Book review – Summer Nights by Hanna Karlzon

Amazingly enough, I’ve never done a flip through and review of Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) by Hanna Karlzon. That is largely due to the fact that I’m trying to color every single image from this book and don’t want to film it halfway through. So I got the English version, Summer Nights, just to show you guys what it looks like blank. And for my own archival version of how the book looked before coloring. Anyway, without further ado, lets jump into the nitty gritty of this book!

Details: Hardcover, Gibbs M. Smith, 2016
Pages: 208 x 254 x 15mm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN13: 9781423645580
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

For those interested in my progress, you can see all the colored pages I’ve done so far HERE.

Anyway, Hanna Karlzon is my favorite artist, lets get that out of the way. And Sommarnatt/Summer Nights one of my favorite books of all time.
This book has great paper, the English version is as good as the Swedish one. The images are double-sided and my favorite feature is the fact that it’s hardcover, it allows you to color in your lap or wherever without a table.
The images vary, you get a lot of flowers but also girls and birds and mushrooms, everything you can possibly think of. Hanna’s style is very unique and rock’n’roll, I’d say. I specially love her women, they’re gorgeous beyond belief.
The paper lends itself well to a bit of water as well so Inktense is fine in this book, just don’t float the page. The paper is absolutely brilliant for colored pencil, it takes the pencils beautifully, no need to struggle with it.

Example image:
As stated before, I have a full gallery of examples but to pick one…
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Overall, I adore this book and if you don’t own it, you should, it is amazing! I can not wait to see what Hanna has in store for us next, even though I’ll never ever have time to color every image I love from her 🙂

In other news, this week will see the start of a new color along and there will also be some more book reviews. The next color along will be something from Lizzie Mary Cullen’s The Magical City, as to the medium, I have no idea. Since miss Hewitt does a spectacular job with Inktense in this book, I’m swayed towards dry mediums. If you have any requests, feel free to drop me an e-mail or comment below.

Book review – Romantic Country: The Second Tale by Eriy

Ahh, the preorder of the century just arrived, the Romantic Country: The Second Tale by Eriy, the English version! I preordered a copy of this book in early May and it was published on Dec 20. I think it’s probably the longest I’ve ever waited for a book. Anyway lets jump straight into it and see what it’s like!
By the way, the cover image in the video thumbnail is for the Japanese version, I couldn’t find one for the English version and my scanner is too small for the book to fit in 😀

Details: Paperback, St Martin’s Press, 2016 (for the English version)
Pages: 254 x 254 x 12.7mm, 96 pages, good thick paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 1250117283
ISBN13: 9781250117281
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Who hasn’t heard of the Romantic Country series? I don’t see a lot of hands 😛
Eriy is a Japanese artist (who I’ve also interviewed, read that HERE) who draws with ink and.. surprisingly enough, toothpicks. Her books are filled with charm and wonder, the images all positive and happy, like from a childhood dream. I love that quality about her books, they take me away to a better place, in this case, the fantasy land of Cocot.
The paper is fantastic, smooth and strong, can also take a bit of water for sure. Can you imagine these images with Inktense?
The images are on both sides of the paper.
The book is divided into chapters, all following a different area of Cocot, which I think is really fun. You truly do get a sense of the place with these books.
For those who want the third tale as well, that’s only available in Japanese at this point but it’s relatively easy to find online, CDJapan for instance.

As for the example picture, once we’ve finished the Rose project (hopefully tomorrow!), lets do a picture together from this amazing book! And then I’ll add it here as well.

Overall, it is a lovely book, totally worth the loooooong wait I went through for it. I will be happily leafing through it, trying to decide our next color along. Ooh, how about we try those Inktense out in this book?

Book review – Po Drugiej Stronie Snu by Karolina Kubikowska

This was actually my very first book review and as such, it sucked. So I figured that since it’s such a gorgeous book, it deserves an overhaul to fit in with the rest of the reviews. So today, lets take another look at Po Drugiej Stronie Snu by Karolina Kubikowska.

Details: Paperback, Edipresse Polska, 2015
Pages: 222 x 223 x 12mm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 8379452046
ISBN13: 9788379452040
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Karolina Kubikowska is a Polish tattoo artist and an illustrator, Po Drugiej Stronie Snu is her first book, released last year. This is a truly unique book in the sense of artistic style, it’s not a clean lineart book we’re used to, also it’s not really a grayscale, it’s in a category all of its own, it’s like you get to color Karolina’s sketchbook. And what a sketchbook it is!
Po Drugiej Stronie Snu is filled with dreamlike images, one more fantastical then the next. There are butterflies and girls, plants and owls, something to fit any teacup.
The paper quality is great, the pages are thick and can take some beating, water as well. In my opinion, it’s like it’s made for water, the images greatly gain from splashing around. You can’t flood the pages too much, they will buckle but a little won’t do any harm.
I really like that the backgrounds have some tone and texture so you don’t necessarily have to do anything with them and can leave them as they are, a definite plus for me since I don’t really enjoy coloring in big spaces of nothing.
The binding is glue and a bit stiff, you can force it flat but I suspect it will start falling apart if you do it too much.

Example image done with Derwent Coloursoft:
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Overall, I love this book, one of my all time favorites for sure! I keep flipping through it and dream of more hours in my day to be able to get back to this one, it’s amazing, it really is. The artwork is gorgeous and interesting, definitely something to recommend checking out. You can buy this book from the above Bookdepository link, Amazon or Karolina Kubikowska website HERE.

And all fans of this book, stay tuned, there will be something super cool coming tomorrow!

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.

Book review – Magisk Gryning by Hanna Karlzon

Yes, it’s here. I can’t believe it! I had the best mail day, got several books which you’ll get to see very soon but we have to start with this one, Magisk Gryning by Hanna Karlzon. Hanna rocks my world and everything she does is like rainbows and unicorns to me so beware, this will be a gushing review.

Details: Paperback, Pagina Förlags, 2016
Pages: 255 x 215 x 15 mm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN13: 9789163612688
Get it: Pen Store

Magisk Gryning is the newest book by Hanna Karlzon, just out last week. She has two full books already, Dagdrömmar and Sommarnatt (published in English as Daydreams and Summer Nights, respectively) plus postcard books and what-have-you. If you follow my blog, you know I love Sommarnatt and am trying to color my way through it. Well. Magisk Gryning gives Sommarnatt a run for its money for sure.
My most favorite part of the book is the ample selection of ladies. You know I love to color girls so this is right up my alley. But if you don’t, there’s plenty here for you as well. The imagery does continue the themes of Dagdrömmar and Sommarnatt, some images being relatively similar, not the same but a similar theme, such as the cat with houses on its back and so on.
The paper is brilliant as always, smooth and takes pencil beautifully. It can also take some water but don’t flood the page! Inktense would rock in this book. Try it, I dare you. And come show me.
There’s everything here, gems and sparkles, animals, girls, absolutely beautiful and breathtaking imagery. I do dare to say it’s Hanna’s best to date.

Example image:
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Video color along series for this image:
Day one – skin
Day two – leaves, start of jewelry
Day three – jewelry, flowers
Day four – background, hair, eyes, lips, finishing touches

Anyway overall it is a beautiful book filled with magic and stars and gems and girls and… Everything that is gorgeous and magical in this world. If you can wait, it will be published in March 2017 in English. If not, get the Swedish version, you won’t regret it. Even with hefty shipping. But trust me, there’s more in the Pen Store you’ll want to buy, stay tuned to see what else I got.

So tomorrow, come back and lets start coloring! And psst, there will also be a little surprise for Hanna Karlzon fans coming very soon 🙂

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: CDJapan, YesAsia 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:
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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

Book review – Tangle Magic by Jessica Palmer

The cover of the Tangle Magic by Jessica Palmer immediately caught my attention when I first saw it online. Lets look at the inside as well, shall we?

Details: Paperback, Search Press Ltd, 2016
Pages: 222 x 222 x 12mm, 80 pages, good thick paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 1782214631
ISBN13: 9781782214632
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Jessica Palmer is an illustrator, paper cutter and a paper sculpter. She has done two other coloring books before as well, Tangle Wood and Tangle Bay. Check out her webpage as well to see more of her work.
Tangle Magic is her newest book and it is all about magic, strange creatures and objects. The imagery is very whimsical and creative. There are references to different fairytales found here and there as well, like the shoe page or the princess and the pea reference. You can find a dragon and a phoenix and countless other fun magical items and creatures within this book, all the content being cohesive and well put together in my opinion.
Some of the pages are very intricate to the point that you’ll probably want to use pens instead of pencils. Most are fine for pencils though. Some pages have a printed black background, most are white.
In the beginning there is also a page on how to color gemstones which is very cool, I like these how-to pages in books, it’s always a bonus.
The paper is very nice, it has a tiny bit of a texture to it which makes layering a dream, it’s not an annoying texture but of the good sort.
The binding is a bit tough at first but it eases up quite well and seems pretty stable, I don’t think it will fall apart quickly.
One of my favorite pages is the crystal ball which you can color as is or draw something in it as well and I love that the book doesn’t tell you what to do with it. I’m really not a fan of those “doodle here” type of comments in books.

I chose mushrooms for my test page and went with a really simple light french grey background but the mushrooms have a multitude of layers at places and the paper held up like a champ. I just love coloring mushrooms, there’s something really fun about them.

Example image:
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Done with Prismacolor Premier pencils and a little white Posca.

Overall, it’s a great book with awesome paper, definitely recommend if you like these whimsical images.

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