Book review – Beautiful Women by Ikenaga Yasunari

Lets look at something Japanese! Because who doesn’t love Japanese books? Today, Beautiful Women by Ikenaga Yasunari. This book has like a bazillion translations, also with “outline of 100 Full Moons”, just “100 Full Moons” etc in the title, I just couldn’t figure out how to work that in. If anyone here speaks Japanese, please do enlighten me with the correct translation!

Details: Paperback, MdN Corporation, 2016
Pages: 28 cm, 96 pages, thick slightly textured paper, double-sided
ISBN13: 9784844366294
Get it: CDJapan, Amazon Japan

Ikenaga Yasunari is a Japanese artist, born in 1965. He has the most exquisite paintings of women that I’ve seen in a while. While they wear modern clothing, they look timeless thanks to his style. I mean look:
1manami_ikenaga_yasunari

This book is filled with lineart versions of his paintings, tons and tons of women, plus some cats. Because cats are cool, mkay. I would just love to be rich enough to own one of his works but a coloring book is more in my price range and well worth it, it’s gorgeous.
The only gripe I have with the book is the paper. I didn’t find it to be to my liking but I do think it’s a matter of preference. It’s slightly textured and will take seven thousand layers of pencil but also it takes a lot of work to burnish the layers down to not see the white of the paper. Also even Posca managed to bleed through to the other side, which is something I’ve never seen before. So be very careful with markers! And I’m pretty sure watersoluble pencils are not a very good idea here. But you can surely try them out yourself. That said, I will surely revisit this book, I love all the girls, it’s just so my cup of tea.

Example image:
yasunari
Done with Prismacolor Premier and a bit of Posca.
I really don’t like how this turned out, I overworked the paper and it turned into a giant mess in the end. Plus I got the nose wrong because I suck 😀 But anyway, tested and tried and don’t like the paper. Next time I’ll try a different pencil with it.

Overall, it’s a beautiful book and if girls are your thing, you should definitely check this out!

In other news, sorry that I didn’t manage to film the new color along last week, my youngest got sick and it was pretty insane here for a while. I’ll start filming again tomorrow and soon hope to have the color along up for you!

Book review – Ticket to Dreams by Karolina Kubikowska

Drumroll, yes! I too have finally got my hands on Ticket to Dreams by Karolina Kubikowska! Took a while to land one, it was sold out every time I looked. Anyway before we go any further, pro tip, open the envelope somewhere that is NOT your car. I ripped into it excitedly in my car and turns out they put tiny paper confetti in the envelope and it was all waiting for me to open the door for it to pop out. You can imagine the fun that followed 😀 But anyway, here it is!

Details: Paperback, Karminia, 2017
Pages: 23 x 25 x 1,7 cm, 100 pages, extremely good thick paper, double-sided, spiral-bound
ISBN13: 9788090668607
Get it: Karolina’s web site

Ticket to Dreams is the second book from the amazing Polish artist, Karolina Kubikowska. You can see her first book, Po Drugiej Stronie Snu HERE and read the interview with her HERE if you haven’t yet.
First impressions of this book are wow and more wow. First of all, I absolutely love the spiral binding, it makes it a lot easier to handle. The construction of the spiral is good as well, it won’t start falling apart in two seconds.
Then, there’s the paper. I think I’ve never seen such thick and amazing paper in any book. It truly is amazing, it will be great for wet mediums, which rock with Karolina’s imagery.
The images are very unique, you will recognize Karolina’s work from a mile away. I love the dark and gloomy sketchy style, it’s definitely a standout from the crowd. The images range from flora to fauna to people, there’s something for everyone who likes this style, I’m sure.

Overall, it’s an amazing book, I am absolutely blown away by the quality and images. The price is also very reasonable, considering the paper. I hope Karolina continues to draw these amazing images for us to color!

As for the example image… we’ll do a color along for it! And that will start this week 🙂 So stay tuned and see you soon!

Book review – Lonely Planet World’s Cutest Animal Colouring Book by Lulu Mayo

Be prepared for too much cute! Today we’ll look at Lonely Planet World’s Cutest Animal Colouring Book by Lulu Mayo. This is technically aimed for children but it’s totally too cute to miss for adults as well, I think.

Details: Paperback, Lonely Planet, 2016
Pages: 229 x 264 x 5mm, 48 pages, good quite thick paper, single-sided (a colored example on reverse for the next image)
ISBN10: 178657408X
ISBN13: 9781786574084
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I filmed it before coloring the example and then happily proceeded to format my memory card before copying the file to my computer so the flip through is filmed after I discovered it and already colored a page. Cause I rock and all that.
As you can see, it’s a cutie! The book has 22 images to color, all of different animals. The opposite page has an example of how you could color the image (but don’t have to). In the end, there’s a world map, showing where each of these animals live and also giving you some facts about each of them. So not only cute but also educational.
The paper is good, it’s thick enough to also take some water and I’m sure it would look awesome with Inktense for instance. For pencils it’s also great, it does have a tiny bit of a texture so if you want a completely polished look, a blender pencil is your friend here. But it looks just great as is as well.

Example image:
worldscutestex
Colored with Caran D’Ache Pablo.

Overall, it’s absolutely adorable! I love the cute animals and fun creative images in this book. It’s definitely a keeper for me!

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, destash is still going (clicky HERE) and all tins will come with a coloring book of some sort, won’t tell you which ones though 🙂

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…
_dsc3988

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 – Fantasia by Nicholas Chandrawienata

So to start climbing back on the horse of blogging and coloring, lets look at the most exciting book found in my mailbox of late, Fantasia by Nicholas Chandrawienata, one of the most hyped up books lately. Lets see what the fuss is about, shall we?

Details: Paperback, Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2015
Pages: 64 pages, slightly textured paper, double-sided, perforated pages
ISBN13: 9786020324425
Buy the book: contact Indo Buku Mania to check if they ship to your country

Nicholas Chandrawienata is an Indonesian artist, Fantasia is one of his coloring books. This book is pretty tricky to get if you’re not in Indonesia but as you can see from my example, it can be done. In my case, I lucked out with stumbling into a Romanian group order. Anyway, to the book! The style is very cool, I think the cover is a bit misleading, I wouldn’t have picked it up based on the cover alone. I of course love the ladies the most as usual. And oh my, the kind of ladies found here! Oohs and aahs all around.
The paper is a bit on the meh side, it’s slightly textured so it will take some work to cover all nooks and crannies, a blender pencil will also help. But the pages are perforated, I find that to be a huge plus. The perforation is very strong though, as you can see from the video, it was my very first flip through, I didn’t look at it myself before filming. And it already started falling apart from the perforations. So if that’s a problem for you, here’s a heads up that this will happen.
The images are fantastical creatures, characters and well, girls. I love the style for sure. I would have loved to get his other book, Serene, even more but I couldn’t find access to that one. If you can, pick that one up though, it looks absolutely mindblowing.
I haven’t touched it much yet, I have a work in progress but I decided to show you the book before finishing the WIP since my to do list has buried me alive so I’m giving up hope of finishing it any time soon. I will show you when I ever do though!

Overall, I’m in love with this book, it was worth the trouble of getting it! I only wish the paper was a bit easier to work with but it’s definitely not among the worst I’ve seen so I can live with it. Thumbs up!

In other news, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, just the to do list pile is a bit mindblowing. I will try to get a new color along going within a week and we’ll go from there 🙂

fantasiayt

Derwent Graphitint review

Yay for pencil review time! Derwent Graphitint is not meant for coloring, strictly speaking, but can be used for it successfully so while not aimed at us, lets look at them anyway.

Derwent is a company based in the United Kingdom and they produce a LOT of stuff, from the insanely popular and awesome Inktense to all kinds of accessories. Their colored pencils are pretty popular too, check the Product Reviews tab above the banner to find some reviews on their other products.

Graphitints are water soluble, graphite and color in one pencil and insanely cool, even though their color range is small:
graphitint
They come in tins of 12 and 24, plus a blister of 6. I think this is the first time I’m showing you something that isn’t full set but while I adore these pencils, 12 is enough for my purposes so I’m not going to splurge on the 24, though there are some colors in the full set that make me go all grabbyhands.
graphitint2
As all Derwent pencils, these are chubby pencils, these particular ones have a silver casing and their usual color coded tips. They have a cedar casing with the name of the color and code printed on them.

Pros:

  • Seriously, tinted graphite pencils that are water soluble as a cherry on top? What’s not to love!
  • They offer a lot of variation even with their small color range, the color is very subtle when dry, when adding water, they’re beautifully vibrant
  • The casing quality is nice, I didn’t have any problems with splintering
  • Really gorgeous selection of muted colors, great for nature sketching
  • Nice thick 4mm lead in 8mm cedar casing, you really do get all the bang for your buck here
  • Fit in most standard sharpeners
  • Easy to get a hold of in Europe at least, probably not that difficult in USA either
  • Also available open stock in some art stores and Amazon
  • Derwent customer support rocks, I never hesitate to buy their products, in case of problems, they will help you, I’m sure

Cons:

  • Due to their graphite content, they don’t melt quite as easily with water as say Inktense does but while you can’t float them around too much, they do dissolve nicely so pencil marks won’t remain (unless you did some really harsh ones)
  • Limited color range
  • I’d like less greys. I know, I know, water soluble graphite but well I also have Graphitone so that will cover the soluble grey for me, I’d like to see more reds and maybe an ochre instead
  • The tin of 12 only has one green

General:
So usually there’s a comparison bit here but these are really different and not comparable to anything else so lets make this section general blabber instead.
I do have to say this, the OCD in me loves Derwent for producing pencils that look alike and are color coded. I love that they are all uniform in size and shape and I have the barrel color to help me tell them apart. I know this is not something most people even notice or think about but I love the uniformity it creates.
Graphitint was something I bought ages ago to sketch, I read tinted graphite and went oh hello there, didn’t even notice it was water soluble until I got the tin. And well that just made it all even better. I’ve used these for sketching quite a bit and I can tell you, while they don’t behave like your standard HB pencil to a T, they do work like graphite rather than colored pencil.
In my set of 12, I’m happy with all of them. I do wish for less greys in the tin of 12 at least but the range is nice. I would buy the tin of 24 if I ever ran out of the 12 but seeing that I don’t sketch all that much these days, it’s not that likely that it would happen in the near future.

Color chart:
My shaky 12 color one:
chartgraphitint
Official color chart:
graphitintderwent

Example colored picture done with Derwent Graphitint:
_dsc4017
Picture: from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon

Overall:
I do really like these. They are not at all just a gimmick I think, they work beautifully and blend together nicely, creating a really subtle muted palette. I think they’d be great for more coloring work in addition to sketching. So overall, if this is something that interests you, go ahead, try them, you’ll like them, I’m sure.

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

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