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An English Country House and Garden: A Fine Art Colouring Book For Adults (Volume 1) Paperback – February 23, 2016
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"Magic Garden: Color. Dream. Create." by Virginia Arraga de Malherbe
Explore this lush and beautifully produced coloring book, with three colors of metallic ink paper and 60 designs suitable for removing and framing. Learn more
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About the Author
I spent many years encouraging creativity in children and teachers through my work in schools in Britain and internationally. As a county art and design adviser, my art packs supported the study of artists across many cultures, and explored the stories and meaning in art. I've run art tours for teachers in Europe and published city art guides to accompany them.
I live in the Cotswolds, England with my wife, Kate, plus Louis the Labrador and two cats. My studio has a door to the garden, which is where I find much of my inspiration for the designs.
Top Customer Reviews
Quite a few designs are reminiscent of the great William Morris's classic nature-inspired patterns, but also some quirky, very English extras such as a portrait of a kitchen dresser complete with a display of thatched-cottage shaped teapots. (I would love a colouring book of quirky teapot designs, if Mr Penn's wondering what to draw next!)
I also like the thoughtful way in which the book has been put together, with a personal note from the author, iinviting you to "colour outside the lines", and a test page for trying out pens and pencils before you commit to one of the printed designs. I much prefer colouring books in which the designs appear on one side of the page only like this, as you don't have to worry about show-through on the flip side. I also like the small, square format - for some reason I find A4 format colouring books unwieldy and tend to use them less.
It's pleasing that there's also a link to the artist's website, so you can find out more about his work, and also buy originals of the designs should you wish to.
Two things stop me giving this five stars: the paper's slightly on the thin side, and also there is quite a lot of black and gray in some of the pictures, which will affect the vividness of the colours once you've coloured in an image. The black is not so much a problem, as it just adds to the dramatic effect (and gives you less to colour so you finish it quicker!Read more ›
This coloring book is unlike any I have seen before. Some of the images are typical in style (purely outlined), though even these are highly designed and intricate. Others are grayscale and others look like something out of the artist's sketchbook. The one negative, as others have noted, is that the paper is a bit thin.
Beyond the beautiful images, this book has a few features that really make it stand out. First, the artist includes a test page, so you can see how your utensils look on the paper. (I used markers and colored pencils, and both were gorgeous.) Second, the images are only on one side of the page, so there is no worry about bleed through. Third, the artist includes notes on the back of the images detailing the types of foliage or the objects shown. Last, some of the images include blank spaces, where those more artistic than I am could add their own drawings.
Overall, this is a unique coloring book with a much more artistic and collaborative feel than others I've enjoyed. Highly recommended for creatives and people who are looking for a new artistic experience.
Arthur J. Penn's "Fine Art Coloring Book for Adults" is more than just doodles. The greyscale is called "grisaille". (Learn more here:[...]).
It actually looks really neat once you've applied color over the top. You can even use colored shading on top of the grisaille for extra depth. I'm really excited to work on some of these pieces to see the magic unfold as I color.
The paper is not super thick, but I did not find that to be a problem. In the front of the book is a very HELPFUL SUGGESTION: if using markers or other wet media, place a piece of cardstock under the page you are coloring to soak up any bleed-through.
One of the things I like is that this is very different from other coloring books I've seen. Many of the 'stress-relief' types have mandala designs, or are insanely detailed. While there is quite a lot of detail in this one, I think this is a bit quicker to color. As a busy mom that makes me really happy. Yet because of the thick lines and grisaille shading it still looks very nice when done. Fun yet forgiving.
Each illustration is one-sided, with a description on the reverse side. This allows you to color as vibrantly as you please, and it also means you can remove and frame any finished pieces you especially love (without sacrificing anything on the reverse). Smart!
If you enjoy this English Country House coloring book, you may also enjoy the matching Notebook (also by Arthur J. Penn).
DISCLOSURE: Please note that I received a free review copy of this book from Joanna Penn. I was asked to consider providing a review, and the text above is my honest, personal opinion of the product I received.
Arthur J. Penn and his daughter Joanna Penn are new entrants to this crowded market, but what an entrance. This is a beautiful, enticing book that is just waiting to colour in. Just like the Johanna Basford books every page is beautiful on their own in their simple black and white, unlike the Basford one’s, Arthur Penn’s are an altogether looser style. In his introduction to the book he talks about how he hopes that we colour outside of the lines he’s drawn and develop these image further with our own ideas.
The drawings, a collection of nature scenes and still-lifes, certainly encourage a freer way of working. There is part of me that has wanted to go for some more radical, impressionistic style of colouring, but so far I’ve opted for naturalistic, working with pencil and pastel, and in colour and black and white. There’s still time though…
Included in the book is a tester page where you can test your materials, and this is useful if you opt for felt pen, or ink because, as others have said, the pages are printed a little on the thin size. This though is a small complaint for a beautiful, enjoyable book.
There is also an accompanying notebook that would be perfect illustrated gardening notebook, or recipe book – which you can also colour in!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No. Was very disappointed. I was hoping for pictures of houses and gardens, not bits and pieces from around the place. Complete waste of money.Published 2 months ago by Sue Gibson
Having loved colouring all my life, I was delighted to receive this new addition. Mr. Penn's artwork is amazing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Beth Farrar
I absolutely love the artwork in this colouring book. The artist has a unique and cheerful style. The paper is a little thinner than in most colouring books, but I have not found... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michelle Laurie