Thursday, 29 December 2016

5 Top Colouring Books of 2016

It's that time of year to look back at the best of 2016.
Although I see a few colouring books during the year, it's only a fraction of what is published.
So this is my list of personal favourites that I've reviewed in 2016.

Topping the list is the beautiful "Floribunda" by Leila Duly. I'm a bit partial to botanical colouring books as I love flowers, their infinite ranges of colours and textures and their delicacy.

Here is my review of Floribunda with colourings and a flip through video - here.
Available at - Book Depository;  Amazon USAmazon UK

My colouring

Next up is "Colin Thompson's Fantastisches Malbuch", a compilation of drawings from his picture books. This is a heavily drawn, greyscale style of book that is full of humour and fun.
Here is my review with colourings and video flip through - here.
Available atBook Depository;

My colouring

Now we come to Daria Song's third book, "The Night Voyage".
This follows on from her first two books, Time Garden and Time Chamber. Beautiful drawing and perspectives as we follow a girl on her voyage around the world, giving away presents.
Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;   Amazon UK

Coloured by Melissa Christensen

In fourth spot is a book by Polish artist, Karolina Kubikowska, that took the colouring world by storm. Karolina has her roots in tattoo art and this quite spiritual book is strongly drawn, almost in greyscale. You can read my review and see colourings and links - here.
Available at - Book Depository;  Amazon US;  Amazon UK

My colouring

And in fifth spot is "Imagimorphia" by Kerby Rosanes. I think this is his best book to date with wider subject matter and terrific industrial style doodles. You can see my review, video flip through, colouring and links - here.
Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;  Amazon UK

My colouring

Honorable Mentions - 

"Magical Journey" by Lizzie Cullen. Review, video & links - here.

"Nature Mandala Book" by Cynthia Emerlye. Review & links - here.

"Escape to Shakespeare's World" by Good Wives & Warriors. Review, video & links - here.

"Nordische Wildnis" by Claire Scully. Review & links - here.

"Dress Book" by Collette Fergus. Review & links - here.

My Amazon Wishlist is - here.

Do join me on Facebook here.

Reviews and Posts from last week

Meet Sandra, Colourer of the Month for December - here.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

9 Must See New Books for January

So, here are the books being published in January that have caught my eye, with purchase links. Not such a long list this time, immediately post Christmas. There are also a couple of books that I missed recently.
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 December New Books here.
You can see November New Books here.
You can see October New Books here.
You can see September New Books - here.
You can see August New Books here.
You can see July New Books here.
You can see June New Books here.

Colouring Books

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady Colouring
" Nearly 40 years ago, a rediscovered diary enchanted the nation. Edith Holden's 'Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' from 1906 captured her observations on the English countryside's changing seasons, accompanied by exquisite illustrations of its flora and fauna. Now, for the first time, Edith's work been turned into an beautiful colouring book."
Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;   Amazon UK

A Whole World to Colour: Asterix Colouring book - 

"Featuring battles, banquets and of course, Romans, bring the world of Asterix to life with 112 pages of exquisite original line art."

Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;   Amazon UK

The Calligrapher's Colouring Book by Renee Chin

"Indulge your creative side in this beautiful book of letters and numbers from New Zealand illustrator Renee Chin."

Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;  Amazon UK

Guess How Much I Love You Colouring book

"Enjoy enchanting patterns and illustrations of nature with playful quotes from the world of Guess How Much I Love You to be coloured in and adorned with over 125 stickers."

Available at - Book Depository;

The Enchanting Fairies Colouring book by Margaret Tarrant

"the illustrations of Margaret Tarrant, whose images of flowers and fairies were hugely popular a century ago and continue to delight today."

Available at - Book Depository;

Creative Haven Fanciful Foxes by Marjorie Sarnat

"From the tips of their perky ears to end of their fluffy tails, foxes are among the animal kingdom's cutest creatures."

Available at - Book Depository;

Thomas Kincaide Peaceful Moments

"In this unique coloring book, sixty-three of Thomas Kinkade's most popular paintings are presented in color across from the black line art of the same image to be coloured."

Available at - Book Depository;

The Lion Easter Colouring book by Felicity French

In the same series as the Lion Nativity.
"colour to the story of Easter with these beautiful and intricate black and white line drawings."

Available at - Book Depository;


Frank Lloyd Wright Coloring Postcards

"Each card features a decorative design by the famed architect just waiting to be colored in!- Includes: 16 cards in 16 designs."

Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;   Amazon UK

Do join me on Facebook here.

Reviews and Posts from last week

Meet Sandra, Colourer of the Month for December - here.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Meet Sandra - Colourer of the Month

This will be a monthly post, featuring someone whose colouring has caught my eye.
You can check out all the Colourers on this page - 

Check out Colourer of the Month for July - Lou
Check out Colourer of the Month for August - Amber
Check out Colourer of the Month for September - Jeff
Check out Colourer of the Month for October - Beth
Check out Colourer of the month for November - Louise

You can see all the Colourer of the Month posts - here.

Introducing Sandra who lives in Australia.

From Johanna's Christmas by Johanna Basford

What made you start colouring?

In September 2015 my daughter sent me Johanna Basford's book Enchanted Forest and a small tin of Derwent watercolour pencils. I almost laughed and thought what is this? I haven't coloured since I was in school (I am a Nana now!). I was very unaware of the colouring bug and the community out there. For me, my only artistic thing had been classical ballet, as I have been in a company, and later as an adult I gained an IT degree. 
Colouring was the new thing. I was hooked from the time I started and looked up groups on Facebook and joined them. I looked at so many articles on blending and colouring and…..everything! I love learning. It gives me a creative outlet and I went from Derwents to Marco Raffines to Polychromos and Prismas; Pastel blocks to PanPastels and using all the Uni gel and Posca pens. 
My world has become very artistic and I am calmer.

From Winter Dreams (Vinterdrommar) by Hanna Karlzon

From Johanna's Christmas by Johanna Basford

Do you consider colouring to be an art?

I most certainly do consider it art! Whether you pick the colours yourself or do a tutorial where some fabulous artists have put them on YouTube, you still have to learn and make a masterpiece. This is no different to art classes that many people go to, to learn how to paint and different techniques. I am learning more all the time from some really amazing colourists who share.
The authors of the books draw the initial line art, which is amazing to start with, then us mere mortals try and manipulate colours around to bring this to life! I am always amazed how some colouring can completely change how things look. Making these pictures come to life is indeed art.

From Daydreams (Dagdrommar) by Hanna Karlzon

From Daydreams (Dagdrommar) by Hanna Karlzon

From Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) by Hanna Karlzon

What materials do you like to use?

I use pencils as my main medium in all my colourings. I also use some Uni gel pens and Poscas to highlight, do backgrounds and bring it to life. I love using PanPastels and also I have bought some amazing stencils to use for backgrounds.
The pencils I use are always and only these days -  Polychromos (oil based) and Prismacolor (wax based). I tend to get messy with Prismas… lots of layers and bits of the pigment around and messy, and I use Faber Castell Knetgummi art eraser that I can roll up and dab on bits of colour everywhere. I also use a Derwent battery operated small eraser and the mono zero tiny one saves my untidy butt!
I have bought some mineral spirits and a Tombow clear pen to try blending, but I am hopeless with brushes so we will see. I usually blend with a shade lighter pencil or the next one I am using.

From Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

From Daydreams (Dagdrommar) by Hanna Karlzon

Which is your favourite colouring book?

I cannot pick one! Hanna Karlzon, Johanna Basford, Daria Song books, Romantic Country books and I like Maria Trolle's Bloomstermandala and just recently, the two books from Equsa Kanoko - Rhapsody in the Forest and Menuet de Bonheur. I have the Animorphia books and also Po Drugiej Stronie Snu from Karolina Kubikowska which I like to do when I go away as I find it easier on my brain.
I think I tend to choose which one to colour depending on my mood. Fantasy, romantic, portrait, or dark, intricate or simple. It really is dependent on my outlook on that day. It is definitely a mood thing to pick from the variety of books I have now.
I could go on, but I think I have just become a good paper and artist snob. Wish I had more time to colour them all!

From The Time Chamber by Daria Song

Do you frame your finished colourings? Or display them?

I thought I would NEVER do this, however this Christmas I bought Johanna Basford's Christmas book and took out three and put them in frames - two for my grandchildren and they will come out each Christmas my daughter said, and one to my son and daughter-in-law for their house. Also I took out some postcards (Winter Dreams - Karlzon) and sent them as Christmas cards to my other daughter and fiancé in Perth, for them to put in small frames. I also, (and I never thought I would ever do this to my beloved Swedish books) took one picture from Dagdrommar that one daughter wanted, as soon as I did it earlier this year, and one from Sommarnatt for my other daughter, and put them in frames for Christmas. They look amazing and I will put a picture of them here too. I am thinking of framing one more from my Christmas ones for me here, because I can't believe the birds look so real - and I did it!
Otherwise, no…..hahaha. I love them in the books, and later on in their lives, my kids and grandkids will inherit them and either finish the books and/or frame them. I like them in the books normally and am buying two Hanna Karlzon books to replace the two pictures gone. It will also allow me to colour them in a different way.

From Po Drugiej Stronie Snu by Karolina Kubikowsa

From Romantic Country by Eriy

What is your favourite colour?

My favourite colour in general is purple, but I seem to do lots of blue blends and any bright colours. I have tried soft, subtle colourings but it seems I can't do this; they always have to be bright and bold! That is okay. I guess it is my style, not to be so subtle.

From Rhapsody in the Forest

What advice would you have for other colourists?

Be kind to yourself and don't compare your work to others. There are a lot of amazing colourists out there and lots of artists doing these. That's great and good for learning, but enjoy what you do. It's about your Journey, relaxing and having fun with it. Don't compare as you always come off second best; we are our worst critics. I think the colouring community are great supporters and all are doing this form of art as relaxation, therapy or even an outlet for the mundane in life, as it takes you on a journey.
We grow and we learn. I certainly have learned so much in just over one year and I look back at my beginning and think how much I've grown with my colourings. Give whatever you imagine, or your vision about your picture, a go. It's about the journey and trying new things and just throwing colour at a page.
I have met some amazing and lovely people in Facebook colouring groups and shared lots. I have made friends around the globe and had a laugh and had a go at things I never thought I would love. I love it and I love the colouring community.

Well said and many thanks Sandra.

Here are some of the books that Sandra is colouring from…..

Johanna's Christmas by Johanna Basford

Available at - Book DepositoryAmazon UK
Video flip through - here.

Winter Dreams (Vinterdrommar) postcards

Available at - Book Depository;  Amazon UK;
Amazon US and Booktopia AU

Daydreams (Dagdrommar) by Hanna Karlzon

Available at - Book Depository;
Video flip through - here.

Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) by Hanna Karlzon

Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon UK;   Amazon US
Video flip through - here.

Po Drugiej Stronie Snu by Karolina Kubikowska

Available at Book Depository;  Amazon US
 Amazon UK
My review - here.

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford
Available at - Book DepositoryAmazon US;
Amazon UK 

Article on Johanna Basford - here.

The Time Chamber by Daria Song
Available at - Book Depository;
Amazon US;   Amazon UK

Video flip through here.

Romantic Country by Eriy

Available at - Book Depository;

Review and video flip through - here.

Rhapsody in the Forest by Kanoko
Available at this Etsy shop - here.

Do join me on Facebook here.

Reviews and Posts from last week

Solo Colouralong from Dream Cities - here.