Book review – Pusheen Coloring Book by Claire Belton

So if you’re 13, blonde and happen to be my daughter, STOP reading! I mean it. Santa won’t like it if you look.

Okay, now that we’ve shaken her off, lets look at the Pusheen Coloring Book by Claire Belton, something maybe a bit unusual for my blog but hey, it’s a coloring book and a fun one at that!

Details: Paperback, Simon & Schuster, 2016
Pages: 251 x 254 x 8mm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 1501164767
ISBN13: 9781501164767
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I must admit I’m apparently old now (or live under a rock, which is probably also true) since I had to Google for who this Pusheen kitty is exactly (here, I did it for you, click). But anyway, this book is all about Pusheen and then some more. It’s full of fun kitty images, some a bit more detailed, some less but in general it’s not a fiddly book by any means.
The paper is nice, will work with markers as well, I’m sure. Though alcohol-based markers will bleed through as is their way so take that into consideration.
Maybe the only con is that the binding seems a little too stiff, I haven’t tried bending the living daylights out of it since it is meant for my daughter for Christmas (yes, she knows, she asked for this), would be an awkward conversation as to how Santa got her book banged up…
Anyway I’m sure this would be loved by the Pusheen fans near and far.

Overall, a fun book with loads of different images of Pusheen, if you’re a fan, this should be right up your alley.
pusheenyt

Book review – 1950s Fashion: Artists’ Colouring Book by Pepin Van Roojen

Time for another book review, yay! Today, 1950s Fashion: Artists’ Colouring Book by Pepin Van Roojen.

Details: Paperback, Pepin Press, 2015
Pages: 250 x 345 x 8mm, 16 pages, 180gsm textured high quality paper, single-sided, glue bound
ISBN10: 946009810X
ISBN13: 9789460098109
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Pepin Press has a whole load of different artists colouring books, I will show you two, starting today with the 1950s fashion themed book.
The book holds 16 images on high quality 180gsm acid-free paper. The book is glue bound and the glue isn’t too strong, the pages come loose very easily. The linework is very nice, it’s light enough to blend into your coloring so the end result will look fabulous, no matter the medium you use.
The book has glue binding, not a very strong one at that and that is definitely a good thing with coloring books of this nature because you can easily take the pages out to color without fear of damaging them.
I am a complete fan of fashion images and specially retro fashion, 50s and 60s in particular, I find them very interesting and beautiful.
The paper is very interesting, it’s 180gsm and has a texture to it. That might be annoying with pencils since you’ll have to really work for it if you want a smooth result. I didn’t, I liked the grainy sketch-like appearance in this case, it is a fashion image afterall. But I did test out water and it can take a decent amount of it so you’ll have smooth sailing with watercolors or watercolor pencils. Just don’t overflood the page, it will still warp.
However if you want to do washes, I suggest you take the page out, tape it down on a board (like plywood or whatever, even a wooden desk will work), tape along all of the edges and with a clean sponge, sponge water on it evenly to get it wet. The paper will then stretch a bit since it’s wet but because it’s evenly wet, it won’t create buckling. Once it dries, it relaxes into a more water-loving state and you’ll be fine with more water then before.

I chose to use pencils on my example image and leave the texture showing, I usually like to fill the tooth of the paper but I really like this sketchy look so stopped there. But you can build a ton of layers into this paper and get it smooth if you wish:
_dsc3948
The light is completely atrocious these days with the autumn here so pictures are getting trickier and trickier. But anyway, done with Prismacolor Premier pencils.

Overall: 
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a fashion designer, this is the book for you for sure! And do try watersoluble mediums on this, I’m sure you’ll have loads of fun.

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

Book review – Brillante Myth by Kim Miso, Wishingstar

So, this has got to win the medal for the most confusing title of all times – Brillante Myth Time of Fantasy, Rest of Goddess, Rainbow Story Coloring Book. Told you so. It’s by Kim Miso, Wishingstar and for simplicity, lets call it Brillante Myth.

Details: Hardback, BookEdda, 2015
Pages: 190*240*6mm, 32 pages, amazing smooth thick paper, single-sided
ISBN13: 9791195489404
Buy it: Ebay

So this is an interesting Korean coloring book. First of all, the title is confusing as we already established 😀 But it’s quite different to anything I own, I must say. The difference starts at the covers already, I love the hardcover binding and the gold foil on the cover, it makes it look very cool indeed. The content is mythology-themed, the images are on a single side and the opposite page has information about the goddess depicted. This part has also been translated into English which is very nice.
The style of the illustrations is quite interesting, it’s a mix between sort of manga-ish and art deco, definitely something I haven’t seen before.
The paper is brilliant, it’s absolutely gorgeous, I wish more books would be like this, it’s thick and creamy and beautiful. Thumbs up!
The downside is that you’ll have to scour Ebay for this, Amazon has some but they’re insanely overpriced so stick with Ebay. I’m enchanted by this. I haven’t had a revelation as to how to color something from it yet, I’ve been waiting for a few weeks but keep getting distracted. But I really wanted to show this to you guys so no example picture this time. Rather look at the cover, isn’t it beautiful? Sad the gold doesn’t seem like foil on the photo though but I promise you, it is:
brillante-myth

Overall, very interesting find, I’ll definitely be thinking about this some more, eventually I do hope for a flash of inspiration on this one. If you liked it, definitely get it, try the paper, seriously, it’s divine.

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

In other news, I know I’ve been delaying the next color with me, I’m soooo close to the new camera, I can almost taste it. I want you guys to see it better next time. I also have a bunch of reviews lined up which I’ll probably be refilming. So stay tuned!

Book review – Enchanted by Selina Fenech

All faerie lovers, come, gather up, lets look at Enchanted – Magical Forests Coloring Collection by Selina Fenech.

Details: Paperback, Fairies and Fantasy Pty Ltd, 2015
Pages: 216 x 279 x 6mm, 108 pages, thinner slightly textured paper, single-sided
ISBN10: 0994355432
ISBN13: 9780994355430
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
or get it from the publisher store

First off, this book is different then most since it has every image twice. So in the flip through I only show you the first half, the second is identical. The idea behind this is that you can try different approaches or give the second page to a friend. There are also tips in the beginning and every page is titled as well.
All the images are of faeries, I specially love the sleepy spring one, it’s the sweetest image I’ve seen in a while.
The detail of these varies, some are less detailed, some are way more intricate.
The images are all on one side so you can use markers but do put a sheet of paper underneath the page to protect the next page. This paper is too thin for water. You should also be careful when burnishing, it can’t take a lot of beating.
The paper is the part I didn’t particularly care for, it’s thin like most indies but it has a bit of an annoying texture to it, if you have the first Inklings by Tanya Bond, you’ll probably know what I mean. I would trade in the second set of pictures for heavier cardstock paper happily.
I chose my picture because of the wings, I’ve never done faerie wings and I wanted to try.

Example picture:
_dsc3850
Colored with Faber-Castell Polychromos and a bit of white Posca

Overall it’s definitely something you should check out if you’re a faerie book lover, it would be right up your alley for sure!

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All of the above opinions are my own.
Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience and opinions

Book review – Coloring Book by Jasmine Becket-Griffith

Continuing with book reviews, today Coloring Book by Jasmine Becket-Griffith. This is my daughters favorite and with her permission, the example picture is hers this time.

Details: Paperback, Llewellyn Publications, 2016
Pages: 216 x 274 x 15mm, 96 pages, nice smooth 150gsm paper, single-sided
ISBN10: 0738750018
ISBN13: 9780738750019
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

This is one of my daughters favorite books ever. She’s 13, for the record. The images are on one side of the page, the opposite page tells the story of the image, a feature I absolutely love. The paper is very nice and thick, I’m pretty sure it can take a bit of water as well.
All the images feature girls in a very distinct style. Everything about them is great, the backgrounds, details, everything, there’s no feeling of unfinished business with these images.
There are 55 images with varying degrees of detail.

Example picture is colored by my daughter as said previously, she has colored in a lot of these, this is just one:
_dsc3769

Overall it is an amazing book with great quality paper, if you like the style, you should definitely give this a go, it will be worth it.

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

Book review – Equinox by Stephen Barnwell

If I were to talk of things that get me excited, indie-anything is sure one of them. Indie coloring books are no exception. I was really happy to find Equinox by Stephen Barnwell, it’s everything I hope for in a coloring book and more.

Details: Paperback, Antarctica Arts Publishing, 2016
Pages: 8.5 x 11″, 124 pages, 70 pound paper, single-sided
ISBN: 9780991321636
Where to get: US versionInternational versionAntarctica Arts page

This is a really cool book by Stephen Barnwell, it’s his first coloring book but he’s no beginner at art, you can read his impressive resume on the Antarctica Arts website. This book has an awesome style and the images caught my eye immediately. Also check out the colored pages on their website, there are some seriously amazing ways to color these. And there’s also a section there for tips and tricks for coloring.
The book has 52 images, all printed on just one side so you can use markers with confidence (though do put a sheet of paper under the picture you’re working with to protect the next page).
The paper quality depends on the version. The US version is printed on 70 pound paper, which is roughly 105 gsm, it’s not the thickest paper in the world but better then your average copy paper. The international version is printed by Amazon and thus is on copy paper. So I do recommend getting the US version from either the link above or their website. The paper will not take water well since it’s on the thinner side, it will buckle so stick to pencils and you’ll be fine.
The book is divided into four sections by seasons and has the most fantastical imagery ever, everything from flying pigs to Arthurian legends. They’re all so cool that I had a really hard time picking my first image and I will certainly revisit this book later to do more. I also love how the author himself has colored the images, they’re very dreamlike in a way.
The images range in difficulty from very easy to a bit more challenging but there’s something for everyone which is always awesome.

For example, the one I had such a hard time choosing but I am partial to anything with antlers (even though I really suck at coloring animals):
_DSC3836
Colored with Marco Renoir pencils and a wee bit of white Posca.

Overall, I love this book! I definitely recommend getting it. The paper could be thicker so it could take water as well but that is really the only thing I can think to pick on. The images are seriously enchanting and crazy enough to offer fun for days. I do hope Stephen Barnwell will do more books in the future, I’ll surely be lining up for the next as well.

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All of the above opinions are my own.
Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience and opinions

Book review – Sagolikt by Emelie Lidehäll Öberg

Now here’s this something special I mentioned a few days ago, drumroll anyone? I’m always excited to find new authors that aren’t super known like Johanna Basford and Sagolikt by Emilie Lidehäll Öberg is so magical, you just have to see this. Sweden is truly quickly becoming The Place for coloring books. To make things even better, Sagolikt will be published in English in March 2017.

Details: Paperback, Pagina Förlag Publishing, 2016
Pages: 250 x 260 x 10 mm, 96 pages, smooth and thick paper, double-sided
Where to get: Pen StoreBokus

As far as I can tell, Sagolikt means something in the lines of “fairytale-like”, correct me if I’m wrong. And like a fairy tale this book truly is. There are hints to Alice but generally it’s a dreamy fairytale-like book filled with beautiful images. I like the highly stylized girls too, the cheeks remind me of an incredibly old Russian animation where the heroine rubbed her cheeks with beetroot to look pretty, I loved it as a child and to my grandmas dismay, I actually tried that beauty trick while she was making borscht.
I had a hard time picking an image to color first, I loved so many of them. I chose the one I did because of the expression on the girls face and her antlers, I’ve drawn girls with antlers for a while, dabbling with the idea so I was hit by the familiarity of the idea in a good way.
The paper is very nice, to me it doesn’t feel completely the same as Hanna Karlzon and Maria Trolle books, I might be wrong but it feels a bit thinner, however it is absolutely a dream to color on, just like the others are. The cover is paperback, also different from Karlzon and Trolle, it’s still gorgeous, I love the gold foil and the patterns inside the covers, it’s totally colorable too, nice cardstock, great for markers or pencils alike.
The images are on both sides of the pages but there are no double spreads which is actually a good thing in my eyes. I love and hate double spreads. Not for the amount of work but because I can NEVER creep into the binding well enough, no matter how hard I try and the remaining white paper showing bugs me to no end.

So, my example:
_DSC3776
Colored with Prismacolor Premier, some Derwent Drawing for background and white Posca for highlight details.

Overall I’m completely in love with this book. I love all the coloring books in my shelf (okay maybe not ALL but most), sometimes with the amount of books coming out constantly, I do love them all but the enchantment is not always present, if you know what I mean. The sense of wonder and excitement and eagerness to pick a picture, the feeling of Christmas when you open your mailbox. That for me is here with Sagolikt. And that makes Sweden officially my favorite country in the whole wide world since now my so far favorites Karlzon and Trolle have company. Seems I’ll have to start learning Swedish to fit in 😀

On this note, I will be taking a few days off from book reviews, I want to concentrate on the color along project and it’s lighting issues and also I’ve been wanting to do some pencil testing for a while which I haven’t found the time for. So next book review will be in a few days, until then, next part of the color along of Hanna Karlzon’s Sommarnatt girl will be up soon so stay tuned!

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All of the above opinions are my own.
Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience and opinions