Colouring has definitely become my number one passion at the moment. I have been colouring about a year and a half now and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I have always kept my colouring books to myself and haven’t participated much in the colouring community. But I have decided to get more involved, share my work and communicate with others who share my passion. In my personal life, I often find myself quite isolated with a toddler. So this is another way for me to be more sociable.
Here is my entire collection so far. I’ve promised myself that I won’t be buying any more books until I have at least started all of them. To get a better look, check out the Colour section of my site menu.
Secret Garden by Johanna Basford
Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford
Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford
Magic Jungle by Johanna Basford
The Magical City by Lizzie Mary Cullen
Imagimorphia by Kerby Rosannes
Twilight Garden by Maria Trolle
Vivi söker en vän by Maria Trolle
Skymnings Timman by Maria Trolle
Daydreams (Dagdrommar) by Hanna Karlzon
Magical Dawn by Hanna Karlzon
Summer Nights by Hanna Karlzon
Sagor Och Sägner by Emelie Lidehäll Öberg
Coloriage Wild by Emmanuelle Colin
Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta
Kuwi’s Creative Colouring Book: For Big and Small People by Kat Merewether
While I was away on holidays I had major colouring withdrawals. The first book that I got started with was the Swedish colouring book Vivi söker en vänby Maria Trolle. It’s taken me a little while to get some pages coloured to share with you all, as I have been sick for the past month.
It wasn’t easy getting hold of this book. There are only a couple of Swedish retailers who sell the book online and to get it sent to Australia upwards from $50. Luckily we were travelling to Sweden on our trip. The next problem I faced was to buy the book online and get it sent to a Swedish address without a Swedish personal number. We don’t have personal numbers in Australia, so I found this odd that Swedes need one to purchase online. Luckily I was able to get Marco’s uncle to buy the book for me for 90kr ($14Aud) from the Penstore. I have seen many other colourists with this book so I’m not sure how they got hold of the book in their countries, perhaps a bulk group order.
Anyway, I am really in love with this book. It is true to Maria’s style and is similar to her other books. However, this book a collection of drawings from a children’s book that she illustrated, also called Vivi söker en vän (Sagobok). The name translates to ‘Vivi is looking for a friend‘. Unfortunately, there is no English edition of her story book. So I can only guess what is about based on the pictures. Maria did mention on her facebook page what the story is briefly about.
“When Vivi woke at dawn the walls were darker than usual and the house felt cramped. I want a friend, someone who is just mine, she thought. Vivi lives in a tree house in the woods. One day she goes on an adventure to find herself a friend. Vivi takes a ride with a bird andflies up into the sky where she meets the Cloudbear. She goes deep into the ocean where she meets a mermaid. In the oak, she becomes friends with the tree spirit. Vivi looks into hollows in the ground where the voles live. But who can be her very own friend who is hers always… The Miniwolf are also looking for a friend. He is curious about Vivi and wonders if she’ll ever see him … Vivi meets a friend is about finding your place in the world and to find yourself and meet the right person. A best friend” (Maria Trolle).
Hi all, it has been a while since I last posted. I’ve had to take a break after contracting Influenza and suffering from perforating my eardrum. So after nearly two weeks of bed rest, I am finally feeling like myself again. I’m still partially deaf and have constant ringing in my ear but it’s improving.
When I was in Europe I got some new colouring books! Every bookstore I came across I went straight to their Adult colouring sections to find something unique. Surprisingly I didn’t find any colouring books for the cities or countries I visited. I really didn’t see anything I hadn’t seen before but I didn’t come home empty-handed.
I received Vivi söker en vän, by Maria Trolle as a gift from a relative in Sweden. I was really excited about this one as it was ridiculously expensive to get this book sent to Australia. I did ask them to buy the book for me since Swedish citizens need to use their own personal number to buy things online. I didn’t see anything new or exciting until we were driving through Helsingborg, and I came across Maria Trolle’s new book, Skymningstimman and Emelie Lidehall Oberg’s book Sagor Och Sägner. So I impulsively bought them. The other book I bought was from Amazon France, which I organised to be delivered to my friends in Bordeaux. This was Coloriage Wild, by French artist Emmanuelle Colin.
I could not wait to get my pencils out as soon as I got home. I decided to start Maria Trolle’s colouring book Vivi söker en vän. To get back into the swing I did Chris Cheng’s three part tutorial, Into The Fairy World. This tutorial took me soon long. I only finished a couple of nights ago. Partly because there is so much detail and also because I’ve been too sick to colour much the last couple of weeks.
I am so thrilled how this page turned out. It just looks just as spectacular in my book and I can’t believe I was about to achieve this much colour and depth. I absolutely love Chris’s tutorials and I learn so much from her. The biggest thing I think I have learned is how to layer with so much colour.
For my book, I decided to keep Vivi in the yellow dress so that I can continue this throughout the book. I was using a thinner Uniball Signo white gel pen to do the fox’s fur. I did upgrade to the Broad Uniball Signo, but I was happy to leave it as is.
I am so in love with this book so this will be my next project for a little while. Once I have enough pictures I will do a review and include my finished pages.
After so much colouring envy I finally bought Maria Trolle’s Twilight Garden. This beautiful Swedish colouring book has been my latest obsession. I was determined to get as many pages done before I go on my trip. It was an absolute joy to colour. I was a bit intimidated at first, but after taking a few advanced tutorials I can imagine a colour scheme for every page.
Maria Trolle is a Swedish graphic designer, gardener and mother. She is a self-taught artist and does a lot of work for Swedish garden magazines and grocery chains. She draws inspiration from the flora and fauna in her garden. She lives just outside of Stockholm on a beautiful farm. She has a blog and website, called Trolle’s Garden, which is a collaboration with her husband, who is a Garden designer and Design director. Here you can find information on their current projects and images of their amazing garden.
Maria’s first colouring book was Blomstermandala, which was a 20-page poster book, filled with flower still lifes. She also made a postcard book with the similar images. After the success of these two book, she published a full-scale colouring book in 96 pages, in the same theme. This full-scale version of Blomstermandala was eventually republished in an English version, Twilight Garden, which is the version I bought. Both versions have been incredibly popular in the colouring community. She also illustrated a children’s book,”Vivi söker en vän” (Vivi’s looking for a friend). This was also made into a colouring book under the same name. I have actually purchased this one and waiting to pick it up in Sweden in a few weeks. I’m so excited to see it!
The paper in this book is a lovely thick ivory colour. I didn’t find any bleed through using pencils and my Prismacolor blended really well on this paper. The images include flower still lifes, garden scenes with and without animals and some blacked in backgrounds.
This collection of pictures I coloured is in order of when I coloured them. As I mentioned I did use some tutorials. They were all from Chris Cheng’s Youtube channel. These were by far the most advanced tutorials I’ve ever done and I really learned a lot. So I tried to incorporate these new skills into the pictures I coloured on my own.
I finally started colouring a book that I had for a while but I was a bit intimidated to really start. Now that I’ve coloured a few pages I’m a bit more confident and hooked on this amazing colouring book by Hanna Karlzon.
Hanna is a Swedish freelance designer living in Umeå, Sweden. Everything she draws is by hand with pen and ink. She designs patterns for interior design, wallpaper and textiles and also does commissions for magazines and other companies. Her work is quite unique and is inspired by nature, art nouveau, punk rock and 70’s design.
Hanna’s first colouring book, Daydreams was originally published in Sweden entitled Dagdrommar in May 2015. It has a hard and back cover and contains 96 beautifully illustrated pages to colour. The images are printed on both sides and the paper is high quality.
This book has been incredibly successful and is well known in the colourist world as a must-have book to add to your collection. Originally it was only available through the Swedish Pen Store, but now it is readily available outside of Europe from local online stores (see below).
Daydreams features her signature whimsical artwork of delicate flowers, beautiful girls, birds and small animals, interesting insects and forest homes. There is some repetition in her style of birds and insects, but each page is still unique and gorgeous.
I absolutely love this book. The pictures are unlike any of the colouring books I already own and the paper is just heaven to colour on. I first saw a review of Daydreams by La Artistino and feel in love, but the postage from Sweden was too high. Once it became available on Book Depository I ordered it so I could do La Artistino’s tutorials on Colouring a face and Colouring Shiny Hair. I left this book for ages, feeling really intimated by it, but continually admiring other colourists work. So I finally picked it up again, did a few tutorials and then a few more pages on my own.
Last year on my trip to New Zealand I bought a colouring book as a memento of my trip. I’ve only recently started colouring in Kuwi’s Creative Colouring Book: For Big and Small People. This was not the only New Zealand themed colouring book I saw, but definitely the only one I had to buy.
This colouring book is by award-winning author and illustrated Kat Merewether. She is best known for her Kuwi the Kiwi series. The books are centered around a mother kiwi bird, which was inspired by the fragile populated of the endangered brown Kiwi. The illustrations are so cute and the use of colour is quite bright and vibrant.
Kuwi’s Creative Colouring Book is design to teach its audience about native kiwis and features many of New Zealand’s native fauna and flora. They are many fun kiwi facts throughout, as well as many little cute Kuwi’s to colour. In the back there is an index of all the native fauna and flora labeled in both English Te Reo Māori. New Zealand has such an amazing and unique array of bird life and this book showcases them beautifully.
This book can be coloured alone or together with a little person. There are 60 pages, most of which have drawings that have been printed twice, with one containing less detail. This can either be added to or left as a more simplified version for kids. The pages are also perforated, so that they can be easily removed to display work. The paper is white and thick and is perfect for blending coloured pens, pastels backgrounds and adding gel pens details. I’m not sure about using water colour, which I assume would warp the paper at the very least.
I have only completed a handful of pages out of this book using Prismacolor pencils, Mungyo Pastels and Uniball gel pens. I love the quirky, detailed drawings, which look great with a vibrant splash of colour. I tried to colour most of the creatures in their proper colours, but changed it up for some variety. For more information on this book and where to purchase it, view the links below.
Recently I have been practising and experimenting with Inktense pencils and I now feel more confident using them. The colouring experience with these pencils are much different to normal colouring pencils. They can be activated using a water brush, water-based blending marker or paint brush with water. The water makes shades more intense and is easily blended and create gradients.
Derwent Inktense Pencils are similar to water colour pencils, except they are made permanent when dried. This makes layering more effective. They can be bought loose or in fixed packs of 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72. I prefer to use the pencils with the Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush. However, I have also experimented with a Tombow Blending Marker, which is also very effective and better for paper that can’t handle water as well. Just note that the water can wrinkle the paper and the colour can bleed through if too much water is used. So always try your materials in the back of a colour book before painting with them. For a complete list of all the materials I used refer to the bottom of this post.
I am in love with the new Disney movie, Moana. I recently took my daughter to see it in the cinemas and we have been singing the songs ever since. Our favourite is “Your Welcome”, sung by Dwayne Johnson. Octavia favourite word at the moment is ‘welcome’, which isn’t to be polite but rather demand we play it again and again and again.
What I love most about this movie is that there is no love interest for Moana and that she reflects a realistic body type. Don’t get me wrong, I love the classic princesses and I don’t begrudge the role of the prince and the slim figures of the princess. However, it is refreshing to see a change in the way woman are portrayed. I also love the amazingly, beautiful imagery. So much care was given to each scene to depict a realistic image of the Polynesian culture and gorgeous island landscape.
So many artists have paid homage to Moana in their own style. Here are a few of my favourites:
I really wanted to also pay homage my new favourite Disney princess. I haven’t drawn anything other than doodles for years. When I was younger I was always drawing and painting. In my youth, I wanted to be an artist. although I was good in comparison to the other student I never felt I was really good enough. But since the adult colouring craze, I feel inspired to be creative again without any pressure.
I usually sketch by sight and never use any technique when I draw. So sometimes my drawings are a bit unsymmetrical. So I decided to get some help from a professional artist to sketch out Moana. There are so many videos tutorials to choose from on how to draw Moana on YouTube. I choose a video by Ellie Holt on her YouTube channel, Spilled the paint.
I really enjoyed this tutorial. Ellie gave clear step-by-step instructions and her techniques can be easily replicated again for Moana or another princess. For the drawing she uses a brown pencil to sketch it out, then went over in it with a black pencil and then again with a thick black marker. Lastly, she roughly coloured her with some coloured pencils and markers.
For my drawing I used pencil to sketch her out, then a black fine tip to go over the outline. After that I coloured her in Prismacolor pencils. For the background and texture of the hair I used this movie still (below). The paper I used was watercolour paper, that’s why it is a bit grainy as well. It took alot more layering to get the colour smooth on the paper.
So here you are. It’s not an exact replica but I’m happy with it. I feel more confident since doing this drawing and perhaps Moana will pop up again in one of my colouring books or I in a watercolour painting. I think next time I won’t do such harsh black lines as she looks more comic rather than realisitc. It’s was also hard to cover up or alter those lines once they were drawn in.
If you love art but don’t feel like you can draw, I recommend you try out an online tutorial. You may be surprised what you can produce when you use some artist techniques.
The current object of my colouring obsession at the moment is Imagimorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge by Kerby Rosanes. Since I bought this book I haven’t really coloured in anything else. Just flipping through this book I can find inspiration and can’t wait to unlock all the intricate doodles which can be hard to decipher until you start colouring them.
His first two colouring books are very similar in style. Animorphia features animals morphing into doodles, whereas Imagimorphia also features animals morphing or surrounded by buildings, travel devices, and machines. I was more attracted to Imagimorphia, because I liked the variety of images and I was not as keen on adding to the doodling. Animorphiaoffers many images to add to, but I am not very confident in doing this.
For a great review of both of these colouring books I recommend La Artistino’s website and Youtube videos. In her videos she includes finished pages and tips on how to colour Kerby’s work. She also did an amazing job completing the wave ponies picture in Animorphia, which has plenty of space to add additional doodles. When looking at the completed work its hard to know where Kerby’s work ends and La Artistino’s begins. I will post some more links below of some videos and info.
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom was my first colouring book that began my obsession with adult colouring. I received it as a gift from my uncle and it was exactly what I needed to relax and be creative. At the time my baby was only a few months, so this was the only outlet I had when she was sleeping.
Millie is a Welsh artist and who published her first colouring book Animal Kingdom in 2014. Her book was extremely successful. It was translated in 31 languages and reached the Amazon Top Ten list. She has since bought out three more adult colouring books, including Tropical Wonderland, Wild Savannah and Curious Creatures. Her popularity in the colouring realm has gone on to birth a product family with her distinctive style. Millie Marotta themed calendar, diary, journals, stationary, postcards, wall decals and tablewear can be found on her website or from online retailers, book stores and art stores.
After receiving this book I purchased a tin of 36 Derwent Studio pencils. I didn’t realise that these pencils were meant for sketching and I found them rather hard. They were also less vibrant than other brands, harder to blend and very scratchy. However, at the time I was ignorant and was just enjoying the process. You will probably notice the indents in the paper from pressing so hard. I found it really difficult to get much pigment out of them and it was almost impossible to layer.
The turtle was my very first picture that I coloured. It took me a while to colour all the individual sections. At the time I was really happy how it turned out and really enjoyed colouring it. Now I look back and realise how far I’ve come.
I began craving more vibrant colours, so I bought myself a 12 set of Jasart Premium Colour Pencil. These pencils are inexpensive, quite smooth and the colour is more concentrated.
This first picture was coloured with only Jasart pencils. You can probably already see a difference compared to my earlier work. The following pictures use both Jasart and Derwent Studio pencils. Although the results are still scratching, there are more pops of colour.
Christmas is only a week away and I’m so behind. I haven’t bought the presents for my family or myself and I still haven’t put up my tree. Your probably thinking that’s not a big deal, except that I have a 20 month old that knows something exciting is happening at the moment. I’m just dreading putting up the tree after she took one down at the shops the other day. We also had my partners birthday today, so now that is over with we can focus on getting ready for Christmas this week.
The only thing I have done to get into the Christmas spirit is colouring this Arctic Snow Leopard from Kerby Rosanes’s Imagimorphia. I am so in love with this book. Since I bought it, it is the only book I’ve coloured in. I will post all the picture I have coloured so far soon. But first I wanted to show you this one I just completed.
Its done in Prismacolor Premier pencils, pastel and a White Uniball pen. When I was colouring it I did find there wasn’t as much opportunity as I would have liked to have add more green and red, but overall I’m happy with it. I haven’t seen this picture coloured by any other colourist, so I was excited to see the end result.
I just recently bought Prismacolor pencils. I love them. They blend beautifully and the colours are really vibrant. The only negative I have about them is that their is not many brown tones. However, there is a great variety of just about every other colour, many of which are not available in Faber Castell Polychomos range.
The front page of Imagimorphia is part of the same picture that I coloured. This was actually the first page that I coloured in this book with Polychomos pencils. I didn’t realised when I first started this page that it was an arctic theme, so I coloured the leopard in more traditional colours. I used a limited colour scheme and I am really happy with the way it turned out. I did find that the Polychomos pencils were a bit hard on this paper, leaving an imprint, however it may of been because it was the first page. I didn’t have the same experience when I coloured elsewhere in the book.
I’ve been addicted to adult colouring books ever since I received my first book after I had given birth to my baby. I only wish I had taken up this hobby while I was pregnant, when I had so much time up my sleeve. Since Octavia was 8 months she was able to pull her self up to the couch, steal my pencils and empty my pencil sharping all over the floor. So I usually have to wait until she is napping or finally down for the night to get down to some serious colouring.
One of the first adult colouring books I bought was Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden. Johanna is a Scottish illustrated that pioneered the adult colouring boom with the Secret Garden. She has since gone on to release four more colouring book that have also gained much popularity. I current own her first four books and I am hoping someone buys me her last book, Johanna’s Christmas, but I’m not holding my breath. My family already think I have enough colouring books, so not counting on getting anymore this Christmas. But I am definitely getting colour envy seeing all the amazing work other colourist have put up.
I thought for my first post on colouring I would share some of my early work from this book. As you can see I am not the best colourist, but I have come a long way learning new techniques that are more evident in some of the other books I have worked.
When I first started I had bought Derwent Studio Pencils, which I soon realised were not the best for colouring. They are very hard and I often ruined the tooth in the paper. I soon upgraded to Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils which were so much softer and easier to blend. So you will probably notice some variation in these images.