2020 Holiday Gift Guide Review & Giveaway
In this instalment of the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide, I am introducing you to artist Jess Volinksi’s coloring books, including Notebook Doodles Christmas: Coloring & Activity Book. And we are giving away one copy!
Disclosures: The coloring books in this post were kindly sent to me by Jess Volinksi ; I did not receive any other compensation. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
All images in this post are copyright Jess Volinski.
Jess Volinski is the best-selling author/illustrator of quite a few coloring books, including Notebook Doodles: Christmas. Although some (like the Notebook Doodles series) are designed to encourage creativity and build self-confidence in tweens and young adults, these are also great coloring books for adults. Here are just a few:
Notebook Doodles: Christmas has a glossy heavy card stock cover with a glued binding. And there is so much more than just fun designs to color.
After the title page, Jess provides seven pages of coloring tips, from the different elements of art to suggestions for selecting colors. Even when you are finished coloring in this book, you’ll want to pull these out for future reference (although they are not perforated, so remove carefully).
The next eight pages are full-color examples of some of the designs, complete with color palettes to inspire you.
The reverse of each coloring page includes a holiday-themed quote surrounded by a bit of design, in light grey line-work. If you don’t use markers on the main design on the front of the page you can color this as well. Regardless, these are so nice to read and think about during these “difficult times!”
The inside back cover gives you more inspiration with nine more designs, thumbnail size, that are fully-colored.
Notebook Doodles: Christmas is filled with 32 festive designs of charming Christmas scenes that include elements such as reindeer, penguins, presents, snowflakes, stockings, trees, animals, flowers, hearts and much more.
Designs do fill the pages, but there is enough margin for handling – nothing running over the perforations or into the binding. Linework is bold, and mostly medium width, which makes it easy to color in between the lines, even with alcohol-based markers that tend to feather. A few illustrations have some heavier outline work to emphasize subjects.
Besides the coloring pages, Jess included some designs left “open” to spark your own creativity; these would be suitable for anyone with vision challenges. Still others have coloring plus activities, such as sharing your thoughts about gifts.
The paper in this coloring book is bright white, heavy, and smooth. My soft-core Prismacolor Premier pencils layered and blended beautifully. I also loved the finish with my Staedtler ErgoSoft Model 157 pencils. I recommend finishing your pencil coloring with a burnisher/blender for a more solid color and sheen. The paper is heavy enough to accommodate aggressive pressure shading with pencils.
The one-side-only designs mean you don’t have to decide which pages to color and which to sacrifice. The pages are perforated so you can remove them before coloring, or when you are finished to display or give as a gift, or even for paper-crafting.
The card-stock covers are just heavy enough to color on your lap. However, I did find it easier to color in the book with some support, such as a on a desk, table or lap desk.
The designs in Notebook Doodles: Christmas – and all of the coloring books by Jess Volinski – are definitely on the easier side, particularly with the easy-to-see bold line-work and lack of itty-bitty detail. My seven year-old grandson and I had a wonderful time together coloring pages!
You will be able to finish most of the pages in Notebook Doodles: Christmas in one sitting. If you are anxious, this can make for a calming and satisfying experience. And between the happy designs and positive quotes, this coloring book could even lift you out of a “funk” for at least a little while.
I am so glad to give Notebook Doodles: Christmas a well-earned 5★ out of 5★. Whether you are a newbie colorist, or experienced, you will certainly find joy in coloring in this book!
We are giving away one (1) copy of Jess’ Notebook Doodles Christmas: Coloring & Activity Book to a lucky reader. This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada unless otherwise restricted. Giveaway begins at 12:00am on November 8, 2020 and closes at 12:00am on November 16, 2020.
And don’t forget to check out all of our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for more reviews, giveaways and gift ideas!