I think this is a fantastic way to get colorists more familiar with the wide variety of artists and artistic styles that are becoming available. I know that I plan to purchase several coloring books based on what I have seen and begun to color. The styles are so varied and unusual, I took my time in filming my silent video, so you can see each page (though it made for a very long video compared to most that I film.)
One of the projects in this book is a beautiful “flower child” woman from Jason Hamilton's “Beautiful Women” coloring book. I'll include a photo of my finished study of that picture below. As I finish more designs, I will add more photos. I'm just thrilled with the chance to color so many styles and at a wonderful price as well. It's amazing that these artists and the publisher are making this book available at their cost. Just simply one of the best bargains out there.
I will provide more detail about what I found in the physical book below, but for a quick overview, this is what I discovered:
110 Varied Designs (2 each from 55 different artists)
Designs are printed on one side of page
Paper is thin, white and non-perforated
Designs do not merge into the binding
Alcohol and water based markers bleed through the page
India ink and gel pens leave shadows of color on back of page
Coloring pencils work well with the paper but also leave shadows on the back of the page
The large (and heavy!) book is filled with 110 designs which are printed on one side only of thin, white, non-perforated paper. The paper is at least the quality of that used by CreateSpace. The binding is glued. The designs do not merge into the binding. In fact, there is an artist attribution on the bound side of each page. That lets you know who is responsible for what artwork and additionally, gives you plenty of space to cut out any page you wish to remove from the book.
I can get the book to lay fairly flat by breaking the spine of the book; however, it is so thick that even laying flat may be too high for me to color comfortably. I will most likely be cutting pages out before I color them.
I test all of my coloring books with a variety of tests and coloring medium. I will list that information at the end of this review for anyone interested. Here is the results of my tests:
All markers (brands, nibs, etc.) alcohol or water-based bleed through this paper. India ink pens and gel pens leave distinct shadows of color on the back of the page. Coloring pencils work well but also leave shadows on the back of the page. The soft lead pencils go on really thick and creamy and layer and blend beautifully. The hard lead pencils have good color but do leave dents at the back of the page.
As I mentioned above, my plan is to remove pages from the book before I color. If you decide to keep the pages together, I highly recommend a blotter page of card stock or very heavy weight paper to keep ink and/or marring dents from ruining the pages below the one you are working on.
These are the coloring medium that I use for testing. In my tests, I use the medium in a manner that is perhaps more intense than others. I layer multiple coats of water-based makers for blending purposes, color large elements with gel pens, and with coloring pencils, I use multiple layers, multiple colors, as well as blending and burnishing them to see how the paper reacts and if the color moves properly.
If there is something else you feel I should be testing, please let me know and I will see if I can add it to my growing pile:
Alcohol-based markers – Copic Sketch, Prismacolor double ended markers (brush and fine point), Sharpies (fine and ultra-fine) Bic Mark-its (fine and ultra-fine)
Waater-based markers – Tombows dual end markers (brush and fine point), Stabilo 88, and Staedler triplus fineliners
India Ink: Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (brush tip)
Gel Pens: Sakura, Fiskars, Uni-ball Signo in the following sizes - 0.28/0.38/0.5/1.0 and Tekwriter
Coloring Pencils: Prismacolor Premier Soft Core, Derwent Colorsoft, Prismacolor Verithins, Caran D'Ache Pablo Colored Pencils and Faber-Castell Polychromos