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Birds Art Colouring Books for Adults is illustrated by Sandra Rushton, and published and kindly sent to me to review by Katy Sue Designs – This is the company’s third foray into the adult colouring world and they are much better known for designing and manufacturing award-winning silicone moulds for use in cake decorating and papercraft projects. For newbies to the adult colouring book world, these are very impressive – see my reviews of their other two books here – Le Shoe and Nautical Adventures.
This book is paperback, spiral-bound and printed single-sided meaning that the book lies flat for easy colouring and you can use whatever mediums you fancy without fearing about the dreaded bleed-through. The paper is bright white and very thick, almost card-like, making it ideal for use with pens and pencils and it’s likely to hold up to careful watercolour and even alcohol markers (these will bleed-through but pop a protective sheet behind and you’re good to go). The book contains 70 images which are split into 10 co-ordinating collections, each within the theme. Each collection starts with two identical shaded images, followed by two unshaded images identical to each other and the first pair, followed by 3 pages of co-ordinating patterns (see photos below which make this clearer to understand). Unlike most other colouring books, this one is landscape and the images all have cutting guides on them so that you can remove images and carefully cut them so that they can be used in craft projects, be framed, or given as gifts – the cut images measure 8×8 inches. The images are all illustrated by the same person so the book feels really cohesive and has a lovely flow. This book includes 10 images of beautifully drawn birds including a crow/raven, owls, an eagle, a hummingbird, a parakeet, amongst pretty objects like flowers and clocks, and the following pattern images include the objects from the main bird images including lots of flowers (rose, snowdrops, fuchsias, and hibiscus), lots of clocks, feathers and bird cages.
In terms of mental health, this book feels very calming and relaxing. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin so you will need fairly good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book. It’s a great book for all abilities from beginners to experts. This book is an Art book which aims to teach you a little about shading and light sources with the shading on the first two images of each collection, you can then use these placements for colouring with darker and lighter shades on the two unshaded copies to practice blending and creating shadows and depth. The co-ordinating patterns which include many of the accessories and objects included in the main image are great for practising how you want to colour them so that when you colour the main image you’ve had a chance to try out colour schemes and shading. The huge mental health benefit is the fact that the main images are printed twice each meaning that you can try out different colour combinations and also that you’ve got a second copy if you go wrong or don’t like how the first one turns out. It also means you can keep a copy and gift one, or both, or frame one and keep one in the book, the list of possibilities goes on. The images are all fairly detailed and intricate which means they’re very absorbing and useful for staving off anxious thoughts and lifting your mood while you’re being creative. Because the images are nature based, it means that they’re really pretty and great for calming you down. You can colour the birds realistically or do what I did and use your imagination to create a rainbow crow and other magical creatures. They’re well-suited to glitter gel pens, fineliners, neons, blended pencils, watercolour and anything else you can imagine.
I’d highly recommend this book to those of you that want to learn a little more about shading and those of you who love birds! It’s a really pretty book which is sure to unleash your creativity and get you using outlandish colour schemes, mixed media and trying out new things. This is a great book to incorporate into craft projects, gift coloured images to others, frame and put up on your wall, or just leave as it is with all of your beautiful coloured images held together in one book. It’s really substantial and made with great paper so what are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars and your bird-spotting guide and get colouring some feathery friends.
If you’d like to purchase a copy then here are the links:
Amazon UK – Birds Art Colouring Books for Adults
The image below was coloured using Derwent Inktense pencils and washed with water afterwards to blend the colours.
If you’d like to see a video flip-through of the book, click here.