Currently, it's colouring in.
Yep - you did read that right.
I saw Johanna Basford's Secret Garden in Waterstones and fell in love with the gorgeous illustrations. Want is a strong word, but I wanted that book...so I dropped heavy hints about it just before Mothering Sunday. Surprise, surprise; I got a copy! It's described as 'An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book', and it is the most fun you can have with a fineliner and some coloured pencils or felt pens.
I thought I'd share with you my first few pages. I'm hopping around the book, doing what I fancy, but trying to work on just one colour page and one black and white at a time. Because it's not just colouring in that you get to do; some of the pages have outlines for you to add 'inky details' to. My own preference is to keep these pages monochrome so that the detail is not lost - and black and white has its own special beauty.
|Pre-printed page on the left, my inky details on the right...|
Other pages have flowering vines or branches for you to add birds, butterflies, bees or snails to. There are mazes to follow, hidden frogs, bugs and other creatures to find (I found the squirrel already!). And then there's tons of colouring in...
I've already had to buy some more green watercolour pencils, because my range of greens was a little limited for so many lovely leafy pictures. And I am being challenged to blend the colours to give the pictures depth, making the details really stand out on the page.
|Ol' Blue Eyes...|
|Water of Life...|
The pictures take - literally - hours to complete. I have to keep the pencils really sharp as there are lots of very fine details, and I've learned that coloured fineliners can show through the page if you're not careful - but pressing on hard with the pencils marks blank spaces on the page underneath, so I have to work with a spare piece of paper underneath the page I'm colouring.
I think I'm going to be challenged by the pages where there are blank spaces for you to add something of your own - such as the page with a hole that needs to be filled with whatever the padlock is keeping safe...not sure I'm that much of an artist to do the page justice. We shall see.
In the meantime, I'm having loads of fun and probably not doing lots of things I ought to be doing because of it...