Staedtler Pigment Liners

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: 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.

Art Therapy Coloring Kit – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Art Therapy Coloring Kit is published by Running Press and is from my personal collection. This is just about the cutest colouring kit I’ve ever seen and as soon as I saw it online in a colouring group I went straight on Amazon and snapped it up and when it arrived the next day I was even more blown away by it and had to review it right away for you all. This is the PERFECT colouring kit to pop in your handbag for that on-the-go colouring fix that I know so many of you crave. It’s small enough to put in the glove box in your car, in your handbag, in your luggage, in a rucksack, the only place it won’t fit is a pocket because it’s a bit too cube-y! The kit is about the size of two packs of playing cards stacked on top of each other and it’s all boxed up in a really thick cardboard case which will take a lot of battering before it begins to show wear and tear. The side is magnetised with a really strong magnet so it won’t accidentally open up and spill its contents in your bag. When you open the kit up it has two turquoise-blue boxes which are firmly secured to the outer casing and are covered in lovely black and white patterns giving you a hint at what’s inside. The box on the left contains 10 mini colouring pencils (with space for a small pencil sharpener – very handy) and the box on the right contains 50 (yes that’s right, a whopping 50!) playing card sized images for you to colour. Each of the cards is backed with the same turquoise-blue colour as the boxes so this is a beautifully cohesive set which has most certainly not been thrown together in a hurry but has instead been created with a huge amount of attention to detail. As with all of the other Art Therapy books and stationery items, a splash of colour is added to each image in the form of a small coloured section, a background, or even the design being drawn in colour rather than black lines. The majority of the cards are white with coloured backgrounds and they are made of thick card which looks smooth but not at all shiny and feels slightly rough meaning it was perfect for my pencils and my water-based pens which didn’t bleed in any direction either sideways or through the card and there was no shadowing at all. The pencils in the kit are pictured below and the colours you receive are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Dark Green, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Purple, Pink and Brown, so a really good selection and they’re great if you’re completely new to colouring or you forget your mediums and need a colouring fix while you’re out.

The cards themselves contain a really wide variety of images and are very varied in style too. Many of the cards have animals pictured including bears, squirrels, birds, butterflies, insects, an elephant, an owl, a frog, an octopus, a deer and more! Some are patterned with circles, swirls, and paisleys. Others have a decorative frame which can be coloured with space in the centre where you could leave it blank, draw something or even write a message. Others still, have patterns started for you but with plenty of blank spaces where you can just colour in blocks or continue creating your own patterns (see photo below of the image I continued) but you will need a good set of fineliners for this, my recommendation would be Staedtler 308 WP4 Pigment Liner Fineliner Technical Drawing Pens Assorted Line Width – Set of 4 and I used the 0.1 size pigment liner which was the perfect thickness. You could use the black from any normal fineliner set but the ink will run if you then try to colour with pens because they’re both made of water-based ink rather than being pigment liners like the set I recommended so just bear that in mind. The cards would be perfect to keep in the set once coloured, sent to friends or family to brighten up their day, great for writing messages on, or even incorporating into craft projects – the small designs would be ideal for adding to homemade cards either coloured or uncoloured for that extra wow factor!

In terms of mental health, this kit is ideal for those of you who use colouring for therapy and might need a quick fix at any moment whilst out of the house. It’s small, compact and contains everything you need to be able to colour away your worries and restore some calm again. This kit won’t take up half of your handbag and the cards are small so each project doesn’t take very long, meaning you can get colouring satisfaction pretty quickly. My only criticism is that the line thickness is spindly thin throughout and the images range from intricate and detailed to so intricate and detailed that you couldn’t possibly colour in each section separately so I’m afraid this kit is only for those of you with very good vision and pretty much perfect fine motor control or you’ll just find it more frustration than it’s worth as you’ll be going over the lines constantly. This is the only critical point though in an otherwise perfect kit! Some of the cards have space to add doodles, as I mentioned before, so those of you who like to draw will particularly like being able to personalise the images. You will need good concentration, not because of the length of time it’ll take to colour but because of the precision you’ll need to use to make it look really good. The fact that each card has colour added is a huge bonus in my opinion because each one is started for you and for those of you who are anxious, this might just give you the push you need to just start colouring instead of agonising over colour schemes. Many people view the added colour as restrictive to begin with but I have found, over time, that it’s actually really freeing (you can read more about my experience of this in my reviews of the Art Therapy books linked below). These cards are so bright, cheerful, and beautifully drawn that they’re sure to brighten up the darkest of days and lift your mood when you need it most, even just looking through them has cheered me up and colouring them takes so much concentration that my anxiety melted away within minutes because I couldn’t focus on worrying and trying to stay within the lines at the same time!

I would highly recommend this colouring kit to anyone with great vision and fine motor control who wants to colour lots of mini pictures, would like to colour on the move, or who loves the Art Therapy series and their unique feature of pre-added colour. This kit is fabulously priced, ideal for taking with you anywhere and great for spreading the colouring love with your family and friends. If you’d like to purchase a kit it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Art Therapy Coloring Kit

If you like the style of drawings or the variety of images, or the idea of pre-added colour and would rather have this in much larger images and in book format then look no further than the Art Therapy series of books which I have reviewed here, there is also a postcard book in the series which is the last link in the list:

Art Therapy

Colour Therapy

Creative Therapy

Calming Art Therapy

Art Therapy Postcards

The images below were coloured using:
Poppies – Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Staedtler triplus fineliners
Fox – Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils
Doodled boxes – Staedtler Pigment Fineliners and Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners
Fish – Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners