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Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book Paperback – March 26, 2013
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"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
"...a coloring book even adults will want to use." - MarthaStewart.com
"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
About the Author
Johanna Basford is an illustrator and ink evangelist who creates intricate and hand-drawn illustrations rooted in the flora and fauna that surrounds her home in rural Scotland.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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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.
I think one observation almost fully sums up the quality of this coloring book - it has a DUST JACKET. No detail has been overlooked with this book. The dust jack is even printed on the inside in case you want to color it. There is meticulous detail and care put into every place of this book... I took tons of pictures to help you see what I mean. I was jazzed to have the opportunity to sample this book, but take my word when I say it's an AWESOME book.
What I didn't realize when I ordered this was there is more than just pretty pictures and TONS (seriously, hours & hours & hours-worth) of coloring places, but there are little hidden things throughout the book. For example, there are hidden owls, birds, hearts, etc... So there's an added element which is great. It isn't childish at all, it's elegantly done.
The paper quality is FANTASTIC. Thick with a very slight (perfect) texture. The pages are not transparent, and the texture makes it easy to use colored pencils on... though, you could use pastels, paint or even markers probably. I cannot express how much I RECOMMEND this book!!!! I knew it was arriving yesterday, and ALL DAY I looked forward to coming home and coloring it. I hadn't colored in YEARS --- I think that's going to change! My husband chuckled at me, and even told me I did a "Good job of staying in the lines." He was being playfully condescending, but I think he was secretly jealous. :)
This is an AWESOME coloring book for adults, and a great stress reliever for anyone (retired, at-home-mommies, hard-workers needing a break, etc.). I seriously hope I get to check out some of the other books by Johanna Basford!
For those wondering, I started with colored pencils by US Art Supply, then 'graduated' to Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers, Brush Tip, Set of 8 Assorted Colors (1736674). These are my favorite markers EVER, but, I'm disappointed in the lack of colors available in this type of marker. I never realized there was a certain quality to be had in markers, but after using these, I'm convinced - it does matter which marker you use. These write so smoothly and brightly, and can do a semi-thick line by laying the marker a little flat, or they can do tiny fine lines holding the marker gently perpendicular to the paper. Best of all, these particular markers did NOT bleed through - which is important because these pages are double printed. But again, the colors are limited in these - I want pinks, and yellows, and light blues...
So, after searching online and at my local Michael's craft store, I bough some of the double tipped markers by the same company http://www.amazon.com/Prismacolor-Premier-Markers-Primary-1773297/dp/B007L4CZAG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449244669&sr=8-1&keywords=prismacolor+markers+brush. Sadly, I do NOT like these ones. First, they don't write/draw/color at all like the 'brush tips.' They're firm and clumsy for fine detail coloring. Additionally, I didn't like the thickness of these in my hand - they're really wide. Most importantly, I was SO DISAPPOINTED to realize these big fat markers by Prismacolor BLEED. On one page, I used all brush tip markers EXCEPT for some spots of light blue. It was a lighter color than all the others, and made by the same company, so surely (I thought) it wouldn't bleed. It did - see photos (owl photo is the page printed on the back of the round marker-colored image). So sad...
So, I just placed an order for Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers, Primary, 10-Pack and also Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers, Bright, 10-Pack. They haven't arrived yet, but I'm hopeful. I'll update after I've given it a few tries. Sorry for so much info, but when I started with this book, I REALLY needed some direction on WHAT to color with. I hope this is in someway helpful to others. Back to the book, it's AWESOME!
I don't understand other reviewers problems with bleeding through the paper, though. The paper is pretty thick and I use the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3mm markers and they work perfectly. No bleeding through the paper whatsoever. I bought them on Amazon.
I would never recommend using a Sharpie-type marker.
I recommend picking one of the pages you like the least to begin with so you can practice if you've never done this kind of coloring before. That's hard to do with this book because every page is so amazing.
The only thing I would change is to make each page a single page instead of double because it's hard to color into the binding portion of the double pages. Still gave it 5 stars!!
BUT - on the first page, the authors suggest we "use felt tip pens". However, the pages are absorbent and the ink seeps through to the other side. I ruined several pages of my precious copy by doodling and colouring in a few items here and there on the most enticing designs before realising what was happening on the back! This is the only reason I did not give the book five stars. Other than this It is completely entrancing!
I am going to get colouring pencils!