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Russell Grant’s Art of Astrology: Discover Your Inner Self Through Colour (Colouring Book) is published and was very kindly sent to me to review by Blink Publishing. This book is perfect for those with an interest in Astrology whether to find out more, deepen your knowledge of the subject, or even if you just fancy colouring a beautiful book with a wide variety of images, this is a gorgeous book that’s well worth getting. I’ll point out now that I’m not into Astrology and know almost nothing about it so I may not use terminology correctly or have noticed all of the Astrological features it contains but I’ve done my best! This book is square, the same size as the bestsellers, with a paperback card cover which is almost entirely double-thickness as it opens out. The cover is fully colourable but is shiny so you will need to use alcohol pens as water-based pens just wipe off. The inside of the front and back cover have a triangular pattern design incorporating all of the star signs. This is also fully colourable and isn’t shiny so would work well with water-based pens, pencils or alcohol pens but check they don’t bleed through and ruin the cover of the book. The book contains 96 pages which are printed double-sided, the images are borderless and include single-page and double-page spreads. The spine is glue-bound so unfortunately a little of each image is lost into it and unreachable for colouring, though this does improve as the spine loosens up over time. The paper is bright white, medium thickness and has a little tooth so it’s perfect for pencils and water-based pens don’t bleed through at all but do shadow a fair bit so always test somewhere inconspicuous to check how your pens behave on the paper.
The images themselves are split into sections themed to each Star Sign in order from Aries, all the way through to Pisces. Each section is split into a page showing the Star Sign itself (e.g. lion, crab, centaur), Mythology, depicting famous mythological stories which include representatives of the star sign (e.g. Jason and the Golden Fleece – Aries – Ram; Theseus and the Minotaur – Taurus – Bull; Psyche and Eros – Libra – Scales), and the Planets affecting each star sign. The sections are all started with a full page description of the Star Sign including the dates of births that fall within it, personality traits of individuals born in that period, information about the ascending planets and the effect this can have on personality within the Star Sign, and descriptions of the mythology used to depict that section of the zodiac. The images are really beautifully drawn and are very cohesive and flow very well. Each star sign is pictured within a circle and a landscape scene shown behind it. Subsequent images show key scenes from mythology which are easily recognisable and each section includes a double-page spread containing geometric patterns, the traditional Star Sign symbol and often include small landscape scenes (examples of these are pictured below). The book begins with an Introduction by Russell Grant explaining how he got into Astrology and about some of the misconceptions people have about it. He also explains some of the terminology and describes the parts of Astrology that are and aren’t contained within the book, mostly it’s just the basics that are contained because Astrology covers such a huge range of things and these can’t all be incorporated into one colouring book. Following this is a double-page spread describing how to use the book and how choosing your colours can demonstrate excesses or deficiencies in your personality. At the back of the book is a lengthy section about colours each split into one of 16 different parent colours and then further split into specific shades and hues of colour, each of which is described in terms of how it affects mood, what it signifies and the personality traits it symbolises, as well as its spiritual meanings and connotations.
In terms of mental health, this book is sure to help you if you’re interested in Astrology as it helps to increase your understanding of Star Signs and may help you gain a better, deeper understanding of your personality. If nothing else, this book is a great colouring book with some really interesting pictures to colour and despite not having an interest in Astrology myself, this is one book that I will certainly be keeping because of the wide range of content it includes from planets to landscapes, underwater scenes to lions, a phoenix to a Merman. The line thickness varies throughout each image but is consistent throughout the book and ranges from thin to medium with the detail in each image being drawn in a thin line and bolder, medium-thickness lines outlining key areas and sections to make them stand out more. The images are all fairly similar in terms of detail and intricacy though some of the patterned pages do contain much smaller spaces than the rest of the images but these could easily be coloured in chunks if the tiny bits were too much of a challenge. The level of intricacy is great for those of you who can concentrate fairly well and really want to get your teeth into a page, you don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control to enjoy this book but if either of these is poor then I’d give this book a miss because it does contain a lot of detail and the lines aren’t overly forgiving. There aren’t any gaps left in the images to add your own doodles which isn’t a criticism at all and is sure to be welcomed by those of you, who like me, hate drawing and never quite know what to do with the empty spaces left in a lot of colouring books on the market. The images are mostly grounded in nature which is great for calming you down and getting you focused on the external activity of colouring rather than any thoughts that might be racing through your head. I don’t know if mindfulness and Astrology go well together or are mutually exclusive practices but this book would be great for practising mindfulness because it’s got the right amount of detail to keep you focussing on the task but isn’t so taxing that you’ll be distracted from maintaining your breathing and staying grounded in the here and now. Because the line thickness, intricacy and detail levels are all pretty consistent throughout, this isn’t an ideal book for those of you with fluctuating conditions, especially if this is the only book you intend to get, however, if you have, or plan to get more than one book then this is a great one for days when you can focus well or need some decent distraction.
I would recommend this book to “astrology amateurs or cosmic connoisseurs”, to anyone who’s interested in Astrology already or who wants to learn more about it or the spiritual meanings and effects of colours. The images are beautifully drawn and are great for anyone, not just fans of Astrology. This book is packed full with a huge variety of images and would be a great addition to any colourer’s collection because this book is unlike any other I’ve seen.
If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Russell Grant’s Art of Astrology: Discover Your Inner Self Through Colour (Colouring Book)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Russell-Grants-Art-Astrology-Russell-Grant/9781910536650/?a_aid=colouringitmom