Colouring Therapy Art Book

With no other editions this colouring magazine from Magbook is a bit different from the other magazines. Magbook release individual bookazines on popular topics. This one is also available on Amazon. Priced at £5.99 it’s a little more expensive than I thought it would be, compared to other magazines on the market.

There are 56 Images to colour in this double sided print edition, the publication is split into 5 “chapters” Animal Kingdom, Patterns, Spiritual, Nature and Art Inspired though there are only 3 images in the art inspired chapter and the nature chapter is mostly things that could have easily gone into other sections the splits seem kind of redundant.

At the start of each chapter 3/4 of a page is taken up by a single paragraph of text and the final 1/4 has part of the double spread image, it seems that most of the images would have been fine on just a single page, some of the actual double page spreads are like this too, only taking up half of each page but split across a double.

The artwork is a bit of a mix, there are a few highly detailed images but a lot are really thick lines so not great for more advanced colourists, the paper is also quite thin you can see the print from the image on the other side on practically all the pages.

Onto Colouring

Knowing there wasn’t any chance of using alcohol markers as it was double sided I tested my stabilo 68’s on the tiny image from the front page. Even though I am light handed with my colouring the colour is obvious on the opposite side of the page.

Even gel pens where the ink doesn’t soak into the paper, so don’t bleed, showed through on the opposite side.  So I switched to coloured pencils, which are about the only media you can really use on this paper but you can tell on the opposite side areas that have been filled with pencil, especially darker colours, even though you don’t see the colours coming through.

In Conclusion

I would say this one isn’t particularly worth the money. While there are a variety of designs that would be good for anyone that wasn’t sure what style they like to colour the thin pages really let this down because you will see the design on the reverse side.

All right if you only want to use pencil and want the variety of designs this publication has to offer, but it is not one I would recommend.

colouring therapy by magbook

chapter start in colouring therapy

colouring in colour therapy

 

Relax with Art

Relax with Art MagazineWhen I saw this one appear in the shops I grabbed a copy as colouring magazines have been selling out as quickly as they are coming in the shops. Relax with Art is published by Bromleigh House (who publish puzzle magazines) though there is next to no information on it around the internet. I did manage to find through newsstand that it is a monthly magazine and it has a cover price of £2.99.

There are 24 pages in the publication, more than enough for the month and the artwork is a mixture of designs so you aren’t tied to a theme. The magazine is stapled too so it opens up really easily and it is all single side printing. The inside cover has an intro, though to be honest reading it, it didn’t seem that well written. But it didn’t really matter as it is a colouring book after all.

Onto Colouring

colouring page relax with artI decided to give my Stabilo Pen 68’s a test in this one using a new type of pen I first thought that the pens were a bit dry but then I noticed that the paper is textured. The paper started to crinkle slightly with the colour. To satisfy my curiosity on the paper I did one part of the picture with my promarkers as I knew what I could expect from them. They spread on the paper quite quickly. As I wasn’t blending on this page it was completed quite quickly.

All the pens bled through to the other side but the thickness of the paper did prevent any colour from going through to the spare sheet under the page.

relax with art coloured pageYou can see some of the streaks in the colouring, I did test other papers and got a smoother finish from the pens. The pink is promarker and while the colour is smooth (due to it keeping the colour wet for a fair while) the spread makes it difficult to colour especially finer detail, which this book has a fair bit of, even with a fine point attachment.

While you could say that the promakers staying wet for so long would be an advantage to blending I wouldn’t like to know how much that would crinkle the paper when a basic water based pen did. Layering on the colour needed for a blend would probably get quite messy.

Overall

This is a book for pencils, possibly gel pens, while I love the art work it’s a little disappointing the paper lets this down and that pens (my preferred media) don’t look that great in it. The lack of information suggests this publication was rushed to print to get into the market quickly. I’ll be continuing the rest of the issue with pencils though and I will take a look at issue two when it is released to see if anything has been re-evaluated by the publisher.

Edit – 14/05/15 Today I went back to this magazine as there was a design I really liked. Instead of just getting out the pencils I tried my Stabilo pens again as they were out from the previous page I had just finished in another magazine.

I was surprised that it was a lot easier to colour this time round, there was less ink spread and I didn’t get that far before I had unclipped it from my drawing board and then spent quite a while looking at the page I had just started compared to the one I did the other day, it seemed the paper was different.

What I concluded after some inspection (honestly if anyone was watching me through the window today they must have thought I was a little strange stroking the paper on all the pages, holding it to the light and giving it a really good look over.) was just the one sheet, that happened to be the first and last images and the two I chose to try to colour first, had been printed on the “wrong” side.

So now I’m off to finish this new page with my beloved pens. Happy that everything should be fine now.

Issue two is due for release 28th May.

Edit – 29/05/15 Relax with Art now have a facebook page and a website where you can subscribe.
You can order relax with art through Unique Magazines either by subscribing or buying single issues.

How have you found colouring this magazine, any success stories or issues with pens to share?

Zen Colouring – Advanced Art Therapy

zen colouring publication coverI frequent a few colouring groups on facebook and this new magazine came up. A bi-monthly publication from the GMC Group (A company that produces many well known titles.) entitled Zen Colouring Advanced Art Therapy the first issue is Flowers and has a cover price of £5.99.

The publication has 48 pages and they are all gorgeous floral pictures to colour. The paper is a decent quality and all the pages are single sided so there’s no worry if you like markers of them bleeding through onto the other side and ruining a picture. About half of the pages do have a small corner detail on the reverse but they are no loss if you use markers and if you use pencils they are a great place to practice how you want to colour the main detail of the page.

zen colouring art therapy book, inside coverOpening it up and on the inside cover there are some lovely detail images showing possible ways you could colour, then all the way through to the back it’s all colouring for you. No part coloured pages (becoming a pet hate with a few colourists after getting books to find some colours printed in.) The inside of the back cover has a few more detail examples and all the publication details as well as information on the next release date.

Onto the Colouring

It’s no secret now that promarkers are my weapon of choice when it comes to colouring.  As I am pretty sure they will bleed through and I don’t want to cut the images out I will use a sheet inserted under the page I am colouring to absorb any colour and protect the page below.

I will be starting with the first page as it is very pretty. I like the style, how it doesn’t take up the whole page, it has a lovely quote and a mixture of different things to colour all in one image.

Putting the first bits of colour down and I am very impressed with the paper, a lot of the time, when using promarkers, when the paper absorbs the ink it spreads, not just the bleed through to the back but also on the top. There is virtually no spread of the colour. This does mean that the ink is drying pretty fast on contact with the paper which would be slightly problematic for blending purposes but as most parts are small details that can easily be broken down into various sections it shouldn’t become too much of an issue to blend colours.

colouring a page in the zen colouring, colouring bookChecking the extra sheet I slotted in to “catch” any colour that wanted to go onto my next page and there is some ink on it but not huge amounts. Even the reverse side of the paper looks pretty neat because of the lack of spread.

After getting over the need to check everything was all right and I was sure that with that sheet of card under the page I really set to with the colouring. Four hours later I was informed it was 11pm! I guess I really did zen out, I was only just half way through the picture.

finished first page from zen colouring art threapy magazineI wasn’t calling it a night there though. I was enjoying this, a lot. Two hours later, I was nearly finished. One little voice was saying; “Come on, so close, just that little bit left.” However there was a much louder voice now saying; “It’s 1am! If you carry on you will make a mistake, go to bed woman.”

So I did and I laid in bed thinking about what blends I would use to finish it off…

In the morning armed with a few ideas I did some tests on a separate sheet and an hour or so later the page was finished. I was really happy with the final result as I don’t usually colour in books because of paper quality issues it was fantastic to see what a difference it makes keeping a sheet in the book. It felt like my colouring was in print!

Overall

Yes, the publishers have done their homework. They have produced a lovely magazine/book that is suitable for colouring in most mediums thanks to a good choice of paper. So far all they could do to make it perfect for some, is to make the pages perforated so they could easily be removed from the binding for easier colouring as when you get further through the book it can become difficult to keep the page you are working on flat. But I will find a way because I love how it looks in the book.

It’s not a picture every day for the whole two months but they are going to take longer than a day to complete. This will easily last you until the next edition and you will have things still left to colour in this once issue two is in your hands.

If you were on the fence about this one I urge you to go out and get it, unless of course flowers aren’t your thing which is perhaps another good point to this magazine, if you don’t like the subject there is always the next one.

The next issue is due out on 2nd June and is themed around animals.

Final Note

That little flower on the back of the page? I took the coloured pencils to that. While I couldn’t cover any of the colour that had come through from the markers there wasn’t a whole lot of colour in that area but it was a great just to play with the pencils as they aren’t something I use very often. I might have to test fine liners on the paper for bleed because if they don’t bleed through they might be a great way to cover the bleed and have a lovely little flower coloured in.