Book Review: Vivi söker en vän

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 vän by 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 and flies 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).

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Cover of the storybook

 

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Colouring Update

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.

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Book Review: Twilight Garden (Blomster Mandala)

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.

 

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Book Review: Daydreams (Dagdrommar)

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.

Hanna has since released a two more colouring books, Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) and Magical Dawn (Magisk Gryning). She is also about to release a new colouring book Seasons (Tidevarv) in August 2017. Each of her colouring books has also been published in Artist Editions books and Postcards. Both formats feature 20 images from the books, on single-sided, oversized art card (Artist Edition) or postcard sized art card. Seasons will also be released in as 20 Postcard. Winter Dreams (Vinterdrömmar) is the Postcard book that hasn’t been released as a companion to a colouring book. Each of these books is authentic but keep within her style.

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.

I have recently ordered Summer Nights (Sommarnatt) and Magical Dawn (Magisk Gryning) and Maria Trolle’s The Twilight Garden (Blomstermandala) I can’t wait to start colouring them, so stay tuned.

 

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Book Review: Secret Garden

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.

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