC Denim Blue)
  • Dark Indigo 157 (PC Indigo Blue)

Tips and tricks:

  • If you’re going for dark hair like me, start with the background so you won’t accidentally drag dark particles from the hair into the background. If you want to do light hair, do those first. With colored pencil, it’s always good to start with light and work towards the dark to avoid accidents
  • Be careful with the printed linework, as you can also see from the video, blending tends to drag the ink around a bit, smearing the work. Some books have this issue, others don’t. This book does.
  • As said earlier, you don’t have to spend so much time on hair. You can totally do with a lot less time and effort
  • The eyes could use more work and depth, specially the whites of the eyes but I wanted to leave them lighter then I’m used to, to make them pop more from the background. If you want a more realistic look, shade them more
  • I am turning the work at times to make it easier for me since my stroke naturally tapers in the end, it’s easier to turn the paper rather than try to taper the start of the stroke for me. Try what feels most natural to you and don’t fear turning the page. When not filming, I turn the page a LOT but it would make you queasy to watch such insanity so I’m only flipping when I feel I really need to.
  • If you want more shine on the lips, feel free to use some gel pen in the end to draw in a highlight. I like the more matte and natural look on her so I kept it like this, erased in a highlight that looks soft and natural.

End result, finally finished. Due to the winter and me still not having a scanner (yet!), I couldn’t avoid some glare from the lighting, the wax reflects the daylight LED I use for lighting so photos are hard to take. There’s not enough natural light at the moment to use that, Estonian winter is long and dark (and depressing). Anyway if you follow along, the hair is definitely black, not this odd sort of reflection-y shade. But anyway, here’s our Star Queen, all done 🙂

Yay! And thanks for sticking around and hopefully playing along. If you do decide to follow it, do share your results with me, you can post on the Facebook page HERE or tag me in Instagram (@coloringaddict).

Next up, we’ll start the next color along very soon, with Derwent Inktense and in a different book, we’ll do flowers next but more on that tomorrow when I’ll show you the book we’ll be using next.

All parts:
Day one – skin
Day two – leaves, start of jewelry
Day three – jewelry, flowers
Day four – background, hair, eyes, lips, finishing touches

One of those pages…

This one from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon just stared at me. I didn’t really know what to do with it, normally I’d totally skip this page (sorry, Hanna) but since I’m trying to complete this book, that was not an option. And then I thought, oh well, I’ll use it to test this idea of pastel and white linework. So it’s not a piece of great art or anything but moving forward in the book regardless and learning that white linework can indeed look cool as I suspected. So.. mission completed!
Done with Sennelier pastels and Signo Uniball white gel pen

In other news, I am trying to resume filming today, we still have a girl to finish. If all goes well, maybe I’ll have a video for you tomorrow. I hope. Fingers crossed!

If you haven’t joined the Christmas giveaway yet, do so HERE.

Book review – The Mysterious Library by Eunji Park

Today lets look at one of the prizes of this years Christmas giveaway (HERE), The Mysterious Library by Eunji Park. This is an English version of the original Korean coloring book. This book tells the tale of a journey through different tales in a library.

Details: Paperback, Seven Seas, 2016
Pages: 246 x 249 x 10mm, 80 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 1626924600
ISBN13: 9781626924604
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Eunji Park is a Korean illustrator, this book has been released in Korean before, now it’s freshly released in English, which makes it a lot easier to get hold of.
This is a really cool book, it takes you on a journey through fairytales and fables, from Alice to Rapunzel. I’m a complete bookworm, I love this one, it’s an amazing and fun book. The pictures cover all sorts of tales, one of my favorite images here is the princess and the pea. Can you imagine the fun coloring all the mattresses? To me that seems like fun anyway.
The paper is good, no complaints there, will take pencil beautifully and markers too, though watch out, the book is double-sided so with alcohol-based markers you will sacrifice the next page. But that’s to be expected anyway.
I am a fan of the double spread with a girl with flowers in her hair, that image alone would sell me the book. But then there’s the rest and well, so it is in the Christmas giveaway because I only wanted to give you cool books.
The only gripe I have with this is the glue binding, it is very stiff and since there are loads of double spreads in this book, it will make it very hard to color them. You can probably flatten it with sheer force but I’m not sure if the book would survive such attempts.
I won’t make a lot of words about this, just look at the video, it really is awesome.

I don’t have an example image this time because I only have this one copy that I’m giving away.

Overall, I love this book, it’s fun and interesting, offering countless hours of fun coloring for sure.