Skip to main content

Book Review: Tropical Wonderland

Wow, it's been a long time since we had a post around here! I do apologize for the long gap but the job search is taking up quite a bit of my time. The rest of it is filled with frustration at not finding one, so yeah. This means while I have all the time in the world for coloring, I'm too anxious or depressed to pick up my pencils sometimes. And I don't quite have the energy to blog about it. Anyway onto today's book review.

Book - Tropical Wonderland
Author - Millie Marotta
Description
Artists like Johanna Basford and Hanna Karlzon have special editions of their popular books. These books have better paper – often card stock, are printed on one side and can be removed from the book for putting up on your walls. My only issue with these books is that they have only a handful of pages from the original book.

Millie Marotta's deluxe editions are very different. So far there have been three deluxe editions of her early books and they are exquisite. They are printed on thick 180 GSM paper, on only one side of the page. Double-page spreads are included as a foldout so you won't find it hard to color. Best of all, each deluxe edition has every single picture from the original book! There are even a few pictures on card stock included at the back of the book. So you don't have to detach any page from the book if you want to frame one and put it up on the walls.

Artwork
Millie Marotta's artwork is well known in the adult coloring world. Each book follows a theme such as animals, the savanna, the tropics, birds etc. As you might have guessed, this book contains illustrations of animals and plants you can find in the tropical regions. So everything from birds and animals to insects and colorful plants.


Millie's art is quite different from my other favorite artists. I resisted buying any of her books for a long time because I didn't quite like the line art. But the deluxe additions are simply wonderful and I had to have at least one. As I have colored a few pages, the artwork has grown on me. I find it quite refreshing from the whimsical and fantastic that is typical of adult coloring books. I've found that the line art becomes much more beautiful once you add color to it!

Paper Quality
As I've said before, the book features extremely thick 180 GSM paper that is bright white. It's not exactly my favorite paper but it is quite good. I much prefer the cream or ivory colored in Daydreams or Magical Jungle. On the other hand, this paper handles water extremely well. There is very little warping and the paper flattens out after a while. The paper is quite smooth to the touch and doesn't have much of a tooth.

The book is hardbound and covered with a linen type fabric. It feels very nice to the touch although it is a magnet for lint, hair and animal fur! The double-page spreads are included as foldouts, so you don't lose any of the images to the binding. There are quite a few of the double-page spreads although most of the images are contained within a single page.

Suitable Mediums
My favorite medium to use in coloring books is colored pencils. However the paper here works well with water based mediums, so I decided to use my watercolor pencils throughout. The paper feels quite smooth and it doesn't have much of a tooth. I don't think it'll take a lot of layers. But colored pencils go on nicely and blend very well.

Since the book is single sided, you can actually use any medium you want including alcohol markers! The illustrations are highly suited for marker coloring actually. You don't even have to blend or use advanced coloring techniques to make them look pretty. There is a testing page included at the end, so use it to test out any pen or pencil first!

Value
The book is available on Amazon for about $25. It might seem steep compared to $10 or $5 books but believe me when I say the quality is worth it. If I had enough space on my table and in my budget, I would buy every single one of the deluxe editions! But for now I'm happy with Tropical Wonderland. If you're looking for a high-quality coloring book that will take water-based mediums and alcohol markers, look no further. 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…