I have a secret to confess.
I’m slightly obsessed with my new colouring book.
Yep, you heard that right. Colouring book.
Like most of us, I left my colouring books back in the second grade along with fruit scented markers and erasers shaped like unicorns. But who can forget those lazy Saturday mornings, sprawled out along the kitchen table with wax crayons and a new Barbie Princess colouring book? There’s something therapeutic about letting your creativity bubble out onto a fresh sheet of paper and transform a black and white page into a swirl of dancing colour.
Yes, I have rediscovered a childhood joy and I owe it all to this absolutely beautiful book: The “Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book” by Johanna Basford.
After some not-so-subtle hinting, tumbling out from the pink wrapping tissue of my Mother’s Day gift came a set of freshly sharpened pencil crayons. The scent of lead and pigment filled the air and with it came memories of relaxing, rainy days activities and giggle-filled art classes. The book itself was on backorder at Chapters but with the promise of its imminent arrival, I could barely contain my childish glee.
The shipment arrived and with a warning from the sales girl that the books were fairly “flying off the shelves,” I hurriedly sent my husband scrambling to the store.
And there it was: The Enchanted Forest.
This high quality book has soft pages filled with exquisite art and illustrations intricate enough to be framed. I was almost hesitant to put pen to paper for fear of ruining its delicate designs with the inevitable trace of clumsy fingers that smudge and ink that trails outside the lines.
This spectacular work of art looks nothing like the colouring books of your childhood: you won’t find any simplified cartoon dogs chasing rainbows in here! This book is illustrated with masterful attention to detail and has designs with wide appeal. Each page is imaginative and fanciful, full of fresh, blooming greenery and furry, forest animals. With every turn of the page you’re taken deeper into the forest, crossing streams and traipsing along treetops on a quest to find and unlock the castle door.
Colouring is a relaxing and a fun way to unwind at the end of a hectic day. It’s also a perfect activity for traveling (on a recent family vacation, you’d have been hard pressed to find me without my pencils in hand.) Even without a lot of artistic talent, you can spend hours on each page, immersed in shading, highlighting, coloring and scribbling. It’s satisfying to spend a few hours unplugged from devices (or multi-task while watching a movie) and ending up with something creative and fun at the end.
Tips: Some types of markers will bleed through the pages. While I love using colouring pencils (I find it easier to shade and blend their colours), using markers can give you a more vibrant picture. Be sure to test out your markers first, or check out Johanna’s Blog for tips on which art supplies work best!
I have fallen in love with these grownup colouring books and if you’re on my Christmas list this year, you may just end up with one. So grab your markers and come join me on this inky adventure!