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 DĂŒrer 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.

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:
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.

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:

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 – 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:

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 version, International version, Antarctica 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):
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 LidehĂ€ll Ă–berg

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 LidehĂ€ll 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 Store, Bokus

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:
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



Book review – Tropical Wonderland by Millie Marotta

I’ve shown you the first book by Millie Marotta, Animal Kingdom. Now lets look at the second, Tropical Wonderland. Millie Marotta will also be releasing a new book very soon, Curious Creatures, the release date is September 8 on Bookdepository, they usually get books a few days earlier so if you preorder now, you’ll get it pretty soon!

Details: Paperback, Pavilion Books, 2015
Pages: 250 x 250 x 12mm, 144 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 1849942854
ISBN13: 9781849942850
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tropical Wonderland was, as mentioned, the second book from Millie Marotta. She now also has Curious Creatures coming up very soon.
The paper of this book is very nice, it’s smooth and quite thick, can take a little water but not too much. The images are double-sided so careful with markers. Pencils love this paper.
The images are, as the title suggests, tropical. The pictures have a very recongizable style, geometrical and calm, with single-width linework. I love that her books have an introduction, that feels like you’re getting to know the artist a little bit.
The book also has blank pages in the end to create your own tropical paradise or test out supplies you intend to use, good for marker tests and so on.

I don’t have an example piece for you yet, I’m eyeing the peacock double spread page for quite a while now but it scares the living daylights out of me 😀

Overall, thumbs up! Good paper, beautiful imagery, if you like her other books, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

In other news, skipping today in the color along project since the light is too bad today to film. I’m working on solving that issue and generating better video in general, we’ll see how that goes!

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