After months of waiting I finally laid hands on my very own copy of Johanna Basford’s new book ‘Lost Ocean’. This book has been one of the most hotly anticipated colouring books on the market following the astounding success of her first and second books Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. I purchased my copy from a local book store and couldn’t wait to get home to have a good look at what Johanna has in store for us this time. I was not disappointed. 🙂
In this Johanna has chosen to feature a range of ocean sealife themed art work (and including the obligatory skull drawing) in a range of different skill levels to appeal to both the beginner and the advanced colourist looking for a challenge. Some pictures are bold with relatively thick lines and moderately simple detail. Some pictures comprise of tinee, tiny detail that will challenge the eyes and require sharp pencils or better yet, fine tipped fine liner pens. I have heard some people react in dismay at these eye bleedingly, detailed works but I’ve heard just as many people squee with joy. I am with the later group. I’m currently working on this piece with Staedtler triplus fineliners.
Here I have to insert a quick word of warning! This is important for you to know before you choose which media you want to go ahead and colour these sumptious drawings with. There are at least TWO different publications released of Lost Ocean. One is printed by Penguin Virgin in the U.K. via Toppan Leefung in China. the other is printed in the U.S. by a U.S. chapter of Penguin. These two versions are printed on different paper. The U.K. version features the removable dust jacket and the U.S. version does not. I have the U.K. version. My tests have shown me that this version handles water based markers such as Tombow markers, Staedtler fineliners and gel pens just fine. BUT I have seen and heard the results from people colouring the pages of their U.S. version with markers only to find them showing through and even bleeding through terribly. Please test your art supplies in your book before hand to avoid these unfortunate results. The page below was coloured with a combination of Tombow markers, Faber Castell connector pens and assorted glittery gel pens. There is no bleed through to the other side of the page… not even a ghostly shadow! I would advise that you allow each layer of marker to dry first before applying the next as this paper does not tolerate getting wet very well and a second layer of markers over the damp paper will cause the surface skin of the paper to pill.
On the other hand this paper loves pencil. I have used multiple pencils from artist quality to student quality with excellent results. The paper has a nice tooth, slightly less than the other two books but still quite good. I coloured the title page with Faber Castell Polychromos and Derwent Artist pencils. I am currently working on several other pictures which I’ll post as I complete them. When I have enough finished I will do a video review of the book so look out for that in the near future on my YouTube channel: