Skip to main content

Book Review: Dagdrömmar aka Daydreams

Before I get into today's review, I'd like to apologize for the delay between posts. This is my final semester and things are getting a bit hectic. I still find time to do some coloring now and then but I don't have much time for anything else. Now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at yet another coloring book!

The Daydreams coloring book is one of my favorites and you'll soon see why. Many of the coloring books that we see today are printed in English (as they are created by artists from English speaking countries) and then translated to other languages. Daydreams is different – it was first printed in Swedish and then translated into English. It's not just this book, all the books by Hanna Karlzon are published in Swedish first followed by the English translations.

Book - Daydreams 
Author - Hanna Karlzon
Description
Hanna Karlzon is a Swedish-based illustrator and has published many coloring books, the first being Daydreams. This book has 96 pages and it is a hardbound edition. The book feels luxurious and high quality when you hold it in your hands. It looks good enough to put on your coffee table!

Artwork
Daydreams is filled with beautiful pictures and the main subjects are usually flowers, animals and insects. But Hanna's illustrations are very different from say Johanna Basford. While Johanna goes for intricate designs - often with tiny spaces to color - Hanna's pictures are more open and not so detailed. Some of the images appear realistic but many are combined with whimsical elements like gems, sparkly items like keys or stars etc. Daydreams also contains many portraits of beautiful women, something that not many artists do well. It's great for practicing skin and hair coloring.

The entire book gives the feeling of being set in a fantasy land where little girls ride on birds or insects, snails carry literal houses on their backs and various animals collect gems. The element of whimsy gives you the freedom to use any color that you like. Why stick to just green for leaves or blue for water? Let your imagination run wild and use colors like pinks or purples for plants or green for the sky. 

Paper Quality
Daydreams is printed double-sided but the paper quality is very good. In fact it has the best paper of all my coloring books at 160 GSM! The paper is a soft ivory colored and not bright white either (which I prefer but you may not). There are a few double-page spreads but most of them are confined to a single page. Since the book is hardbound, it's a little difficult to color the double spreads but it can be done. In fact some of the double spreads are composed in such a way that you can think of it as two separate images. You can color them in complementary colors or completely different to each other.

Suitable Mediums
I have colored only a single page from this book so far but the experience was phenomenal. I used my Polychromos pencils (oil-based) and each color simply glides onto the page. I didn't have any issues with blending or layering and the paper can take at least 5 to 6 layers before it becomes impossible to add more color. Although I haven't tried my wax based pencils like Prismacolor, I'm sure they'll work equally well.


The paper is thick enough to take water, provided you use it sparingly. There are very few coloring books with watercolor paper but high quality coloring books like Daydreams or Lost Ocean can accommodate water-based media pretty well. However I would advise everyone to test their preferred mediums somewhere in the book (publisher page, introduction etc.). Some artists also thoughtfully include a few blank pages just for this. But even if you don't have these, it is better to sacrifice a picture you don't like for testing rather than ruin a picture you really like.

Value
Daydreams currently retails for around $12 and is a fantastic value at the price. I found books with cheap, printer quality paper that sell for the same price! The images in this book are perfect for using metallic or glitter pens. So break out your shiny tools and start bringing them to life! Happy coloring everyone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Theory Of Color

My favorite thing about coloring is that it takes away much of the stress of drawing. I've seen disparaging remarks by people against colorists, mostly in the vein of 'just learn to draw already!' But I think that they are kind of missing the point. I know I can get better at drawing if I practice everyday. But being a full-time student with a couple of part-time jobs doesn't leave me much time for creative pursuits. Why shouldn't I enjoy playing with color just because I can't draw well?

Once I jumped into the world of coloring, I faced the biggest question for a newbie colorist - how do I pick colors for something? I loved looking at the finished pictures posted online by advanced colorists and even actual artists. I wanted to be able to create something like that! I started learning some basics about colors and how they work to get better at coloring my books.

So if you have ever wondered about color combinations or why some colors tend to look better toget…

Selecting Colors

Last week we talked about color harmonies and I promised to show you a couple of tools that I use regularly for coloring. Even knowing about the color harmonies doesn't mean it's easy to pick out colors for a page. Given the many colors in our pencils and pens, it's not hard to get stuck before you even begin. 

For all those times when you are starting a page and don't quite know which colors to pick, you need inspiration. You can get inspiration by just looking around your home or out the window.  Open your closet and  look at your clothes, see a pattern that you like? Use the same colors on your page.  You can also check out photos on the internet to get some ideas about color palettes and combinations. 

Still having trouble? Check out my 2 favorite tools below and see if you like those instead.

Palette Inspiration
There's one particular website that I absolutely love for color inspiration and that's Design Seeds.  This website has a veritable feast of palettes g…

Color Harmonies

Last week we talked about the basics of color theory and warm vs. cool colors. Today let's take a look at some color combinations from the color wheel. These are classic rules of thumb you can use to select colors for a page. There are two-color combos, three-color combos and four-color combos. When you select a group of colors from these palates, you're almost guaranteed a good-looking finished product. That's because these colors tend to work well together on the page.

Two Color Schemes
When you want to select just two colors for page, complementary and counterpoint colors are a good place to start. Complementary colors are those that are the opposite ends of the color wheel. Since we have 12 colors in the color wheel, we get 6 pairs of complementary colors.

The counterpoint color is the one to the right of the complementary color. So green is the complementary color for red but the counterpoint would be blue-green which is one step to the right.

You can get vibrant look…