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Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book (For Adults, mindfulness coloring) Paperback – March 26, 2013
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From the Publisher
A phenomenal international best-seller
This book claimed the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list and pioneered the adult colouring book craze. It is still much loved by many around the world for its intricate and otherworldly patterns and scenes – perfect for anybody wanting to produce a colourful masterpiece!
Encourages mindfulness in adults and children
Enter a state of flow with colouring! Bring peace and beauty into your life while you inject colour into Johanna Basford's gorgeous nature-inspired illustrations. Allow the stunning pages of this colouring book to guide and inspire you towards true creativity.
Discover the sequel, Enchanted Forest
If you enjoyed Secret Garden and want a fresh set of beautiful imagery to colour in, try your hand at Enchanted Forest. This charming sequel sees your journey progress through woodland and rocky caves, over streams and through a magical waterfall.
"There are few art forms as meditative, nostalgic and all-around blissful as the coloring book.Consider trading in your yoga mat for a set of markers and peruse the gorgeous gardens of Basford's imagination." - Huffington Post
"Artist Johanna Basford is at the forefront of the grown up coloring trend. Her whimsical artwork just makes us want to drop all our responsibilities and color forever." - Hello Giggles
"...this book has multigenerational appeal. It's not just a coloring book, by any means. Some pages have space where the garden is incomplete so kids (and adults) can create a little flora and fauna of their own." - CoolMomPicks.com
"...the prettiest coloring book of the season." - GirlsLife.com
"...a sublime labyrinth of gorgeously detailed coloring pages, and yet it's so much more." - TakesAVillage.net
About the Author
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* Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils
* Prismacolor Premier Verithin Colored Pencils
* Pilot G2 07 Fine Point Retractable Gel Ink Pens-Multiple Color 20 pen pack
* Small Aluminum handheld pencil sharpener
* Sanford Peel-off Magic Rub #1960 Eraser
I color each page using all mediums, and haven't had any problems of colors seeping through to other pages, getting smudged, rubbing off or flaking off.
* I keep my colored pencils sharpened and pointy to be able to color tiny areas of the designs.
* I purchased the set of 150 colored pencils, but I think a set of 48, or at the most 60 colored pencils, is more than adequate.
Prismacolors are easy to blend so by combining colors you can achieve the colors you need/want.
If you purchase the 48 or 60 color set and later on decide you want a color not in your set, you can purchase other colors individually.
* I had tried using other brands of colored pencils for a mandala coloring book, but none of the other colors had enough color pigment. So I found myself having to press hard on the pages to deposit enough color, but having Rheumatoid Arthritis made my already painful hands hurt even more.
* Prismacolors are more expensive than the other brands I had, but for me it was worth the price because I was able to color without pain in my hands.
My tools - I use
- Prismacolor color pencil
- Mona Lisa odorless paint thinner(I use this to make the prismacolor pencils look like paint. Fist put down a base color of the color pencil then go over it with a paint brush dipped in the paint thinner. This smooths out the pencil stokes. You can then go back over it with different color colored pencils to get a great layered effect). This paint thinner will look like it bleeds at first with a clear spot on the next page but after an hour the paint thinner evaporates and you can not see any marks.
- Tombow markers. Comes with a blending pen. They work great in this book for blending sold colors. When I use these markers with water color paper I can use a water pen to make them more like a watercolor painting and get diluted lighter shades from the same markers. When I tried this with the coloring book it bleeds into the next page. I recommend this for solid colored areas with gradual shading as in the orange sunset photo. Use only the clear blending pen provided or lighter hues over darker hues.
- Staedtler triplus fineliner pens for small areas.
Here are my thoughts: I've tried many adult coloring books, and I think these are still the best, overall, even for beginning adults returning to coloring for the first time. The goal of coloring this way is to relax and find pleasure in an everyday activity. When's the last time you just indulged in your favorite colors or bought a sparkle glitter pen? The idea with these books isn't to make artistic masterpieces (although a lot of non-artists do!), but to have fun. If you keep the idea of fun in mind, I think you'll enjoy this book.
What makes a good coloring book for adults?
1. Clearly defined shapes. It sounds basic, but I've used coloring books where the shapes aren't finished. That makes for a frustrating color. The shapes in this book are all really well drawn. Also, if she draws a pattern, that pattern is consistently drawn, so you don't end up in a sea of 'wait what'.
2. The pictures are beautiful. This should go without saying, and yet, many coloring books are kinda fugly. This book is just chock full of beauty, from tiny leaves to great big trees. If you liked those 'find the objects' game in Highlights magazine as a kid, you'll love this book--as you color, you will come across hidden animals and bees and little weird flowers. It's fun!
3. The drawings are specifically made for coloring. I think Basford does this better than any other artist out there right now. There are some pages in this book are specifically designed to help those new to coloring develop fun ways of embellishing their art. She's got some details of leaves filled in and others where you're supposed to fill it in with your own ideas.
4. The paper is good quality and resists bleedthrough. YES. This is the only really reliable coloring books series I've found. I've used everything from Tombows to copics to my gel pens with ZERO problems with bleedthrough. If you use Sharpies, you might get bleedthrough, but, y'know, those bleed through plaster. I have colored both sides of many pages with no problems. The paper also has a little 'tooth', so if you use colored pencils, they are easy to do shading with!
5. Most of the pages are worth coloring. I think we've all got our favorite pages, but it's a bummer to buy a coloring book based on the cover only to discover that the cover picture is the only one worth coloring. This book isn't like that. There's a few pictures I don't like, but only a few. I would say I color about 90% of this book each time. It's also got a handy guide in the back with a thumbnail of each coloring page. If you like those thumbnails, you will like the book!
6. Decent price for what you get. At the time of this review, a new copy is only $9. That's cheaper than a pizza!
OK, I think that's it. I'd like to recommend a few pens and supplies for those new to coloring books like this. Crayons are way WAY too big. My current favorite coloring supplies are:
1. The Zebra Sarasa gel pens. They come in wonderful colors, have lots of ink, and the .07 tips are the perfect size for these shapes. I've included a link to the full set: Zebra Sarasa Clip Rapid Dry Ink Gel Retractable Pen, 0.7mm, 20 Colors Set with Original Vinyl Pen Case
2. Tombow Dual Tip Brush Markers. These are gorgeous. If you're new to these markers, what's cool about them is you can blend the colors and create lots of shading. If you buy a set, it should come with a clear 'blender'. I like to make leaves using the green and the blue and the blender, starting from nearly clear light green to super dark green. You can also easily layer colors! Start with a gentle, light brush stroke at the 'light' end of your object, then color two strokes for the medium color, then three or five for the dark color. If you want to try them, I recommend Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers, Bright, 10-Pack as a starting set, but if you are buying as a gift and have more to spend, Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, 20-Pack, Jelly Bean and Groovy Colors (56156 & 56159) would be even better.
3. My current favorite markers are Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips - "Styles May Vary". Yes, I really mean that. Look, I own two giant sets of Copics, so I know me some markers. The Crayolas are still awesome. The 'washable' ink means they're really wet and lay down plenty of color, but instead of that being a downside, it makes them super blendable! You can create lots of wonderful shading and color mixes with these inexpensive little dudes. If you've never tried them, what have you got to lose? Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips - "Styles May Vary"
Lastly, no set of adult coloring supplies would be complete without some sparkle. There are a ton of sparkly and metallic pens on the market these days. The sparkle ink is usually opaque, so you use it to create highlights. Lots of people like the Sakura 37904 6-Piece Gelly Roll Assorted Colors Stardust Meteor Pen Setl pens, but I find them kind of gloppy and unpredictable. My personal favorites are the Uni-ball Signo Sparkling UM120, 7 Color Set (Japan import) [Komainu-Dou Original Package]. If you'd like to have a pastel highlighter that's pretty but doesn't sparkle, I love these the Uni-ball Signo Angelic UM-120AC Gel Ink Pen 0.7mm, 8 colors set (Japan Import) [Komainu-Dou Original Package].
I have included a couple of photos of my own coloring pages. The first is a page from this book, colored with a mix of markers and gel pens. The second is fromSecret Garden Artist's Edition: 20 Drawings to Color and Frame The third is the two pages side by side, so you can compare the size and format to see which you'd prefer.
I hope this has given y'all some ideas for beginning (or continuing!) your journey with color and coloring! Have fun everyone!
Top international reviews
How anyone can be happy with these newer printed books I'll never know. It's shameful and as these were gifts I would be embarrassed to give them to anyone. I'll try once more to order, but with a different supplier (these were from amazon). If the same thing happens, I'll never buy this book again.
Designs are beautifully illustrated and cater to all levels of colouring ability. I'm a complete beginner, and although some of my own colour choices haven't been great, this book has allowed me to experiment and get better.
Probably one of my favourites to colour in and well worth the purchase.
Another thing: it's double sided, so you might need to put a piece of paper under the page you are colouring (if the previous one is already done) in order not to stain/transfer colours.
I also have pages for colouring in now for my grandchildren because the pictures are also appealing to them also.
There are other colouring books with the same genre as this book but they sometimes they are more simplistic in their imagery and design Johanna Basford's art is much more complex and detailed.
The quality of the paper is not an issue because of the fact because I use the original as a reference not for it's original purpose so for the price I paid I have got my money's worth.
"Condition: Used - Very Good - This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See more of our deals."
Arrived this morning with the front page ripped out where it would say This Book Belongs To and first image has some colouring, admittedly it's not much, but to say "pages are clean" is not so. For the money I'm not returning it, and this is not an enormous problem, but when you say pages are clean, you expect them all to be!
I've ended up spending hours and hours on it. It's got so many drawings and pages, and some of them have space to fill in with ink, so it will take a very long time to complete, which is great. The paper quality is really good, the pages are thick, so there's no danger of ink soaking or spilling through the pages. It's got a protective paper cover as well. I've been colouring almost exclusively with pencils and the odd gold or silver pen here and there. The only thing I would say is that it's quite heavy and big, so not very handy to carry around everywhere. Not my habit, but if that's what you're used to doing, keep this in mind.
This isn't Johanna's usual style at all and I can't say I'm enthused about starting it.
Firstly it's not a nice crisp white like her others, it's quite a muddied looking beige.
Secondly, you are "encouraged" via written instructions on the drawings to "draw your own x y z to finish the page" which is really frustrating when you buy these style of books for colour therapy and can't draw...
Overall a bit of a let down and I wish I'd looked into this one a bit more before spending my money...
Though I find it very nice and the general atmosphere of the books is relaxing and magical, I am a bit bothered about the exceeding symmetry in the book. I think that too many pages contain symmetrical images. That is a bit boring to see and I expect to be boring to colour too. I actually wonder if I will ever finish any of them and how many other buyers will finish it :) Just my curiosity :) Other than that, is nice and inspiring !