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This book is published and was very kindly sent to me to review by Phoenix Yard Books. It is smaller than A4 but larger than A5, paperback and pretty thick as it contains a whopping 144 images! The paper-quality is pretty good, bright white, non-textured and fairly thick and I found that as long as I didn’t over colour with my felt-tips it didn’t bleed but did a little with my fineliners so be aware of this before getting stuck into an image with a reverse that you’re also very keen to colour. As with the other books in the One and Only series, this book contains a truly huge variety of images which are mostly patterns, shapes and line designs but with a fair helping of floral, animal, natural and realistic images thrown in. The line thicknesses vary enormously from fineliner thickness to much thicker, marker-style lines and everything in between. A few of the images have black backgrounds with small white spaces to colour and a couple of these also have white outlines (see skull picture below). Sadly, this book is heavily glue-bound meaning the spine is very tight and stiff making it difficult to lie it down flat for colouring and also meaning a fair strip of each image is lost into the spine and unable to be coloured. The book is printed double-sided; most of the designs are single pages but some are double-page spreads and obviously the middle of these can’t be reached.
From a mental health perspective this is a fabulous starter book because it contains such a huge variety of images, line thicknesses, intricacies and design styles. If you’re new to colouring and not yet sure what sorts of images you want to get into, or indeed if you even want to pick a specific area then this book is ideal for helping you choose as most aspects are covered with the most notable exceptions being people and mandalas. There is one image with people (shown below) but it’s not a realistic image and certainly not one that would inspire you if you’re interested in colouring people. This book will keep you occupied for a very long time and every time I flick through it I discover a new image that I’ve not noticed before. The sheer number of images makes this book great value and it would certainly be one I’d be adding to my list if I’d not already been sent a copy. The variety means the images are great for lots of different moods, some are calming and soothing with flowing lines, others are more distracting (great if you’re anxious) with intricate details and beautiful petals to really take your time over colouring in, others still are vibrant and energetic and feel like they’d perk you up on a low day and increase your feeling of energy. This book is great for anyone, whether you have 20:20 vision and love to colour tiny details, or have visual problems that mean you need chunkier pictures to colour, fine motor control is not a requirement for this book because there are so many images that have thicker lines that you’ll easily be able to colour within or thinner lines that you can colour over if you so choose.
I would highly recommend this book for those of you on a tight budget who want a lot of images for your money, those of you who have a lot of variance in symptoms and want one book to cover all of your different levels of severity, and those of you who are just dipping your toe into the colouring world and want to try lots of different styles. Of course, seasoned colourers like myself should also seriously consider purchasing a copy as this book is very different from most on the market and is a lovely size being not too small but not overwhelmingly large so that it takes weeks to complete an image. The paper quality is suited to most colouring mediums so those of you who like to use mixed media would really enjoy this book. I coloured the butterflies using Faber-Castell Aquarelle pencils and Stabilo Point 88 fineliners, the flowers were coloured using Faber-Castell Aquarelles and the rainbows were coloured using Staedtler fibre-tip pens. This book really is one that can be described as the only one you’ll ever need, though be warned, colouring is highly addictive and I don’t know anybody who manages to stick at buying just one book! If you’d like to purchase a copy then it can be found on Amazon for £6.29 The Second One and Only Colouring Book for Adults