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Garden of Joy

Garden of Joy 2, new coloring book by Sabine Design (Review with video!)

The last time I’ve posted a coloring book review has been a year and a half ago! Wow, where did that time go…??? And it’s not that I didn’t buy any coloring books in the meantime, because I sure did (although not as many as before, I’m being more selective in which coloring books to buy or not). I just didn’t feel like it anymore. But now this new coloring book ‘Garden of Joy 2’ was released just a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t help myself. The moment I had it in my hands, I knew… I need to write a review about this book.

Because Garden of Joy 2 is way too cute to put it on the shelf and not tell about it! So here goes, my review of this great new addition to my coloring book collection πŸ™‚

POD aka Printing On Demand

The illustrator is Sabine van Ee from Sabine Design. Sabine has chosen to release this on her own through Amazon’s POD (printing on demand) service. Convenient for her is that she doesn’t need to buy a whole bunch of books from a publisher, with the risk of not getting rid of ’em. And there’s no editor telling what should or shouldn’t be done. For me as a buyer it guarantees that I can always get a copy. I buy a copy, and only then it gets printed.

Downside of this system is the paper quality. I’ve previously reviewed several other Amazon and Createspace (same paper) coloring books, and the paper is quite thin and tends to get bumpy and kind of ‘debossed’ when coloring with colored pencils. But in this case, I actually didn’t mind at all. ‘Cause the drawings are soooo cute! Did I mention the cuteness of this book already? πŸ˜›

Flip-through Garden of Joy 2

For all of you who want to see for themselves, I’ve made a flip-through video. It was shot by incandescent light, but the drawings are showing just fine. Enjoy the video first, then I’ll tell you more about this cute and adorable coloring book. (Did I just say cute again?)

Coloring projects

For my first coloring project from Garden of Joy 2 I started with the very first page. But before I’ll tell you about that and show you EXACTLY what I did, I’ll start with the second project I did haha. I chose a page with flowers, garlands and a butterfly. As my coloring medium I used my new Zig Clean Color pens. Ooooh are they lovely! I’ve always been a fan of the Tombow Dual Brush pens, but the Zigs are a real must have. And although they’re both brush pens, they’re also both totally different pens.

‘Blooming at night’

I took a couple of color sets: yellow, minty bluish green, blue, pinky orange and purple. I started with the garlands and along the way the idea came up for a black background. There was enough time to think about it while coloring. When I was done coloring, I added highlights with my white water based Sharpie. After that I immediately took a black Prismacolor Premier pencil and started to fill a corner with black. The pencil was just meant as an extra layer to prevent seeing stripes and brush strokes from the Tombow Dual Brush pen. I intended to use the Tombow pen for the top layer. And this is what it looked like as I started out with the background, number 1 of 4 W.I.P.-pics (Work In Progress pictures πŸ˜‰ ):

Slowly but surely… (riddle(s) in the text below!)

The first corner was satisfactory (thank goodness!) so I continued with the rest of the background. I was glad that it worked out right, because I had totally forgotten to make a scan or take a picture from the result without the black! I went filling small parts at a time. And because the black lines became invisible, I had to draw them again. For that I’ve used the white Sharpie marker again, which you can see below in W.I.P.-pic 2.

Slowly, and surely… (“they drew their plans against us”… hahahaha, anyone who recognizes this quote??? Let me know in the comments where it’s from and who spoke these words! No prize to win, just the honor of having the correct answer πŸ˜€ . Oh, and no cheating by using Google or any other search engine!)…

Anyway, slowly but surely the white was filled with a thin layer of black Prismacolor Premier pencil and on top of that I used black Tombow Dual Brush pen. Oh, and in the teeny weeny corners and spots, and directly against the lines of Sabine’s drawing, I’ve colored with a black Stabilo 68 felt tip pen and a black Stabilo 88 fineliner. In W.I.P.-pic 3 you’ll see what I mean, how I used the Stabilo pens:

Getting to the end result…

That way it was easier for me to fill it all up with the fairly large brush of the Tombow pen. Well, after drawing all the lines with the Stabilo pens, the filling was easy. And before I knew it, the complete background was pitch-black. W.I.P.-pic 4 shows the result:

There was then just one thing left to do: drawing the lines of the garlands with the white Sharpie. Because I couldn’t see them anymore, I used W.I.P.-pic 1 as a reference, which was very handy. The final result pleases me very much, my blooming garden at night.

First I’ll show you the scan (pic on the left), and then the photograph that I took in the sunlight (the right one). Notice the difference in colors! The photograph resembles the original, real life version in the book, most. (Click on the pics to view them larger)

Time for the real first project!

Remember that I said that I started with the very first page of this coloring book? So now I’ll tell you what I did. Or to be more precise, I’ll SHOW you what I did. In the most literal sense! I called this colorized drawing my ‘Little Garden Mouse’. When I started I chose Staedtler Ergosoft colored pencils, but I found they were too hard and not suited for the paper. So after coloring a couple of leaves, I decided to switch to another brand. I chose the Prismacolor Premier pencils. They’re soft and creamy and just perfect for this paper.

For the finishing touch, the background, I used a stencil from Studio Light (MASKMM18) and three colors PanPastel. And of course for the highlights the white Sharpie again.

Something stupid (another riddle πŸ˜€ )

Oooooh… I’ve forgotten something! Have you noticed it too? In ‘Blooming at night’… While writing this blog/review, I suddenly saw it! So I’ll have to add it yet. Another riddle hahaha (I feel so dumb right now, why didn’t I see this earlier?) I’ll post the answer on my Facebook page soon, after I’ve fixed it and made another photograph in the sun (it’s late night at the moment of writing)! But go ahead and guess, or just tell me if you know, in the comments below πŸ˜€ .

Back to ‘business’

Alrighty then, where was I? Ah, I was about to show you what I’ve done to color this cutie, my Little Garden Mouse. Well, here goes then. Have fun watching and remember to share this review to Facebook and/or Twitter (buttons below ↓ ). And if you would like to have this coloring book yourself, just hop over to Amazon (after you’ve watched what I’m about to show you! πŸ˜‰ ) and order it! It’s available on ALL Amazons!

[ Click and follow Tabby May Art on => Vimeo and Youtube ]


First off, I’d like to thank you for getting all the way to the end of this review (well, nearly, I’m not totally done yet hahaha).

Do I need to say more about Garden of Joy 2?

  • It’s a wonderful, cute (“there’s that word again”*) coloring book
  • with all single sided pages
  • 24 pages to be precise
  • for a fair price
  • printed on demand, so you place your order on Amazon and it gets printed and you’ve got it in your hands real soon!

To wrap things up I’ll show you my Little Garden Mouse below. Ain’t it a cutie?


* Remember this quote? Spoken by…? In the movie…? (I’ll give you one clue: the movie is from 1985…) How many of my three (sort of) riddles did you guess right? Give your answers in the comments below!

I’m in no way affiliated with Amazon nor Sabine Design and I’ve bought this coloring book by myself.

One comment

  1. I can highly recommend this book and the first one, Garden of Joy. The illustrations are simply gorgeous and a delight to colour. I bought my copies from Sabine Design Etsy store so was able to print on quality paper. I can only say do yourself a favour and purchase these books – you won’t regret it. The little animals and gnomes are just so cute, and there is a great variety of flowers to turn into magnificent blooms. Ten out of ten in my opinion and definitely on the list of my top 10 favourite colouring books.

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