Book review – Friends of Nature by Jowie Lim

I’m so late to this train but I still want to show you this amazing book. I have had this queued to review for far too long, by this point the book itself is sadly sold through but you can still get the digital pdf version, I’ll link you that one instead.

Details: Paperback, self-published
Pages: 210 x 270 mm, 32 pages, smooth medium paper, single-sided
Buy from: Etsy

If you love coloring girls, this is right up your alley! This book has a person on every single page, in beautiful and delicate linework. The images are hauntingly beautiful, I specially love the girl with moths. They are all in portrait format, which I appreciate a lot and have a nice finish with the frame around the image.

Though new buyers will buy this book in PDF format and can choose their own paper, I’ll talk a bit about the paper on the printed version as well. The pages are single-sided so you won’t ruin any images if you want to go with markers, though do put a sheet of paper under the image you’re coloring to be on the safe side with the next image. The paper is decent weight, not flimsy copy paper but also not the thickest out there. There’s little to no texture and not a lot of tooth, it is nice to color on but be prepared that you can’t lay down a lot of layers. That can be a bit tricky when coloring the skin but with a gentle hand, you can fit quite a bit on it.

Overall, I absolutely adore this book and can’t wait to actually have some personal time to color over what seems like an eternity. In any case, if you don’t mind a PDF, I absolutely recommend you get it if this kind of aesthetic appeals to you. I wish there were more books like this one.

Book review – Skymnings Timman by Maria Trolle

Later then I would have liked but at last I have a book review for you! Lets look at another one of the Swedish miracle artists, Maria Trolle and her new book, Skymnings Timman.

Details: Hardback, Pagina Förlag, 2017
Pages: 21.6 x 1.5 x 25.1 cm, 96 pages, nice and thick paper, double-sided
ISBN13: 9789163613685
Buy from: Printworks

This is the fourth coloring book from Maria Trolle, previous three being Blomstermandala, another Blomstermandala and Vivi Söker en Vän. While Vivi was a paperback and looked different due to it being a coloring book version to the original storybook, Skymnings Timman returns to Blomstermandala in terms of its looks with the hardback cover with gold lettering.

The paper is still the same smooth goodness Pagina always gives us, you really can’t find better paper anywhere. The images are double-sided but I haven’t experienced any issues with it, maybe you would get some bleeding with alcohol markers but those bleed through anything, care is required regardless of the paper.

This I want to say right off the bat, I LOVE that there are latin names for the flowers in the end of the book, making it really easy to Google for images of the flowers, to see what they should look like. I mean it’s no crime if you want a blue tulip for instance, go right ahead. But if you do aim for a slightly more realistic result, you might Google to find tulips aren’t usually blue 😛

The images themselves are very very sweet, I specially love the ones with hedgehogs, I have a soft spot for them. Seriously, I squealed with joy when I found out we have a hedgehog family in our yard this year 🙂 Much happiness!

Overall, I think it’s yet another winner from Maria Trolle, the cuteness factor is too much, I love it. I must say, Maria Trolle is still in my holy trinity of artists along with Hanna Karlzon and Emelie Lidehäll Öberg. I really must move to Sweden, it seems!

Book review – Absolutely Amazing Stress Relieving Wild Animals, Vivid Publishers

Today, something for those of you who love to color animals! Absolutely Amazing Stress Relieving Wild Animals by Chinthaka Herath, Vivid Publishers.

Details: Paperback, Vivid Publishers, 2017
Pages: 216 x 280 mm, 96 pages, standard Amazon paper, single-sided
ISBN10: 1546763600
ISBN13: 9781546763604
Buy from: Amazon

This is a book filled with animals of all kinds, it has 40 illustrations for you to color, all single-sided on standard Amazon paper. There is a dotted line on each page to guide you to cut out the page if are so inclined. There’s a nameplate page as well which I quite like, I rarely ever color them but I like that they’re there, color me odd. All the pages are numbered and there’s an index as well which makes it easier to find what you’re looking for, plus if you don’t know the name of a creature, you can look it up from the index. The end also has a few blank pages where you can test your mediums.

The imagery itself is something Millie Marotta’s fans might really enjoy, the animals are made of geometrical shapes and the style in general reminds me of Millie. They vary in detail, some are easier, some really detailed. Some have a background as well, some don’t. Some have already filled in black spaces. In any case, if you’re into coloring animals, this is worth a look. The paper will be okay for pencils, for markers you will need to put a sheet between the pages to avoid color bleeding on to the next image below. Water mediums would not be good for this paper.

I wish Amazon would provide better paper through CreativeSpace, it’s a wonderful platform for small publishers and artists to get their work out there but with the market being flooded with tons of books, I fear the standard copy paper puts them at a disadvantage. However even more the reason to support the artists you like!

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

In other news, we’ll finish the last bit of the ongoing color along in a few days. I’ve filmed it and now trying to wiggle in time to edit it all together. So yay for those who follow that 🙂 And there will be a steady flow of color along projects from now on, the parts are spaced apart more then they were but at least you can be sure there’s always something to follow along, which should be a good thing I hope.

Book review – Mythomorphia by Kerby Rosanes

The moment I’ve been waiting since the beginning of February finally arrived, my copy of the UK version of Mythomorphia by Kerby Rosanes landed in my mailbox. Or well, I wish it was so simple but nothing about the Estonian postal service is simple. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, it’s Mythomorphia time, guys!

Details: Paperback, Michael O’Mara Books Ltd, 2017
Pages: 200 x 200 x 12mm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 1910552267
ISBN13: 9781910552261
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Lets begin with the paper. It’s a very nice paper, thick, smooth and can take a bit of beating. The images are printed on both sides as usual. Some are double spreads and getting into the binding is a bit of a hassle but not the worst I’ve seen.

The imagery is just amazing. It covers all kinds of mythological creatures, dragons, medusa, even a harpy, you name it, it’s here. It’s Kerby Rosanes at his finest, while it’s absolutely clear it’s his work, most of it still feels fresh and new, some images are a bit of a repeat from the past (the horse with the roses for example) but generally they’re all very new and exciting. While the images are still crazy busy, most of them have a different way to create the confusion rather than the tiny funny critters we know from the previous books, that definitely contributes to the fresh feeling.

The images are rather crazy looking and can be intimidating but if you’re scared of the color choices with so many tiny tidbits, start with a limited palette, pick out some pencils and stick to those, it will be SO much easier, trust me. Try it!

Overall, if you’re in any way into Kerby’s work, do get this book for sure, you’ll love it. Hell, I got two! True story. My daughter is a fan of his so the second one is for her.

In other news, I am aiming for at least one video tutorial bit per week plus a book review or some other type of post so at least two per week. We’ll see how well that goes. In any case, the next video tutorial bit on the Mermaid will be up in a few days so stay tuned!

Book review – Magical Beauties by Cristina McAllister

Time to blow the dust off from the book review section! Lets look at Magical Beauties by Cristina McAllister today, a very interesting portrait book found on Amazon.

Details: Paperback, self-published, 2016
Pages: 21,6×28 cm, 60 pages, thin Amazon standard paper, single-sided
ISBN13: 9781539038535
ISBN10: 153903853X
Get it: Amazon

This is a grayscale portrait book containing 24 images and a tips and tricks portion plus a grayscale testing sheet. All the images are single-sided. The paper is the usual Amazon copy paper, not the best really but not impossible to work with, you just have to be careful and stick to a few layers, it doesn’t have much of a tooth. However since it’s a grayscale book, you don’t need all that many layers anyway.
The portraits are enchanting, I seriously love the imagery here. If you’re into portraits in any shape or form, do check this out. Grayscale takes a bit of getting used to but it’s not too intense in this book and you can totally rock it with ease, it makes life a lot simpler in terms of shading so great for beginners.
Pencils will work great in this, for markers, do put a sheet of paper between the pages to protect the next page, the paper is thin and it will bleed through most likely.

Overall it’s a wonderful book and if you’re in the market for a portrait book, I do recommend trying it out.

Book review – Tidevarv by Hanna Karlzon

When the UPS guy turns up at my door, it’s always with the best news ever. Since UPS only comes when Printworks sends me something 😀 Anyway I bought the new fantabulous book Tidevarv by Hanna Karlzon and also the new book from Emelie Lidehäll Öberg, which we’ll take a look at tomorrow. But for now, Tidevarv time!

Details: Hardcover, Pagina Förlags, 2017
Pages: 255 x 215 mm, 96 pages, good smooth paper, double-sided
ISBN13: 9789163612985
Get it: Printworks

Tidevarv is the fourth book of Hanna Karlzon and let me tell you, boy do they get better every time around! It’s just crazy. I really can’t fathom how anyone can churn out ideas at such a pace, let alone draw them. The work behind these books blows my mind. But anyway, I think this one might be my new favorite of her books.
There’s loads of variety here, everything from flowers to girls. Some of my all time favorite portrait images are in this book, I can’t wait to tackle them. This book is inspired by the seasons so it’s like you’re following through a year with it. Often it’s subtle but there are more specific images, such as the Halloween witch and the Christmas imagery in the end. I find that this book is a bit less Sommarnatt then Magysk Gryning was, I think those two were very similar, which is not a bad thing, mind you. However, my point was that Tidevarv is the same style but it takes things further, which I really like. There’s no feeling of repetition, everything feels new and exciting.
The paper is as amazing as always, thick and smooth. I hope they never change it, it’s just perfect. It can take a bit of water but not a lot of flooding. Still, Inktense is completely fine in this book if you don’t float the page with several washes. Pencils just love the paper and you don’t have to work super hard to get it to cooperate, which I appreciate more and more after having experienced paper that really wants to put up a fight.

Overall, it’s yet again one more amazing home run from Hanna. I can’t wait to see what more she has hidden there between her ears, I wish I had her brain. Brain-envy to the max!

We’ll do a video series for one of these images very soon, stay tuned for that and come back tomorrow for Emelie’s lovely new book, Sagor och Sägner.

Book review – Coloriage Wild by Emmanuelle Colin

What better way to resurrect from the killer flu then something French? Lets look at Coloriage Wild by Emmanuelle Colin today, shall we? This book is a rising star and spoiler alert, well worth it.

Details: Spiral-bound, Avenue Mandarin
Pages: 2.5 x 20 x 1.5 cm, 28 pages (14 images, twice), thick slightly textured 250gsm paper, single-sided
ISBN13: –
Get it: Amazon France

Now first, let me get this out there, this paper is thick! I mean 250gsm thick. However, due to the slight texture, it will take a bit of elbow grease to get a smooth end result with pencils but it’s definitely doable. As for water mediums, be very careful. I tested a few pages and the paper starts disintegrating pretty fast when it gets wet, it can’t deal with it well.
There are 14 images in this book, all printed twice so you get 28 pages. The pages are perforated, you can take them out, which is a great feature.
So back to the book. The images are all so cute, it’s unbelievable. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it. That doesn’t happen all too much lately.
The images are grayscale so you’ll need to be less artsy to get a shaded look which is definitely a good thing most of the time. The images are only printed on one side so you’re good to go with markers as well (though put a sheet of paper between the pages just in case to protect the drawing below).
Also worth mentioning that the back of this book is very thick cardboard, which makes it a breeze to color in your lap. The book is not tiny but smaller then your average coloring book, it would fit in most bags and thanks to the stiff backing and convenient spiral binding, it’d make a great carry-along coloring book.

As for example images, I’m buried under projects and from now on, I won’t attempt to do an example from every book simply because I want to focus on color along videos instead.

Overall, I’m loving this book to bits, I even like the double printing, which I normally don’t really care for but since they’re all so cute, I could in theory see myself doing the same image twice. In theory because in practice I simply don’t have the time for it 😀