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Secrets Beneath the Leaves is illustrated and was kindly sent to me by Törmänen and Haikonen. This book is really unusual and different from any other adult colouring book I’ve seen so far. Secrets Beneath the Leaves puts the ‘adult’ into adult colouring and this is definitely one for the over 18’s. The title really doesn’t give much away and I thought it was going to be a Johanna Basford style book filled with garden images and boy was I in for a surprise! For those of you of a nervous or sensitive disposition or who are offended by nudity, this book is not for you, please look away now. For those of you who are now even more intrigued, keep on reading!
This book contains 30 images of leaf and tree people getting up to all sorts! The illustrators welcome you to “the enchanting world of lush leaves, exotic flowers, ancient vines, colourful birds and sensual delights” but this really doesn’t describe what’s in store, they state that their images are “inspired by the beauty of nature and the human body” which gives a little more of a clue. So, what does it actually include? Images of males and females, mostly made up of leaves or trees, in various states of undress and in various sensual and erotic poses. The images range from burlesque style poses of a leafy lady in a giant cocktail glass and a foliage fireman, to couples canoodling and engaging in what looks like some passionate foreplay, all the way up to some very adventurous sexual poses that only the most gymnastic among you will be attempting to…. colour (wink wink). The book is almost A4, paperback and glue-bound and the images are printed single-sided with a preview of the next image printed on the back of each page. The paper is white and very thin, the next image can be seen through, the paper also dents quite noticeably when using pencils, however, it’s got a bit of tooth allowing for layers to be built up with pencils for blending and shading. Water-based pens do bleed through and alcohol markers would almost certainly mark the next page so make sure you put a spare sheet of paper behind your work and then you’re good to go! The images are all printed with a border around them so none of the image is lost into the spine. The book starts with a “This book belongs to” page and at the back has a double-page spread to test your pens and pencils on.
In terms of mental health, this book is sure to give you a good giggle which is fabulous for mental illness and helping you forget about the bad things in life. There are lots and lots of leaves and the book is fairly intricate and delicate and all drawn in a thin line so you will need fairly good fine motor control and vision to really ‘study’ the images and colour into all the ‘nooks, crannies and crevices’. The images are all the same complexity level (despite the content of the images being suitable for beginners all the way up to seasoned pro’s) so you will have to focus quite a lot to keep within the lines. This book gives great distraction from symptoms and from negative thoughts and feelings as you’re whisked off to a garden filled with raunchy people getting up to all sorts of erotic things. I personally wouldn’t describe many of the images as sensual and would err more towards kinky as a description but however you want to describe it this book is really unusual, sure to give you a giggle and offers great shading opportunities and might even offer you some inspiration for other colouring or areas of your life. One thing to note is that the images show males and females on separate pages but all pages of couples are of a male and female, unfortunately, there are no same-sex couples included. The images are mostly nature-inspired though some of the positions the tree-people have found themselves in cannot possibly be described as such, and as you know, I find nature images the best for calming down my anxiety. The garden aspect of these images is quite heavily over-shadowed by the hanky-panky the leafy people are getting up to and some of the birds in the pictures look quite alarmed and surprised about what’s happening and if they didn’t already, have certainly now learnt about the birds and the bees!
I would recommend this book for those of you looking for something different and unusual to colour and those of you who fancy colouring something a little more sensual, erotic and sometimes downright kinky. Those of you who like the Slinky Tarts books are likely to be a fan of this book. It provides great distraction from mental illness symptoms and is sure to cheer up even the darkest of days. Grab your pens and pencils and discover the secrets beneath the leaves.
You can purchase a copy here:
Amazon UK – Secrets Beneath the Leaves
The images below were coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils.