From Victoria Slater I received a review copy of her coloring book Untangle, for which I kindly thank her. The subtitle is ‘Incredibly detailed colouring book for stress relief’.
My first impression is that this book has been well taken care of. It’s a little bit smaller than A4-size (21,5 x 28 cm). It contains 40 unique and very detailed drawings on, I believe, 90gsm paper.
All drawings are printed single sided and every drawing is placed in a rectangle. The latter means that you’ll never have to color up to the edge of the paper nor into the center fold.
Far away yet so close
When you open Untangle first thing you see is a couple of pages with flower doodle frames, on which Victoria invites you to share your colorings from the book on her Facebookpage. She also filmed the creation of every single drawing in Untangle and placed these videos on her YouTube channel.
Right at the beginning of the book she provides us with the link. I really like this and it gives a feeling of the artist being very ‘close’.
Then she gives a detailed explanation on why Untangle was created, what coloring in general can mean to you and what effect it can have on your peace of mind.
Untangle flip through
After her introduction you get to the fourty drawings, each and everyone really beautiful. These drawings are creative, playful and have lots of variation. In the flip through video below I’ll show you the drawings so you’ll get an impression of what kind of drawings Untangle contains.
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Where to start?
When I started with this book, I played around with three colors of the Caran d’Ache Pablo pencils in one of the first drawings right after the introduction text. It became a kind of fiery sunlike flower, but because this one was rather small, I thought it to be not really useful for a review. When the flower was finished I didn’t feel the need to start coloring the flowery frame around it, so I left it just like that.
After that I picked the design that attracted me the most. It’s a sort of tangle figure and I wanted to color this with the only two Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils I owned at that time. I bought those earlier to give this type of pencils a try, but hadn’t used them yet. The Luminance pencils are quite waxy (well, at least these two were) and I noticed fairly quick that the printing ink came off. It sort of dissolved in the wax and was dragged along with the pencil.
Another thing I noticed was that the Luminance didn’t perform as well as I’d expected. I had to use a burnisher afterwards. Without burnishing there would still remain quite a bit white, of the paper, in sight. And unfortunately the burnisher had the same effect on the printing ink as the Luminance. So I had to be careful not to touch the lines too much, because a grey haze would appear on top of what I colored.
Beside all aforementioned I was actually very pleased with the end result of this design! And because I worked with black and a skin tone, the grey of the printing ink isn’t that obvious. I’ll just have to keep it in mind for the next drawing.
For design number two I wanted something completely different, so I chose a design with several flowers. As usual I just started by picking random colors. The pencils I used on this one were the Koh-I-Noor Magic pencils. Every pencil contains multiple colors and beforehand you’ve got no idea which one will appear on the paper.
So the result is never what you expect. This makes your coloring very playful because of all the different tints. Even when using the same pencil, every piece of the drawing will be different from another.
The flowers were a real joy to color, especially because every flower provided several opportunities to work with different colors. This made the whole of the drawing very colorful.
The background was filled with a bunch of circles and I wanted them to do them justice. I’ve been watching the design for a while, questioning what to do with the background… and finally ended up with the idea of making it black with a Tombow Dual Brush ABT pen, and leave the circles white.
So that’s what I did. And I’m happy with the result.
Balance through coloring
For the final drawing I picked one that I had noticed earlier, but before I didn’t want it enough to start colorizing it. In the meantime I had received the Faber Castell Pitt Brush pens and this design with the Pitt Brush pens was just the perfect combination! This picture was so much fun, so playful, so elegant and intriguing. I finished it actually quite fast and I’ve really enjoyed the proces of coloring this particular one.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that it contains a double lemniscate. Without wanting to get hazy here, working with or on a lemniscate can certainly have an impact on one’s psychological and physical wellbeing. It is seen as the symbol that brings balance to both areas, physical and mental. Well, that was the feeling I had while coloring it. Everything was in balance, it made me truly happy!
For this one I decided again to color the background black with the Tombow Dual Brush ABT pen. And when that was done, I covered the straight lines (still visible through the black) with a silver metallic Edding marker. Obviously I used a ruler for that.
Back to the beginning
After coloring three designs that first page with the ‘sun flower’ kept bugging me. So eventually I took the Faber Castell Pitt Brush pens again and colored the frame on that page. And I really like it the way it is now!
Conclusion about Untangle
- The paper is good for working with a diversity of materials
- Untangle contains a large variety of designs, they make you lose track of everything, which is great every now and then
- The designs have a meditative effect, which is really nice when you’re coloring to find more tranquility
- Every drawing has a square drawn around it, like a frame. I really like that, because in Untangle you’ll never have to struggle with the edges or coloring in the center fold.
- It’s printed single sided, you’ll never have to worry about the drawing on the other side of the page
- The size of Untangle is in my opinion very good and the book isn’t very thick either, which is very beneficial for your wrist while coloring
- The designs in Untangle have, like the subtitle says, very much detail; so if you love these kinds of super detailed designs, this is your book!
- My pens did not bleed through in this book, even the black background didn’t bleed through (just note that if you’d color with alcohol markers, it will most likely bleed straight through the back of the page, because that’s what alcohol markers. Always put an empty sheet of (printing) paper on the drawing on the next page to protect it. Better safe than sorry!)
- The ink of the pens didn’t bleed on the pages either, all of it stayed right between the lines where I put it.
- A small minus of the book is that the printing ink dissolves a bit when coloring with waxy pencils
- Untangle looks very neat and is therefore very inviting
- I truly think this is a very recommendable coloring book!
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Disclosure: This review contains products that I received from a publisher or company. This however does not reflect on my opinion in any way. The links to the book are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Also note my Disclosure Promos page!