Relaxed And Focused Colouring 

Publisher – Michael O’Mara Books

Pages – 96

Series – The Art Of Mindfulness 

 Purchase at the Book Depository

Purchase at Amazon
 

Adult Colouring Art Of Mindfulness Coloring
Cover
 

Book

This is one part of a series of colouring books presented by Michael O’Mara Book called The Art of Mindfulness. 

This book is about halfway between A4 and A5 (A4.5?!) which is a good size for either travel or home. The cover is a glossy, embellished grey with coloured images around the title.

The paper within, as with most Michael O’Mara Books, is a bright white, and smooth. The spine is glue bound and reinforced with ystring, meaning that it will stand up to quite a bit of pulling, manoeuvring and transporting.

The pages are unfortunately double sided, which is a disappointment for those who prefer pens and markers to pencil. A light touch reduces the shadowing on the other side, but I would only recommend coloured pencils for this one. 

Some of the pictures have a border around them, I presume to prevent images entering the spine, but this is not consistent throughout the book. The spine is quite pliable with some use though. 

 adult colouring mindfulness art therapy relaxed focused book review colouring  
adult colouring mindfulness art therapy relaxed focused book review colouring  adult colouring mindfulness art therapy relaxed focused book review colouring 


Images

This series focuses on emotions, this one aiming to make you relaxed and focused while colouring. As such, many of the images contain patterns and natural images, a common theme amongst ‘calming’ colouring books.

There are mandalas, full page patterns, pages with squares of different patterns, birds, trees and much more.

The line consistency throughout does change quite a bit, varying from quite thin to quite thick. This does all correspond and suit the image however, so it is not as noticeable as some books. Intricacy is widely varied throughout the book, although more than half are what I would consider detailed. There is some nice spaces for practicing shading and blending throughout. 

 adult colouring mindfulness art therapy relaxed focused book review colouring  

adult colouring mindfulness pencils relaxed and focused review art
A late night effort!
  adult colouring mindfulness art therapy relaxed focused book review colouring 

Health

As the title of the book says, the patterns and natural images may help you relax. If you love the routine of choosing a colour scheme for a picture and finishing it without stopping, this book will be fantastic. 

Some of the images are quite detailed, and others have quite fine lines, so not all images will be suited to people with vision impairment or fine motor difficulties. Many of the images will be however, particularly the natural images.

I do find this book helpful when I am in pain – the images are not difficult, and the repetitive nature of the patterns helps me to focus on something else apart from the pain. A constant level of concentration is also not needed, which can be a big factor when one is in pain, anxious or suffering from insomnia.

I definitely think that parts of this book will appeal to everyone, and it’s definitely one I keep on hand for bad days! 

If you enjoy the designs in this book, have a look at this review of another MOM book in a similar style!

The above image was coloured using Faber Castell Classic pencils. Available via this link from Amazon.
 adult colouring mindfulness art therapy relaxed focused book review colouring  
 

Colouring Hints and Tips #2 – Markers As A Base

One of the things I like to do when I would like a really vibrant colour is use my markers.

Now, as a general rule, I’m not a big fan of markers – they’re hard to control, hard to blend (I’m not talking about Copics or the like!) and they have a propensity for bleeding. 

This technique is super simple, and has a great reward for little effort! 

I’ll be demonstrating in green, just a simple sphere so you can see the effect! There are links to the tools I’ve used at the bottom of the post, although any pencils and markers will work of course! 

Grab the following tools

• A marker, in the colour you want your picture to be. 

• Three pencils in your chosen colour. A light, a mid tone and a dark. 

 adult colouring mindfulness relaxed markers pencils tips tutorials 

Method

• Colour the area, space or figure in the marker. Try not to go over the marker too much, as too much saturation will show through the pencil (although the clearly I’m not very skilled at this!) 

 adult colouring mindfulness markers tutorials tools pencils 
• Colour over the marker in the light pencil, all over. This is to ‘even’ out your base area

 colouring adult coloring tools techniques tutorials tips relaxing mindfulness 
• Use the dark pencil to create your shade, using circular motions. Don’t be too heavy handed. 

  
colouring adult coloring tools techniques tutorials tips relaxing mindfulness 

• Colour the area you want as a mid tone in the mid pencil, again with circular motions and a light hand. 
 colouring adult coloring tools techniques tutorials tips relaxing mindfulness 
 
• Once again, use the light coloured pencil to cover the entire area. 
 colouring adult coloring tools techniques tutorials tips relaxing mindfulness 

This is the finished product! 

The picture below is a sphere, using the same technique, minus the marker base. See the difference?  

When used within a picture or drawing, this effect can add depth and vibrancy to any shape, area or figure. 

To see some examples of this technique in action read this review for two examples!

 




Notes

• I have used this technique with waterbased markers only, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness with alcohol markers 

• This can be done with all coloured pencils, both wax and oil. 

• I used a neon colour marker for this demonstration, but experiment with darker shades, lighter shades, brighter shades and see what comes out! 
The tools I used in this tutorial are –

• Strathmore Sketch Paper (Amazon) – I’m not artist (as you can tell by my circles!) but I keep sketch paper around to try new mediums and techniques for colouring.

•  Faber Castell Connector Pens (Amazon) – very popular waterbased children’s markers in Australia. I like them for this technique and they come in an outstanding 100 colours for a very reasonable price! 

• Faber Castell Classic Pencils (Amazon) – an accompaniment to Connector Pens, these are amazingly popular amongst children and adult colourists. A nice mix of soft and firm, they are a great, reasonably priced pencil. Often my go to pencil.

I hope you enjoy this photo tutorial, please let me know what you think and subscribe to keep up to date on new ones! Check out the list of reviews to find your next book!

Colouring Hints and Tips #1 – Master Colour Chart

I have quite a few ranges of markers, pens and pencils now – ranging from dirt cheap to artist quality – I have been very lucky in this regard with some very generous friends supplying me with some amazing art tools. 

 Some sets have 5 colours, others have 120. This can be a pain when I want a particular shade of blue, for example, but cannot remember which set it has come from. 

So I thought a solution to having many different sets of mediums would be a good old colour chart. But not any colour chart – a master colour chart. 

Remember those A4 visual arts diaries? I grabbed one of those – the thick, textured paper is great for swatches. 

The tools I used are at the bottom of this article. I’ve included the brands I’ve searched so far in case any catch your eye! 

I looked online for the brands that didn’t have names (looking at you Staedtler and Faber Castell Connector Pens!) and have been doing a little every day. 

Two more sets to go and I’m done! 

I thought a video would be easier for everyone than 15 photos! 

This article marks the start of a series of articles I’ll be doing with some little hints and tips for colourists! 

Let me know what you think and what you would like to see.
 

Oh yes. Chatty Mr Mojo is the ginger one and Miss Gremlin is my furbaby. Always close by my side!

Tools

• Strathmore Visual Arts Diary (Amazon) – any visual arts diary will do though! 

• Staedtler Fineliners 36 Pack (Amazon) -this is my go to set – amazing colours, very little bleeding and a 0.3 nib that is great for those fine lines in those tricky spots!

• Stabilo Fineliners – 20 pack (Amazon) – a nice secondary set to have because the colours are quite different. A little ‘inkier’ than Staedtlers fineliners.

• Faber Castell Connector Pens (Amazon) – a popular children’s marker, these are a great introduction to markers for colourists of any age and come in a wide range of colours.

• Crayola Supertips – 50 set (Amazon) – I really like these. The nib is versatile, these have less streaking than most markers and come in a great range of colours for a reasonable price.

•   Faber Castell Metallic Markers (Amazon) – the best metallic markers I’ve found – streak free and vibrant. 

• Faber Castell Classic Pencils (Amazon) – a great first set for adult colourists, great mix of soft and firm and a good range of colours. Reasonably priced and a great way to start your colouring journey. Still the set I reach for the most 

• Derwent Metallic Pencils 12 set tin (Amazon) – 12 firm, water soluble metallic colours, including gold, pewter, bronze, copper, red, green and more.

• Crayola Aged Up/Adult Pencils – 50 pack (Amazon) – wide range of colours and quite soft for a cheaper pencil. I haven’t had much of a chance to play with these, but I will get back to you on them! 

Prismacolor 72 (Amazon) – these were the first ‘Artist’ quality pencils I got. They were a adjustment, but overall I think once you get used to the softness, great things can be done with them! 

Thanks for reading! 
 

Color Love 

Artist – Thaneeya McCardle

Publisher – Design Originals

Pages – 64

Link to Purchase -via the  Book Depository or via Amazon.

 

 

Cover

Book

This is part of Design Original ‘Perfectly Portable Pages’ releases, designed for colouring on the go. At 20cm x 13cm it certainly achieves this goal, being a great size to tuck in a bag!

The cover is a vibrant image from the book in a glossy cardstock that is quite sturdy, and the spine is glue bound proving extra reinforcement.

As with other Design Originals books, the images thankfully are not double sided, making it a blessing for colourists who prefer mediums other than pencil. Each image is accompanied by a quote on the facing page, which is a nice touch!

Some images do enter the spine, but the spine does yield with some use.



Images
The images in this book are a variety from Thaneeya McCardles other books, including Peace and Love, Groovy Abstract and Happy Campers. The images are scaled down, but make the transfer quite well!

Line thickness is consistent throughout the book, remaining moderately thick on each page. Images are not very detailed, but include room for doodles or tangles if you are so inclined.

The images range from animals, to mandalas, to patterns. There are no patterns or geometrics in this book however.

As with many of Design Originals books, the first few pages are dedicated to colour theory, doodle examples and coloured examples of pictures in the book. This is relatively uncommon in other colouring books, and I find it quite helpful at times when I am stuck on an image!



Health
This book is a mood lifter, for many people. Flicking through and seeing the whimsical patterns, happy animals and cheerful quotes, it is a positive thing to focus on for some time.

The line thickness and intricacy means it is probably quite suitable for those with fine motor or vision impairments, although as a pocket book, the size of the book may make securing the book a challenge.

The size and lack of detail means that this is an ideal book for times when you don’t feel like diving into a big project, rather spending a short time on an image.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes a bit of happiness in their colouring, or a fun little book to take you away from the outside world for a short while!
If you love Thaneeya McCardles style, be sure to check out my review of her Treasury!

If you’re after more pocket sized pages,  this one definitely fits the bill!

A Blog Update and Some Info About Me 

Something I mention quite a bit, but don’t go into detail about is my health.

As my front page explains, I have both a mental illness and a chronic illness, so my days aren’t the easiest, nor are my nights.

This was part of the reason I took to colouring so quickly and love it so much! It’s a theme amongst many colourists, they find relief from their anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, all from the simple act of colouring.

In early 2015, my physical condition deteriorated to a point where I could no longer work. I’m a nurse, and obviously require to do a lot of physical work. I worked very hard to get where I was, and this was a blow for me. Discovering colouring was a great distraction, a way to focus my energy and attention elsewhere. 

I did quickly discover that when you have limited access to stores to physically hold and look through books, it was very difficult to find accurate reviews, images and information about quality from online sources.

So I started with the small collection I had, not thinking it would be very popular, but hoping to help people in a similar  situation as me, to find the best tools to help them and not waste their hard earned money on a product that is useless to them. 

8 months later and the blog is more popular than I could have imagined. We are still small, and traffic varies a great deal, but I value each person who drops by, reads a few reviews, clicks a link or leaves me a comment. Each of you have made this blog what is is – without your support, I wouldn’t have had the encouragement to keep going! 

So when I comment on the health benefits of a book, it is my opinion – as a person with mental health issues, a pain condition and a chronic illness, an avid colourist, and as a nurse. It is my opinion, but I make the recommendations hoping that it helps others make up their mind about something or find a new book! 

As my disclosure says, the page does use affiliate links for the Book Depository. I would never link to a page I don’t use and I use the Book Depository regularly. The affiliate links mean that if you click and buy from the Book Depository I receive 5% of your purchase – it doesn’t cost anymore than if you didn’t use the link. I do this to offset some of  the costs of this blog – blog fees, review books, postage, and other running costs. If you have any questions about this please don’t hesitate to ask! I am certainly not making a lot from this (I average around $40 a month) but it does help me get more reviews of books you want to see reviewed up! 

I have a lot of plans for this blog, including colouring tutorials and product reviews, so watch this space!

Thankyou for your ongoing support and I’m going to make 2016 a fantastic year for this blog, with your help and support!!!
Batgirl xx

Making Colouring Special

Pages – 128 
Publisher – Living Art 

Available at select newsagents in Australia and the U.K, or from Amazon via this link.
  
Magazine 
At first glance, I thought this was a book. It is quite weighty, has more pages than a standard magazine, and has a glossy, cardstock, colourful cover. 

This magazine was a gift from my sister and it was a surprise. As far as colouring magazines go, beyond the images, they do all tend to be very similar. This one is not only very high quality, but also much larger than most magazines at 128 pages.

The magazine is glue bound, but it is very pliable, and most images do not enter the spine. The paper is bright white and has a surprising amount of texture for a magazine, enough that I was able to achieve multiple layers with pencils.

I experienced no bleeding with waterbased markers, fineliners or pencils, although the pages are not double sided, a blessing! 

   
   

Images

The images are patterns. Lots and lots of patterns. Geometric patterns, floral patterns, line patterns, illusion patterns. Looking through, I immediately wanted to start tackling quite a few! 

A number were patterns that I hadn’t seen before, a rarity, particularly in a magazine, which tend to be collections of themed stock images.

An interesting note, the lines are not a black in this magazine, but a dark grey. It doesn’t make a big difference, but it does have a difference on the colours and final outcome. I quite liked the dark grey, as it was a way to try a new way of colouring, focusing on the outline as well as the image itself. 

Line thickness varies throughout the magazine, with some images being hair thin and other being quite thick. 

As with most patterns, the images do tend to be quite intricate, but some are made of large spaces, which is a nice break! 

   
   
Health 

Overall, I think this book can have a lot of benefits. The repetitive nature of patterns is soothing to many people with anxiety, depression and/or insomnia, and this magazine has them in spades. 

The pictures in the magazine may prove a challenge for people with fine motor issues and/or vision impairment so have a look at the images before you decide. 

If you love the look of these patterns, you’ll probably love this book, full of amazing patterns!

   
   

Creative Haven Fantasy Designs 

Artist – Aaron Pocock
Publisher – Dover Publications

Pages/Images – 65/31

Link to purchaseThe Book Depository or from Amazon.

Click here to see my review of the Creative Haven series!

Book

As with the entire Creative Haven series, this book is very well made. Close to A4 size, the cover is a glossy and bright representation of the images inside. At 64 pages it is not heavy, but is a great size for working with.
The spine is glue bound, which will last a long while. The paper is white and has a lovely texture, with enough tooth for quite a few coloured pencil layers. I had no issues with bleeding with waterbased markers or Fineliners, although darker colours did shadow a small amount.

The pages are not double sided, which will be a great relief for those who are partial to pens and markers – even alcohol markers can be used with a piece of card behind the page.

Like the rest of the Creative Haven series, there is a white border running down the spine of each image, preventing the image frustratingly entering the spine!


Images 

I have been scouring the Internet and bookshops for good fantasy books, I even got to the point of considering making my own (despite zero creative talent here!) so when I saw this, I ordered it but wasn’t optimistic. Well I was surprised.

From the first page, with a goblin staring at me from his toadstool, to the grumpy wizard smoking a pipe, to the proud Gryphon in a field, this book blew my expectations out of the water. The quality and variety of images is amazing – this is not a book of fairies as many ‘fantasy’ books tend to be!

The images are drawn with medium thickness lines, with enough emphasis to feel as if each had just been drawn in front of you. This style is consistent throughout, making it feel like a story book, or journey you’re viewing and adding colour to!

  

Health

As regular readers will know, I love the idea of books telling a story, or taking you on a journey. I think there is little better for anxiety or insomnia than a book you can get lost in. This book does that, and more, with its magical images.

On the flip side, the images aren’t so intricate that it requires a lot of concentration or a huge time investment. The details range from simple to intricate, and something for every concentration level.

Line thickness is medium throughout, and there are large spaces in each image, making it a good fit for anyone with vision impairments or issues with fine motor control.
If you’re looking for more fantasy designs, have a look at my review of this great book!