Artist – Mauro Mazzara, Andrea PiparoPublisher – Octopus Publishing
Pages – 96
Like many adult colouring books, this book is square at 25cmx25cm. I find this quite helpful when colouring, as it’s a good size to work with no matter where you are.
The cover is a heavy cardstock with a pleasant blue cover. There are two versions of the cover – one with an uncoloured Gandalf the Grey, and one with a coloured Oliphaunt. Both are the same book however.
The paper is delightful to colour with pencils – a lovely bright white, with a texture perfect for layering. I also experienced no bleeding with fineliners or other water based markers or pens.
The book is glue and string bound, reinforcing it against pushing, pulling and other things that happen when we are determined to get a picture just so!
Images, thankfully, have a border around the edge, preventing the all too common issue of being unable to complete the last strip of a picture that has disappeared into the spine.
This is a colouring book of Tolkiens World – that is, Middle Earth. The book is divided between the Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. I even did the math – 25% of the book is dedicated to The Silmarillion, 20% to The Hobbit and the remaining 55% to The Lord Of The Rings.
The images are a reasonably equal split between double page spreads and single pages, which is great for when you may not want to tackle a big project.
The linework and intricacy throughout remains consistent, which is wonderful. When a book has more than one artist, I am always concerned that it will seem stilted and inconsistent.
As for the images themselves, I love them. As a long time Tolkien lover, I found it thrilling to be able to colour the Trees of The Valor, add details to an Ent, imagine Gandalf in purple robes and so much more. There are landscape images, portraits, fantasy creatures and characters from the books represented in this book.
Regular readers know I am a big fan of books that take you on a journey, transporting you elsewhere, particularly when you are feeling anxious, depressed or are suffering from insomnia. This book does just a good a job at this as Tolkien himself. Colouring the very first page, I felt as if time had stopped and I was off elsewhere.
The linework and intricacy is maintained throughout the book, and although most images are more detailed, there are some that will take less time. For those with concentration issues, this is a blessing as big spreads are not always achievable. Similarly, for colourists with vision impairments or fine motor issues, the spaces in most images are larger compared to most fantasy books; but as always, look at the images before you make a decision.
I would recommend this book not only to Tolkien fans, but any fantasy or landscape fans. The artwork is stunning and will draw you in from the very first page!