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Beautiful Creatures is compiled and very kindly sent to me to review by Nicole Stocker AKA Huelish. This book is unlike any other colouring book that I’ve reviewed and is filled with greyscale images which is one of the latest crazes within the colouring community. Greyscale colouring usually involves taking a photograph and removing all of the colour so that the whole image shows shades of grey, this is done with the purpose of being able to create very realistically coloured images and it is also a really helpful tool for learning about light and shade for your regular colouring. You colour straight over the grey which partially shows through the pens or pencils you use and the image looks photo-realistic when you’re finished.
This book is slightly smaller than A4, paperback with card covers and it’s very thick! The images are printed single-sided onto beautifully thick paper which is bright white and lightly textured so it’s perfect for almost any medium you can throw at it. Bleeding isn’t an issue so just pop a protective sheet behind if you’re using particularly heavy mediums and you’ll be good to go. The images are all surrounded by a thick white border and none of them enter the spine which is glue-bound and does require a fair bit of bending to get it to lie flat. The images are all perforated and have a section on the back where you can write who completed the image and on what date. The book contains 48 photographs of animals which are very cohesive because of the greyscale nature of them. The images are of a huge range of animals from horses to dolphins, spiders to squirrels, cows to dogs and loads more.
In terms of mental health, this book is quite niche because greyscale colouring isn’t something that everyone will be interested in. However, as someone that had no interest in greyscale colouring until I was sent this book to review, I have to say, it’s worth giving it a go, because it’s a pretty different experience from what I expected. I really didn’t know where to start or how to do it and eventually bit the bullet and started with the blue and it was actually much easier than I expected and you really do what the cover says and colour over the grey and it brings your image to life. The image I chose didn’t require lots of blending or shading and each section is coloured with just one pencil and the shading is all from the original grey image behind. I’m surprised about how well it came out and it was surprisingly calming so I would definitely recommend greyscale colouring for those of you who suffer from anxiety disorders or other conditions that require relaxation and calming effects. Line thickness and intricacy aren’t really applicable in greyscale colouring books because they’re as intricate as you make them, you can colour over the images in blocks or you can individually draw on each hair, scale or feather, it’s entirely up to you. Difficulty level is also quite difficult to assess because again, it’s entirely up to you how difficult you make it, you could colour the images in shades of one colour, lots of different colours, realistic colour schemes or outlandish and what I might struggle with, another colourist might find easy when working out how to colour a greyscale image. One really handy aspect of greyscale colouring is that because the images start off as full colour images you can often have access to the original, full colour image, or it’ll be of a real animal, as is the case in this book which means you can use a ready-made colour scheme after having a quick google of the animal itself which is exactly how I chose the colour scheme for my red-knobbed hornbill pictured below. This is ideal for mentally ill colourers because you don’t have to dream up colour schemes if you don’t want to and can instead use the colours nature has inspired. Being a book filled with natural images, it is inherently calming and the different textures of fur, scales, wet, dry, shiny, rough and more of the animals means that it’s very interesting to look at and interesting to colour. I’ve heard from a lot of greyscale colourers and the general consensus is that this book is the best greyscale colouring book currently on the market and I would have to agree that this is an ideal book to get you in to greyscale colouring. If you need any inspiration for colouring, Nicole has created a wonderful gallery on her website of coloured images which can be found here.
I would recommend this book to anyone who already loves or wants to venture into the world of greyscale colouring. The paper is wonderfully thick, the images printed single-sided and the perforations make it easy to remove your page for easier colouring or for framing.
If you’d like to start greyscale colouring then this book is available below, it’s very expensive on UK Amazon currently and isn’t available on Book Depository but you can get it for a decent price on Amazon.com.
Amazon UK – Beautiful Creatures: A Boundless Coloring Book Adventure
Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Creatures-Grayscale-Coloring-Adults/dp/099486230X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459801832&sr=8-1&keywords=beautiful+creatures+coloring+book
The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils, Marco Raffine pencils and Zest It Blending Solution.