Among all of the “meh” coloring books and products out there, I try to make sure that I introduce you to some of the higher quality options. I have found a couple that would be perfect for gift-giving this holiday season: Tangled Travels by Jane Monk and Color for Calm All Year Long 2018 by Carrie Stephens, both from The Quarto Group, Inc.
Quarto kindly sent me these products to try. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while using the kit. This post does contain affiliate links.
This 128-page, 8.8″ x 10″ book is for coloring. But even more, you can “interact” with some of the illustrations by adding your own creative touches. But don’t be afraid if you – like me – don’t consider yourself the creative type: Jane Monk included 13 pages of easy-to-follow instructions that will help you along, making your coloring sessions an opportunity to learn and de-stress at the same time.
Tangled Travels’ binding is sewn and glued and the illustrations are printed single-sided on very heavy smooth, bright white paper. Pages are perforated and easy to remove, but should use a protective sheet of paper if you color in the book.
The outside covers are full-color and are a good example of what to expect inside.The front cover folds out to show examples of the designs with added flourishes; the back cover folds out and has thumbnails of the “color only” illustrations with their locations. The last pages are designed to let you practice your techniques or test your colors before you dive in.
The illustrations are varied in density, with some jam-packed with elements that are just for coloring. Others (about half of them) are more open and essentially outlines of shapes (maps, landscapes, scenes) with instructions on how to fill them. Jane has included tips on how to build up patterns, create texture, and how to incorporate fractals in the drawings, which you can do as you color if you wish. Designs are hand-drawn and line-work is thin, but very clear.
The subjects are, of course, travel-related, ranging from country-specific food, landmarks, art, maps, and plant and animal life. You will find objects in the illustrations such as the Great Barrier Reef, a Canadian goose, tea cups, the Olympic rings….there is so much variety! No matter what your mood you will find something in this book perfectly suited for you.
All of my coloring media worked well. However, I found it difficult to get a non-streaky look with my water-based markers, including my Staedtler Duos and Triplus Fineliners. Colored pencils – artist-grade as well as student-grade, gave nice coverage and layered and blended nicely.
Who will love Tangled Travels? Colorists who are into, or want to dabble in, tangling or other drawing techniques, anyone who wants to be a bit more creative, and folks who travel or want to learn more about the world.
Tangled Travels is available at Amazon.com, Amazon Canada and Amazon UK.
Color for Calm All Year Long 2018
The calendar has over 300 coloring pages – one per day for weekdays and one for each weekend. Each page is 5″ x 6″. The stand is very sturdy plastic and the paper is light bond, FSC-certified. Water-based markers will shadow a bit on the reverse side, and alcohol-based markers do bleed. You will want to remove each page before you color, just to make coloring easier and to avoid marks on the subsequent day’s page.
Designs include mandalas, still-lifes, abstracts, food, wildlife, insects, fantasy….and on and on. Many are season-specific: for example there are several heart-themed illustrations for February, and October includes a bat, a pumpkin and a spider. The pages have a thin, colored geometric border. Backgrounds are white, except for weekends which are pastel.
Line-work is generally light, and most of the illustrations are relatively easy. However, given the small size this may not be a great gift for anyone with vision challenges or a less-than-steady hand.
Color for Calm All Year Long 2018 is available at Amazon.com, Amazon Canada and Amazon UK.
You can find out more about the Quarto creative products at their website, Quarto Creates, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +. YouTube, SnapChat and Periscope. You can check out their informative and inspiring blog, which has tons of tips, project ideas, techniques and tutorials, here.
Quarto has generously offered to to send a copy of Tangled Travels to one of my readers, and a copy of Color for Calm All Year Long 2018 to another. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada (except Quebec) and entries close on December 22 at 11:59pm. When the winners are drawn, the first will receive Tangled Travels and the second will get Color for Calm All Year Long 2018.
Simply complete the entries in the Rafflecopter form below, and be sure to come back every day for additional chances to increase your odds of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway