Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lost Ocean & Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and Staedtler Pens & Colored Pencils

Okay, so I’m a huge fan of the adult coloring book trend. I find the books to be extremely relaxing and it’s a fun way to unwind after a long day. They are also the perfect companion to audiobooks. I usually put on an audiobook, pick up a coloring book, and spend a few hours relaxing.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed Tropical World: A Coloring Book Adventure by Millie Marotta. This week, I thought that I would share with you two new and lovely coloring books that just arrived in my post. Lost Ocean, which was just released, and Secret Garden are both by the talented artist Johanna Basford. I will also be reviewing the Staedtler colored pencils and triplus fineline pens that I received for review.

With Lost Ocean, Johanna Basford invites color-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden in the depths of the sea. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, and embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopuses, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, discover intricate shells and pirate treasure. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest fans and newcomers alike will welcome this creative journey into an inky new world.
For Lost Ocean, Johanna picked a crisp ivory paper that accentuates and compliments your chosen color palette. The smooth, untextured pages allow for beautiful blending or gradient techniques with colored pencils or are perfect for pens, allowing the nib to glide evenly over the surface without feathering.
Good news for all SECRET GARDEN fans! All editions of SECRET GARDEN now feature thicker and heavier paper stock, fighting bleed-through from ink pens.
Experience the phenomenon that has sold 2 million copies worldwide and launched the coloring craze for adults.
This beautiful and interactive coloring book features delicate and highly detailed pen-and-ink illustrations—all waiting to be brought to life with color. As added entertainment, tiny garden creatures are hidden on the pages, waiting to be found, and a key and index are included in the back. The book's cover and jacket are also colorable.
Appealing to all ages, SECRET GARDEN is the original and first book by Johanna Basford.

Secret Garden

Both of these coloring books are lovely little numbers with intricate pen and ink drawings and the occasional prompts thrown in along with blank spaces so you can add your own design.
Fun prompt allow you to get in touch with your creative side
Lost Ocean has a whimsical nautical feel, which I love. It also has a lovely, long two-sided poster, which you can color and tear out. Secret Garden is filled with lush flowers and little creatures.
Every page in the book can be colored
Lost Ocean
Some of the designs are so intricate you can easily spend days working on them while others can be finished in under an hour. Both of the books are printed on nice sturdy paper that won’t bleed through if you’re using pens or pencils. As this is double-sided, I would avoid using markers, as I am sure that, while the paper is indeed heavy, they would bleed through.
Staedtler colored pencils blend smoothly
If you purchase both books, you will notice a difference in the color of paper. Secret Garden is printed on a cream-colored paper whereas Lost Ocean is printed on a crisp white page.
Remember to add a piece of paper to prevent the printed image from transferring
The only problem that I had was with the Lost Ocean book. This was my first time coloring in this book, and I was using pencils, and the page that was printed on the other side of the page I was coloring on transferred pieces, mostly the darker/heavier printed lines,  of the image onto the page facing it. It’s another downfall of having the book printed doubled-sided, although I never encountered this problem with the Secret Garden book. The problem is avoidable, simply stick a piece of paper or cardstock behind the page that you are coloring on, which is what I’ll be doing from now on.

  Staedtler Colored Pencils and Triplus Fineline Pens
Note—all of the coloring pages I’ve included in this post have been colored with the Staedtler pens and pencils.
I have been a huge fan of Staedtler’s drawing supplies for years so when these little lovelies showed up for review, I was ecstatic. Plus, the pens are 0.3 mm fineliners so they are perfect for the small, intricate details found in both of these coloring books and they don’t bleed through.
Here’s what I love about them.
-The colors of the pens and pencils are brilliant and vivid
-The blend together nicely
-The barrels of both the pens and the pencils are triangular allowing for an easier/comfortable grip
-The pens come in an easel storage case
-You can indeed leave the pens uncapped for days without them drying up
These are a tad bit pricey—they general range from between $30-$50 at my local craft stores although I’m sure that they are cheaper on line—but if you’re looking for a nice quality drawing or coloring instrument, these are the one to go with.
Have you joined the adult coloring book trend?
If so, what do you use to color yours with?

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