Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Colouring Book Review: Lost Ocean

I've been a colouring book fan for years. Obviously I loved them as a kid but I also had a couple I worked on while I was in university. There was something about colouring a picture with crayons that helped with the stress of essays and exams. What bugged me was I didn't have much choice when it came to colouring books. I had a couple of Disney princess books and a My Little Pony one. Fun, absolutely, but a little strange for a 20 year old to be colouring. I hadn't realized exactly what it was I was missing until Johanna Basford's Secret Garden was released in 2013. I didn't buy that one (I wasn't working much then and pretty books lost out to necessities like, you know, groceries) but I did eventually cave and I bought myself a copy of Enchanted Forest early in 2015 when it was published (just before it sold out everywhere!). I absolutely loved it! It was just what I was looking for in a colouring book so when I had the chance to review Lost Ocean, published in October 2015, I jumped at it!

I did have a couple of issues with Lost Ocean. The main thing was I didn't find the paper quality to be as good as my copy of Enchanted Forest. The pages were a bright white instead of an off white and they just didn't seem as thick. I also found a lot of repetition in some of the illustrations. Maybe it's just me and my perception but sometimes it just seemed like the same kinds of drawings were on every third page. I thought I'd lovelovelove every design because the colourful scenery is one of my favourite things in The Little Mermaid but I think fish aren't what I love to colour! (The things you can learn about yourself, eh?)

Even though I didn't think the paper was as good as it could have been, I was still happy to find I could use my thin tipped markers in this book (I use Crayola ones). I like using markers for a couple of reasons. It gives me more options for colours but it also adds more saturation to the drawing I'm colouring. I find that Basford's intricate drawings seem to demand a few punches of intense colour. I only use those markers and pencil crayons in her books. Does anyone have any other suggestions for colouring materials? I'm always looking to up my colouring game!

My little issues are just that - little. Basford has created another beautiful colouring book that I had so much fun colouring over the holiday season. (It helped calm the rage created by working retail at Christmas, holiday craziness in general, and bingewatching Making a Murderer!) I don't know how Basford creates such intricate designs. I know a lot of people don't like the tiny parts to her illustrations but I adore it. I am in awe of her work and colouring her beautiful design is a wonderful experience for me.

Up next for Johanna Basford is Magical Jungle which is due to be published this summer. If you check out her Instagram account you can see some sneak peeks. I'm definitely intrigued! Have you jumped on the adult colouring book bandwagon? Do you have any tips or tricks for me?

*A copy of this book was provided by the published, Penguin Random House Canada, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

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