Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rainforest Escape Coloring Book Review

Explore and Relax in the Colorful Beauty of Rainforest Animals, Birds and Plants


Enter the inky jungle of Rainforest Escape and let your imagination and pencil roam wild. As you color in the rich flora and fauna of the tropics, you can practically hear the tree frogs croaking and the soft whir of the hummingbirds’ wings. Inspired by her native Trinidad and Tobago, award-winning illustrator Jade Gedeon takes you on a journey to a breathtaking world of natural beauty.


Bring the tropical designs and your artistry to life by coloring or painting the vivid hues of leatherback turtles and island birds, as well as lush rainforest scenes and unique flowers. The patterns will take you away from the stress of the real world and give your mind a mini-vacation.


Use colored pencils, pens, markers and even paints on the high-quality premium art paper. The lay flat binding stays open for easy use anywhere. Tear out the finished designs from the perforated edges and display your personalized artwork for all to enjoy. With a wide range of full-page illustrations plus bonus foldout poster pages, you can create an immersive nature experience while traveling or right in your own home. See what beauty and adventures await inside Rainforest Escape.


Illustrator: Jade Gedeon | Publisher: Page Street Publishing | Source: Publisher | Rating: 2.5 Cups

I was really surprised when this coloring book showed up in the post for review. I never realized that they had watercolor coloring books, so I was eager to give this one a go.


The designs in the book are, of course, all centered on the rainforest theme so there’s birds, flowers, sea-life, water, and few whimsical images. The graphics vary in this book. Some are enlarged thumbnail sketches, some are basic outlines, then, unfortunately, some images have so many shading lines in them it ruins the image, especially since this book was meant for watercolor. Some of the images could probably take days to color while other will only take ten to fifteen minutes.


The images are one sided, which is nice if you wanted to use markers or hang up the images. The pages are perforated, which comes in handy because throughout the book there are 10 foldout drawings, so perforation comes in handy when coloring the foldouts.  


In the back of the book, there is 8 of the images shrank down with captions alongside them. I really liked the captions because they told what each image was and offered a few facts about them. It would have been nice if each of the images had captions on the back.


As excited as I was about this being a watercolor book, I wasn’t very impressed with the quality of the watercolor paper. I was especially disappointed because the cover states that this is a ‘high-quality’ watercolor paper and while it’s nice, it’s not actually ‘high-quality’. The paper is actually a medium weight, cream colored, wood-pulp based ‘cold-pressed’ paper. The surface is semi-rough and does have a small tooth.


I’ve noticed that when I’ve attempted to use a watercolor wash for the background it appears that there’s something on the paper and the watercolor doesn’t adhere to parts of the page. Another thing to note is that the cream color of the paper leans more towards the yellow scale, so the pigments of the watercolors often take on a slightly different hue. I strongly suggest removing a sheet from the book and using it as a test page.


Colorist should also note that there are two sides to this paper—one smooth and one rough—so pay attention when coloring because not all images are printed on the rough side. 


I played around with different mediums, even though this is a watercolor book, to see which ones and in what form they worked the best. Here’s what I found out.


Pencils—because the paper has a tooth to it, pencils are a bit tricky to use. I would recommend using a wax-based pencil as the core is softer. If you’re using standard colored pencils, I would recommend making sure your pencils are blunt to keep from tearing the paper. I found they work the best on the images printed on the smooth side.


Markers—BICs and Sharpies do bleed slightly so I recommend not going all the way to the edge. Fineliners do not bleed but they can also catch on the paper, so go lightly when using these. If using markers or fineliners, remember to put a piece of paper or cardstock behind the page your coloring to catch anything that bleeds through.


Gel pens—these work on both the rough and smooth pages. Metallic and glitter gel pens work the best. The milky or neon gel pens leave a streaky look.


Watercolors—pans and pencils actually work the best. Although the key to not balling up the paper is making sure your brush is damp as opposed to being wet.


While this paper does have a tooth, it’s not raised enough to contain the watercolors. If you’re not careful, the watercolors will actually ‘walk’ and often bleed into other images. If using watercolors, I highly recommend working on small portions at a time then allow them to dry before moving one.


Overall, I wasn’t that impressed by this book  and I don’t think this book is for everyone or beginners. The images are great; I just wasn’t impressed with the paper.


Have you tried watercolor paper?

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