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The Flower Year: A Coloring Book Hardcover – April 25, 2017
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About the Author
Leila Duly is a textile print designer whose work is inspired by old Victorian etchings, unique vintage finds, and the English countryside. Her first book, Floribunda: A Flower Coloring Book, was published in 2016.
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Top customer reviews
I must admit that my first feelings upon opening this book were of disappointment. I had expected this book to be in the same format as Leila Duly's first book and was surprised and unhappy to see the new format.
The first book was printed in large format, single sided and on heavy card stock. This book is printed in a smaller than average format, printed on both sides of the page and the paper is considerably lighter in weight (medium/heavyweight paper rather than card stock.)
After getting over both my initial feelings and just myself in general, I looked again at the book and realized that while it was not published as fantastically as the first book, it is still a very well done book compared to most coloring books out there.
My only real problem with the book, and the reason I detracted a star, is that many of designs are so scaled down in size to fit the smaller format that it is difficult to color in the tiny spaces. The book is both detailed and intricate in scope, I cannot recommend it to anyone with fine motor or vision issues.
While those are not issues for me, finding coloring medium that works with the book requires using ultra-fine, micro-point and extremely sharp nib medium. I choose to use coloring pencils sharpened to a very fine point. I may use my Tombows and other watercolor brushes and markers as well as they did not leak through the page (see below.)
The designs are set up as a calendar of sorts of flowers which are in bloom during each month of the year. The names are generally included on the each design and there is a thumbnail listing of the designs (and flowers therein) at the end of the book.
I am also in hopes that the publisher, Laurence King Publishing, will come out with an artists edition of this book as they did with Johanna Basford when she was with this publisher. If so, I hope that they concentrate on the two-page spread designs and enlarge them for ease of coloring rather than printing large versions of the single flower designs. Ms. Duly's first book was in the format of an artists edition, so I think there is hope that it will happen.
This is what I found while coloring in this book and testing it with my coloring medium.
95 flower designs as shown throughout the year. Some of these are elaborate and intricate while others are small designs to fill in a page of quotations.
Printed on both sides of the page. There is a mix single page designs and designs that spread across two pages
Paper is heavyweight, ivory color, lightly rough, and non-perforated
Sewn binding which can be snipped to release several pages at a time. I prefer to keep my book intact as a calendar of flowers throughout the year.
Book is smaller than average (approximately 7 x 9 inches) with a hard back cover and an attached fabric ribbon bookmark.
Alcohol-based markers bleed through the page. If you use these, you will have ink seep through and mar the design on the back of the page.
Water-based markers, gel pens and India ink pens do not bleed through the page.
Colored pencils work well with the slightly rough paper. I was able to blend, layer the same and multiple colors using both oil and wax-based pencils with ease.
"The Flower Year" contains approx. 89 pages of illustrations, 6 pages of literary quotes, a colorable name plate, 2 pages of introductory material, and a 4 page index. It measures 7 x 9.25 inches and is sewn into a hardcover with foil accents and a sage green satin ribbon bookmark. Featuring black and white botanical illustrations, this book is appropriate for adult colorists on all skill levels.
The paper in this book is cream colored and of medium thickness. All pages are double sided and non-perforated. Most mediums should be okay to use, but be sure to test all wet products on the intro pages before application. As always, be sure to place several blotter sheets under your current picture to prevent possible color transfer.
As previously stated, "The Flower Year" focuses on plants, flowers, insects, and birds. It's sorted by month and there are 8 pages per section. Inside you'll see hellebore, snowdrops, daisies, poppies, hyacinths, buttercups, violets, irises, and much more. Some of the animals featured include: wrens, finches, rabbits, painted ladies, and dragonflies. There is a short description on some of the pages to list the natural names, while the rest are contained to the index. There are also several quotations with minimal artwork. The majority of the images cover one page, but there are also 22 double page spreads spaced throughout(these run into the binding, so I wouldn't recommend removal). Line weight is quite delicate and the detail level is very high. Picture completion time should range from 2-9 hours(may vary slightly for each individual). Overall, this is a stunning book of botanical art. It would be best suited for colorists who enjoy intricate imagery with a vintage/natural feel.
People complaining about the size obviously didn't read the description. It's a little smaller than B5 notebook. Put another way, that's bit bigger than most of those over-priced "life planners"
The spine IS tight, but that's okay! This book is saddle-stitch bound AND has an adhesive binding. Just crack the spine to loosen the adhesive. Works like a charm and now the pages will lay flat. (Don't go through your library cracking spines to make books lay flat, though. Most books are only perfect--adhesive--bound, and if you crack the spines, you'll loosen the pages.)
The artwork is gorgeous, sort of old world and romantic, very similar to Floribunda.