I’ve been wanting to have a go at some of the colouring books that are so popular to choose from, and there are lots to choose from. Of course Johanna Basford’s books are, undeniably, the gold standard of colouring books.
Arthur J. Penn and his daughter Joanna Penn are new entrants to this crowded market, but what an entrance. This is a beautiful, enticing book that is just waiting to colour in. Just like the Johanna Basford books every page is beautiful on their own in their simple black and white, unlike the Basford one’s, Arthur Penn’s are an altogether looser style. In his introduction to the book he talks about how he hopes that we colour outside of the lines he’s drawn and develop these image further with our own ideas.
The drawings, a collection of nature scenes and still-lifes, certainly encourage a freer way of working. There is part of me that has wanted to go for some more radical, impressionistic style of colouring, but so far I’ve opted for naturalistic, working with pencil and pastel, and in colour and black and white. There’s still time though…
Included in the book is a tester page where you can test your materials, and this is useful if you opt for felt pen, or ink because, as others have said, the pages are printed a little on the thin size. This though is a small complaint for a beautiful, enjoyable book.
There is also an accompanying notebook that would be perfect illustrated gardening notebook, or recipe book – which you can also colour in!