Updated on November 12, 2016
Coloring Book Review: Ayahuasca Jungle Visions
Thank you to author Alexander George Ward and Divine Media for sending this book to me This is my honest and unbiased review. I received no other compensation. This post does contain affiliate links.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a voyage on the Amazon River? Are you curious about the plants and animals that live in and around the river’s 4,000 miles? Or maybe you’re more interested in the people living in the jungle surrounding it.
If so, Ayahuasca Jungle Visions: A Coloring Book by Alexander George Ward will take you on a virtual journey through the Amazon as you color.
The images in the Ayahuasca Jungle Visions coloring book were inspired by author and artist Alexander George Ward’s time living in the Amazon jungle. While there, Alexander studied the ancient cultures and traditions of the Amazon people. His learned many things, particularly about Ayahuasca: a plant, a sacrament, and a medicine. Alexander told me:
“During my time in the Jungle, I spent a lot of time living with one family in particular…the Father, his Wife, and Brother were Shaman, and were often visited by many people seeking healing through the Ayahuasca medicine… I sat in many of these [healing] ceremonies, also taking part myself. Their children also were present, humming along with their mother’s beautiful native (lullaby sounding) songs .. Part of this book was writing teachings that the Ayahuasca taught me, and which was part of the culture around this Shamanic family. This is why the word Ayahuasca features prominently in the title. “
The words and designs in this book reflect that amazing land and culture.
A short narrative about the subject of the image introduces each illustration. Some of these are facts about the Amazon, but I found many to be meditative and haiku-like. You can color these narrative pages, using the words and thoughts as a creative prompt, or just leave them blank.
The back of the book has an index with thumbnails of each of the illustrations. The last page is a Color Protector Page that you can tear out and place under the design you are coloring so that if you are using markers, they will not bleed through and ruin the next image.
Check out Alexander Ward’s video flip-through here:
All 46 of the single-page designs in this coloring book are hand-drawn. You will not find any elements in more than one drawing. None of the illustrations run into the gutter, but all of them run into at least one edge of the page.
The design subjects include realistic landscapes, still lives, and jungle scenes. You will also find a few patterns, portraits and some fantastic images imagining the Amazonian peoples’ beliefs about their relationship with Nature.
The illustrations also have different amounts of imagery. Some of the designs are centered with some open space; others have loads of detail which will take much longer to complete. There is a real variety with some more suited to markers or pens, and others are better for pencils so you can blend and shade.
This coloring book is 8.8” x 11.2” with 112 pages. The covers are semi-matte card stock, and the front has a small area that you can color. You can color the full cover image on the “Belongs to..” page. The binding is glued, and it takes just a gentle push to crack the binding to get the book to lay flat on a surface for coloring. The pages are perforated so you can remove them for coloring, or after coloring to share or display.
The paper is a mid-weight, creamy white. It is thicker than copy bond, but you can see some shadows of the line work from the next design through the paper. It has just a bit of tooth.
My alcohol-based markers bled through the paper. I had no problem with this as the designs are single-sided, but you do need that Color Protector Page. However, these markers feathered on the surface of the design, seeping outside finer lines and tiny details. I suggest using alcohol-based on markers on the less-detailed images.
Colored pencils, both oil- and wax-based, worked beautifully. I got great results when I layered the same color for deeper pigment, blended multiple colors, and burnished with a colorless pencil.
Darker colors and/or multiple layers of water-based markers sometimes shadowed on the paper’s reverse side. Make sure to use the Color Protector Page if you use this medium.
The printing quality is excellent; all lines are very sharp – even light line work and tiny details.
Level of Difficulty
This coloring book is a unique combination of intricate and simpler designs for anyone to enjoy, and you can select an option to fit your mood. Most illustrations have a mix of fine to medium line weights.
The images in this coloring book will suit colorists with good vision and fine motor skills. There is a lot of variety in intricacy and detail. A few, including the embroidery patterns, are quite elaborate. Most of the other drawings contain elements of varying sizes. You can color a small section on days when your concentration is poor (just a butterfly, for example), or a much larger one when you are focusing well.
Ayahuasca Jungle Visions is a very thoughtful coloring book full of calming imagery. The nature-focus makes the illustrations very relaxing. I found myself feeling a sense of escapism as it “transported” me to the Amazon. I also experienced a sense of peace when thinking about the narrative for each drawing.
Most of the designs will take some time to color, so they’re perfect for keeping you distracted from stressful thoughts. They are also great for calming you down when you are feeling anxious.
Overall, this is a beautiful book. The Amazon and its people are fascinating, and it would be hard for a coloring book – or any book – to duplicate the experience of being there in person. However, Ayahuasca Jungle Visions does a brilliant job of giving you a sense of the wonder and abundant life that the author found on his travels there. I just wish the paper was more substantial. 4★ out of 5★.