Category Archives: Coloring Book

Mystery Mosaics – Brainteaser and Coloring Zen!

 I saw a lot of awesome stuff at Toy Fair last winter, and the MindWare booth was right up there as one of my favorites. You see, MindWare specializes in “brainy toys for all ages”.

 They have a ton of great activity and coloring books in their collection, and today I’m reviewing Color by Number Mystery Mosaics : Book 13. This book has 18 separate images, including 4 double-sized ones.

 Bonus, unlike most color by number books, MindWare has created their own matched set of color pencils!! I won’t lie, this really is what excited me about the brand. I like color by number things, but hate digging out coloring supplies to match, much less trying to remember which number is what color! This 36 color pencil set not only comes in a sturdy tin travel box, but each pencil is labeled with both its color and the corresponding number! And! All the MindWare CBN books are standardized!

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Intimidating isn’t it!

At first glance the pages looked super hard and I wasn’t sure I was up for this challenge!

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 But I decided to start small and focused on a single number and took it one row at a time.

Slowly but surely, my pattern grew!

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I really love these pencils! The colors are nice and bright( with the exception of #31 White Peach, which is too pale for my eyes); and they lay down smoothly. Having the prematched numbers took away all the stress, so I was able to fully enjoy coloring.

The above photo showing the camper is one of the 4 extra long coloring pages in the book. These 10 by 15 inch folded double spreads allows you to explore a larger image with great detail.

If you want to color with something other than the MindWare pencils, I colored this sunflower with basic Sharpies and it turned out great!

Disability Notes: I will admit that Mystery Mosaics is an advanced book, and may not be for everyone. You may not like it if you have eyesight issues or problems with fine motor skills. If you are a colorist who has anxiety about choosing colors, this set may be something to try! However, MindWare does have a set of color by number books called Color Counts that feature larger coloring areas. I’ll be reviewing one of those during my Shark Week special.

Where to buy: Mystery Mosaics: Book 13 and the 36 Colored Pencils Tin are available on the Mindware website. The book is $7.95 USD and the pencils are $19.99 USD. MindWare has tons of other Mystery Mosaic books are well as other coloring and activity books, so you’re sure to find something for nearly every taste!

MindWare : Website / FaceBook 

Disclosure: I received this coloring book for free in exchange for a review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©2019 MindWare Corporation. The coloring is mine. All links are direct; I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

 

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Animal Mosaic – A Pop Art Color by Number

Last weekend was great! I hung with new and old friends, ate great food and managed to find some much needed zen in the early mornings. Part of that zen was using those early hours before everyone else was up to listen to the birds as I colored.

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I was approached by the Belba Family on Instagram after they saw my other review posts. Would I be interested in reviewing some of their books? I love small press coloring books, so of course, I jumped at the chance! I recieved both Animal Mosaic and Travel Mosaic (which I’ll be reviewing later) quickly through Amazon Shipping.

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Animal Mosaic is a fun color by number coloring book that uses 18 classical colors and 4 additional shades, focusing on pop art styles. The pictures are divided into geometric shapes, large enough to color easily.

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There are 24 individual images, each with their own names! I found this made a delightful detail, giving each picture a little personality.

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Colored with Prismacolor Pencils.

I really enjoyed this book. The pages are single-sided, and blacked on the opposite side to prevent bleed-through. The smooth pages take color well,  and the pop art styling makes me smile! Due to being small press, this book does not have perforated pages. That is only a minor inconvenience for me, as I prefer to detach my pages and color on a clipboard.

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Colored with Prismacolor Pencils.

When I tested the pages with markers, I found that there was minimal bleed-through even when using Sharpies.

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Colored with a mix of Sharpies and Brush Markers.

 

Disability Notes: I found the coloring areas large enough to accommodate nearly any coloring age group, through a few pages have a higher level of difficulty than others. If you have eye issues, you may have difficulty seeing the numbers as they are printed in a charcoal ink that is designed to blend into the colored page.

Where to buy: Animal Mosaic is available at Amazon. The book’s MSRP is $7.99 USD.

Belba Family: Website / FaceBook / Instagram

Disclosure: I received this coloring book for free in exchange for a review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©2019 Belba Family. The coloring is mine. All links are direct; I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Nene Thomas’s Fairy Colouring Book

No, I didn’t misspell coloring. This rare coloring book was published in the UK, so the spelling is British style.  I found this at Nene’s booth at DragonCon last year. It was newly published, and so very pretty! I’ve been a fan on Nene Thomas’s art for years, of course I had to pick it up!

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©2018 NeneThomas

Nene Thomas’s Fairy Colouring Book is 50 beautiful line art images on smooth mid-weight paper. There are the obvious fairies, but Nene also draws amazing horses and butterflies. The images range from being G-rated to artful nudes. While tasteful, this is very much a coloring book for adults, not for anyone under 16.

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There are images for just about every possible coloring medium and skill level. I had to break out the crayons for this lovely knight and her steed.

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©2018 NeneThomas  

I had fun with watercolor brush pens with the butterfly-horse. There is something about the whimsy in these images that makes it okay to break from conventional coloring.

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©2018 NeneThomas  

Disability Notes: Other than noting that some designs have more complicated line work than others, I have no complaints. Those pages are being set aside for a day when my hands don’t shake.

Where to buy: The Fairy Colouring Book is available on at the Fairy Glen website. The book’s MSRP is $15.99 USD.

Nene Thomas : Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I bought this coloring book to use for this review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©2018Nene Thomas and Nemesis Now Ltd. The coloring is mine. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

It’s MerMay! Let’s have Mermaids in Wonderland!

If you are not familiar with MerMay, let me direct you here, and then note that while I am not an artist, I am a colorist. And I love mermaids, the odder the better! Finding a non-Disney type mermaid coloring book was a treat!

Mom found this glorious coloring book back in April, and I fell in love with it so badly that I hunted through every local Barnes & Noble store until I found my own copy. It is not often I feel the need to own a coloring book that badly!

Mermaids in Wonderland is a 10 by 10 inch book, with 96 pages of beautiful images of mermaids and other sea life. The paper is a really nice smooth midweight, that takes color with ease without too much bleed through. The pages are double-sided, so bleed-through was something of a worry until I experimented a little.

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Colored with Tombow Dual Brush Markers

The first half of the book has white pages, while the second half is done with black pages. These make for some stunning pictures!

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Such a pretty turtle!!

Mermaids in Wonderland isn’t just another coloring book, it is a puzzle-solving adventure! Throughout the pages, cleverly  woven in are clues to riddles that need to be solved. These riddles work in concert, creating a story that you can be a part of. The only other coloring book I can compare this to is Johanna Basford’s Ivy and The Inky Butterfly.

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I think the best parts of this book are the mermaids doing nonstandard mermaid things. There are mermaid (and mermen!) adventurers, acrobats, and warriors. There are salons, restaurants, and amusement parks! There are mermaids from almost every possible culture, from a Chinese Dragon Dance to Native American hunters to European nobility. Unlike most mermaids drawn, there are almost no clamshell bras! It seems to be a function of fashion rather than a statement of sexuality, which is refreshing! The Mermaids of Wonderland have amazingly details on both their clothing and their scales.

Marcos Chin is a new artist to me, Mermaids is one of his three coloring books so far. He has also drawn Fairies in Wonderland and Elves in Wonderland. If they are as good as Mermaids, I’ll be adding them to my collection at some point soon!

Disability Notes: Other than noting that some designs have more complicated linework than others, I have no complaints. Those pages are being set aside for a day when my hands don’t shake.

Where to buy: Mermaids in Wonderland is available on at the HarperCollins Publishers website, as well as Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The book’s MSRP is $15.99 but some locations are selling it for less.

Marcos Chin : Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I bought this coloring book to use for this review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©Marcos Chin and Harper Design 2017. The coloring is mine. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Rainy Days, Whimsical Worlds, and Spring, So Much Spring!

It’s raining today. Not surprising, being the tail end of April in Virginia. But the rain is not unwelcome, it is warm, and will intermittently stop to let the sun shine through. I’ve always been a pluviophile.  Rainy days are peaceful, so long as my body doesn’t protest; and I spend them happily curled up reading a book or coloring.

Today’s treat is on loan from Mom. I inherited my coloring habit from her, and I tend to suggest coloring books and artists to her that I think she’d like. I’ve been following Molly Harrison on Facebook for a year or so now. When she released Whimsical World #4 – Fairies, Mermaids, Animals, Flowers and Cuteness Galore!: Fantasy themed Adult Coloring Book for the Young at Heart! (That’s a mouthful! I’m calling it WhimWorld4 from now on.) I poked it at Mom. She bought the book and brought it down when she visited this last week for Easter.

Molly Harrison has a rather distinctive style. It’s a little Precious Moments©, and a little Selena Fenech, and a bit of adorable magic all her own. Honestly, I loved all 26 images in WhimWorld4, and choosing a handful to color was hard.

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Such a sweet fairy!

The only complaint I have with this coloring book is that the pages, which are single-sided, are not perforated. I can understand why, perforated pages add to printing costs. I just dislike the page wrinkling that happens when I use my craft knife to cut pages out. Other than that, the pages are lightweight, good quality paper. I colored with watercolor markers and fineline markers with no bleed through. Alcohol markers require a cardstock backing page.

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Colored with Staedtler finelinerpens and UBrands gel pens.

The reason I recommended WhimWorld4 for Mom was that Molly makes sure there is a nice mix of simple and complex images. All are cute, but their differing complexities lends to differing coloring styles. Mom likes colored pencils and gel pens, I prefer markers. Every once in a while, I like to break out the crayons.

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Colored with Hoolanda watercolor pens, Windsor&Newton Promarkers and Gelly Roll gel pens.

Molly has a great Facebook page where her fans can post their coloring and she does freebie pages for download. Molly Harrison does watercolors that are amazing, but that I’m not at a skill level to attempt. I have to remind myself that I color for stress relief and that my level of coloring cannot be compared to others. As SC tells me, “Everyone who colors is a colorist.”

Disability Notes: Other than needing a craft knife if you want to remove pages, I can’t think of any negatives. The images in Whimsical World 4 are all G-rated, and at the simplest, can be colored with crayons. I can recommend this book for people with both eye and coordination issues that are mild to moderate, depending on your ability. I had horrible eye strain while working my tree-fairy and was still able to keep to my lines.

Where to buy: Whimsical World #4  is available on Amazon, and currently on sale for $8.99 USD. Molly Harrison has coloring books in a multitude of styles, all are affordable, and there is bound to be something for everyone’s interest!

Molly Harrison Art : Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: My Mom bought this coloring book and allowed me several pages to use for this review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©Molly Harrison 2019. The coloring is mine. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

One Color Arts – A Different Way to Color!

Hey gang, I’m home finally! I had fun at ZenkaiCon, and while I had to stay a few more days than I originally planned in Massachusetts; I was far from bored! Smart me had packed this coloring book and a couple of markers. My boss was beyond amused to see me pull a coloring book out of my bag, a fineline Sharpie, and color while exhausted.

 

Sunlife Drawing has done it again! They took a really interesting idea, how to color if I only had one or two colors and made a coloring book! Animals – One Color Arts is made of dots and lines that by only using one color, creates the image. The images are single sided, with the back of the page being black. This keeps the pens/markers/colored pencils from bleeding through. The paper quality is smooth and light, great for pencils, pens or markers.

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I see a kitty, do you?

It looks intimidating, doesn’t it? It’s not, really. When you look closely, the lines and dots become clear, and you can guess what animal you are creating.

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Frog!

I got curious, I wanted to know what the image would look like if I did the coloring in reverse. That is, What if I only colored the background?

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Boom! It’s a Bull!

Honestly, the images are excellent either way they are colored. While it is a bit harder to color the background, it is just as rewarding as coloring the foreground.

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Zebra!

I will note that I colored all these images with either Sharpies or watercolor markers. While the back of the page is blacked to prevent bleeding, I did also use a sheet of plain computer paper to assist. The only negative I have for this book is that the pages are not perforated, and I needed a craft knife to remove them from the book. However, I am aware that removing pages is my personal preference, and that not everyone does so.

Disability Notes: This book is great for someone who may be suffering from brain-fog, or have problems making decisions. Because of the dots and lines that make up the images, I warn that people with vertigo issues may not enjoy this coloring book. I fully plan to place this book in my travel bag, as with it, I won’t need to haul my full marker set with me!

Where to buy: Animals One Color Arts is available on Amazon, and currently on sale for $7.56 USD. Sunlife Drawing has coloring books in a multitude of styles, all are affordable, and there is bound to be something for everyone’s interest!

Sunlife Drawing : Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I received this coloring book for free in exchange for a review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©Sunlife Drawing. The coloring is mine. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Sticker Mosaics, or Color by Number For Bad Days

A friend of mine, Genie, shared her de-stress day routine one day last fall. She’d recommended a color by number sticker book. I was intrigued and started to search for something like that. I found Hinkler’s Kaleidoscope Sticker Mosaics : Flora & Fauna.

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Sticker by Number is just like color by number….sort of. The designs are blocked into sections and numbered, and there is a mix of difficulty levels.

The stickers are labeled in their section at the back of the book. And the goal is to use the stickers to fill the blank spots.

There is a bit of a learning curve, while you can apply the stickers with your fingers, it’s not really ideal.  Genie let me know that a good set of offset tweezers are my friend. IMG_4814

I found myself really enjoying working on this book. My only main complaint is that the adhesive on the stickers isn’t really strong, so I was having to deal with stickers that peel up.

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My pictures came out so pretty!

Disability Notes: This is really a great coloring book if you have a wish to color on a low spoon/low energy day. The mix of simple/intermediate/ complex designs means that people with visual and mild motor control issues should be able to enjoy it. I found it to be great for a brain fog day when making decisions is difficult. It could also be handy to have in a hospital or go-bag.

Where to buy: Kaleidoscope Sticker Mosaics Flora & Fauna is currently out of stock at my local Barnes & Noble. It can still be found at Barnes & Noble,  and online at Amazon, though the prices vary wildly.

Hinkler: Website / Facebook 

Disclosure: I purchased this coloring book for for a review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©Hinkler Books Pty Ltd 2018.  The coloring (sticker assembly) is mine.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!