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

 

Creative Colour

A colouring magazine from puzzler.com. I didn’t get this one when it first came out but I did snap it up before the release of issue 2 at the end of May. Now we are at the end of June and issue 3 is in the shops.

I left this one untouched for quite a while but one evening as the boys were watching the Avengers I sat myself in the corner under the floor lamp and decided it was time to make a start.

This is another single side print magazine with 24 images to colour and staple bound. Paper quality seems good and the artwork is a mix of single images, full page patterns and contained images, ranging from fine detail to larger areas making it good for any level of colourist. The cover price is 2.99 and is published monthly.

Onto Colouring

I’m back with my Stabilo pen 68’s and the paper is all right, the colour goes on reasonably smoothly although it does show through on the other side it is single sided so that isn’t a problem.

The first one I completed was the bird, it was my favourite image in the whole magazine. I used a combination of flat colour and a bit of shading. As well as the pen 68’s I also used some of my point 88’s to work on the more detailed areas. It was a really enjoyable image to colour though.

I also had a go on the inside cover with the stabilo pens, the little flower was a great, quick to colour piece. After colouring that though which is a smoother card rather than the paper I was wishing the whole book was printed on that.

I also had a go at a page with my inktense pencils, I did this one using a blender pencil to smooth the colour rather than using water. This came out beautifully I certainly got better coverage with the pencils than the pens.

With Promarkers the coverage can be slightly patchy as the ink dries quickly on the paper, though as I got more used to how the ink was behaving on the paper reducing the size of the circles I coloured in allowed me to get a more even colour.

In Conclusion

A reasonable magazine, the range contained in it does make it suitable for anyone though I haven’t bought issue 2 or the recently released issue 3. With such a large selection of magazines available now and considering my collection already I did find a lot of the images to be rather similar and I personally preferred the selection in the later issues of relax with art.

If you are a new colourist though take a look at this magazine along side the others because you might find the artwork more to your tastes and without having earlier magazines there won’t be similarities like I experienced. You can also use any media to colour but make sure you add a sheet of card under the page you are colouring if you intend to use pens and keep your strokes shorter than normal to reduce patchy coverage.

 

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Relaxing Patterns and Mandala Designs

relaxing patterns and mandala designs by lilt kidsI was sent this book from Lilt Kids to review. All I had seen was the cover and I eagerly awaited the delivery coming over from America.

Lilt kids are an independent publisher, something that I thought was good to see, no major cooperation. All their colouring books are quite cheap (£2 to £4)

Here’s a quote from their website

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY..

and supporting a small, independent business like Lilt Kids Coloring Books. All our coloring books are made right here in the USA by talented artists and printed on the highest quality paper with beautiful, bright covers. Should you ever have any kind of problem with an order or just a question for us, we have great customer service: just email

Sounds very exciting doesn’t it…

the internal cover of relaxing patterns and mandala designsThen the book arrived

Truthfully I was disappointed. Firstly The cover of this book appealed to me the most out of the small selection I was shown to choose from, after looking at their site with the book in my hand I see three other books at least with the same cover, just different titles. The one thing I had to go on to choose a book and it wasn’t unique, nor was it anywhere in the book. The Amazon page also said that there were 40 pages in the book, there were only 22 design pages, 24 if you count the small images in the title page and the back page. Yes it’s over 40 pages if you count the blank back side of every design but I think that’s stretching things a little.

showing the quality of the line work within the bookThe Artwork

Something else that didn’t meet my expectation. It is just my opinion but I don’t expect thick lines in an adult colouring book, the thinnest lines are at least 1mm thick. Now this could be seen as a benefit for those using art therapy who have motor function problems so I’m not going to rule things out just because the line thickness isn’t to my liking.

Looking at the images again on most of them the lines aren’t smooth, and there are areas, on the mandalas especially, where you can tell images have been joined together to create the design.

So, I’m disappointed again.

The Paper

It’s about 100gsm and very lightly textured. Nothing like any of the other colouring books I own . It’s somewhere in between the paper from Zen Colouring and Relax with Art so maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to colour on.

The book is printed single sided though so at least any media goes.

stabilo colour testOnto Colouring

I tried three different media in this book. Firstly Stabilo Pen 68, my all rounder pens because there aren’t many books out there there these can’t be used in. I chose to do the first page and went with a pallet of yellows, oranges and reds. They worked rather well.

The first image took me less than an hour to colour. I didn’t really get the satisfaction from the colouring that I would on pages I spend hours or even days on, but it was nice to do something a bit quicker.

promarkers colour testOnto the second and I went with my promarkers and a purple/blue combination, while it was possible to colour with them on the paper (sheet of card under the page required) it did seem to really suck the ink in. This is where I was perhaps thankful the lines in the artwork were quite thick as the colour really did spread (even with the thick lines though the first bit of colour I added did go over.) The other thing I noticed was that the colours became rather muted, the usual vibrancy of the colours was dulled and that was a little disheartening as the final image didn’t end up as I had planned it.

example of using inktense in the bookI spent about an hour and a half on that one.

Finally I got my inktense pencils out and went with reds and greens as you can see I didn’t finish this one, the coloured pencil didn’t really go well on the page and while the water wash looked good to begin with, once it dried though it looked awful and I had a rather wrinkly page.

I didn’t want to finish it, and this is the only time I have ever left an image unfinished.

A Second Opinion

I decided to get a second opinion on the book, I showed it to my 8 year old son. He did think it looked “pretty cool.” So now the book is his, though he hasn’t actually done any colouring yet.

In Conclusion

Pretty disappointing if you are a more advanced colourist, though I will give credit that these might be a good, inexpensive, introduction to colouring for anyone that wants to embark on art therapy but is either daunted by the detail of some books or needs the thicker lines to compensate for motor function problems. They are probably better for children wanting different types of designs.

A children’s book billed for adults.

If the book does interest you though I would say you would be better off using water based pens over any other media as they do give the best colour results.

Did I just get very unlucky with my choice of book, has anyone else tried books from this publisher?

160GSM Ivory Linen – Paper Story

When I first started cutting I used 160gsm paper, I thought that it would be easier. The last time I tried to cut Rosie on 160 I gave up because it had become hard work to get through the thickness of the paper. I had also thought 160 was not the best option for small details. Thinner linen papers I have tried have felt horrible to cut and barely had any texture to them, this one does have a gorgeous texture.

Printing

Ivory Linen 160Printing it will hold even pure black without showing through, light colours are easily visible though so save the ink and print light. Being a thicker paper it had no difficulties going through the printer so no worries there if you have a printer that doesn’t like heavier weight paper.

Drawing

No sheen so just like drawing on normal drawing paper for pencil choice. Don’t go too hard though or you could end up adding more texture to the page.

Cutting

For a heavy weight paper it doesn’t “feel” as thick as some of the others I have tried. Cutting the detail was more difficult than lighter weight paper, but it was workable, the larger sections in the tail though were lovely to cut and I barely noticed at that point that it was a thicker paper.

The texture doesn’t get in the way at all, so no worries with snagging on the curves but take your time with large curves to make sure you get it right with the extra pressure involved.

Somewhere I did slice through a line while cutting, it took me a while of poking to figure out where it was so the paper is very forgiving on slight mishaps making it good for newer cutters.

Blades

Blades, when working on detail blade use is going to be high but on larger areas it’s surprisingly good on blade usage quite unlike what you would expect for this weight of paper.

Price

£1.95 for 10 sheets so works out as around 19p/sheet.

Conclusion

Once you turn it over any small areas you may have had issues with become very worth it. If you are doing wedding invite cuts use this paper. Anything that suits texture will look fantastic on this. Paper story themselves recommend it for typographical cuts and I can see why. If you are working on lots of details this probably isn’t the best choice but for the finish it can be worth persevering with the challenge just to have the amazing texture.

You can buy this paper on Paper Story’s website here.

110GSM White – Paper Story

Another from Paper Story. I normally cut on 100gsm so this is the closest to what I am used to. The paper is flat with a pearlescent sheen to it and is also available in ivory.

White 110

Printing

When printing very light grey is best, no trouble seeing even the lightest colours, of course you can go a little darker if you are printing flat but for floating go as light as you can see.

Drawing

As like other pearlescent papers, don’t go to soft with your pencil choice or it will smudge though this will take up to a 4B before going smudgy. 2H max if you prefer harder pencils.

Cutting

Very easy going on the details and larger areas. It handles curves beautifully and glides over the mat as you move the paper around. Very few fluffy bits, even if you go for too long with a blade but you will see a difference.

Blades

Blade use is good, totally what you would expect from this weight of paper. 15-20 minutes.

Price

10 sheets for £1

Conclusion

A lovely light weight paper. Due to the weight probably not one for new cutters as if you do go a little further into a corner on a cut it will be visible. Highly recommended to those that prefer lighter papers. It has a good structure if you are more used to heavier weights though so don’t let that put you off.

You can buy this paper here

 

120GSM Bersan – Paper Story

This paper feels lovely, Available in White or Cream. Paper Story teamed up with PayperBox to offer this paper and it’s worth noting that the Bersan is a range of charitable products which Payper Box donate 5% of their sales to cancer charities.
I think this paper would be perfect for wedding cuts, there is an opalescent shine to it rather than being “in your face” shiny.

Printing

Bersan 120Printing in pure black will result in some of the ink showing through even when flat, medium greys are fine if you are flat mounting but go light if you plan to float.

Drawing

HB or at the softest 2B, anything softer is likely to smudge harder and you will have the drawing showing through.

Cutting

When cutting it does feel heavier than it is, I would say it feels more like 140gsm to the blade though to the touch it is clearly 120gsm. It does mean that it isn’t as good at handling small detail as you would expect but it does still perform well if you plan which section to cut first properly.

The layers in this paper can separate if you are not careful, check you have cut all the way through, though it is easy to see where you have cut. Because of this the paper can be prone to the occasional fluffy bit, they are easy to remove though with a fresh blade.

As an advantage though once the details are cut and the paper removed everything still holds well.

Blades

Reasonable blade usage, especially considering it feels thicker to the blade. 20-25 minutes on regular cutting but 15 on the details because I was changing just before the drag to avoid the paper fluffing. I may have been able to have got slightly longer though.

Price

10 Sheets are £1.50 making it 15p per sheet. Reasonably priced for the finish and remember some of that cost also goes to charity so even more worth it.

Conclusion

On the flip, it’s worth it. A clean finish on a beautiful looking paper.

I wouldn’t recommend this paper to a new cutter, because of how the paper can behave if you don’t change the blade at the right time. Though for those with more experience at knowing when you feel the drag you can easily handle the paper. If you’re after a paper that behaves like a heavy weight but less work and easier on the blade usage then this is what you should be using.

Buy the paper here.

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.

130GSM Pearlescent – Paper Story

This paper is from paper story. Mid-weight for paper cutting so ideal for beginners  This paper is double sided (other than the latte, which is single sided) and comes in all sorts of gorgeous colours, The golds and silvers are divine and for some reason I adore the tropical orange (not a colour that would usually take my fancy.
I selected the Bearly Pink for the test.

Pearlescent 130Printing

Since I am used to printing on white or single sided paper my template lines are quite light to prevent them showing through. While I can still see the template printing slightly darker would have been an advantage (necessary on some of the darker colours.) Pure black doesn’t show through to the opposite side if it is flat, but if you plan to float don’t print too dark.

Drawing

If you draw your templates don’t go for a soft pencil HB to 2H is ideal for drawing on this type of paper, white pencil for the darker shades.

Cutting

When I first started cutting I did wonder if I was going to like this paper, only because I am used to a lower gsm. Once I had got a little more into it I began to just enjoy the greater control and structure of a higher weight.

Fluffy bits, barely any with this paper, you can see where you have cut easily so you know where the danger zones are. If by any chance a fluffy bit does appear they come away easily with a fresh blade and are even removable with a slightly used one.

Blades

This surprised me blade usage was quite low, I got closer to half an hour out of a single blade working on the detail, 40 minutes on larger areas (which is why you can see more cut in this photo.)

Price

A pack of 10 sheets in a single colour is just £1.50 so at just 15p/sheet it’s a good price for an excellent paper. Or if you like to buy in bulk there is an option for 100 sheets at 12p/sheet where you can request the colours you would like.

Conclusion

Over all, a brilliant all round paper it looks lovely once it is flipped over and because it is double sided there are no white bits. However that is also the only disadvantage as the darker colours are harder to work with if you print a template rather than draw.

Here is the link to the white, the colours are all listed separately.