Artist – Selina Fenech
Publisher – Fairies and Fantasy Pty Ltd
Pages – 102
I was surprised at the size of this book – the few fantasy themed colouring books I’ve managed to find have been quite short. This is not. At 102 pages, this is a volume that fills me with anticipation.
The cover is a cardstock, with a pink and neutral gloss cover that describes the theme of the book – fairy romance, pets and dragons.
Images do enter the spine, although it quickly became pliable enough so this wasn’t much of an issue while colouring.
The paper. I had heard some people complain about the paper of these books before I got them. One of the first pages in the book warns against using wet mediums, except in small amount, recommending fineliners and pencils instead. It also suggests placing a piece of card between the pages to prevent bleeding if you choose to use markers or the like.
Images are single sided so the piece of card will likely prevent any issues with markers or other wet mediums.
The paper is a joy to colour with pencils. I used both my Faber Castell Classics and Prismacolor pencils, just to test it thoroughly, and both performed the same. This paper is made for coloured pencils. The tooth is lovely, it feels satisfying to colour over it and feel the texture. I achieved 5-6 layers of both brands of pencil before blending – and I could have layered more had I chosen to. This isn’t something I come across often. Most books cap at 5 layers, and that’s with a very light touch.
I didn’t experience any bleeding with fineliners or light application of water based markers. There was some shadowing, but as the pages are single sided it doesn’t matter so much.
There is a video flipthrough at the end of this review!
Selina Fenech has a reputation as one of the best fantasy artists, and with good reason. These illustrations are well thought out, inviting and a joy to colour. Unlike some fairy/fantasy themed books, despite the overarching theme, the images do not get repetitive.
Images contain everything from a fairy couple in love, to a fairy and her dragon, to a male fairy harnessing and riding a toad, to trees and goblins coming alive under an archway.
One of the selling points for me, that is quite unusual in colouring books is that there are two of each image. There are 25 different images in the book, but 50 images total, meaning you get two of each image to do what you want with. This is great for people who may struggle with confidence, or can’t decide what colours to use, or want to try a new medium without ‘wasting’ a gorgeous image.
The images are primarily portraits although there are a handful of landscape oriented images throughout the book, which is a nice way to have some variety.
The images are of moderate intricacy, although most are made up of larger spaces. Linework remains consistently moderate/thin throughout the book – though a helpful thin, not an almost invisible, spindly thin!
Fantasy is my favourite genre – so being able to colour and bring life to art that I have admired for a long time is something that generally puts a smile on my face. I found this book very helpful when I was feeling down, as the theme and natural images were very relaxing. It was also very helpful when I was in pain through the day or night as the images were intricate enough to keep me focused, but not intricate enough that I couldn’t concentrate.
The images, as mentioned above, are not highly complex, and the linework is unobtrusive, though clear so I think this book would be suitable for people with vision impairment or fine motor skill issues.
Overall, if you like fantasy, cryptozoology or just a nice piece of artwork, I highly recommend this book!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review
A sampler of Selinas colouring pages is available to download from her site here.