Patterns

Life Under the Lens: A Scientific Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Life Under the Lens: A Scientific Colouring Book is illustrated, self-published, and kindly sent to me to review by Jennifer Delaney. This book is A4, paperback with flexible card covers and a partially coloured image from inside on the front. The spine is glue-bound and the images are printed single-sided, the majority of them are centralised but a few are full-page and therefore do enter the spine which you may need to break if you wish to reach the entirety of the image. The paper is white, thin and standard Createspace type paper, it’s lightly textured and fine for a few layers of pencil and water-based pens shadow and do bleed occasionally so if using these or alcohol markers do make sure that you put some spare paper behind to protect the next page. The content includes 50 images of things you’d look at under a microscope and contains everything from bacteria and funghi to algae, cells and teeny tiny creatures. The images are printed single-sided but on the opposite page is information about the illustration so that you can easily identify it and find out some facts about each one. The illustrations each have a realistically drawn outline and features and all are filled with highly detailed and decorative patterns so that they’re fun to colour whilst still being quite accurate scientifically, this is a great combination and one that really brings the world of science and art together. Some of the pictures include: cyanobacteria, radiolarians, diatoms, volvox, female pinecone, tilia cordata, cup fungus, rotifers, shrimp zoea, mosquito pupa and so much more, there is a really wide range of content and something to please any level of biologist or budding scientist.

In terms of mental health, this book is very distracting, it’s not pretty but I wouldn’t expect it to be and it’s a really novel concept and unlike anything else I’ve seen in the nearly 300 books I’ve now reviewed. The information included is really useful, not only for identifying what’s in each image so you can colour it realistically if you wish, but also so you can learn something new and you could even use it to start off research into our microscopic world, it would be an ideal starting point. Of course, you don’t have to colour realistically, I’m really pleased with my rainbow coloured diatom and may have to make it my mission to colour the whole book in rainbows to spice it up! The line thickness is consistent throughout and remains very thin, the intricacy and detail levels vary a fair amount with some images consisting of lots of small details and others including larger open spaces so there is a range of difficulty levels but you will need pretty good vision and fine motor control to get the most from this book. The pages include varying amounts of content from component pictures to a large centralised image so they need varying levels of concentration and you’ll be able to find an image to suit any mood, symptom level or ability to focus. The patterns within each image are great for giving you something to focus on, ideal if your mind is racing and your thoughts won’t settle. Once you’ve finished colouring the pages you could carefully remove them from the book and frame them to make a cute and quirky gift for a scientist in your life, or to jazz up your office or study space.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to science-lovers, it’s unusual, quirky and interesting and would make a great stocking filler (yes, I’m already thinking about Christmas) or present for the scientist in your life who has everything! It’s great fun to colour, informative and interesting and different from any other colouring books.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available to order here:
Amazon UK – Life Under the Lens: A Scientific Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Life-Under-the-Lens-Jennifer-Delaney/9781999742201/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured with Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

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UK Giveaway and Review – Colour Serene: Adult Art Therapy Colouring to Calm and Relax

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Colour Serene is illustrated and self-published by Faunia Smith who kindly sent me a copy to review and a copy to give away (UK giveaway instructions at the bottom, directly above the photos). Faunia is a Naturopath from Australia who strongly recommends art therapy for relaxation and to reduce stress and it was just this that she created her book Colour Serene for. This book is A4, landscape and paperback with flexible card covers with a partially coloured image from inside the book. The spine is glue-bound and all of the illustrations are bordered and don’t reach the page edges. The pages are all printed single-sided and the book contains 24 images, 13 are landscape, 11 are portrait and all are perforated so that you can remove them from the book if you wish to display or gift them. The paper is bright white, thick, and lightly textured, the paper isn’t card-like but it is thick and didn’t bleed or shadow with my water-based pens; pencils blend and shade well and alcohol markers will be fine to use as long as you pop a protective sheet behind your work as the pages are single-sided. The illustrations themselves are very varied, from landscapes to abstract, patterned to nature and more. Some of the images show scenes, others are more random and none are particularly similar to each other. You can find photos from inside below the review.

In terms of mental health, this book is lovely, it contains such variety that you’re sure to find something to suit any mood, any symptom level and any difficulty you fancy. The line thickness is varied from medium to spindly thin and the intricacy and detail levels vary hugely from large open spaces to teeny tiny ones, generally these variances are between pictures rather than within them so there is a good range of difficulties for different levels of concentration or symptoms. Many of the images will be fine for those with moderate levels of vision or fine motor control with a few most suited to those with good or very good levels. The range of images will be ideal to cover those with fluctuating conditions who like to colour variety of content as well as a range of difficulty levels, there are illustrations suited to days where you can’t focus well and might want to block colour and others where you’ll need to be having a good day so that you can really focus on colouring within all of the teeny tiny sections of an abstract page, or others where you can really keep your hands and mind busy with meticulous blending and shading. The hand-drawn images have a calm feel to them and aren’t perfect so they don’t feel intimidating to start, some of the more realistic scenes have ready-made colour schemes that would suit them so you can colour trees in green in brown and the sun in yellow if you’re feeling anxious and unable to make decisions, on better days you can craft your own colour scheme for some of the abstract pages where you can really go all out with your choices.

I would recommend this book for those who like variety and those who like to use alcohol markers as the single-sided perforated pages are ideal for this medium. The illustrations are wide-ranging in content and feel calm and not so perfect that they’re intimidating to colour.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available here.

The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-Tip Pens.

UK Giveaway – Faunia very kindly sent me a second copy of her book in order to run a competition so you can win a free copy. This giveaway will run Wednesday the 29th of March at 8pm GMT. Please enter via this Facebook post, full instructions can be found there. Good luck!

UK Giveaway and Review – Doodle Artist: Dogs

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Doodle Artist: Dogs is a lovely book illustrated and kindly sent to me by Annette Rand. Annette has very kindly sent me two extra copies of this book and her other new title Doodle Artist: Guinea Pigs so that I can run a giveaway. This is being run on the pinned post on my Facebook page and is open to UK residents only due to postage costs, it ends at 8pm on Monday 28th of November. Good luck!

This book is filled with 2 copies of 20 full-page images of dogs and they’re fab! Annette used images of real dogs to create the outlines so that they’re realistic and then she filled them all with her signature patterns so if you’ve loved her previous books, you’ll love this one too! This paperback book is A4 size, with a portrait cover and a mixture of portrait and landscape images. The book is glue-bound so it’s a little difficult to get it to lie flat but the images are printed single-sided with a large border around them so none of the image is lost into the spine. The paper is standard Createspace paper which gets a pretty bad rep but you can’t see half the proceeding images through it, the paper is bright white and thick enough that my water-based fineliners didn’t bleed at all (they did shadow) or chew up the paper in any way so it was a joy to colour and would be perfect for pens or pencils and you could even use your sharpies or alcohol pens with a protective sheet behind so that the next image doesn’t get spoiled. Each of the 20 images portrays a different dog breed with 2 copies of each so you could colour copies to match your current, or past, pets. The dogs included are: Toy Poodle, Jack Russell Terrier, German Shepherd, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Basset Hound, Cavavlier King Charles Spaniels, Bulldog, Dachsund, Whippet, Pug, Beagle, Saluki and Golden Retriever, Chihuahua, Border Collie, Shih-Tzu, Dogue de Bordeaux, English Cocker Spaniel, Rough Collie, Weimeramer, and Cairn Terrier. Annette’s clever use of realistic outlines and stylised patterns makes these dogs easily identifiable and the patterns really add to the texture of the pictures and often looks like fur, they’re really lovely! If you’re not sure what breed each one is there’s a helpful key at the front of the book with a named list of the images so you can check. 3 of the images in this book have a black background which is a nice touch and will really make your colours pop, one is even drawn in a stained glass window style which could look incredible when finished!

In terms of mental health, this book is lovely. It’s really calming and has various different levels of intricacy to suit your good and bad days. The line thickness is the same throughout and I would describe it as thin but not very thin (approximately fineliner thickness). The lines are crisp and accurate with no fuzziness, blurring or not quite joining up so this is a really professional looking book. I really enjoyed colouring this book ready for review and it was a great design to use my glitter gel pens on. The dogs are beautifully drawn – some are swirly, some are patterned, some are furry and others are contoured. This really is a fabulous book for animal lovers and those who love dogs, it would also be an amazing book for vets! The majority of the images aren’t drawn to be exactly like real-life dogs, they have realistic outlines but they’re covered in patterns which means that you can use any colour scheme you like, as you’ll see from my glittery rainbow Jack Russell Terrier below!

I found this book really calming and relaxing. As with all nature themed books, I find them the most relaxing and the best at reducing my anxiety levels and this book was no exception. The pictures are beautiful, there are no filler images and each has definitely earnt its right to be there and you could even cut them out once you’re done and frame them. The variation in levels of detail and intricacy means that as long as you have fairly good vision, you’ll be able to enjoy this book on your good and bad days and those of you with moderate to good fine motor control will definitely get a huge amount out of this book. The image below was coloured using UK supermarket own-brand glitter gel pens.

If you’d like to get a copy of this book then it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Doodle Artist: Dogs
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Doodle-Artist-Dogs-Annette-Rand/9781530798179/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you’d like to read my reviews of Annette’s other titles then click below:
Doodle Artist Butterflies
Doodle Artist Fanciful Rats
Doodle Artist Guinea Pigs
Doodle Artist Peaceful Patterns
Doodle Artist Pets
Doodle Artist Rabbits and Hares
Doodle Artist Simply Snowflakes

UK Giveaway and Review – Doodle Artist: Guinea Pigs

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Doodle Artist: Guinea Pigs is a lovely book illustrated and kindly sent to me by Annette Rand. Annette has very kindly sent me two extra copies of this book and her other new title Doodle Artist: Dogs so that I can run a giveaway. This is being run on the pinned post on my Facebook page and is open to UK residents only due to postage costs, it ends at 8pm on Monday 28th of November. Good luck!

This book is filled with 2 copies of 20 full-page images of guinea pigs and they’re super cute! Annette used images of real guinea pigs to create the outlines so that they’re realistic and then she filled them all with her signature patterns so if you’ve loved her previous books, you’ll love this one too! This paperback book is A4 size, with a portrait cover and a mixture of portrait and landscape images. The book is glue-bound so it’s a little difficult to get it to lie flat but the images are printed single-sided with a large border around them so none of the image is lost into the spine. The paper is standard Createspace paper which gets a pretty bad rep but you can’t see half the proceeding images through it, the paper is bright white and thick enough that my water-based fineliners didn’t bleed at all (they did shadow) or chew up the paper in any way so it was a joy to colour and would be perfect for pens or pencils and you could even use your sharpies or alcohol pens with a protective sheet behind so that the next image doesn’t get spoiled. Each of the 20 images portrays a single guinea pig, pair or even a group, with 2 copies of each so you could colour copies to match your current, or past, pets. Annette’s clever use of realistic outlines and stylised patterns makes these guinea pigs look really cute and the patterns really add to the texture of the pictures and often looks like fur, they’re really lovely! There’s a real variety of image content from a guinea pig dressed up in steampunk clothing to various portrait style images, a guinea pig hiding in flowers, some dressed up in floral garlands and even wings, and there’s even a guinea pig mandala! Who’d have thought you could get so much content variety from 20 images of the same small furry animal?!

In terms of mental health, this book is lovely. It’s really calming and has various different levels of intricacy to suit your good and bad days. The line thickness is the same throughout and I would describe it as thin but not very thin (approximately fineliner thickness). The lines are crisp and accurate with no fuzziness, blurring or not quite joining up so this is a really professional looking book. I really enjoyed colouring this book ready for review and it was a great design to use my glitter gel pens on. The guinea pigs are beautifully drawn – some are swirly, some are patterned, some are furry and others are flowery. This really is a fabulous book for animal lovers and those who love guinea pigs, it would also be an amazing book for vets! The majority of the images aren’t drawn to be exactly like real-life guinea pigs, they have realistic outlines but they’re covered in patterns or dressed up in costumes or with props which means that you can use any colour scheme you like, as you’ll see from my glittery rainbow guinea pigs below!

I found this book really calming and relaxing. As with all nature themed books, I find them the most relaxing and the best at reducing my anxiety levels and this book was no exception. The pictures are beautiful, there are no filler images and each has definitely earnt its right to be there and you could even cut them out once you’re done and frame them. The variation in levels of detail and intricacy means that as long as you have fairly good vision, you’ll be able to enjoy this book on your good and bad days and those of you with moderate to good fine motor control will definitely get a huge amount out of this book. The image below was coloured using UK supermarket own-brand glitter gel pens.

If you’d like to get a copy of this book then it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Doodle Artist: Guinea Pigs
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Doodle-Artist-Guinea-Pigs-Annette-Rand/9781539162339/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you’d like to read my reviews of Annette’s other titles then click below:
Doodle Artist Butterflies
Doodle Artist Dogs
Doodle Artist Fanciful Rats
Doodle Artist Peaceful Patterns
Doodle Artist Pets
Doodle Artist Rabbits and Hares
Doodle Artist Simply Snowflakes

Creative Colouring Techniques – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Creative Colouring Techniques is published and kindly sent to me to review by Michael O’Mara Books. This book is a wonderful compilation of hugely varied colouring pages, arranged into collections to practice the different colouring techniques which are described and illustrated within. This book is A4, paperback with brightly coloured and patterned flexible card covers. The spine is glue and string bound so it’ll be pretty hard-wearing but it does make it quite tricky to get the book to lie flat until it’s eased up with use. The images are printed double-sided and each has a 1cm border all the way around which prevents any of the image being lost into the spine. The paper is bright white and smooth but I’ve tested my pencils on it and they went down well and I was able to build up plenty of layers for blending and shading. The paper is thick and didn’t bleed through at all with water-based pens and only shadowed when I pressed too hard. The book contains 128 pages, which includes 100 colouring pages split into 20 chapters of 5 images which each start with a colouring or doodling technique which can then be practiced on the subsequent pages. This book contains heaps of techniques, suggestions and bits of advice about colour theory, different types of patterns and different filling techniques. Obviously I can’t give too much away or it’ll ruin the book for you but I have shown some of the technique pages in the photographs of the book so that you can see examples. I’ve also shown the contents page so that you can see the full list of techniques that are included. The images are so varied that it’s difficult to describe them briefly but there are images of everything you can imagine from buildings to fruit, weather to patterns, flowers to skulls and loads and loads of animals and birds. There really is something for everyone and you certainly won’t get bored or find any of the images samey.

In terms of mental health, this book is truly fantastic because it’s like an instruction manual for colouring. A lot of people with mental health problems get stuck sometimes and lack inspiration, especially those who are new to colouring because it can be daunting to know where and how to start. This book solves that problem completely and you could easily work through it from cover to cover because it’s somewhat arranged into difficulty level so you can increase your techniques as you work through the book. The images in each section do mostly lend themselves well to that specific technique and have clearly been chosen for this purpose, however, as you work through the book you could easily mix and match techniques and even add your own ideas as you grow in confidence. The line thickness varies throughout from spindly thin all the way up to medium/thick; the majority of the lines are medium/thin so this is a very usable book for anyone who doesn’t have poor vision or fine motor control. The intricacy and details levels also vary throughout from huge open spaces to teeny tiny details so this book will adapt really well to your good and bad days and you can focus on the larger images when your concentration is poor and the more intricate images when you’re feeling well. The techniques range from helping you to choose colours in various different ways, to using dots, dashes, patterns and more to fill the spaces instead of block colouring and even gives you hints for simple doodling too and as someone who really can’t draw, none of this was impossible for me to achieve so this is an ideal book for those of you who want to spice up your colouring but sometimes feel unable to due to lack of inspiration or lack of drawing talent.

I would highly recommend this book to beginner colourers as a great place to start and to those of you who want to learn new colouring and doodling techniques, this book is filled with all sorts of hints, tips and tricks and it’s beautifully organised so that you can learn a technique and then practice it on specially chosen colouring pages. I love it and think it’s one that you definitely need to add to your collection!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Creative Colouring Techniques
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Creative-Colouring-Techniques/9781782435532/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was doodled using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip pens.

UK Giveaway and Review – Doodle Artist: Peaceful Patterns

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Annette Rand has kindly sent me a set of her newest three titles to run a UK Giveaway. If you are a UK resident and would like to be in with the chance of winning a copy of Peaceful Patterns, Pets, and Rabbits and Hares, then head over to my Facebook page and enter via the pinned post by 8pm on Sunday the 3rd of April.

Doodle Artist – Peaceful Patterns: A colouring book for grown ups is a lovely book illustrated and kindly sent to me by Annette Rand. This book is filled with 2 copies of 20 full-page images of patterns and they’re lovely! This paperback book is A4 size, with a portrait cover and a huge variety of patterns included within. The book is glue-bound so it’s a little difficult to get it to lie flat but the images are printed single-sided with a large border around them so none of the image is lost into the spine. What I really noticed about this book, apart from the lovely images, is the paper quality. Many self-published books are printed on thin paper that you can see half the proceeding images through. Not-so in Annette’s book, the paper is bright white and thick enough that my water-based fineliners didn’t bleed at all or chew up the paper in any way (they do shadow) so it was a joy to colour and would be perfect for pens or pencils and you could even use your sharpies or alcohol pens with a protective sheet behind so that the next image doesn’t get spoiled. The images are very cohesive and drawn in Annette’s signature style. They vary from mandalas to full page spreads and also include swirling designs that sprawl across the page. This book is more detailed than her other titles and a lot of the patterns will take you a number of hours to complete and are very well-suited to fineliners to really pick out the small sections and bring bright colour to the designs.

In terms of mental health, this book is lovely. It’s really calming and has various different levels of intricacy to suit your good and bad days. The line thickness is the same throughout and I would describe it as thin but not very thin (approximately fineliner thickness). The lines are crisp and accurate with no fuzziness, blurring or not quite joining up so this is a really professional looking book. The images are of patterns, as mentioned before, and the majority are swirling, curvy patterns with few, if any, sharp edges which really adds to the peaceful nature of them. Some of the patterns have larger open spaces to colour in blocks and others have intricate patterns covering them that create lots of small spaces for you to take your time over colouring in. The patterns can be coloured in any way you choose and this allows for calm, zoned out colouring that should really help you de-stress because there are no ‘wrong’ colours or ways of colouring. I find patterns are a great way of testing out colour schemes for other types of colouring page and they really give you a good feel for how colours work together. You will need fairly good concentration in order to enjoy this book because there is a lot of detail but this means it’s great for getting your teeth into and it’ll be fantastic for distracting you from difficult thoughts, or any mental or physical symptoms that are plaguing you.

I found this book really calming and relaxing. Patterns are very good for anxiety because they can be coloured in any colour schemes you fancy, you can just pick up a pen or pencil and colour random sections and just escape from your symptoms. The pictures are beautiful, there are no filler images and each has definitely earnt its right to be there and you could even cut them out once you’re done and frame them. The variation in levels of detail and intricacy means that as long as you have fairly good vision, you’ll be able to enjoy this book on your good and bad days and those of you with moderate to good fine motor control will definitely get a huge amount out of this book. The image below was coloured using Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tip Pens.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Doodle Artist – Peaceful Patterns: A colouring book for grown ups
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Doodle-Artist—Peaceful-Patterns-Annette-Rand/9781519609786/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you’d like to read my reviews of Annette’s other titles then click below:
Doodle Artist Butterflies
Doodle Artist Fanciful Rats
Doodle Artist Pets
Doodle Artist Rabbits and Hares
Doodle Artist Simply Snowflakes

UK Giveaway and Review – Doodle Artist: Rabbits and Hares

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Annette Rand has kindly sent me a set of her newest three titles to run a UK Giveaway. If you are a UK resident and would like to be in with the chance of winning a copy of Peaceful Patterns, Pets, and Rabbits and Hares, then head over to my Facebook page and enter via the pinned post by 8pm on Sunday the 3rd of April.

Doodle Artist – Rabbits & Hares: A colouring book for grown ups is a lovely book illustrated and kindly sent to me by Annette Rand. This book is filled with 2 copies of 20 full-page images of rabbits and hares and they’re lovely! This paperback book is A4 size, with a portrait cover and a mixture of portrait and landscape images. The book is glue-bound so it’s a little difficult to get it to lie flat but the images are printed single-sided with a large border around them so none of the image is lost into the spine. What I really noticed about this book, apart from the stunning images, is the paper quality. Many self-published books are printed on thin paper that you can see half the proceeding images through. Not-so in Annette’s book, the paper is bright white and thick enough that my water-based fineliners shadowed but didn’t bleed at all or chew up the paper in any way so it was a joy to colour and would be perfect for pens or pencils and you could even use your sharpies or alcohol pens with a protective sheet behind so that the next image doesn’t get spoiled. The images are all of rabbits and hares, as you’d expect, but as with Annette’s other books, they come in a variety of styles and are all filled with beautiful patterns that you can colour within or colour over to make the colouring experience easier or harder.

In terms of mental health, this book is lovely. It’s really calming and has various different levels of intricacy to suit your good and bad days. The line thickness is the same throughout and I would describe it as thin but not very thin (approximately fineliner thickness). The lines are crisp and accurate with no fuzziness, blurring or not quite joining up so this is a really professional looking book. The images of the rabbits and hares are very varied ranging from mandalas to scenes, pairs to singles, patterns to more realistic, there is a surprising amount of variety added to a single, potentially limiting subject! Some of the bunnies have larger open spaces to colour in blocks and others have intricate patterns covering them that create lots of small spaces for you to take your time over colouring in. The rabbits and hares are beautifully drawn – some are swirly, some are patterned, some are furry and a few are more abstract. This really is the colouring book bible for all those who love rabbits and hares. The majority of the images aren’t drawn like real-life rabbits, because they’re covered in patterns or hidden within mandalas but this means that you can use any colour scheme you like, as you’ll see from my bright blue bunny below!

I found this book really calming and relaxing. As with all nature themed books, I find them the most relaxing and the best at reducing my anxiety levels and this book was no exception. The pictures are beautiful, there are no filler images and each has definitely earnt its right to be there and you could even cut them out once you’re done and frame them. The variation in levels of detail and intricacy means that as long as you have fairly good vision, you’ll be able to enjoy this book on your good and bad days and those of you with moderate to good fine motor control will definitely get a huge amount out of this book. The image below was coloured using Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tip Pens.

If you’d like to get a copy of Rabbits and Hares then head over to
Amazon UK – Doodle Artist – Rabbits & Hares: A colouring book for grown ups
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Doodle-Artist-Rabbits-Hares-Annette-Rand/9781519452634/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you’d like to read my reviews of Annette’s other titles then click below:
Doodle Artist Butterflies
Doodle Artist Fanciful Rats
Doodle Artist Peaceful Patterns
Doodle Artist Pets
Doodle Artist Simply Snowflakes