Book review – Astro-Inklings by Tanya Bond

Before we go any further, a reminder of the Christmas giveaway! Enter HERE if you haven’t, today is the last day, the winner will be announced tomorrow.
And now, lets look at the amazing Astro-Inklings book by Tanya Bond, the artist edition. This is her latest book.

Details: Paperback, self-published, 2016
Pages: 21.6 x 0.3 x 27.9 cm; 2×12 images for Amazon edition, 12 images for artist edition; thin 90 gsm paper for Amazon, great 170 gsm paper for artist edition; single-sided
ISBN10: 1540362515
ISBN13: 9781540362513
Get it: Amazon edition, Etsy for artist edition

As said, this is Tanya’s latest book. This book features the zodiac signs, represented by the ever lovely Inklings girls. Now I’m not really too much into astrology so by that measure this is not really something for me BUT the Inklings girls totally are. I specially love Leo, I can never resist a freckled girl, the Scorpio girl is also very striking, ah the whole book rocks.
There are two versions of the book, as is usual with Tanya’s books. The Amazon version is single-sided. It features all the zodiac signs but doubled so there are 24 pictures. And the paper is the usual thin copy-paperish paper. My flip through shows the artist edition which you can buy from the Etsy link above, the artist edition has a great 170 gsm paper with a bit of a texture so if you want a smooth finish, you’ll definitely need a blender of some sort. And the images are all printed once.
The Amazon edition is cheaper but honestly, for me, the paper wins the battle and I’d get the artist edition if I were you. Then you can also try Inktense and such on this, I bet it would look fantastic.
There is a great variety here, something for everyone, really. And I love the backgrounds, she hasn’t left us hanging there.

Example image, of course I chose Pisces because well, March girls are the best, totally, specially those born on the 18th 😀 No but seriously, I just liked this one the best, in addition to it being my sign:
Done with Faber-Castell Polychromos and a bit of white Signo Uniball gel pen. And man I suck at the whole signature thing, I keep forgetting it and then I’ve tucked away the book and scanned it and too lazy to go back 😀 Oh well. Don’t steal, mkay?

Overall, love this book! I love this even more then Inklings 2 that was my favorite so far. I so hope I have time to come back and do Leo or Scorpio as well. I do recommend this book if you’re into coloring girls, you’ll love it!

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

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

The third part is a tad longer, shot over two days. The second day was dreary and dark, seems my lighting is finally decent enough to battle The Winter. Yes, it deserves capital letters. Anyway I think I also managed to find a tad better angle, hopefully my hand is not in the way so much with this. But let me know if it’s still crap.
Today we’re finishing metal bits, doing the flowers and also the gems and stuff on the jewelry. Quite a lot gets done.

Stuff used on day three:
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor replacements given below as well

  • Cold Grey I 230 (PC 10% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey II 231 (PC 20% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey IV 233 (PC 50% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey VI 235 (PC 70% Cool Grey)
  • Ivory 103 (PC no replacement, use PC Cream lightly with PC White on top)
  • Cream 102 (PC Cream)
  • Cadmium Yellow 107 (PC Canary Yellow)
  • 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)
  • Light Purple Pink 128 (PC Hot Pink)
  • Magenta 133 (PC Pomegranate)

Tips and tricks:

  • Don’t worry if you don’t have the specific pencils, look at what you do have and see how they work together
  • Also no worries, the gems will gem-ify once we add the highlights in the end. But when coloring them, keep in mind that with translucent gems, the light travels through the gem, making the top dark and bottom light. With solid stones, it’s reversed, the shade is on the bottom and light on top. So think about the effect you’re going for
  • You don’t have to add the pink to the flowers if you don’t want to, I find it adds a little contrast and interest but if you like them more pure blue, keep them blue! That goes for anything in the color alongs, do what YOU want. And I always appreciate it if you show me your result when done 🙂
  • I seriously lack tips today. I think of things when I shoot the video and forget them later. But my spoken English is so bad you really don’t want to hear me speak while I color.

End result of day three:

I’m getting depressed with all this blue. Colors have a strong effect on my emotions and I usually tend to stay in the warmer regions because of that. But anyway, it will hopefully be wintery, cold and a bit creepy in the end. Creepy to me at least.
Next time we’ll tackle the rest, trying to finish in four parts again as has become the norm. That will most likely happen on Monday or thereabouts. Until then, I have a book review coming up and the Christmas giveaway I promised you guys.

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

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

Today will be the most boring of them all for those who like colors, today is all about grey. Not even fifty shades of it, just four. But we’ll get through this together, I promise! It will not look cheerful in the end, more like the continuation of the Winter Is Coming theme I’m battling with lately. But trust me on this mass of grey, we’ll get past this, soon.

Stuff used on day two:
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor replacements given below as well

  • Cold Grey I 230 (PC 10% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey II 231 (PC 20% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey IV 233 (PC 50% Cool Grey)
  • Cold Grey VI 235 (PC 70% Cool Grey)

Tips and tricks:

  • Have chocolate around for this grey session, it will make it a lot more cheerful
  • Other than that, work light with the darks and blend in with the lights, using a stronger hand. We’ll add highlights later

Today we end here:

Next time we’ll finish the metal bits of the headpiece and will start working on the flowers. In color and everything! And I’ll hopefully figure out a way to place my camera a little differently so my hand wouldn’t be in the way so much. If you could see my setup, you’d know it’s not that easy. But eventually I’ll get there, to the land of perfect videos… I hope.

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

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

Hooray for new beginnings and new books! Today lets eagerly start with Hanna’s new book, Magisk Gryning. If you missed the review yesterday, go check it out HERE! But anyhow, without further ado, lets get started!

Stuff used on day one:
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor replacements given below as well

  • Light Flesh 132 (PC Light Peach)
  • Cinnamon 189 (PC Nectar)
  • Dark Sepia 175 (PC Sepia)
  • Dark Indigo 157 (PC Indigo Blue)
  • Alizarin Crimson 226 (PC Scarlet Lake or Crimson Red)
  • Ivory 103 (PC Cream)

Tips and tricks:

  • When doing people, it’s good to always start with the skin. That’s because then you won’t drag particles of the background or hair or something else touching the skin area into the skin, ruining it. In any case, when doing adjacent areas, it’s wise to start with the lightest for the same reason
  • I am keeping this girl very light because I want a wintery snow queen theme here but if you want to go for a warmer palette, I suggest you also do the skin darker
  • When doing first layers, have a very light hand, the last layers with Cinnamon and Light Flesh are heavier and meant to burnish in the previous layers. If you want a more realistic look, do more layers, build up the contours and texture. Here we’re keeping it rather simple because with pencils, the linework will stay there (unlike with markers that can cover them up) and my personal thing is that I think it will look better unified, meaning if it’s slightly cartoonish, very realistic parts like hyperrealistic skin would look a bit out of place. So coloring books are forgiving in that sense, the end result will look a lot better if you don’t overthink and overwork it. That said, you can definitely do more layers, specially if going for darker skin then I did, then you’ll need to build it up more
  • I can’t stress this enough, have fun! Don’t worry, even if you feel you’ve failed. And if you’re seriously scared, make copies of the page, that will take the pressure off, you won’t feel you’re about to ruin the book. Though I seriously think you can do what you want with the book, it’s a coloring book

And today we end up here:

So stay tuned for the next one coming in a few days. Until then we’ll look at some books and maybe something else as well, we’ll see! Plus I realize I missed the 300 subscriber mark in Youtube, though I promised you a giveaway. But I think I’ll make up for it with a Christmas shabang very soon, I want you to get your Christmas present from me in time so we’ll do it very soon!

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

Dagdrömmar love

This one I fully intended to do a video on and well, actually I did start. But then, my camera decided to stop filming without letting me know and I have about 30 minutes of footage missing. So I figured, what the hell, I’ll just finish the picture and move on to the next video project. No fun when parts are missing.

But anyway, this is one of my favorite images from Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon:
_dsc3892I thought about doing the outer part of the background black but nah, it’s light and airy as is I think. Not everything in life needs a black background 😀 This is done with Faber-Castell Polychromos and some white Posca as always.

In other news, I am lining up some interesting topics for you such as a blender pencil comparison and as a big project, trying to compile a list of what I think would be a great start to sets when buying open stock, like pencils you’d be great off with if you can only afford 12 or 24 of them. Something like that.


Book review – Portrait of the Mermaid by Sara Burrier

I’ve never been much of a mermaid person but let me just say this right off the bat, Portrait of the Mermaid by Sara Burrier makes me giddy like I’m a six year old in the My Little Pony aisle. Lets take a look 🙂

Details: Paperback, self-published
Pages: 6 x 9 inches, 20 images, thinner slightly textured paper, single-sided
ISBN13: 9781530855988
Buy it: Sara Burrier Etsy, Sara Burrier site (P.S. she has a giveaway happening there!)

It was a happy day when I stumbled upon this book in Etsy. I never ever pay more for shipping then the book itself costs but I was so intrigued by it that I just had to. And what luck, a book I want to color in from cover to cover arrived!
The book is small, pocket edition, just the right amount of coloring for a quicker project. The images are all of mermaids and I love that she doesn’t leave me hanging with the backgrounds, the patterns work beautifully with the girls. In hindsight I think I should have gone for less blue on my first page but better next time.
There are 20 images on a single side, you can use markers but put a sheet of paper inbetween the pages to protect the next image. Sadly the paper is too thin for water. Mermaids would rock with watercolor.
That brings me to the paper, the only part I wasn’t such a big fan of, it’s thin and slightly textured. The texture is fine for tons of layers but if you want to get there fast, you’ll need a blender pencil and since the paper is quite thin, be careful with that. I would love it even more with better paper but that said, almost all indies come with pretty crappy paper but sometimes trade off with amazing images. This is one of those amazing ones. I want to do more and more from this and probably will, if time will allow me 🙂 And you, you need this book in your life, I kid you not.

Example image, my first, this one caught my eye immediately and begged me to throw oodles of blue on it:
Done with Faber-Castell Polychromos and a little white Posca. The signature is crappy this time cause I couldn’t find my markers 😀 Will improve, honestly.

Overall, love love love! Did I say love yet? She has one more book on faeries, I hope she will do more and with backgrounds and a little better paper.

In other news, I know you’ve been waiting for the toucan to continue. My husband was kind enough to oil my desk and now it’s drying, I’m hoping to get it back in the next few days so I can continue filming. I haven’t forgotten! 🙂

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