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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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About the Author
Hi, I'm Arthur. I'm an artist and author, and my creative work over the years has spanned sculpture, painting, etching and drawing as well as illustration. I'm now focusing on lino-cutting and print-making.
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.
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Top customer reviews
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.
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!) but I'm not so keen on the grey, which is often quite dark, making some pictures look less like sheets waiting to be coloured in than finished mono pictures, e.g. the Teapots on a Dresser image. But apparently designs incorporating a lot of grey shading are the new vogue in adult colouring books, so it's just down to personal taste really.
But all in all, it's a lovely book which I shall enjoy using,
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.
I have to admit that I have cut out a couple of the paintings and framed them, just in black and white and grey. They are so beautiful and look brilliant as a collection.
I did notice it said Volume 1 -- can't wait to see what comes next!