Current Price: £6.76 (b&w edition) / £20.12 (colour edition)
Number of Pages: 62 / 120
Size: 28 x 21cm
Paper colour: White
Paper surface: Smooth
Paper thickness: Average
One sided: Yes
Drawings go into the spine: No
Waterbased pen bleed: None
This book is hands down, one of the most well-executed fantasy colouring books I've come across yet. There are two editions of this book: the black and white colouring book without the original paintings, and the full colour book which includes a print of every single illustration as it was painted by Michelle Tracey. This allows you to see how it looked as an original, gives you inspiration and an idea of what areas to shade if you're not adept at it. This is the version I am reviewing today.
The paintings are absolutely take-your-breath-away stunning, and what a treat that we can colour the line drawings ourselves and add to the fairy tale world with our chosen palette. Each drawing is proceeded by a page with the title of the painting written in script; it's just beautifully formatted. The artwork includes themes of mysticism and magic, such as Dragons, Fairies & Mermaids, all in a realistic style rather than cartoonised. Take a look through the book for yourself and marvel at the technicolour splendour of Michelle's work.
The book is CreateSpace published but it seems a lot better quality due to how well it has been designed and put together. The paper is average quality but allows no bleed-through from water-based pens. A larger print 'Artist Edition' of this book made with with cardstock would be amazing!
To say that these started off as freehand paintings without defined outlines, an extremely good job has been done to render them as line drawings and still keep the integrity of the original artwork. I would wholeheartedly recommend purchasing the full colour edition over the black and white, so that you can fully appreciate the art in its native form and take direction and reference from it. The cost is substantial for a colouring book but I feel the illustrations just aren't done justice without the originals by their side.
Here is my finished piece, coloured with Spectrum Noir and Promarkers.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can find both versions on Amazon here:
Spirit & Fantasy Full Colour
Spirit & Fantasy B&W