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Anne Manera is an illustrator who has created four colouring books and is already working on more to add to her collection. I have been sent pdf copies of the two titles (Just Color ! and Floral Mosaic), not hard copies and therefore cannot comment on paper quality, binding type or the feel of the books so this review is just about the images themselves. These books are great for those of you who really struggle with the intricate books currently saturating the market and would also be ideal for people who have problems with vision and fine motor control as the spaces aren’t small. The line thickness is medium/thin so you may need to be a little careful about going over the lines but these books aren’t ones that you need to really concentrate on making them ideal to use while practicing mindfulness or for the bad days when your concentration is badly affected. Because the images aren’t of specific things like oak trees, fish or squirrels there are no issues with feeling limited to realistic or outlandish colour schemes and so you really can just pick up a coloured pen or pencil and start colouring without fear of messing it up or making it look unrealistic – anxious colourers may find this a blessing, I know the curse all too well of agonising over choices and worrying about making your natural scenes look perfect. These images would be ideal to practice using watercolours, paints, chalks, or pastels but would also be perfectly suited to pens and pencils, though you won’t need fineliners unless you’re doodling because the spaces are too large to make them necessary.
Just Color ! – This book contains 22 images that are printed one-sided and each consists of a single type of shape printed in various different sizes and orientations all over the page. At first glance, this book looks quite simple and somewhat similar to the geometric pattern colouring books many of us grew up colouring as children. However, while the pages can be used very effectively as they are, and simply used to zone out and focus on something that isn’t stressful or worrying, they can also be used much more creatively as many of the spaces are quite large and could be used to practice shading, blending or even doodling. Those of you with a lot of artistic flair could even use these images to draw in and use the shapes as frames for connected or unconnected images. You could also challenge yourself to colour the whole image in one hue or use as many colours as possible. The possibilities are endless! This isn’t my cup of tea as I personally love to colour natural, intricate images and if you do too then this book isn’t for you but it’s a great book for those who are more artistic and want to combine colouring with drawing and other techniques.
Floral Mosaics – This book also contains 22 images that are printed one-sided and as the title suggests, each consists of a hand-drawn, floral mosaic. This book has less scope for adding your own designs or drawings because of the subject matter and I did notice when looking through the images that not all of the parts have fully drawn lines so you may need to finish off a couple yourself or just colour up to an imaginary line but this is easily worked around. This book would be great for beginners who want to colour flowers but don’t want to deal with detail and intricacy as this book consists of uncomplicated patterns that would be ideal for practicing blending and shading techniques over large areas.
Anne is one busy lady, not only has she created 4 colouring books and 2 colour your own calendars, she also runs a colouring group which can be found here where you can show off all of your colouring and ask for tips and help from some seasoned pro’s.
If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of either of the books I’ve reviewed, the links are below.
Just Color !: A Coloring Book for Adults: Volume 2 (Coloring Books)
Floral Mosaic: A Coloring Book for Adults: Volume 1 (Adult Coloring Books)