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: Kuwi’s Creative Colouring Book 

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.

 

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This colouring book can be purchased through:

Flip through and Reviews:

 

There are more beautiful New Zealand themed colouring books that you can buy in New Zealand and online. Here a  few I came across when I visited last year:

Book Review: Imagimorphia

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.

Kerby is a Philippines-based illustrator with a very distinct artistic style of using doodles to create intricate, quirky images. He originally collaborated  with other authors and illustrated Doodle Invasion: Zifflin’s Coloring Book (Volume 1) and Never Quit Drawing: Sketch Your Way to an Everyday Art HabitBut it wasn’t long until he brought out two of his own colouring books,  Animorphia, Imagimorphia and Sketchy Stories: The Sketchbook Art of Kerby Rosanes. He also has a third colouring book coming out in the new year, Mythomorphia

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.  Animorphia offers 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.

Now for my completed pictures. Nearly all have been coloured with my new favourite pencils, Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils. The first two are coloured with Faber Castell Polychromos Artists‘ Colour Pencils. For sparkles and other details I used a White Uniball Signo Broud Gell Pen. For the black background I used a black Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen. For the backgrounds of the last two pictures I used Mungyo Non Toxic Square Chalk Soft Pastel

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Title Page – This was my very first page and I love it. I used Polychomos pencils and stuck to a very limited colour scheme. The colours used in the doodle are the same ones used for the leopard.

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