Art Therapy Postcards

Art Therapy Postcards

Publisher – Michael O’Mara Books

Pages/Postcards – 20

Available to purchase from The Book Depository (UK based) or on Amazon (US)

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Cover


Book

A book of postcards to colour, the Art Therapy postcards are smaller than colouring books, at 17cm x 12cm (6.7 x 4.7 inches) and 20 ‘pages’ or postcards. 

The cover is a firm card in pastel pink with a coloured design from one of the postcards in a limited palette and silver foil. 

The binding is what you would find on a notepad or legal pad, a soft glue binding that makes it very easy to remove the postcards from the book. I’ve removed 6-7 of these and not encountered any problems with this binding at all. If you prefer to leave them in the book to colour, the spine lays flat while you are colouring which is very handy! 

The postcards themselves are a thick card. I experienced no bleeding or shadowing from waterbased markers. Make sure to remove the card, or pop a few sheets of paper behind it if you plan to use alcohol markers. I was able to achieve quite a few layers of coloured pencil with no issues.

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Completed with Staedtler fineliners
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Completed with Staedtler Fineliners

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Images 

If you are familiar with the Art Therapy series, you will recognise the style of images. There are a huge variety of images contained within these 20 images. Animals, patterns, mandalas, floral arrangements. All this and more, with a sense of consistency throughout. 

The reverse of the images are a standard postcard format with a stamp box, address line and space for a message. 

A unique feature is the backgrounds – in the images that do not take up the entire postcard, the backgrounds are pre-coloured. I thought this would be intrusive, but it hasn’t been. The backgrounds are easily ignored if you choose, or easily matched if you want to go that way. 

The artwork does range quite a bit in terms of intricacy. Most of the images are on the more detailed side, but there are a few that are simpler. Line thickness is consistently moderate throughout. I’ve included a flipthrough with each postcard (excluding the two coloured images) at the end of this review. 

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Health 

I am loving postcards to colour. The small size makes them perfectly suited to most moods, particularly times of anxiety or pain when you may not be able to concentrate on a larger project. 

The designs in the Art Therapy postcards are perfect for bright colours and markers, so suit low concentration levels well. The intricacy also means that you can choose to block colour areas or colour each individual space, depending on your need. 

These may not be suitable for those with vision or motor impairments due to the intricacy, but as always please check the images before deciding. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review 


Batgirl x

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Enchanted Faces (Hannah Lynn) 

Enchanted Faces (Hannah Lynn) 

Artist

– Hannah Lynn

Publisher

– Hannah Lynn Art & Design

Pages

– 106

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Cover, compared with a standard gel pen.

Book

As regular readers know, anything fantasy themed gets my attention – that’s what grabbed me about Hannah Lynns first book (reviewed here) and again with this one. 

The cover is a glossy cardstock, complete with a collage of completed images from the book, for an outstanding effect.

The book is 20.3 x 13.3cm or 8 x 5.25 inches – meaning it is the perfect solution to a long wait time, a train ride, boring lunch break or just a quicker colouring project!

The spine is glue bound, which means it can withstand quite a bit of manoeuvring without pages falling out or the spine breaking. The spine is quite pliable with some use as well, which is a very helpful feature.

Images are single sided, which is fantastic – something I’m seeing more and more amongst all levels of publishers! 

The images also contain a very helpful border around the edge of the image, preventing the image entering the spine! 

One very handy feature, that I hope is continued with her next book is the contents pages. These are very small tiles containing the image and title, making it easy to refer to the original artwork or inspiration for the image.

The paper is not very thick, but does have a bit of texture, and works well with pencils. One of the introductory pages instructs you to place a few pages of copy paper behind each image, to prevent bleeding or indentation from pencils. 

I do wish the paper was a little thicker as the images are so suited to the vibrancy of markers, but this is easily fixed with some paper behind the image.

Pages are not perforated, but would be easily removed from the glue spine if you wished to remove them. 

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Coloured with Prismacolor pencils and a white gel pen.

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Coloured with Prismacolor pencils, a white paint pen and ballpoint pens.

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Coloured with Prismacolor pencils, Spectrum Noir markers and a white gel pen

Images

As with the first book, this pocket sized edition contains images from Hannah’s portfolio of images; cropped so that the image is focussed on the areas around the face. This by no means is the only content of the book – there are unicorns, wolves, landscapes, plantlife, clothing, hair and more to colour within this book.

The images are quite a bit smaller than Hannah’s previous book, and contain no repeats. The main focus of this book is on the girls/mermaids/fairies etc themselves, with a side focus on their surroundings and companions.

The images are a mix of portrait and landscape. Some of the images are a close up of the woman’s face, hair and a small part of the surroundings, some are of the entire figure with some of the surroundings, others still have half the figure and half the images. I feel it is a good mix – if you are after a small colouring project; you can choose to focus on people, the natural themes in the image, or just go section by section. 

The linework remains thin-moderate throughout, and this suits the style of image quite well. Any thicker and the lines would be quite jarring with the imagery and themes I think. The intricacy varies, as mentioned above, some images focus on the figure and have larger areas, while some have other components and smaller areas. On the whole, the intricacy is moderate, with a good mix of smaller and larger areas. 
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Health 

My two favourite colouring ‘themes’, particularly for health benefits, are fantasy and nature. This one has both, and I think the benefits are great.

The images take you to this world; where there are magical creatures, fairies and gorgeous landscapes. I often find myself completely immersed in wondering about the background of the images/characters while colouring. This is fantastic for distracting you from pain, anxiety, depression or just a plain bad day! There are images that suit any level of concentration, with larger spaces or a higher level of intricacy. Overall, the intricacy is moderate and would suit most people well.

The line thickness and intricacy makes it most likely suitable for anyone with a vision impairment or fine motor skill issues, but as always, please check the images before purchasing! 

Personally, I find this book very helpful when I am feeling down or am in a great deal of pain – the fantastical imagery and whimsy in the book, combined with the detail and smaller size makes it perfect for these times. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. For more pocket sized fantasy , make sure to read my review of Selina Fenechs’ Magical Minis here!

Batgirl xx
Enchanted Faces is available to purchase from Amazon (US) via this link, or the Book Depository (International) via this link. 

Hannah Lynns third book, Simply Sweet is available now on Amazon (here) – make sure to follow the blog so you know as soon as I have reviewed it! 

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The Art Of Percy J Billinghurst

The Art Of Percy J Billinghurst

Artist – Percy J Billinghurst & Heidi Berthiaume

Publisher – Vintage Coloring

Pages – 68
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Book
This book (and indeed, the series) are a wonderful collection that suit the theme and content. 
At 68 pages, and 28cm x 21cm, this is a good size for home or travel. The spine is firmly glue bound, although becomes pliable very quickly. 

The cover is a matte card, featuring a maroon backdrop with a half coloured design from the book. The first two pages are introductory texts, with the last two pages being blank for colour and medium testing.

The paper is bright white and of medium thickness and texture. I experienced minimal shadowing with water based markers, and nil bleeding. As always, please pop a few blotter sheets behind the page you are working on if you use markers just to be safe. The images are single sided and pages are not perforated.

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My completed image; coloured with Prismacolor Verithins

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Images

The layout of the images in this book is very well thought out. In addition to the twenty full size vintage images, there are smaller – 15cm x 10cm (6×4 inch) – sections of each image in the back of the book as well. These are a great way to effectively double the images you have to colour without repeating them exactly. 

The images, as you might have guessed, are taken from vintage illustrator, Percy J Billinghurst. The images are selected, cleaned up and turned into appropriate colouring images for us to enjoy. Although there are a number of books on the market that do have vintage illustrations, this is the only one I have seen with this illustrator. It is also the best one I have seen at converting these illustrations into colouring pages. Sometimes these vintage illustrations can be full of shading and leave little room to add colour, but this is not the case with these.

The content of the book is cheerful and happy – based on animal imagery from the original illustrators books, you see a meeting of animals, sheep by the ocean, an eagle sitting proudly, cats surrounding a saucer and so much more. The images are charming and reminiscent of a time long ago.

The intricacy varies a little, but mainly remains moderate with a good amount of both larger and smaller spaces to colour. Line thickness remains stark black and moderate throughout. 

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The smaller images
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Some of the smaller images
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Health

The images contain a lot of natural images, which is a great theme for any health issues. The animals are also a good theme for distraction, as you colour them and imagine what they’re doing.

The intricacy and line thickness means that this book will likely be suitable for those with fine motor or vision impairments, but as always, please double check before you decide.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. The Art of Percy J Billinghurst is available to purchase from Amazon (US) here or the Book Depository (International) here


If you enjoy vintage illustration, please check out my review of Alice In Wonderland here. 


Batgirl xx

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Hi again! 

I’m coming back from my little break – I’ve missed writing and reviewing for you all, and I’ve decided to come back a little earlier than planned.

Reviews will still be less frequent than they were, but I hope to be back to normal soon! 

In the meantime, I’ve put together a short (8-question) survey asking for your opinions on things like content, frequency, social media etc so that in moving forward, I can provide the best blog possible for my favourite people – the people who read the reviews and continue to support and share in my love of this ‘hobby’ (aka addiction 😉 )

The survey is voluntary and 100% anonymous. I’ll leave it open for a week or two, and it is purely to gain understanding of what you, the reader, already like and want more of!

If you don’t already, make sure to follow the blog so you will know as soon as my first review back is posted! 

The link to the survey is here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TGSHLNJ

Thankyou again! 

Batgirl xx