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From Quartoknows publishers we received a review copy of “Color me Calm”, a very attractive looking book which bears the subtitle “a zen coloring book” on its cover. This already gives something away about the intention of this book.
On the internet the following information about this book can be found: Our lives become busier with each passing day, and as technology escalates, so does our access to work, obligations, and stress. Constant stimulation and expectation have left us burnt out and distanced from the present moment. “Now” has become something that happens online, not in the space and time that we physically occupy. Color Me Calm is a guided coloring book designed for harried adults. Art therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter offer up 100 coloring templates all designed to help you get coloring and get relaxed. Organized into seven therapeutically-themed chapters including Mandalas, Water Scenes, Wooded Scenes, Geometric Patterns, Flora & Fauna, Natural Patterns, and Spirituality – the book examines the benefits of putting pencil to paper and offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment. Part of the international bestselling Color Me series, Color Me Calm is the perfect way step back from the stress of everyday life, color, and relax
(nota bene: the above mentioned seventh chapter “spirituality” is not included in the actual book)
This is a sturdy bound book which opens flat, so that’s good for coloring. All pages have a colored border with flowers drawn into it, each chapter with its own color. I like this.
Lacy Mucklow, an art therapist, has written the preface in which she explains the relaxing effect of coloring and how different colors represent moods and emotions. She has also written an introductory text for each chapter. Each chapter has its own theme with a series of corresponding color pictures and a few colored-in examples.
All of the pictures are beautifully drawn by Angela Porter who draws with clear lines, varied and very suitable for coloring in.
I picked a picture in each chapter to color in. For every picture I used a different material.
Chapter 1: Mandalas
The first one I colored with Koh-I-Noor Mondeluz aquarelle pencils. The paper handles the water well, it does not bubble but of course this is not special aquarelle paper and it doesn’t bother me at all. It dries fast but slow enough to mix or blend the pigment in time. All in all not really fantastic but good enough as far as I’m concerned.
Chapter 2: Water
The second picture I colored with Koh-I-Noor Gioconda pastel pencils. I had much fun coloring this one. The pastel sticks very well to the paper, using a paper stump for blending goes very well and smudges are easily erasable with a kneaded eraser. Of course, as with any pastel drawing, the picture had to be treated with a fixation spray but once that was done the book could be closed while leaving the pastel drawing intact.
Chapter 3: Wooded scenes
This one I colored in with Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils. The paper is fantastic when it comes to colored pencils, I could apply the colors evenly without any effort and blending went well also. For the bigger parts of the picture I blended the color with white spirit and this went smoothly. The paper never bubbles. And there is no blooming whatsoever with these wax based pencils.
Chapter 4: Geometric patterns
For the next picture I used colored pencils once again, this time Caran d’Ache Pablo pencils, which are oil based. These went excellent and they colored soft and smoothly. I blended some parts with a Derwent blender pencil. The paper handled this well also.
Hoofdstuk 5: Flora and fauna
For this one I used my Tombow Dual Brush felt tip pens. I really pushed the paper to its limits by applying several layers and mixing colors. Normally this damages the paper when it comes to felt tips. But not in this case. The paper starts to show only slight signs of wear when applying the third layer, but not in a disturbing way, and you hardly notice it when the ink has dried. The ink bleeds through the page only very slightly but that is to be expected with so many layers of ink. If you apply only one or two layers than it does not bleed through at all.
Hoofdstuk 6: Natural patterns
Finally I colored with Spectrum Noir markers. Here coloring was truly wonderful. This paper seems to be made for alcohol based markers. There is no bleeding through the lines at all, blending goes effortlessly, the paper handles layer after layer and all the drawings are, due to their composition, very suitable for markers.
I can only come to the conclusion that this is a marvelous book. There are tons of pictures in it, they are varied in their subjects and drawn attractively. The book is beautifully designed and sturdy bound. The paper is suitable for all the different materials that I used. I think this book will appeal to many colorists. Therefore it makes for a very nice addition to your collection of coloring books.
Data from the book:
Title: Color me Calm
Illustrator: Angela Porter
Author: Lacy Mucklow
Publisher: Race Point Publishing/Quartoknows
Product dimensions: 216 x 242 x 18mm
Price: € 14,10 (Bol) / € 12,14 (Bookdepository)