Illustrator Sandy Wijsbeek isn’t exactly a stranger anymore for a lot of coloring enthusiasts. You come across her regularly in several coloring groups on Facebook. And now she’s published her own coloring book with publisher Boekscout.nl.
Because I like it when someone I know, even though only through the internet, releases a book, I decided to buy this book soon after it was published. That was around the 1st of April. And buying it was a good decision! I’ve picked five designs that give a good impression of the variation in the book. I’ve colored these designs with a diversity of materials.
What kind of coloring book is Let me color that fantasy?
I’ll tell you about a couple of things about the book. It’s a coloring book in A4 size and it consists of thirty designs. The designs have one thing in common: every drawing has a woman in it. Another thing that struck me is that Sandy loves bubbles and polka dots 🙂 . Hairstyles are often filled with dots.
Fortunately there are enough drawings with no dots, so when you don’t feel like coloring dots you can pick something else. The designs differ in difficulty. There are easy as well as more difficult drawings, so there’s something there for everybody.
Personally I find the designs straightforward, without being simplistic. As Sandy says herself, her designs are for people of ‘age 10 til 110’.
What I also particularly like of this book, is that it’s single-sided printed. And the paper is really firm. It’s a bit on the smooth side, but when I got to work on it, it didn’t bother me.
Below a couple of examples from the book
Let me start with the first design I’ve colored. I’ve chosen to start with the Bruynzeel ‘Beetle’ tin which worked nice. The colors did very well on the paper and blending colors was easy to do. What I also discovered was that blending with a blender pencils is not a good idea. The printing ink smudges, and that give a grey haze to your coloring work. So when I found this out, I decided to do the blending with the colored pencils themselves. And that worked out fine.
For the finishing touch I drew a nose and mouth myself with a micro fineliner. And I’ve added a couple of highlights with a white gel pen, like the reflections on the sunglasses.
Continuing with number two
For the second design I’ve chosen a very simple drawing and I’ve used the Stabilo 68 fibre tip pens on this one. They went very smooth over the paper, a real joy. And even better was that I could blend and mix the colors without any hassle.
For the hair I used three colors: yellow, yellow orange and beige, and I used the lightest one as blender. This to prevent visible stripes. Blending this way worked great. Only when I wanted to apply a fourth layer while the rest was still wet, the paper began to crumble a bit. By the way, I’ve also given her a tiny ear piercing with a silver colored gel pen.
For the third design I thought that a bit more challenge would be welcome. I decided to color this one with the Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and I picked only four colors. When I was nearly finished a fifth color was added, dark grey, to thicken the lines areound the eyes and the cord of the necklace. Just like with the previous two designs, I’ve used a white gel pen for some extra light effects.
The Polychromos glided across the paper, very smoothly. The blending of colors was ook totally to my liking. For the larger areas in the face and neck I’ve used a dry stumper and just wiped it a bit, to fade the slightly visible strips a bit. And that worked fine.
I really liked coloring this drawing. It’s got a lot of variation in the patterns and I was totally ‘immersed’, which gave my fantasy total freedom to flow. All of a sudden I saw the circles in two hairstrands for the suction cups of an octopus. So that’s how I colored it. Of course only after I’d searched the internet what that should look like. A couple of strings on the necklace reminded me of earthworms, so that’s how I colored them. Slowly but surely this lady started to get a more and more ‘alien’ look. On the left of her head is another earthworm.
Attached to the necklace were a couple of rings, that I filled with my own doodles. Long story short, I totally fell in love with this special lady, she was a pleasure to colorize!
To know what the effect of water is on this paper, I decided to colorize a fourth design with water-soluble pencils. I had the choice between Caran d’Ache Fancolor pencils and the Derwent Inktense pencils. Since I’m a fan of the latter, the choice was easy. I’ve used the Inktense pencils. For applying water I’ve bought some water brushes.
I’ve started out with the water brushes of Derwent, but I didn’t like them. Now I use the ones by Caran d’Ache and I’m a lot more content with these. I mainly use the finest brush. And using the finest brush was the best I could do in this drawing. It’s got a lot of details and tiny flowers and fine lines.
Soon after I started coloring I noticed that the paper barely showed any signs that I used water. It didn’t curl, it didn’t warp. It wasn’t 100% straight anymore either, but the minimal change the paper underwent is hardly worth mentioning. These pencils perform excellent on this paper. I could apply them thick with more pressure, as well as subtle with light pressure.
When I was ready I’ve decided to colorize the background too, but with soft pastel by Faber Castell (Creative Studio). A great way to check how the paper would react to pastel and whether it’s suitable. Which it is! Afterwards I’ve fixated my work with hairspray and that doesn’t show either. [By the way, that was last May when I wrote this review in Dutch! Nowadays I wouldn’t dare anymore to use hairspray as a fixative! I’ve bought a real fixative, especially for soft pastel.]
After four designs I thought I would be done with coloring for this review. But then it hit me that the question whether this book is suitable for markers or not would rise, guaranteed. It’s the number one question with every new coloring book: do markers bleed through the paper? Because it’s single-sided printed it actually is a non issue, but for the record I decided to colorize one last design with my newly brought from England Sharpie markers.
You won’t be surprised if I tell you that Sharpies indeed bleed through the paper. After all, ALL markers bleed through. But that’s not a problem at all. What I also noticed is that the paper keeps the ink right in place. There was no bleeding outside the lines and when I took the marker off the paper, whatever I had colored stayed inside the lines. Another great advantage of this book. As far as I can see, this book is truly suitable for every possible material to work with.
View all information at a glance:
- Let me color that fantasy has firm paper
- Let me color that fantasy is printed single-sided (you can take out the pages to frame them, without having to sacrifice a design on the back of the page)
- The paper of Let me color that fantasy is suitable for all possible materials: colored pencil, felt tip pen, fineliner, alcohol marker, soft pastel, watercolor pencils, gel pen
- Let me color that fantasy is a coloring book in A4 size, which comes in handy when you want to scan your coloring work
- This coloring book has a nice variety of designs, also in degree of difficulty
- There is enough space in Let me color that fantasy to put your own ideas (or even add things) to the drawings
- Let me color that fantasy is suitable for adults and children from about age 11
In my opinion Let me color that fantasy is an absolute must have when you’re a coloring enthusiast!
Would you want to buy Let me color that fantasy too? You can order it at Boekscout.nl for € 13,95.
All pictures from this review can be seen here, or through the photogallery in the top menu, in a larger size.
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This review was written in May 2016 but only in Dutch. Because of the Sunny Sunday Highlight with a spotlight on Sandy Wijsbeek it was time to translate it 😉