Monday, December 07, 2015

Adult Coloring book review and each medium used

"The Secret Village" any age coloring book is the first thing I'm reviewing today, but I'll also talk a LOT about what you can use to color it with!
 I used mostly fine point sharpie markers for coloring the front cover (only the title was already in color and I started doing the rest for fun!  I'll finish coloring the front over time.)  When my girls and I have the same coloring book like their "Favorite Things" one it's easier to grab the right one when each cover is unique!  :)

"The Thinking Tree" Company had a coloring contest (you might remember!) and the picture above was so loved by everyone that they made a coloring book that is like this with all different "secret villages" and trees and hollows.  It's lovely and the pictures keep going and going.  It's fun to discover things as you color the pages.  The picture above is an example of using colored pencils.  I recommend "Prismacolor" brand as a good starting point with colored pencils.  Something like this one at Amazon, but you can also find this brand in craft stores and even individually if you run out of a certain color (they are all numbered)!

Also, check out their Facebook page because they do a LOT of contests and giveaways and so on and it's pretty amazing!  You might win something!
Prismacolor is totally the way to go with colored pencils!  Not too expensive, but the richness and blending ability is a hundred times better than trying to use a kids type crayola colored pencil set.

 The "Secret Village" has a variety of tree house scenes.  Some tiny detailed like the one above and some zoomed in like the picture below and often the left hand pages will have objects or animals or leaves or flowers close up.  I actually really like this about these books.  I've noticed that many adult (and kid) coloring books tend to be very much the same as far as how much space needs to be colored.

I like how this one changes that up.

Sometimes I feel like coloring something really detailed and intricate and sometimes I want something simple or with larger spaces to color.
I have a little tub from the dollar store that has my art supplies.  I rubber banded a couple sets of things for easy grab and go transport!  And some other are in a jar that I can grab and move depending on where we are sitting to do art and school.

I usually do a coloring page with mixing the media, but for this review I thought it would be more helpful for you all to try and use just one medium for each page so you could see and get an idea of what you might want to use for your own coloring books or journals.
 First is watercolors.  "Prang" is a good watercolor brand to start with (you can find this at a Hobby Lobby or Michael's) that is inexpensive and easy to use.
Using a higher quality medium will bring a bad experience up to an amazing experience! Trying to get something colored the way you want is frustrating for everyone if you are trying to work with inferior tools.  I make sure and get my own kids the same quality as I use as well.

My oldest once said when she was many years younger that her drawing looked terrible compared to mine and honestly it was just that what I was using was better quality then what she had.  After that I let her use my supplies!  It's helpful though if you give these as real gifts and teach them to take care of their art supplies well.  :)
 Here is the back of the water color picture.  This coloring book has blank pages behind each picture so you don't have to worry about bleed through ruining another picture, but it's still nice to know what the media will do.  With the watercolors just be sure to not let them get TOO wet.  Even doing this as carefully as I could with as little water as possible there was still some wrinkling of the page and slight leak through but it didn't ruin any other pictures and I still think it looks lovely!
 The page on the left (below) I sort of used as a place to wipe off some of the wetness from the brush so I'd get the color the way I wanted on the right, so I just turned that into a messy "whatever" painting at the end. 

 My kids use these gelly rolls probably the most of all we have in their "Fun school Journals" and coloring books.
 I colored the green leaf with fine tip sharpies which do leak through more than any other, but they still work in this coloring book because of the blank pages.
 Another option is twist-able crayons by crayola.  I like these because they blend well (just like crayons do!) but are fine tipped and don't need to be sharpened.  They CAN break internally though so be aware that if you drop them or if you have little ones that like to twist them all the way out and play with them then they won't last as long.

Above is the back of the gelly roll picture and the sharpie leaf picture so you can kind of see what effect they have.  If you push the gelly ones hard enough they do seep through as well, but over all are really great to use in all of these!  As I said, I tend to like to use a different medium for different parts of a picture or page.
 I did find a sharpie with a broader tip that didn't bleed through as bad!  These are Sharpie highlighters with an angled tip.. I got a little carried away on the picture above, but, hey.. it gives you the idea right?
 And the back of that one!  Not bad and we've used these in the other journals as well for different things.  It makes coloring much more fun if you can try a different medium and see what happens.
These gel highlighters actually blend with each other really well too!  My 7 year old was having a blast coloring with the yellow and then running the blue over it to make green.  No residue was picked up by the gel highlighters from the color already on the page too which is pretty awesome and unique I think.  The flowers above have a little blending in them as well to get those vibrant colorful petals!

More than the liquid highlighters though my girls and I are adoring these GEL highlighters!  It's like coloring with butter.. or ice.. it just glides all over the page!!!  Bleed through is a NOT AT ALL with these babies!  The ones that we got are currently out of stock, but I found these other ones that look to be the same if you can't wait to get them!

Second review that I'm doing is for this "Coffee Time Quiet Time Journal"
I already have talked about the homsechooling handbook for Moms in previous posts so in this I'll just talk about what is different about the Coffee Time one.

 They do have many similarities.  There are quite a few more pages to color in the Quiet Time Journal, and a couple of the types of pages that the "handbook for Moms" one has this new one doesn't have or the page type is slightly changed.  For instance...
 The "Math time" above with graph paper is larger in the "Quiet time" one and rather than saying to call your kids over to learn something math related you get to just enjoy it yourself in anyway you choose.  ;)
 The movie time one where you watch a documentary or something and rate it in the "Homeschooling handbook" is slightly different in the "Quiet Time" journal and is titled "Learn a new skill".. so it could be a youtube tutorial of some kind (I learned how to cook and eat Artichokes recently on youtube!)
 Also, the "News page" from around the world to talk to your kids about isn't there at all in the Quiet Time one, but there are more sort of "free journaling" type pages as you can see on the right there.
 The reading time is coffee and tea themed in the "Quiet time" journal.  The "Homeschool handbook" had a lot of cute doodly owls, but if owls aren't your thing, or if you don't homeschool, then you might prefer the "Quiet Time Journal".... I actually like the Quiet time Journal the best of these two, but it totally just depends on each persons taste what would work best for them.
 Example of a couple coloring pages above and below from the "Quiet time" journal.  Sometimes they are super detailed like the one above and sometimes they are whimsical and less detailed like the one below.  I personally really REALLY appreciate this aspect to their coloring books and journals!  Depending on my mood I might want to do the one above or the kind below!

I am still really enjoying my "Homeschool Handbook for Moms" but I'm going to save the quiet time Journal to use next and I'm anticipating that I will like it even more!  Also, my 7 year old looked over my shoulder as I was flipping through it and pointed out all the coloring pages she is insisting that I photo copy for her to get to color as well because they looked so fun.  ;)  Note: she already has FIVE of her own different books by "The Thinking Tree" and is wanting MY coloring pages too!  ;)

Soon I will have to review this!!!  I got this for my husband to get to use with our girls when he's not sure what to do with them to keep them from tackling each other and racing around the house.  ;)  I've looked through it and I'm a little jealous (almost) because it looks like so much fun!  I gave it to him early for Christmas so he can use it with them over his Christmas break.  It says 6 to 16, but I told him a few ways he can modify how to do some of it to work with our 4 year old as well!  So, yes, they will have fun with this for sure and it will give me a break!!!!  Great way to give the Dad some ideas to do with the kids.

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