Male

The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain is published and kindly sent to me to review by Laurence King Publishing. LKP have teamed up with Ordnance Survey, historic map creators and producers of the UK, to produce this wonderful colourable map book. Ordnance Survey was established in 1791 and they have been creating detailed maps ever since, these were originally produced in black and white and colour wasn’t added until 1887. While their mapping processes have altered and become digitised over the decades, their maps are still known, used, and well-regarded all over the world and now we’ve been offered the chance to colour them ourselves.

This book is huge (the second largest colouring book I’ve seen) at 34.9 x 26.8cm. It’s paperback with thick flexible card covers with three-quarter French flaps. The cover of the book depicts a map of London which continues over the inside flaps with the front flap having a list of all of the towns and cities which are depicted within, and an outline of Great Britain. The flaps open out to reveal a red lined interior, I personally feel this space could have been better utilised and would have been lovely with an added map. The spine of the book is not attached to the cover and is supposedly lay-flat, it’s glue and string-bound and while you can get to the centre of the majority of the images, it’s a bit of a challenge on a few so I wouldn’t describe it as truly lay-flat binding but it’s not far off. The spine of the book is bound with green tape so your pages should remain secure and aren’t removable unless you use a blade of some sort. The pages are printed double-sided and contain a mixture of single and double-page spreads. The paper is a pale cream colour, similar to Secret Garden, it is very lightly textured which gives a smooth surface to colour on but there’s not a lot of tooth for building up pencil layers. Water-based pens don’t bleed or shadow but do always test them somewhere inconspicuous first! The images are all as you’d expect, black and white line drawings of maps just waiting to be coloured. There is no key in the book so some of the symbols are a little confusing however a quick google search should help you identify any you’re stuck on. Nothing is named or labelled on the maps so the images are all text-free apart from a red outlined box that tells you what town or city the map is depicting, the source, location and a little information about the place and its most famous areas or landmarks. The maps show a really good cross-section of locations from coastal to inner cities, piers to stations, rivers to mountains. The book is split into sections, the largest of which is dedicated to England, followed by Scotland, and Wales. Heaps of places are mapped from Brighton to Loch Ness, Norwich to Aberystwyth, York to Lerwick and Blackpool to Margate. In the centre of the book is a single-sided 4-page fold out spread of Thames Valley, London showing the River Thames in the centre and spanning from Belgravia to the O2 Arena. This spread could easily be removed and would look stunning framed before or after being coloured.

In terms of mental health, this book doesn’t have much of an impact, the content is just as you’d expect and maps aren’t known for being calming or soothing. Due to lack of any writing on the maps, I found it quite difficult to identify what the map was specifically showing and what each section was meant to be. As a perfectionist, I wanted to colour my map in the correct colours and it took a surprisingly long time to find exactly where on the map I was looking at and what colour each section should be so this book certainly can’t be used for a quick colouring fix. The line thickness is pretty consistent throughout and thin with spindly thin details and bolder accents here and there. The levels of detail and intricacy varies throughout from large open spaces of fields or sea, to teeny tiny spaces showing residential areas and country roads. I would recommend this book for those of you with pretty good vision and fine motor control and I’d advise using fineliners or sharp pencils so that you can get into the details. This book requires a huge amount of concentration to identify each part and colour within some of the small sections so it’s definitely one to keep for your better days when you can focus well and not get frustrated by the process. Once you have managed to identify the sections, if you’re wanting to colour the map realistically it’s very easy and you don’t have to spend ages narrowing down your colour choices, you can just get going which may be useful for anxious colourers though I personally found this book quite stressful due to the sheer amount of difficulty I had with identifying symbols and areas. The pages are huge, especially the double-page spreads and centre fold-out so this book will certainly keep you distracted and occupied for long periods of time if you’re able to concentrate on it, progress is quite slow because there is so much detail included in each but this could be a real labour of love and for anyone who managed to finish colouring it cover to cover, I’m sure it will look truly fantastic! This book is pretty niche and I’ve realised that despite being interested in looking at maps, colouring them is not my forte, but for keen cartographers who fancy having a go, this is the best book to go for. The paper colour offers a real vintage feel and once finished, the maps do look beautiful!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to those with a keen interest in maps but for those, who like me, sort of like them, this book is just a bit too challenging to get started with. The production of it can’t be faulted and I truly believe it’ll look incredible when finished if you have the determination to persevere!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Great-British-Colouring-Map-Ordnance-Survey/9781780678597/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils.

Doctor Who Travels in Time Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Doctor Who: Travels in Time Colouring Book is a BBC colouring book published by Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Random House. This book is from my personal collection so get ready for some terrible Doctor Who puns that will have you groaning by the end but a lot more enlightened about what’s included in this book and whether you’ll like it or not. So, without further ado, grab your sonic screwdriver, jump aboard the TARDIS and travel back through time and space into my review. Allons-y! *Sorry*

Just like “Hello Sweetie”, messages about this colouring book have been scattered throughout time and space, or at least the last few months on the internet since publication of this second book was announced. Rest assured, River Song would be pleased, because there aren’t any ‘spoilers’ within this review. This book is the perfect colouring ‘companion’ to the entire television series of Doctor Who, not just the newer series that got many of us hooked though there are significantly more images of the latest 3 doctors than the previous 9, and it’s also the perfect companion to the first Doctor Who Colouring Book reviewed by me here. This book is paperback with a card cover and has lots of red foiling on the front, it is 25cm square, the same size as the first book and other leading colouring books. It contains 45 images, though it feels like many more (one could describe it as almost TARDIS-like), which are all printed single-sided onto bright white, medium thickness, fairly smooth paper. Water-based pens do bleed but this doesn’t matter because the only thing on the reverse of each image is a quote, the episode name, doctor number (sometimes) and year of the episode, as well as the year they’ve travelled to in that picture, so just put a protective sheet behind in case of bleed through and ‘fantastic’ you’re good to go! The spine of the book is glue-bound and tight, but it will ease up with use and the images are borderless so a little is lost into the spine but this is very small and pales into insignificance when battling aliens and trying to patch up cracks in the space-time continuum.

The Doctor Who Travels in Time Colouring Book starts with a lovely “This book belongs to…” page and then shows a number of items that are hidden within the images for you to hunt down in a time-travelling treasure hunt. This book contains images of everything you’d expect, and more! As with the first book, there are Daleks, Cybermen, and Abominable Snowmen, but there are also new additions including vampires, The Wire, Silents, Pig Slaves and many more, as well as familiar regenerations of the Doctor, their companions and of course, the beloved TARDIS. Unlike the first book which contained facial outlines of each Doctor depicting them and their companion, as well as pattern/mandala images, all of the illustrations in this book are scenes of a historical place or time that the Doctor has travelled to. They are arranged into date order, not of when they were televised, but of when in time they have visited ranging from 13,798,000,000 BC in the episdoe ‘The Pandorica opens’, all the way up until 2012 AD in the episode ‘Fear Her’ where the Olympic Torch is heavily featured. Bearing in mind all of the images are from time travel to the past, I’m guessing that this has left the future open to hopefully be covered in a third book. Memorable scenes from some of our favourite episodes are depicted from The Runaway Bride to The Fires of Pompeii, Robot of Sherwood to The Empty Child, Victory of the Daleks to The Impossible Astronaut. Along the way, the Doctor meets Vikings, Aztecs, Egyptians, Romans, pirates, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Vincent Van Gogh, Winston Churchill, and ‘Me’.  There is a huge range of imagery, which is jam-packed with action, adventure and time travel.

In terms of mental health, this book isn’t geared up to be calming or relaxing but if you’re a Whovian then you’re sure to get a huge amount of enjoyment out of it and that can only be good for your mental health. The images are drawn in a thin line so the images are all very colourable as long as you’ve got fairly good vision and fine motor control. None of the lines in the book are wibbly-wobbly, but they’ll all take plenty of timey-wimey (I’m not even sorry about that one), the illustrations are created by a number of different artists and though they’re very cohesive, there is one particular style that involves a lot of contour lines drawn on the faces, I’m personally not a fan of this but others may not mind it (check the images below), these are most certainly not the majority so don’t be too put off. This book would not only be good for adult fans but also older children who can cope with the intricacy and detail which is fairly considerable in the majority of the images, “Don’t Blink” or you’ll go over the lines. There is less variety in intricacy levels in this book than the last so it’s not so good for those of you with fluctuating conditions and will require a fair amount of concentration so this is a book for days when you’re not weary from time-travel, or buoyed up by another victorious battle. The image content is ideal for anxious colourers because all of the images are of characters and scenes that have specific colour schemes and you could easily either colour them from memory or google them in order to find out what colours they “should” be. Of course, this is just a guide and you could definitely colour your cyber men green and have a neon pink TARDIS if you chose and I’m sure it would look spectacular (if you colour your TARDIS neon pink then please send a photo to my Facebook page, I’m not quite brave enough to mess with the colour of my time machine yet).

As you can tell from my pun-tastic review, I’d highly recommend this book for all Whovians and I’m sure Matt Smith would say that “Colouring Books are cool”, especially this one! Exterminate your boredom and worries and get stuck in to this book which is nowhere near as bad as ‘yoghurt, baked beans, bacon or bread and butter’ and perhaps it’ll become something amazing in your life like ‘fishfingers and custard’. Grab your jelly babies, break out the fez (wrap up in your mega long scarf for good measure) and get out your sonic colouring pencils and ‘Geronimo!’ you’re in for some Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey fun!

No need to ‘run’ to the nearest bookshop, no need to be ‘the girl, or boy, who waited’, just ‘reverse the polarity of the neutron flow’, point your sonic screwdriver in the general direction of the internet and purchase a copy of this book from the comfort of your own TARDIS from one of the links below:
Amazon UK – Doctor Who: Travels in Time Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Doctor-Who-Travels-in-Time-Colouring-Book-null/9781405927260/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you’re late to the part, travel back in time and order the first book too. You can read my review here or go straight ahead and order a copy:
Amazon UK – Doctor Who: The Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Doctor-Who-Colouring-Book-James-Newman-Gray/9780141367385/?a_aid=colouringitmom

A quick thank you to all of my Whovian friends, without whom, you’d have had nothing to groan at throughout this review, if you need someone to blame, blame them!

The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. For a perfect TARDIS blue I used the Helioblue-Reddish Polychromos pencil.

Doctor Who Colouring book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Doctor Who: The Colouring Bookis a BBC colouring book published by Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Random House. This book is from my personal collection so get ready for some terrible Doctor Who puns that will have you groaning by the end but a lot more enlightened about what’s included in this book and whether you’ll like it or not. So, without further ado, grab your sonic screwdriver, jump aboard the TARDIS and travel through time and space into my review. Allons-y! *Sorry*

Just like Bad Wolf, messages about this colouring book have been scattered throughout time and space, or at least the last couple of months on the internet since its publication was announced, and all of it was leading up to 3 days ago – publishing day! Rest assured, River Song would be pleased, because there aren’t any ‘spoilers’ within this review. This book is the perfect colouring ‘companion’ to the entire television series of Doctor Who, not just the newer series that got many of us (me included) hooked. This book is paperback with a card cover and has lots of gorgeous blue foiling on the front, it is 25cm square, the same size as other leading colouring books. It contains 45 images, though it feels like many more (one could describe it as almost TARDIS-like), which are all printed single-sided onto off-white medium thickness, fairly smooth paper. Water-based pens do bleed but this doesn’t matter because the only thing on the reverse of each image is a quote, the episode name, doctor number and year, so just put a protective sheet behind in case of bleed through and ‘fantastic’ you’re good to go! The spine of the book is glue-bound and tight, but it will ease up with use and the images are borderless so a little is lost into the spine but this is very small and pales into insignificance when battling aliens and trying to patch up cracks in the space-time continuum.

The Doctor Who Colouring Book starts with a lovely “This book belongs to…” page and then shows a number of items that are hidden within the images for you to hunt down in a time-travelling treasure hunt. This book contains images of everything you’d expect, and more! There are Daleks, Cybermen, Sycorax, Ood, Adipose, alien planet landscapes and images of inside and outside the TARDIS. There are also images of each Doctor in order from the first to the current, twelfth. These images are all of a right-facing portrait outline of each Doctor and contained within are images of that Doctor, their assistant/companion and some of the main features from their episodes, be that accessories, technology or even their nemeses. The final one of these is of Missy, because who could forget her?! The Doctor’s biggest enemies are featured in multiple images each so you’ll certainly get your fill of Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels. Some of the images are scenes as you’d expect but they’re not specific stills from the TV series, more representations. There are mandalas (“The round things, I love the round things, What are the round things?, No idea!”) of various characters including Daleks, Ood and the TARDIS and many more images, a good cross-section of which are photographed below.

In terms of mental health, this book isn’t geared up to be calming or relaxing but if you’re a Whovian then you’re sure to get a huge amount of enjoyment out of it and that can only be good for your mental health. The images are drawn in a variety of line thicknesses which range from thin to medium thickness and are mainly thin, but not spindly so they’re all very colourable as long as you’ve got fairly good vision and fine motor control. None of the lines in the book are wibbly-wobbly, but they’ll all take plenty of timey-wimey (I’m not even sorry about that one). This book would not only be good for adult fans but also older children who can cope with the intricacy and detail which is fairly considerable in a number of images, “Don’t Blink” or you’ll go over the lines. Again, there is variety within this which means this book is ideal for those of you with fluctuating conditions who need simpler and more intricate images for days of different ability when you’re weary from time-travel, or buoyed up by another victorious battle. The image content is ideal for anxious colourers because most of the images are of characters that have specific colour schemes and you could easily either colour them from memory or google them in order to find out what colours they “should” be. Of course, this is just a guide and you could definitely colour your cyber men green and have a neon pink TARDIS if you chose and I’m sure it would look spectacular (if you colour your TARDIS neon pink then please send a photo to my Facebook page, I’m not quite brave enough to mess with the colour of my time machine yet).

As you can tell from my pun-tastic review, I’d highly recommend this book for all Whovians and I’m sure Matt Smith would say that “Colouring Books are cool”, especially this one! Exterminate your boredom and worries and get stuck in to this book which is nowhere near as bad as ‘yoghurt, baked beans, bacon or bread and butter’ and perhaps it’ll become something amazing in your life like ‘fishfingers and custard’. Grab your jelly babies, break out the fez (wrap up in your mega long scarf for good measure) and get out your sonic colouring pencils and ‘Geronimo!’ you’re in for some Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey fun!

No need to ‘run’ to the nearest bookshop, no need to be ‘the girl, or boy, who waited’, just ‘reverse the polarity of the neutron flow’, point your sonic screwdriver in the general direction of the internet and purchase a copy of this book from the comfort of your own TARDIS from one of the links below:
Amazon UK: Doctor Who: The Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide: https://www.bookdepository.com/Doctor-Who-Colouring-Book-Unknown/9780141367385/?a_aid=colouringitmom

A quick thank you to all of my Whovian friends, without whom, you’d have had nothing to groan at throughout this review, if you need someone to blame, blame them!

The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and the background was created using PanPastels. For a perfect TARDIS blue I used the Helioblue-Reddish Polychromos pencil.

Maps: A Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Maps – A Colouring Bookis published by the famous Geographer’s A-Z Map Company Limited who produce A-Z maps of the UK and very kindly sent me a copy to review and even included my name within one of the pages to thank me for helping them during production – I’m honoured to have helped and have my surname included! This book is probably the most unusual colouring book I’ve seen and with a market that is highly saturated now it’s really nice to see something so different. This book is square and a little smaller than the bestsellers by JB and MM. It is paperback, gluebound and printed single-sided with a 1cm border around each image so none of it is lost into the spine. The paper is bright white and medium thickness with a little tooth, enough for shading with coloured pencils, and I experienced bleed through when using water-based fineliners but this doesn’t matter because it’s single-sided. There are 40 images all created with the same, very thin line thickness which is the same as in their normal map books so this isn’t one for those of you with poor eyesight or fine motor control. Because of the nature of the material included, there are lots of detailed and intricate sections so this is definitely a book that requires concentration and focus to be able to colour it well.

In terms of mental health, this book is great for those of you that need to concentrate and focus in order to stave off anxiety or low mood. It is really unusual and ideal for those who like quirky artwork, patterns, mandalas and geometric designs. The images range from maps of cities to symbols found in maps and on road signs, to famous landmarks and object outlines of maps of areas associated with the shape, and mandalas created from sections of maps and so many more. There are also more abstract images of mountain contour lines and even a page at the end with a blank centre for you to add your own map if you want to! This book has a really cohesive image style and the subject matter means that you can colour it in whatever way you fancy. You could colour it in a similar way to printed road maps, do it all in neon, or even create a patchwork like I did in my sample image using rainbow colours to celebrate Gay Pride which is synonymous with Brighton, the City map I coloured. I personally didn’t find this book especially calming but it’s great for distraction and it would be suited to either gender because it’s not pretty or delicate and is very intricate so it will banish those racing thoughts. I would recommend this book for the colourist who has everything and wants to try something really new and different, and for those who want something less pretty or nature-inspired. If you’d like to get a copy then you can find it on Amazon here Maps – A Colouring Book

The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

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.

 

Just Add Color: Mid-Century Modern Mania – A Review

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

This book is published by Rockport, a sub-company of Quarto Publishing who kindly sent me a copy to review. Just Add Color: Mid-Century Modern Mania is one of the quirkiest colouring books I’ve come across and is unlike any I’ve seen. My mum described it perfectly as looking like an Ikea catalogue with all of the colour removed. It is a fun book that is filled with images of retro furniture, eccentric ornaments and not so stylish living spaces. There are pages of decorative bowls, clocks, kitchens and living rooms. There’s even a picture of a fondue taking you right back to 70’s dinner parties, or in my case, occasional special dinners in the 90’s made by my retro parents (I really fancy a cheese fondue now). The pictures are all illustrated by Jenn Ski giving the book a lovely cohesive style. They are all drawn with thin black lines so you will need a fair amount of fine motor control so that you don’t colour over the lines. There are a few small areas such as pot plants or drawing pins but this is not an intricate or finely detailed book so you don’t need perfect vision or huge amounts of concentration to be able to enjoy this book and get a calming or relaxing experience from it. This book is perfectly suited to any colouring medium because the images are printed one-sided so you don’t need to worry about bleeding. You could use sharpies or alcohol-markers with no issues, as well as felt-tips, fineliners, gel pens and colouring pencils. The pages are perforated meaning they can be removed to make colouring easier or afterwards so you can display your work. This book is so quirky that you can’t help but come away with a smile on your face. It’s really unusual and different and therefore ideal for those of you with a fairly exhaustive collection already. The paper and print quality are exceptional and you’re really getting a book that has been well put together and thought about rather than a rushed job where the paper or image quality has suffered. This book would be perfect for both male and female colourers because it’s modern and funky rather than pretty or delicate. If you would like to get yourself a copy then head over to Amazon via this link Just Add Color: Mid-Century Modern Mania.

For general review information about the Just Add Color series and information about other titles in the series click here.

The image below was coloured using Marco Raffine Coloured Pencils and Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tips.

Art Therapy: The Enchanted Forest – A Review

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

This book is beautiful, very unusual and is not like any others with similar titles. Instead of being really girly and super pretty it’s a more realistic trip through an enchanted forest where you meet all those who may live or visit there. The contents of this book are enormously varied and the images range in difficulty level from simple, blocky, thickly drawn leaves to expert level, thinly, intricately drawn detailed castles and wizards and every level in between. This truly is a book that adapts to your needs and condition fluctuations while still being able to colour a theme of images that you love. While the title may imply that this is a book for girls and those who like all things pretty, it’s certainly well-suited to the growing number of male colourers out there too. My boyfriend looks through every book I’m sent to review and this is his current favourite and I’ve already had to promise him that he can colour the double page spread of dragons contained within. This book isn’t just fairies, flowers and unicorns (all of these are contained), it’s also rats, toads, slugs, elves, wizards, lizards and so much more. The line thickness varies throughout from very thick, and a double-page spread with a black background, to very thin and detailed. The book contains double-page and single-page images and you really feel like you’re walking through a forest and a story is being told as you turn each page. You find yourself in a land with giant mushrooms, eagles, woodland creatures, ferns, foxgloves, snails, deer and so much more. Some pages are patterned, others are scenes and some are a mixture of the two. This really is a book that has to be seen to be believed because you truly can’t imagine what it’s like without looking inside. I’ve done my best to pick out some of the most unusual images below to give you a good idea of its contents but honestly the book is so varied that this was very hard to do to give a representative idea! I’ve flicked through this book so many times and every single time I come across something new that I haven’t seen before or another detail that I hadn’t noticed. This is a must-have if you want to colour natural, fantastical scenes without having to constantly colour in teeny tiny leaves and for those of you that don’t have the vision, fine motor control or concentration needed for other books with a similar title, this book may well be for you because of the variety in line thickness and image style. I found this book really calming and it helped me to escape into a fantasy land where magic and whimsy can be found. I’d highly recommend this book to those of you who like to colour natural images, those of you with fluctuating conditions or problems with vision, fine motor control or concentration and all of you men who long to colour something a bit less frilly. Take a trip through The Enchanted Forest, you’ll be amazed at what you find there! You can get your copy here Art Therapy: Enchanted Forest

For more information about the Art Therapy series including other books and paper quality etc visit this post.– Amazon UK

https://www.bookdepository.com/Art-Therapy-Enchanted-Forest/9781910254042/?a_aid=colouringitmom – Book Depository Worldwide