Colour Me Mindful

Draw Your Way To A Younger Brain: Safari – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Draw Your Way to a Younger Brain: Safari: An Art Therapy Book (Drawing) is illustrated by Anastasia Catris, and published and kindly sent to me to review by Orion Books. This book is part of a new series called Draw Your Way To a Younger Brain and you can read my review of the other two titles here: Dogs and Cats. Anastasia has been very busy in the colouring book world and has also created 6 beautiful colouring books which are the same size and shape with her signature drawings and my reviews of these can be found here. This book is small at 17cms square which makes it perfect for drawing on the go and taking travelling in your bag. It’s paperback with a beautiful lilac cover which matches the others in the sets beautifully meaning they look really gorgeous together on a shelf. The images are printed double-sided onto bright white medium thickness paper which doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens and has a little tooth perfect for blending and shading with pencils. The spine is glue-bound and the images are borderless so a little of each is lost into the spine though this will ease up a bit over time. The illustrations are, unusually, all double-page spreads and as this book is primarily a drawing book and secondarily a colouring book, there are lots of spaces for you to add your own drawings and patterns to. If you don’t like drawing then this is not the book for you. The illustrations take various different forms from a patterned animal on the left with a blank outline of it mirrored on the right to fill with patterns, to drawings that you can draw the other half of with a line of symmetry drawn down the middle, to scenes you can complete. There are written hints on every page to give you a suggested direction but you can complete the pages however you wish and there’s plenty of scope in many of them to go in whatever direction you choose. Some of the pages include: drawing what’s chasing the gazelles; drawing a scene in binoculars; adding patterns to zebras, elephants, rhinos and giraffes; and adding objects and animals to scenes. The images are very cohesive and similar in style to Anastasia’s colouring books and they’re beautifully drawn.

In terms of mental health, this book is great, as long as you like drawing! I personally really struggle with drawing and therefore don’t find it to be a remotely relaxing activity, however, this book isn’t too taxing and it gives a lot of hints to get you started with drawing. These aren’t techniques or things that will teach you how to draw but they are suggestions of what to draw and sometimes that’s all the inspiration you need. There are lots of patterns added to the completed drawings which you can use as inspiration for adding patterns to the unfinished sections. You could also use search engines to look up pictures of things you want to draw in the larger spaces so that you can try to learn to draw new creatures and objects. This book probably wouldn’t suit an advanced artist because the amount of finished work in it will probably be quite restrictive but it would definitely suit a beginner or intermediate artist, especially those who prefer to have suggestions made of what to create. Adding patterns and zentangling has been found to be relaxing and very good for practising mindfulness and the more patterns I’ve discovered and added to my repertoire, the easier it has become to add patterns to things without going blank or getting stressed about it. These books are ideal for learning new patterns but if you need more inspiration and doodling and drawing are your thing then I’d highly recommend the Art Therapy series of books which I’ve reviewed here. The images are varied in content and require various different types of drawing and doodling to be added, the line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so this is definitely a book for those of you with good vision and fine motor control. There is a lot of intricacy and detail added to the completed images and you can add however much intricacy and detail as you want in your own drawings. The whole book is fully colourable but this isn’t a colouring book specifically and won’t suit those of you who can’t draw because there are just too many open spaces that will look very odd without anything added to them and will leave your images looking unfinished.

I would highly recommend this book, and the others in the series, for anyone who likes to draw and needs a little inspiration in order to get going. The images are lovely and the nature theme is very calming and the portable size means they’re great for colouring and drawing on the go.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Draw Your Way to a Younger Brain: Safari: An Art Therapy Book (Drawing)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Draw-Your-Way-Younger-Brain-Safari-Anastasia-Catris/9781409165484/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was added to with Staedtler Pigment Liners and coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils.

Draw Your Way To A Younger Brain: Dogs – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Draw Your Way to a Younger Brain: Dogs: An Art Therapy Book (Drawing) is illustrated by Anastasia Catris, and published and kindly sent to me to review by Orion Books. This book is part of a new series called Draw Your Way To a Younger Brain and you can read my review of the other two titles here: Safari and Cats. Anastasia has been very busy in the colouring book world and has also created 6 beautiful colouring books which are the same size and shape with her signature drawings and my reviews of these can be found here. This book is small at 17cms square which makes it perfect for drawing on the go and taking travelling in your bag. It’s paperback with a beautiful pink cover which matches the others in the sets beautifully meaning they look really gorgeous together on a shelf. The images are printed double-sided onto bright white medium thickness paper which doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens and has a little tooth perfect for blending and shading with pencils. The spine is glue-bound and the images are borderless so a little of each is lost into the spine though this will ease up a bit over time. The illustrations are, unusually, all double-page spreads and as this book is primarily a drawing book and secondarily a colouring book, there are lots of spaces for you to add your own drawings and patterns to. If you don’t like drawing then this is not the book for you. The illustrations take various different forms from a patterned animal on the left with a blank outline of it mirrored on the right to fill with patterns, to drawings that you can draw the other half of with a line of symmetry drawn down the middle, to scenes you can complete. There are written hints on every page to give you a suggested direction but you can complete the pages however you wish and there’s plenty of scope in many of them to go in whatever direction you choose. Some of the pages include: drawing dogs at a dog show; drawing the rest of a sled dog team; adding patterns to various breeds of dogs; and adding objects and animals to scenes. The images are very cohesive and similar in style to Anastasia’s colouring books and they’re beautifully drawn.

In terms of mental health, this book is great, as long as you like drawing! I personally really struggle with drawing and therefore don’t find it to be a remotely relaxing activity, however, this book isn’t too taxing and it gives a lot of hints to get you started with drawing. These aren’t techniques or things that will teach you how to draw but they are suggestions of what to draw and sometimes that’s all the inspiration you need. There are lots of patterns added to the completed drawings which you can use as inspiration for adding patterns to the unfinished sections. You could also use search engines to look up pictures of things you want to draw in the larger spaces so that you can try to learn to draw new creatures and objects. This book probably wouldn’t suit an advanced artist because the amount of finished work in it will probably be quite restrictive but it would definitely suit a beginner or intermediate artist, especially those who prefer to have suggestions made of what to create. Adding patterns and zentangling has been found to be relaxing and very good for practising mindfulness and the more patterns I’ve discovered and added to my repertoire, the easier it has become to add patterns to things without going blank or getting stressed about it. These books are ideal for learning new patterns but if you need more inspiration and doodling and drawing are your thing then I’d highly recommend the Art Therapy series of books which I’ve reviewed here. The images are varied in content and require various different types of drawing and doodling to be added, the line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so this is definitely a book for those of you with good vision and fine motor control. There is a lot of intricacy and detail added to the completed images and you can add however much intricacy and detail as you want in your own drawings. The whole book is fully colourable but this isn’t a colouring book specifically and won’t suit those of you who can’t draw because there are just too many open spaces that will look very odd without anything added to them and will leave your images looking unfinished.

I would highly recommend this book, and the others in the series, for anyone who likes to draw and needs a little inspiration in order to get going. The images are lovely and the nature theme is very calming and the portable size means they’re great for colouring and drawing on the go.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Draw Your Way to a Younger Brain: Dogs: An Art Therapy Book (Drawing)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Draw-Your-Way-Younger-Brain-Dogs-Anastasia-Catris/9781409165477/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was added to with a Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner and coloured using Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tips.

Draw Your Way To A Younger Brain: Cats– A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Draw Your Way to a Younger Brain: Cats: An Art Therapy Book (Drawing) is illustrated by Anastasia Catris, and published and kindly sent to me to review by Orion Books. This book is part of a new series called Draw Your Way To a Younger Brain and you can read my review of the other two titles here: Safari and Dogs. Anastasia has been very busy in the colouring book world and has also created 6 beautiful colouring books which are the same size and shape with her signature drawings and my reviews of these can be found here. This book is small at 17cms square which makes it perfect for drawing on the go and taking travelling in your bag. It’s paperback with a beautiful yellow cover which matches the others in the sets beautifully meaning they look really gorgeous together on a shelf. The images are printed double-sided onto bright white medium thickness paper which doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens and has a little tooth perfect for blending and shading with pencils. The spine is glue-bound and the images are borderless so a little of each is lost into the spine though this will ease up a bit over time. The illustrations are, unusually, all double-page spreads and as this book is primarily a drawing book and secondarily a colouring book, there are lots of spaces for you to add your own drawings and patterns to. If you don’t like drawing then this is not the book for you. The illustrations take various different forms from a patterned animal on the left with a blank outline of it mirrored on the right to fill with patterns, to drawings that you can draw the other half of with a line of symmetry drawn down the middle, to scenes you can complete. There are written hints on every page to give you a suggested direction but you can complete the pages however you wish and there’s plenty of scope in many of them to go in whatever direction you choose. Some of the pages include: drawing more cat toys; drawing what a cat has found up a tree; adding patterns to plain big cat shapes; and adding objects and cats and other animals to scenes. The images are very cohesive and similar in style to Anastasia’s colouring books and they’re beautifully drawn.

In terms of mental health, this book is great, as long as you like drawing! I personally really struggle with drawing and therefore don’t find it to be a remotely relaxing activity, however, this book isn’t too taxing and it gives a lot of hints to get you started with drawing. These aren’t techniques or things that will teach you how to draw but they are suggestions of what to draw and sometimes that’s all the inspiration you need. There are lots of patterns added to the completed drawings which you can use as inspiration for adding patterns to the unfinished sections. You could also use search engines to look up pictures of things you want to draw in the larger spaces so that you can try to learn to draw new creatures and objects. This book probably wouldn’t suit an advanced artist because the amount of finished work in it will probably be quite restrictive but it would definitely suit a beginner or intermediate artist, especially those who prefer to have suggestions made of what to create. Adding patterns and zentangling has been found to be relaxing and very good for practising mindfulness and the more patterns I’ve discovered and added to my repertoire, the easier it has become to add patterns to things without going blank or getting stressed about it. These books are ideal for learning new patterns but if you need more inspiration and doodling and drawing are your thing then I’d highly recommend the Art Therapy series of books which I’ve reviewed here. The images are varied in content and require various different types of drawing and doodling to be added, the line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so this is definitely a book for those of you with good vision and fine motor control. There is a lot of intricacy and detail added to the completed images and you can add however much intricacy and detail as you want in your own drawings. The whole book is fully colourable but this isn’t a colouring book specifically and won’t suit those of you who can’t draw because there are just too many open spaces that will look very odd without anything added to them and will leave your images looking unfinished.

I would highly recommend this book, and the others in the series, for anyone who likes to draw and needs a little inspiration in order to get going. The images are lovely and the nature theme is very calming and the portable size means they’re great for colouring and drawing on the go.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Draw Your Way to a Younger Brain: Cats: An Art Therapy Book (Drawing)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Draw-Your-Way-Younger-Brain-Cats-Anastasia-Catris/9781409165460/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was drawn and added to with a Staedtler Pigment Liner and coloured using Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tips.

Colour Me Mindful: Seasons – A Review

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

Colour Me Mindful: Seasons (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) illustrated by the very talented Anastasia Catris and published and very kindly sent to me to review by Orion Books. This book contains 50 images spanning the seasons, starting in spring and travelling through to winter. This book is laid out in a beautiful way and contains images of festivals and holidays celebrated in each season such as Chinese New Year, Easter, Hallowe’en and Christmas, as well as depicting what’s happening in nature at that time of year, the animals and plants that are commonly seen and even foods that are typically eaten like ice cream in the summer and goodies from a good haul after spending the night Trick or Treating in October. A quarter of the book is dedicated to each season but there are also images that have a quarter each drawn in the style of each season like a mandala with a quarter depicting symbols and foods from each season and the tree below which shows it from spring through to winter.

The images are all drawn in a very thin line which means very sharp pencils or fineliners are essential to enjoy your colouring experience. This book will certainly help to colour you mindful because the intricacy and detail of the drawings lend themselves perfectly to keeping you focused and occupied and grounded in the present moment. Despite being small, the images take plenty of time to complete and really do keep you busy for hours. The images all feel very positive and natural which is inherently very calming. Many of the images are covered in detailed patterns which create small spaces to colour within or to colour over if that’s too much detail for your liking. The pictures are fairly realistic in their outlines but then a little less so with the patterns within so you are free to colour using realistic or outlandish colour schemes and either would work equally well on these beautiful drawings. There is no writing on the pages but some have spaces where you could easily add your own patterns or animals to truly make this book your own. This book is gorgeous and my personal favourite of Anastasia’s 6 currently published titles. It’s really natural, detailed and very different from other nature-themed books because of its seasonal theme which takes you on a journey through the year from New Year’s Eve fireworks and spring lambs, onto beach holidays in the sun with ice cream in the summer, through to autumn with the harvest and many woodland creatures settling down to hibernate and finally onto wintry snow scenes, building snowmen and putting up the tree ready for Christmas. It really is a spectacular addition to Anastasia’s growing Colour Me Mindful collection.

For more information about the book itself including size, paper quality etc and about the other titles in the series click here.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, it’s available on Amazon via the following link.Colour Me Mindful: Seasons (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk)

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners, Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and Staedtler Triplus Fibre-tips.

 

Colour Me Mindful: Enchanted Creatures – A Review

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

LINK illustrated by the very talented Anastasia Catris and published and very kindly sent to me to review by Orion Books. This book contains 50 images of all things enchanted. This book contains just about every mythical and enchanted creature you could think of from the phoenix to the jackalope, mermaids to tree spirits, dragons to unicorns and so many more. The images are almost all single page spreads and are mostly a centralised illustration of one or two of each creature, though there are a couple of repeating patterns including pegasuses (pegasi?) and enchanted mushrooms. This book is much less feminine and “pretty” than Anastasia’s other books and would therefore be very well suited to male and female colourers alike who enjoy the fantastical and mythical.

The images are all drawn in a very thin line which means very sharp pencils or fineliners are essential to enjoy your colouring experience. This book will certainly help to colour you mindful because the intricacy and detail of the drawings lend themselves perfectly to keeping you focused and occupied and grounded in the present moment. Despite being small, the images take plenty of time to complete and really do keep you busy for hours. Many of the creatures are covered in detailed patterns which create small spaces to colour within or to colour over if that’s too much detail for your liking. There is no writing on the pages but some have spaces where you could easily add your own patterns or animals to truly make this book your own. This book is really beautiful and it’s another spectacular addition to Anastasia’s growing Colour Me Mindful collection. For more information about the book itself including size, paper quality etc and about the other titles in the series click here.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, it’s available on Amazon via the following link.Colour Me Mindful: Enchanted Creatures (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk)

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Staedtler Triplus Fibre-tips.

 

Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) illustrated by the very talented Anastasia Catris and published and very kindly sent to me to review by Orion Books. This book contains 50 images of all things butterfly-related. The images vary from garden scenes, to butterfly-filled mandalas, patterns, to butterfly shapes filled with flowers and page upon page of the most intricately drawn full page butterflies. This is a gorgeous delicate book that contains the most wonderful butterfly illustrations and is an absolutely essential addition to your collection if you like all things fluttery.

The images are all drawn in a very thin line which means very sharp pencils or fineliners are essential to enjoy your colouring experience. This book will certainly help to colour you mindful because the intricacy and detail of the drawings lend themselves perfectly to keeping you focused and occupied and grounded in the present moment. Despite being small, the images take plenty of time to complete and really do keep you busy for hours. The images all feel very positive and natural which is inherently very calming. Many of the butterflies are covered in detailed patterns which create small spaces to colour within or to colour over if that’s too much detail for your liking. The pictures are fairly realistic in their outlines but then a little less so with the patterns within so you are free to colour using realistic or outlandish colour schemes and either would work equally well on these beautiful drawings. There is no writing on the pages but some have spaces where you could easily add your own patterns or animals to truly make this book your own. This book is really beautiful and perfect for all fans of gardens, butterflies and flowers and it’s another spectacular addition to Anastasia’s growing Colour Me Mindful collection. For more information about the book itself including size, paper quality etc and about the other titles in the series click here.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, it’s available on Amazon via the following link.Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk)

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and the background was created using PanPastels.

 

Secret Garden Artist’s Edition – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Secret Garden Artist’s Edition: A Pull-Out and Frame Colouring Book is published by Laurence King Publishing and was very kindly sent to me to review by Midas PR. Secret Garden, illustrated by Johanna Basford is the worldwide bestselling colouring book and with good reason – the images are stunning, beautifully detailed, tantalisingly intricate and beautifully put together. However, many of us colourers found that the spine caused a problem because some of the middle of each image was lost into it and the double-sided printing meant that those of us who wanted to use pens of any kind had to sacrifice a number of images on the reverse or resort to colouring with mediums we weren’t so keen on. These issues were taken on board by the publisher and they have responded with this Artist’s Edition.

This book includes 20 of the most popular original images from Secret Garden. The pages are made of thick card which will hold up to just about any colouring medium. I tested my Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and they didn’t even shadow onto the back and they also didn’t bleed sideways or into the card, they seemed to glide on top instead of saturating the paper like so often happens with thick pages. The card is cream which I know isn’t everyone’s favourite, however, I love it because it makes it feel like a classic book with age and luxury. It also means there’s a less harsh contrast between the colouring and the background if you leave the background uncoloured and also allows you to easily add white as highlights or as a colour where white paper simply doesn’t. The pages are all removable, they’re not perforated so there’s no risk of them not being fully perforated and you ripping a page when trying to remove it, they’re all glued onto the spine in a similar way to memo blocks but these pages don’t end up with a curly corner when you remove them. The removable nature of the pages is ideal for two reasons, firstly, its main purpose, which is so that they can be displayed, framed, or gifted to friends or family so your colouring is no longer destined to stay hidden away in a book; secondly, it makes it much easier to colour if you remove the page first – the book is very large when fully open which makes it difficult to colour on your lap or even on a clipboard because it’s over A3 size when opened, but when you remove the page you can turn it to any angle you please so that you can colour each section easily without having to have your hand hanging off one corner or be rubbing over previously coloured areas and accidentally smudging bits.

The images included are a good selection from the original Secret Garden book and I didn’t notice any of my favourites missing but this will obviously vary for everyone (I’ve included plenty of images from inside below). The circular images are almost exactly the same size as in the original book but the (mostly) portrait and (couple of) landscape images are zoomed in sections of some of the single and double-page spreads from the book – I’ve shown this in the owl comparison photo below. This means that a few of the images have slightly larger spaces meaning the ability to really go to town and blend and shade is increased which I personally really enjoyed when working on my owl picture ready for this review. I’m very new to using pencils and have a lot to learn about blending and shading and the sizes of the leaves was ideal for practising these techniques and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. But rest assured, the majority of the images are printed on the same scale as Johanna’s original book meaning it’s packed full with delicate leaves and intricate flowers, all just crying out to have colour added to them.

I’ve already highlighted the majority of the ways in which this book is different from the original but a couple more things to note are that this book doesn’t have a treasure hunt aspect and none of the included images are designed to be added to, though of course you may still wish to add backgrounds or borders, there aren’t any images with large spaces or written suggestions like in the original so just bear that in mind. The book comes wrapped in thin plastic film so you won’t be able to look through it in stores but this means that the cover is well protected and won’t be at risk of staining or marking which I personally think is pretty sensible, though it’s a shame they didn’t do a preview on the back of what images are included. Because of this, I have included a large number of images from inside the book below so that you can “see inside” before you buy it.

In terms of mental health, this book is wonderful. Secret Garden was one of 3 adult colouring books that I purchased when I first developed my anxiety disorder 18 months ago and it’s provided countless hours of calming distractions and this new Artist’s Edition has been just the same. It arrived on Friday and I’ve spent all daylight hours since then (6 days) colouring in it, often forgetting to eat and not noticing the hours passing because I’ve been so engrossed and focused on colouring each section. Johanna’s books are not for the faint-hearted and are quite an undertaking and they’re not for those of you with poor eyesight or challenged fine motor control. However, for anyone who is mentally ill and doesn’t have poor eyesight, this book is ideal because not only are the images stunning but they’re also completely grounded in nature which is perfect for calming you down and relaxing you. When colouring these images, it feels like you’re taking a leisurely walk through a beautiful garden and this is sure to lift your mood and focus your thoughts so that even the most racing of minds will be quietened, at least for a short while. The details and intricacies force you to concentrate and become immersed in a world filled with brightly coloured foliage and enchanting creatures and you’re sure to feel your anxiety lessen and your dark thoughts soften a little. It’s by no means a cure, but this is a fabulous book for distraction and the fact that you can remove the pages and display them means that all of your hard work and creativity can be prominently displayed and used to brighten up your darker days and remind you that you can create beautiful things which I often find gives me a huge self-esteem boost.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. If you liked Johanna’s original books or want to delve into her inky world for the first time then I’d strongly recommend purchasing it. With the best paper quality that I’ve come across in a colouring book, it contains the most stunning images and the feature of removable pages is one that I hope will catch on with future publications because who wants to spend hours colouring a stunning image and then leave it in a book when you could be decorating your walls with your work or giving wonderful, thoughtful presents to family and friends?! This book exudes quality and luxuriousness from its thick card pages, to the signature gold foil accents on the front cover and the tiny flower image printed on the reverse of each picture, it is a work of art in itself and will be transformed into a masterpiece once you unleash your creativity upon it. I truly can’t enthuse enough about this book, it is a must-have and one that if you have been umming and ahhing about whether you should purchase it should be bought at once because I can just about guarantee that you won’t regret it. This book is ideal for anyone who is struggling with their mental health and anyone who just wants something truly beautiful to colour. I really hope that there will be Artist’s Editions created in the near future of Enchanted Forest and the soon-to-be-released Lost Ocean.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this stunning book, then head over to Amazon where it’s already selling for significantly less than the RRP. Secret Garden Artist’s Edition: A Pull-Out and Frame Colouring Book

The images below were coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

If you have any further questions, comments or would like to show off your colouring then connect with me on Facebook – I love hearing from you all and getting feedback.