Magnificent Animals: A Coloring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Magnificent Animals: A Coloring Book is published and kindly sent to me to review by National Geographic. The book is 24 cm square, paperback with flexible card covers with 1/3 French flaps, the cover has green foiling embellishments and the inside covers and first and last page have a continuous pattern and animal image that is fully colourable. The spine of the book is glue bound and fairly stiff to begin with, the images are printed single-sided and are perforated so none of the images enter the spine. All of the images are single-page spreads printed on the righthand page. The paper is bright white, medium thickness with a small amount of texture allowing a few layers of pencil to be built up for blending and shading; water-based pens shadow but don’t bleed, alcohol markers will bleed through so put some protective paper behind your work to protect the next page. The images themselves are each of a different animal and are hugely wide-ranging including a: horse, peacock, koala, seahorse, armadillo, mandarin duck, sheep, preying mantis, meerkats, zebra, heron, bears, ants, scorpion, panda, stag beetle, cow, butterflies and so many more creatures. The image style varies hugely and while the cover states that it was created by one illustrator, these images don’t look hand-drawn and my guess is that they were created digitally as a number of them have the same patterns or backgrounds as each other. The illustrations are very similar in style to many of the Shutterstock images that we’ve seen and while none of them are the same as any I’ve seen before, they do feel quite similar to a number of books I’ve seen in the past. Sadly, I’m disappointed by the artwork, I expected the illustrations to be very realistic due to being published by National Geographic but only the outlines are realistic, the majority of the animals have patterns added to them which don’t look remotely like the texture of their fur, feathers or skin and I’m guessing have been added for interest and extra colouring space, normally I don’t mind this but it seems like a wasted opportunity when we could have had a realistically drawn book with such a wealth of different animals pictured, many of which I’ve never seen in a colouring book before. Many of the backgrounds aren’t remotely related to the content especially the peacock with snowflakes and it just seems a bit haphazard and thrown together, the only continuity seems to be the animal theme as the way the animals are drawn as well as their patterns and backgrounds is so varied. I do think I’d have been much more keen on the content if I hadn’t known who the publisher was and imagined the type of content first so others may well be much happier with the contents than I am.

In terms of mental health, this book offers a lot of distraction, there is heaps to colour in each image and the patterns add a lot of extra spaces if you want to colour each section separately, there’s plenty to keep you absorbed and focused which is great for those with an anxious or racing mind. The line thickness is fairly consistent throughout and remains thin, the intricacy and detail levels are high in the majority of images and therefore you’ll need pretty good vision and fine motor control to enjoy this book and get the most out of it. You will also need a very good level of concentration for the vast majority of these images as there are a lot of component parts to identify and lots of fiddly bits to colour so you’ll probably want to save it for your better days rather than getting frustrated by it on days where you can’t properly focus. There is a huge variety of imagery and some really quirky and unusual animal choices which is a nice change from a lot of animal-themed books which tend to stick to the cute, fluffy, cuddly types, it’s nice to see a good range or insects, reptiles and wacky mammals. The single-sided printing means you can use any medium you fancy and the perforations make the pages easy to remove to stick up and brighten your walls or frame for your kids’ bedrooms if you like.

Overall, I was disappointed by the lack of realism in the images but the content is very wide-ranging, quirky and fun and you’re getting a lot of images for your money. The production quality is good and very useful for those who like to use wet media and alcohol markers, it’s certainly a book that’s grown on me but it does still feel quite generic and haphazard.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Magnificent Animals: A Coloring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/National-Geographic-Magnificent-Animals-An-Adult-Coloring-Book-Hayrullah-Kay/9781426218156/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-Tips.

Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge is illustrated by Kerby Rosanes, and published and very kindly sent to me to review by Michael O’Mara Books. This book is the most unusual and quirky book I’ve seen and while it’s not to everyone’s taste, it’s one that grows on most people. I found it really overwhelming when it arrived because it was just so different and such a mixture between realistic animals and quirky, cartoon aliens and other creatures and objects, that I just had no idea where to start, what colours to use, or whether I even liked it. Having had it for a couple of months I can now say with certainty that I love it and its quirkiness and unusual style is absolutely its selling point. The book is square, the same size as other bestsellers by JB and MM, it’s paperback with a black card cover with glowing orange lettering and a tiger in Kerby’s signature style which hints at what’s inside. The paper is bright white, very lightly textured and medium thickness, it does shadow with water-based fineliners but doesn’t bleed so you could use them very carefully but always check your pens somewhere inconspicuous to make sure you don’t ruin any reverse images. The paper is perfect for pencils and allows for plenty of layers for blending and shading. The ink does transfer a little so when you’re using pencils pop a scrap piece of paper behind to avoid transfer of images. The book contains over 80 images which are printed double-sided and include single and double-page spreads. The book has a glue-bound spine which is fairly tight on arrival and the images are borderless so you do lose a strip of each image into the spine and unfortunately a few of the images haven’t been designed very well for this type of spine, most notably the peacock image (photographed below). The images are all focused around a realistically drawn animal which then morphs (hence the title animorphia) into lots of different creatures and objects, this is done so seamlessly that it’s difficult to tell where the animal stops and the creatures start. A whole host of animals are featured from tigers to elephants, whales to toucans, butterflies to turtles, crocodiles to owls, cockerels to fish and so many more!

In terms of mental health, this is one that’s absolutely fantastic for distraction! It takes quite a lot of concentration to identify all of the parts of the picture let alone start choosing colours so this really is a book that will help you get through the days when your mind is racing and you need to be able to switch off. It’s not a book for the faint-hearted because each image takes a long time and a lot of work but it’s so worth it and the effects you can create are amazing! This is also an ideal book for the really creative amongst you because there are quite a number of images that just have outlines with large sections for you to add your own doodles to and a few written hints of what these could include. I’m personally not a fan of this because I really can’t draw but you could easily just colour those sections in blocks, or use them to practice your blending and shading or why not brave it and give doodling a go? You might just surprise yourself! The majority of the images are finished so if you’re not a fan of doodling, don’t let this put you off because there’s heaps that you can colour that only needs colour adding, no drawing talent needed! The images are really cohesive and aren’t “pretty” or girly so this is an ideal book for male and female colourers. The line thickness varies throughout but mainly sticks around the thin mark so you need fairly good vision and fine motor control, but definitely not perfect to enjoy this book! Some of the pictures are quite heavily shaded and dark which is just something to be aware of, most of the images have some shading and texture drawn in but not loads (check out the pictures below to decide if you like this feature or not). There is also a treasure hunt with 3 pages at the back of the book showing all of the items you can hunt for within the images. This book is ideal for those of you who have a fairly good attention span so that you can really get involved in the images and the content is so absorbing that you really do get out of your head and away from your thoughts and become immersed in what you’re colouring. The images have a variety of intricacy and detail levels so you can use simpler images on bad days and more detailed images on days where you’re able to focus better so it’s a great book for those of you with fluctuating conditions.

I would highly recommend this book for male and female colourers who love to doodle and draw, who love all things weird, wonderful, and quirky, and who love animals and nature mixed with alien creatures. This book is packed with amazing images that are great fun to colour and I was thrilled to hear that Kerby is currently working on a sequel called Imagimorphia which can be pre-ordered below. This book is stunning, overwhelming at times and one that really gets your creative juices flowing so grab your pencils and get colouring yourself quirky!

Animorphia can be purchased here:
Amazon UK – Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Animorphi-Kerby-Rosanes/9781910552070/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you can’t get enough of Animorphia then next month we’ve got some treats coming!
Animorphia Postcards
Amazon UK – Animorphia Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Animorphi-Postcards-Kerby-Rosanes/9781910552247/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Animorphia Notebook
Amazon UK – Animorphia Notebook

Imagimorphia can be pre-ordered here in both the US and UK versions which have different covers and publishing dates.
UK Edition
Amazon UK – Imagimorphia
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Imagimorphi-Kerby-Rosanes/9781910552148/?a_aid=colouringitmom
US Edition
Amazon UK – Imagimorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Imagimorphi-Kerby-Rosanes/9780399574122/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and the background with Pan Pastels.

Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups – A Series Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups series by Michael O’Mara is their largest series and one of, if not the, largest colouring book series on the market currently. I have 6 editions which are each reviewed individually below so this is an overview of the series generally so that you don’t have to read the same paragraph each time when you’re trying to find out about each title and what sorts of images are included.

So, without further ado, as far as I’ve seen, all of the full-sized books are made with the same paper which is bright white, fairly thick and doesn’t bleed when using felt-tip or fibre-tip pens but does bleed when using water-based fineliners (I’ve tried a number of brands of each and felt-tips are safe but all fineliners, even the lightest colours, do bleed through to the reverse image). The paper in the travel sized books however is slightly thicker and I experienced no bleeding from felt-tips or fineliners. The books are all printed double-sided and each image has a thin margin around it to prevent any of the image being lost into the spine. The full-size editions are A4 size, paperback and glue-bound. The smaller editions are just shy of A5 size and are softback (the covers are pretty rigid but do bend so it’s not a hardback) and have an elastic band to keep them closed making them perfect for travelling and popping in your handbag or luggage if you fancy colouring on the move. Each book contains over 100 images roughly grouped into a titled theme, some are a lot more obscure than others like Gorgeous or Creative rather than Tattoo, or Typography (I don’t have the latter two but have seen inside and they do exactly what the title states). The images within each book are really varied as you’ll see in the individual reviews below. No colour has been added to the pages so you’re free to use whatever colour scheme you fancy and the paper is suited to most mediums so you can either stick to one, or mix and match as you please.

The travel-size editions, rather than having scaled down images, are actually just the middle of the full-size images cut out (see pictures below). This means that a fair few of the images in the travel-sized copies are a little strange and oddly centred because they were originally meant to be A4 size and have just had the middle chunk copied onto smaller paper (see below). However, because they’ve not been scaled down, it means that the intricate images are still able to be coloured without the spaces being impossibly small.

For more information about each specific title, please click on the individual reviews below where you’ll see what type and style of images are included in each book, as well as plenty of photos from inside each one. Happy Colouring!

The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book – Review
The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups) – Buy it here

The Creative Colouring Book For Grown-Ups – Review
The Creative Colouring Book for Grown-ups (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups) – Buy it here

Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups: Pretty Patterns (Full-size) – Review
Pretty Patterns: Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups – Buy it here

Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups: Pretty Patterns (Travel-size) – Review

The Gorgeous Colouring Book For Grown-Ups (Full-size) – Review
The Gorgeous Colouring Book for Grown-Ups: Discover Your Inner Creative (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups) – Buy it here

The Gorgeous Colouring Book For Grown-Ups (Travel-size) – Review
The Gorgeous Colouring Book for Grown-Ups: Discover Your Inner Creative – Buy it here

Star deSigns: A Review

Claire Whitelam of Blacksummer Colouring kindly sent me a hard copy of her beautiful 12-image colouring book. This book is available for purchase from Etsy either as a digital download or as the same hard copy as I was sent, both of which can be found here. There are 13 images, one of each star sign and a front cover, all of which are loose pages making it really easy to colour without having to deal with giant books and thick unbendable spines. The images are A5 size and have a thin border all the way around so you don’t have to attempt to colour all the way up to the edges of the paper. The hard copy version is printed single-sided onto bright white, thick card and I had absolutely no issue with bleeding when using my Staedtler fibre-tips or fineliners, even when over-colouring or holding in place for longer than usual. The images are all drawn in the same cohesive style with the star sign in the middle and then beautiful, natural images and patterns around each one. The lines are a decent thickness – not so thin that one slip causes colour chaos, but also not so thick that they look blocky or heavy. The images are well suited to the use of pencils or markers or even a mixture of both and if you need inspiration of how to colour them then head over to Claire’s facebook page where there are plenty of pictures of finished versions to get your creative juices flowing.

I’ve never been into star signs or astrology but these colouring pages are really lovely to colour whether you’re into that or not and I found them very relaxing. The size of them means that it doesn’t take you days to complete each image so you get the satisfaction of completing one fairly quickly, assuming you can decide on which one to colour first! The fact that these images are loose means that once they’re coloured you could do all sorts of things with them rather than them being left in a drawer or in a colouring pile and one example would be to frame one or more or even give them to friends and family of each sign as a personalised gift. If you purchase the digital copy then you’d be able to print them off as many times as you like and colour them over and over again using all sorts of different colour schemes thus eliminating the anxiety of choosing the right colours and making sure you don’t regret your decision and “ruining” your pristine book. Printable colouring pages have a huge advantage for us anxious colourers as mistakes are no longer mistakes and can just be binned, re-printed and started again and often just knowing that you can do that will take away the worry and lead to stress-free colouring once more!

Star deSigns is ideal for the majority of you because you don’t need to have perfect vision, concentration or fine motor control to be able to enjoy colouring these designs. The line thickness and image size is perfect for those with a short attention span, who can’t be dealing with colouring countless teeny tiny leaves or spending days colouring double-page A4 spreads. If star signs aren’t for you but you like her style of illustrating then head over to her Etsy shop where there are plenty of other designs that might well take your fancy – my personal favourite is her Alice in Doodleland pages based on the story of Alice in Wonderland (my favourite story of all time).

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure: A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

This book, published by Batsford Books, is from my personal collection and has stayed firmly in my Top 3, most fabulous and favourite books, even with all of the new books I’ve been sent to review. It is just stunning and packed full of wonderful images of animals and flowers which are my favourite things to colour. Millie has a really unique style of illustrating and while I’ve seen many books and magazines cropping up that attempt to somewhat recreate her style, in my view, they all fall short in comparison to Millie’s beautiful original creations. This is so much more than a colouring book, it is a true work of art! You can get a copy for yourself here Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure

Paper quality is a little difficult to judge because the book has been printed so many times that they have used a number of different types and qualities of paper for printing. I ordered my copy at the beginning of 2015 and mine has yellowy/cream thick paper that has visible texture to it, it’s lovely and thick and has had no issues with bleeding despite using my Stabilo .88 fineliners which are often the nemesis of adult colouring books. However, I was very disappointed when in May I ordered a second copy for my mum to use in hospital after an operation and realised that despite it coming with beautiful, bright white paper, this was actually thinner and her fineliners bled badly ruining the images on the back of each page she coloured. From what I’ve seen in Facebook colouring groups and recent Amazon reviews this problem has been rectified and the paper is now white, thick, with no issues with bleeding but I cannot guarantee this as I’ve not got the most recently printed copy.

The images in this book are printed double-sided which is not an issue in copies with the decent paper quality. It is a paperback book with a glued spine and while most of the images are contained to one side of the paper, those that are double-page spreads do sadly lose some of the middle of the image into the spine (some people get around this by taking their book to an office supplier or book binding shop and getting it spiral-bound). The book itself is a large square (same size as Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest) and contains well over 100 images to keep you busy for weeks if not years!

In terms of mental health, this book is very intricate, similar in intricacy levels to Johanna Basford’s books (Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest) but don’t let this put you off. You can use pencils, fine-nibbed felt tips, fineliners and gel pens, all with great effects and the images aren’t so detailed that you’re put off or overwhelmed. If you have vision problems or issues with fine motor control then you may struggle with this book but for any of the rest of you I’d suggest giving this book a go and persevering into a more intricate world. The natural scenes of animals, flowers and trees definitely create a sense of calm and this is my go-to book when I really need to focus on something and be distracted. It’s detailed enough that you have to focus and concentrate and this lends itself wonderfully to drowning out any anxious or disturbing thoughts you may want to shift. Other books that are less detailed can be good for calming but they’re less distracting as they involve less concentration so if you’re feeling particularly plagued then intricacy is usually the way forward though there’s a fine line between being distracted and becoming more frustrated so be careful. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is really quite thin so I’d advise colouring during the day or near a very good desk lamp, both my mum and I have made the mistake of thinking we can get away with colouring this book in bad lighting and realising just what a mistake it was the next morning when we’ve got gaps or gone over the lines. The cohesion of this book being illustrated by one person throughout is just lovely and means it’s not bitty or all over the place like some books made by multiple illustrators can be. It almost feels like a story is being told as you turn the pages and it really is a book to work through and finish rather than just picking out your favourite images – of course this is fine to do too.

I can’t praise this book highly enough, every time I look through it I’m struck by the beauty of the images and there are so many ways of colouring them using rainbows, monochrome, black and white, mixed media and many more. If you’re stuck for ideas then just put the title into Google Images or Pinterest and you’ll be flooded with inspiration (good luck narrowing down your choice of colours after that)! This book is highly detailed and beautifully delicate though some of the images have a detailed and less detailed copy (see the cockerel below) that you’re meant to add your own details to but can be coloured as they are with amazing effects and may be more suited to those who don’t have the patience or visual acuity to colour the most intiricate images. Many of the patterns drawn onto the animals can be coloured over in blocks as well making them less intricate and giving your colouring texture and pattern rather than outlined spaces to colour so the possibilities are endless. I urge you to give this book a go, you really won’t be disappointed, you can purchase a copy here Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure. For those of you who already have Animal Kingdom and are wondering where to get your next creature colouring fix from, Millie’s new book Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure is being released in just 12 days on the 25th of June in the UK and looks set to be just as wonderful – I’m already signed up to review a copy and will post a review just as soon as I can for you all. The images below were all coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

Happy colouring and if you have any coloured in pictures from this, or any other books that you’d like to share then head over to my facebook page, I’d love to see them!

Art Therapy Colouring Book: Use Your Creativity To De-Stress – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

This beautiful and unusual book-The Art Therapy Colouring Book, was given to me by my dad last summer and is firmly in my top 3 favourite colouring books. It’s published by Michael O’Mara and is the first in a series of Therapy books with two further titles published earlier this year – Colour Therapy and Creative Therapy (review of this to follow soon) and another hitting our shelves in October – Calming Art Therapy.

This book truly has worked as therapy for me and I fell in love with it as soon as I opened its pages. It’s an A4 book with really thick unbendable card on the front and back cover (also available in paperback) which serves as a great surface to colour on if you’re like me and don’t like to colour at a table, and stops your book getting damaged with bendy covers and bashed corners. It has a lovely thick binding that starts off a little too tight so the pages don’t lay flat but with use mine has loosened up and now lies flat for colouring and despite the images being printed over the entirety of each page, none of it is lost into the spine (be warned – this is not the case in the paperback). The images are printed double-sided but as with all of the Michael O’Mara books I’ve encountered, the paper quality is fantastic and I’ve never experienced any bleeding despite using a multitude of different felt-tips and fineliners though do be a little careful about over-colouring as it can start to show through after a few strokes or holding in the same spot.

The images are drawn by a number of very talented illustrators so there is a huge variety but in this book it’s not instantly obvious that it’s not been created by one person and the drawings flow really well giving a very cohesive feel to the book. There are lots of swirling lines, geometric patterns and abstract shapes but in equal measure there are captivating animals, flowers and scenes all stylised and just begging to be coloured.

So, what makes this book so special? For me, as an anxious colourer, it’s different from any other book I’d seen before because almost every image has some colour already added to it. When I first flicked through the book I felt that this limited me because it forced me to use a colour that I would never have chosen like blue on a hare, luminous yellow on a leopard and red and yellow on a chameleon. However, this feature actually changed the way I colour forever because until I had this book I had always felt forced by the perfectionist in me to colour everything in realistic, natural colours. This book stopped me being able to do that and really freed up my imagination so that I felt able to add orange and purple to an owl, green to buildings, and bright blue to the chameleon. This has been very therapeutic for me and has really expanded my creativity and I’m sure it would expand yours too. Another thing that makes this, and the others in the Therapy series, unique is the Doodling section at the back. There are a number of pages with huge sections left blank for you to doodle in however you wish. They are all started for you so again, there is no issue with staring at a blank page and not being able to narrow down a colour scheme. You can choose the same colours, contrasting colours, colours that clash, all of the colours even. This book has been wonderful for me as someone that’s never doodled in their life because it shows so many examples of adding colour to a page without simply colouring in a block and then colouring the next block in a different colour. These techniques don’t just have to be used in the doodling section, they can be added to any of the other images in the book and you’ll find that they free up your creative juices when colouring in other books too as the number of possibilities for your colouring just expands.

The images have varying line thicknesses, different coloured backgrounds and some lines are printed in colour rather than black. A huge range of themes is contained within this book and while it’s not the most delicate, it really is an essential book to add to your collection. I find this book particularly calming and often colour it in bed when my insomnia kicks in and I find it really helps to settle my mind so that I can finally get to sleep. Some images are more intricate than others but actually this book is very well suited to the majority of you because of the wide-ranging content. It really is fantastic for all of you anxious colourers out there who agonise about colours and often feel increased tension at the sight of a blank white page with black lines on. This book is already started for you so you’re just continuing the process and somehow, that makes it so much easier to just pick up a pen or pencil and start. Of all of the colouring books I now own, this is the one that has helped my mental health the most. It’s not so intricate that it’s frustrating but is definitely for adults, not children and when I’m feeling really anxious the lines are just thick enough that I can colour without having to concentrate on every single pen stroke for fear of going over the lines. It’s beautiful, bold and full of colour and it really is a joy to colour and doodle in. I really can’t recommend this book highly enough and strongly urge you to purchase a copy just as soon as you can because it does exactly what it says it’ll do on the cover – Uses your creativity to de-stress and provides Art Therapy – What more could you want?! The images below were coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

You can get your copy and de-stress from this link-The Art Therapy Colouring Book.

Art Therapy: Aztecs and Mayas, Buddhism, The Enchanted Forest, Mandalas, Extraordinary Gardens, Celtic, My Fashion Colouring Book, Stained Glass – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

Art Therapy is a series of themed adult colouring books each containing 100 designs for colouring in and relaxation. These books are published by Jacqui Small LLP and I was kindly sent the following 8 titles by Quarto Group to review for you all: Aztecs and Mayas, Buddhism, The Enchanted Forest, Mandalas, Extraordinary Gardens, Celtic, My Fashion Colouring Book, and Stained Glass. All of the books are A4 and hardback with a really thick cardboard front and back cover meaning they’re very sturdy and give a great base to colour onto, particularly for those of you who colour on your lap (like I do) without the use of a table/desk/tray. Each book contains 100 images, printed double-sided onto bright white, thick paper which I found didn’t bleed when using various brands of felt-tips including WHSmith’s own brand and Staetdler fibre-tips, and fineliners including those by Staedtler and Stabilo. The paper is lovely and flat, without much grain so colouring with pencils gave a beautiful bold colour without paper texture showing through. Thanks to the way the books are bound, there are no issues with images disappearing into the spine and the few images that are double-page spreads have a thin border down the middle to prevent image loss (all except Buddhism, My Fashion and The Enchanted Forest whose images are printed full page). Each book is very different in style as they are all created by different illustrators so I have included sample images as well as one or two coloured pages from each for you to see in the links below. In addition I give a more detailed description of what each book contains and a recommendation about how each may affect your mental health and what symptoms/traits may interfere with your enjoyment of each book. All of the books in the Art Therapy series are ideal for those with fluctuating conditions because they contain such a variety of image content, line thickness and intricacy as you’ll see in the individual reviews below. Enjoy!

Art Therapy: Aztecs and Mayas – Review
Art Therapy: Aztecs and Mayas: 100 Designs Colouring in and Relaxation – buy it here Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Aztecs-Mayas/9781910254219/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art Therapy: Buddhism – Review
Art Therapy: Buddhism: 100 Designs Colouring in and Relaxation-buy it here from Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Buddhism/9781910254226/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art Therapy: The Enchanted Forest – review
Art Therapy: Enchanted Forest – buy it here Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Enchanted-Forest/9781910254042/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art therapy: Mandalas – review
Art Therapy: Mandalas: 100 Designs for Colouring in and Meditation-buy it here Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Mandalas/9781909342767/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art Therapy: Extraordinary Gardens-review
Art Therapy: Extraordinary Gardens-buy it here Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Extraordinary-Gardens/9781910254066/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art Therapy: Celtic-review
Art Therapy: Celtic-buy it here Amazon UK
http://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Celtic-Michel-Solliec/9781910254073/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art Therapy: My Fashion Colouring Book-review
Art Therapy: My Fashion Colouring Book: 100 Designs for Colouring In-buy it here Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-My-Fashion-Colouring-Book-Marie-Perron/9781910254059/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Art Therapy: Stained Glass-review
Art Therapy: Stained Glass: 100 Designs for Colouring in and Relaxation-buy it here from Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Stained-Glass/9781909342750/?a_aid=colouringitmom – buy it here from Book Depository Worldwide

Color Me Calm and Color Me Happy: A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Colour Me Calm and Color Me Happy are part of the Color Me.… series published by Race Point Publishing and kindly sent to me by Quarto Publishing. They are lovely square books with nice sized borders around each picture to avoid losing any of the image into the spine. Each of the 100 images are printed on one side only so you don’t need to worry about bleeding from pens and a lovely repeating image is printed on the reverse of each page which you could colour if you really fancied. These books are each split into 6 chapters of images that fall into the following categories: Color Me Calm: Mandalas, Water Scenes, Wooded Scenes, Geometric Patterns, Floral & Fauna, Natural Patterns; Color Me Happy: Nature, Animals & Babies, Music, Food & Drink, Whimsical Imagery and Art & Architecture.  Unlike with many series of books, none of the images in these were repeated between the books and the categories are different in each too.

In terms of mental health, these books certainly made me feel happier and calmer with Color Me Happy’s sunny yellow cover and light-hearted, positive images and Color Me Calm’s peaceful cover, soothing patterns and natural scenes. The pictures are calming and not too intricate meaning they are perfect for using pencils, felt-tips or even paints or watercolours on, just slip a sheet of scrap paper underneath to protect the subsequent pages. The nature scenes are lovely and very varied with some looking quite realistic and others more surreal. I found that my Stabilo 88 fineliners worked well for some of the more intricate details (hot air balloons above) but these and my felt-tips did bleed through but as mentioned before, this doesn’t damage any of the images as they’re printed one-sided. These are great books for those of you who find intricate images fiddly or too difficult and frustrating to colour. They’re also great for inspiration because at the beginning of each chapter a couple of the pictures are shown coloured in so you can follow their colour schemes or brave it and add your own funky colour combinations. The books are a nice size and you get a good sense of satisfaction because each image is small enough that it doesn’t take hours or even days to complete meaning these books are perfect if you don’t have a great attention span or high level of concentration. Don’t worry though, these books are also good for those of you who can sit and colour all day, it just means you’ll get plenty of pictures completed!

Sadly, there are a couple of downsides to these books to make you aware of. A few of the images are not printed well and are fuzzy and look out of focus (see picture below), pencil lines from the illustrator are also visible in a few though mostly these get hidden if the colours you add are vibrant enough. It certainly shouldn’t put you off purchasing these books but personally I would want to be aware of it before buying it and expecting a perfect book and receiving one that’s not 100% there.

I would recommend these books as a great purchase for those of you who like simpler, less intricate images to colour, those of you using pens that bleed easily, and those of you that maybe don’t have the patience or desire to sit colouring one image for days in order to get it finished. They’re great starter books and contain really good images for practising shading with coloured pencils (I am teaching myself new techniques with these books – note the hills above). These books are lovely and work well on their own or as companions and I look forward to seeing Color Me Stress-Free when it’s released in September – watch out for my review as I’m already signed up to write one when it comes out.

Happy Colouring!

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You can buy your copies of the books here-
Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation (Coloring for Thinkers)– Amazon UK

https://www.bookdepository.com/Colour-Me-Calm-Lacy-Mucklow/9781937994778/?a_aid=colouringitmom – Book Depository

Color Me Happy: 100 Coloring Templates that Will Make You Smile (Coloring for Thinkers)– Amazon UK

https://www.bookdepository.com/Colour-Me-Happy-Lacy-Mucklow/9781937994761/?a_aid=colouringitmom – Book Depository

The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book: A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups: The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book is one in a long line of beautiful adult colouring books published by Michael O’Mara books. This book retails at £9.99 but can be found for £6.99 on Amazon The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups). From paper aeroplanes to planets, unicorns to umbrellas, hot water bottles to mountain scenes, this book has it all and then some. This is by far the most varied book content I’ve seen so far and there truly is something for everyone from the quirky to the beautiful, intricate and flowery to geometric and patterned. This book is a wonderful place to start your adult colouring journey so that you can discover what sorts of pictures you like colouring the best.

The paper quality, as with all Michael O’Mara books, is wonderful. It’s bright white and nice and thick so you can use just about any colouring medium you choose, including felt-tips pens which are often the nemesis of colouring books. The paper doesn’t get chewed up when you colour over yourself a couple of times and the outlines are all the crispest black and range from thick to delicately thin through the designs. My favourite medium to colour with is fineliners and I did find that I had to colour very carefully with them as the paper is ever so slightly too thin and little dots were appearing through onto the back of the page but these almost certainly wouldn’t notice once you’d coloured the design on the back too. The images below were coloured using WHSmith felt-tips and Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

So, to the mental health part. The images are really varied meaning you will definitely be able to find a calming picture that will help to settle your mind. The levels of intricacy range hugely throughout the book so on a good day when your concentration levels are high you can complete some of the more complicated pages and when you just need to zone out during a rubbish day where your mind won’t stop racing you can add colour to one of the simpler, more basic pictures and still get the calming effects you desire. The images are positive and many include nature themes of flowers, animals and weather. The patterned pictures are great to practice meditation and mindfulness techniques to keep you in the present moment and focusing on adding beautiful colours to the pages. I’m not sure how much this book would aid your sleep but it would certainly distract you if you can’t nod off and calm your thoughts which in turn would hopefully mean you had a more peaceful night.

The only thing I struggled with when reviewing this book was trying to choose which picture to colour first. So many beautiful pictures jumped out at me while I was flicking through and it took me ages to decide which one I’d attempt first. This is a lovely thick book with double-sided images so you really do get a lot for your money. No colour has been added to the pages so you’re free to choose any colour scheme you like and could easily use one medium throughout or mix and match as you fancy. Another great thing about this book that many others don’t have is a small blank border around each picture meaning that your images are not lost into the spine. Any of you seasoned colourers will know the frustration of not being able to colour that last 1cm of picture in the middle of the book and the unprofessional look it gives your work but none of the images in this book are printed into the spine so you will be left frustration-free!

I would highly recommend this book, particularly if you’re wanting to dip your toe into the world of adult colouring. It’s a great price for so many pictures and the variety of image content and intricacy levels means that the book will adapt to your needs as they change on good and bad days. Head over to my Facebook Page and send me your completed pictures from this book, I’d love to see them and hear what you thought of the book! Also, if you’re interested in future reviews of adult colouring books then head over to my new blog and click follow so that you can be kept updated with all of my latest reviews.

Happy Colouring!
Buy your copy here-
The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups)– Amazon UK
https://www.bookdepository.com/Cant-Sleep-Colouring-Book-Various-Authors/9781782434078/?a_aid=colouringitmom – Book Depository