Friday, 29 April 2016

Beautiful Creatures; Getting into Greyscale Colouring

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Artist: Nicole Stocker

Check out the May New Releases post here.




My colouring


Colouring greyscale images has become really popular in the colouring community recently.
To my mind, true greyscale images are from photos rather than just heavily shaded drawings. This was my first serious attempt at this skill and while I was waiting for the book to arrive, I downloaded this free image from Nicole to have a go at greyscale colouring. I rather enjoyed myself, while my cats looked on sceptically. Here's the result -


Another colouring by me
This image is coloured with Staedtler Ergosoft pencils - see review

At a glance…..


Size - 230 x 270, 106 pages
Single-sided images - yes
Images into the spine - no
Paper - white, smooth, good quality
Perforated - yes
Water based pens - yes but pencils would be my recommendation.
Who will love it - those who want to explore greyscale colouring,  those who like colouring with pencils, and those who like colouring all sorts of different creatures.




Guidelines for greyscale colouring

You can find out more…..




Available at Amazon US










Beautiful Nature - Nicole's next book
You can see my review & video flip through - here.
You can buy it at -
Amazon US only.







Tell me more…..


Comment:  If you enjoy colouring with pencils, do give greyscale colouring a try. While it takes some patience, it really is rewarding. You learn a lot about shading too and I found colouring the flowers up in the butterfly image above, really interesting. 
This book is arguably the best greyscale colouring book currently available, for both the high quality images and production values. 
I hope Nicole's next book is one of flowers.








Drawing:  Essentially there isn't drawing as such in this book, but carefully prepared greyscale photographs of creatures for us to add colour to. 
To add colour, you match your colours to the level of darkness of the grey, so that you use your darkest shade over the darkest grey through to your lightest colour over the palest shade in the image. 
My preference is to use pencils as you have finer control over them and can erase any errors. Also you can add fine blending between the colours if you wish. 
The colouring process takes time with layers of colours applied carefully. At first it seems like I'm not making much progress but the image slowly comes to life.
Every image has a dark informal border around it which I really like. Backgrounds vary from a soft, hazy blur to more specific details.






Layout and Paper: All images are single-sided, bordered and on perforated pages for easy removal. The design of this book is top quality and it's obvious that plenty of thought has gone into it. None of the images go into the spine but are centred on the page so that if you remove them, they are already aligned for framing.
The paper is really good quality and because the images are single-sided, you could use alcohol markers if you wished. However, like me, you may prefer to use pencils for easier control.







* This book was sent to me by the artist for an honest appraisal. Thanks.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

12 Must See New Colouring Books in May

So, here are the books being published next month that have caught my eye, with links, so you can have a browse and add to your Wishlist.
The release dates are based on Book Depository, so Amazon release dates may vary.
Let me know if there's a book here that you'd like me to review.

You can see April New Books post here.
You can see March new books here.
You can see new releases from Dover here.

Colouring Books



Animals Night & Day

You can read my review here.

You can find out more at Book Depository;

Amazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Booktopia (AU)

"With its unique 'night and day' approach and printed in full colour throughout, each intricate animal artwork can take on a life of its own."



Imagimorphia by Kerby Rosanes
Officially released in May.
You can read my review - here plus Video flip through

You can find out more at Book Depository - UK edition
At Amazon US - UK edition;  Amazon US - US edition
At Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU)




Color the Classics: Beauty & the Beast

You can find out more at Book Depository
at Amazon US;  Amazon UK;
and at Booktopia(AU)

"Over eighty pages of beautiful artwork detailing the decadence of the Beast's castle as well as the touching romance between the Beast and the kind-hearted Belle."










Yves Saint Laurent Colouring book
A new edition.
You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US
Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU)

"This elegant, imaginative coloring book explores the dynamic, fanciful creations of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent...He became famous for the "beatnik" look in the sixties, as well as creating the tuxedo suit for women."











Marjorie Sarnat's Pampered Pets

You can find out more at Book Depository;
at Amazon USAmazon UK
and at Booktopia (AU)

Following on from the huge successs of Creative Cats and Creative Owls.
"These specially crafted designs include a dazzling herd of friendly animals! They are adorned with florals, patterns, and dizzying design motifs that will engage your own inner animal and get your creativity off and running."




    Colouring Chinoiserie

You can find out more at Book Depository
Amazon US;
Amazon UKand at Booktopia (AU)

"Artist William Sim is known for his quirky illustrations and here, he adds his unique whimsical touch to everything from beautiful brocades, embroidery and clothing to architecture, furniture and even household items."









Colour Quest

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;
Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU)

"A colour-by-number book unlike anything you've ever seen before. 
Shade in a luscious lion camouflaged under dots, a pixelated cityscape lighting up the night sky or an elaborate cathedral created entirely from triangles."


New Guide to Coloring….
Review & flip through video - here.    

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;
Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU) 

"Inside this friendly guidebook you'll find plenty of easy-to-follow advice from best-selling colouring book artists."








All Things Nice by Jo Pearson

Australasia release only

You can find out more at Mighty Ape  and Booktopia (AU)

"This stunning follow-up to the bestselling All Good has a nostalgic vintage feel to it with images of flowers, birds, jewellery, ceramics, doilies, fabrics, cupcakes and other treasures...Illustrated with Jo Pearson.s organic, hand-inked artwork this heart-warming book will inspire you to create wonderful images…"







Postcards



Coloring Flower Mandala Postcards x 20
by Wendy Piersall
Flip through video - here.
You can find out more at Book Depository;
at Amazon US;  Amazon UK






Lost Ocean Postcards by Johanna Basford 
x 36 pack
You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US
Amazon UK and at Booktopia (AU)

x 50 pack
You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 








Royal Horticultural Society Postcards x 20

You can find out more at Book Depository;
Amazon USAmazon UK and Booktopia (AU)







Monday, 25 April 2016

Where's Wally? A Riot of Colouring!

Many of us will remember when the Wally books were first published. They would have been in many Christmas stockings. Remember poring over them with the kids, hunting for a whole list of items, not just Wally? And the setting for each spread was amazing. So much to discuss in each image. I found one book on our bookshelves and I suspect the others are up in a cupboard. So to colour this colouring book brought back many memories.

Check out the May New Releases post here.



My colouring




Title: Where's Wally Colouring Book
Artist: Martin Handford

At a glance…..

Size - 230 x 280, 64 pages
Single-sided images - no
Images into the spine - yes
Paper - white, smooth 
Perforated - no
Water based pens - with care
Who will love it - those who enjoyed the Where's Wally/Waldo books,  those who like colouring detailed images, and those who like having fun looking for hidden items.




You can find out more…..


and at Mighty Ape 








Tell me more…..


Comment:  I've come to the conclusion that you don't really know a "Where's Wally" book until you've coloured in some images. In every detail there's something happening. They are so funny too. Look at people's faces and wonder what they're up to and talking about. For once you don't have to think about blending, backgrounds and shading. Just put down the colours and look and enjoy.  





Drawing:  Dotted in amongst these busy scenes you'll find Wally and some of his entourage plus lots of other hidden items, including pencils. The drawing is quite hectic in a few images but in others, it's not really too detailed. 

One of the more detailed spreads

In several spreads, parts of the background has colour added and I find this a huge help in just finding my way through the images. Perhaps start colouring the backgrounds first so that it is easier to see what is actually happening with the action. A few of the spreads have borders which also helps visually.


Background partially coloured

Layout and Paper:  All of the scenes are double page spreads so you will need to negotiate the spine. However it's not too tricky and it gets easier. The book is glue bound and is about A4 size. At the back of the book is an index to the spreads, along with lists of items for you to hunt for. 
In the colouring above I found Wally, a queue at a bus dragon stop, a concussed dragon and a dragon with a very long tail. Lots of other interest as well. Pencils will be fine on this paper and test any pens and fine liners first for shadowing. I'd avoid alcohol based markers. 

Part of the index and list of hidden items



* This book was sent to me by the publisher for an honest appraisal. Thanks.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Imagimorphia - the Amazing Kerby!



When Kerby brought out Animorphia last year it was like we'd all been hit!
Here was a colouring book so vastly different to Johanna's and Millie's books. For some of us it was the first time we'd coloured doodles. Now that we're old hands at doodling, how does the follow-up book measure up?
UK edition


My colouring


The cover of the US edition



You can see my video flick-through here -





You can see a recent post about releases from Kerby this year - here.

Title: Imagimorphia
Artist: Kerby Rosanes

At a glance…..


Size - 250 x 250, 96 pages
Single-sided images - no
Images into the spine - yes
Paper - white, smooth 
Perforated - no
Water based pens - with care
Who will love it - those who look forward to anything new from Kerby, those who like colouring doodles, and those who like colouring strong, bold, imaginative images.

Coloured by Ness Marie Rees


You can find out more…..


At Book Depository - UK edition
At Amazon US - UK edition; Amazon US - US edition
 Amazon UK and at Mighty Ape NZ - US edition
 Booktopia (AU)

Tell me more…..


Comment:  I admire Kerby's drawing. It's strong and interesting. Doodles, I'm not so sure about. Uncommitted I suppose! I found Animorphia really detailed when it came to the doodles.
I'm pleased to see that this book has fewer spreads crowded with doodles.
The broader themes covered in this book are a plus too. There are still plenty of creatures but I do like the landscapes.
I think Imagimorphia is a more confident, assured and balanced book.
Kerby's third book on mythical creatures will probably be even more fun.


Drawing:  Here are my observations -

- there are lots of different themes - landscapes, creatures, robots, music.
- there is still plenty of humour to be found in the drawings.
- the line length is medium throughout.
- some images are very detailed - the train, eagle, panda, castles.


- other images are much easier to approach like the balloons I coloured above, the gorilla (King Kong maybe?) and the snails.





- there are just two instances where words ask you to add your own doodles.
- the doodles relate more closely to the main theme of the image. This gives better continuity to the book. The little alien dudes are still there too!
- some images have an industrial look, such as the robots and the butterfly.



- several images are simply beautiful like the bird shown below.




Paper and Layout: Yesterday I came across a video of a Chinese edition of Animorphia where the double spread images were lift out, folded pages. Rather than a book, it was more of a folder with double-sided, double-spread images. What a fantastic idea. Maybe they'll do the same with Imagimorphia eventually.
Back to this edition which has the same issue as Animorphia; of double page spreads running into and through the spine of the book. The binding is glued and stitched so will loosen in time to allow you to get into the spine more easily. There are several single page images as well as double page spreads. The paper is good average. Pencils will be okay and water based pens may give some shadowing so just use light touches. Test them on an unobtrusive page first.

The back section of the book has three pages of hidden objects for you to find in the images. There are some cool items to look for - an Easter Island statue, Munch's The Scream, Rodin's the Thinker. This is followed by an index of the images showing where the hidden objects are to be found.



* This book was purchased by me.



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A Super Selection from Dover.....

Here is a great swathe of new books, and some reissues, coming from Dover in the first half of this year.

The list below is based on release dates at Book Depository. Amazon release dates may well be earlier.
Dover books are such good value. Enjoy.


Creative Haven Belles and Blossoms

"Thirty-one beautifully intricate flower designs are paired with delicate female faces and figures to make a truly fanciful and fashionable coloring book."

You can out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 



Creative Haven Woodcut Designs - black backgrounds

"Strikingly rendered in the style of classic woodcut illustrations, these 31 images to color offer a splendid variety of subjects."

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 



Creative Haven Paradise Designs

"Features lush vegetation and exotic bird and insect life in scenes of an earthly paradise. "

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 






Creative Haven Dazzling Dogs by Marjorie Sarnat

"The perfect colouring book for dog lovers with a taste for the fanciful."
By the artist of Creative Cats and Creative Owls"

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 





Creative Haven Celestial Mandalas by Marty Noble

"This treasury of calming and meditative mandala designs features beautifully detailed sun, moon, and star patterns." 

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 





Creative Haven Art Deco Egyptian Designs

"This unique pairing features classic ancient Egyptian motifs rendered in dynamic Art Deco styles."

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 





Creative Haven Magical Mehndi Designs

"featuring exotic birds and butterflies, swirling paisley prints, and fabulous flowers."

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UKand at at Mighty Ape 







Creative Haven Ornamental Fashions

"Rosettes, medallions, and sinuous running vines are among the motifs inspired by the decorative arts for these 31 original fashions. "

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 




Creative Haven Flower Mandalas by Marty Noble

"Combine the elegant beauty of flowers and the peaceful quality of mandalas." 

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 





Creative Haven Victorian Houses

"A Gothic Revival with stained glass windows, a Queen Anne with turrets, and a Richardson Romanesque are among these 31 handsome, ready-to-color examples of Victorian-era homes."

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 




Creative Haven Textile Designs by Marjorie Sarnat

"Inspired by vintage printed fabrics from the 1950s and '60s. Retro motifs include butterflies on a swirling floral background, rag dolls on a patchwork quilt, spaceships in a starry sky, and much more." 

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 




Creative Haven Entangled Dragonflies

"Inspired by Zentangle... the sweeping designs incorporate a dazzling array of flowers, leaves, and swirling interlocking shapes." 

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 





Creative Haven The American House

"Arranged chronologically, the detailed drawings range from the saltbox house to the contemporary."

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 






Creative Haven Magical Landscapes

"Scenes include a sailboat in tropical waters, forests and meadows of fanciful trees and flowers, sunrises over mountains and deserts, and many other imaginative locales."

You can find out more at Book DepositoryAmazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape 




You can see the April New Books general selection here.
You can see the March New Books general selection here.