It's one of the books everyone's raving about at the moment, and I've finally got my mitts on a copy! Here's my review of Animal Kingdom by Welsh Illustrator, Millie Marotta.
Just from flicking through this Sunday Times Bestseller, it was no surprise to me that it has been sold out time and time again recently- it is truly a beautifully illustrated piece of art. From the huge selection of land and sea animals, each made up of flowers and leaves, to the puffy trees and delicately feathered birds... it's a joy just to look at, let alone colour. I envy Millie's talent for line drawing; I can only dream of being able to create artworks like this! The lines are so fine and delicate... each illustration is just exquisite. The intricacy does mean you have to get right in there with your fineliners, but when you see the final result it's definitely worth the time taken. I'm planning on copying some of the pages onto card and framing them for the house- when finished and framed they'll look stunning.
There are approx. 70 individual designs in the book, providing countless hours of colouring time. I am still amazed that this book is only £3.99- I'd be happy to pay treble that amount. The outer & inner cover are also colourable (is that a word?) so you can really make this book your own, with gold embellishments here and there to pick out certain details. The paper quality is good- my triplus fineliners didn't bleed at all, but TINC and Edding markers came through slightly (not enough to ruin the design behind though). The paper seemed to soak up those other markers, and I was deflated for a second thinking that it was too porous for any kind of pens- but as I say the triplus were fine, gliding across the smooth surface with ease.
Some of the pages are captioned with hue suggestions from Millie, which is a nice touch and gives a connection between artist and colourist. At the end, a double blank page is left for you to create your own animal kingdom if you want to. It's an interesting concept; to work through a book full of illustrations by someone else, and then be encouraged to finish it off yourself. You sense that the author really wants to share this book with you, as equal contributors to its completion.
Have a look at my finished pages- I really enjoyed this review and will come back to this book time & time again.
Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom can be found on Amazon here: