Escape To Wonderland. Book Review and Coloured Pictures.

I was naughty and bought myself a post Christmas present: ‘Escape To Wonderland’.  This cute little book… measuring only 18cm square, is yet another Alice In Wonderland colouring book. I’ve seen three others so far.  this one took my eye, though.  Not only is it a nice small travel size but the style of the drawings are in that quirky, freehand style that I like so much in ‘The Magical City’.  The book was drawn by ‘Good Wives and Warriors’, a creative duo powerhouse comprised of artists Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell, both known for their heavily detailed murals along with magazine and book cover art.  The publisher is ‘Puffin Books’ and my particular copy was printed and bound in Victoria, Australia.

Titlepage

Coloured with Polychromos pencils.

I have a very detailed video review of this book which will be up on Youtube in the next few days.  But I’ll give you the short and sweet version here:

I love the art.  there is a bucket of variety here with just the right amount of doodled detail to play with.  The art is drawn loose and freehand which means some of the anatomy in Alice and the animals she meets looks disproportionate and amateurish BUT these artists are not amateurs and the wonderful variation and playfulness of the pictures more than makes up for this.  I particularly like the later marine based pictures and the wonderful over grown gardens.

AliceHair

This one I tried out some Derwent Coloursoft pencils that I received bundled with another book along with my Poly’s and Prismas.

Now for the bad parts: the paper is not so great.  Although nice and bright and feels fairly sturdy the paper has, I believe, a weak ‘tooth’ which flattens quickly when the first layer of colour is applied, making it hard to lay down a second colour over the first.  If you want to layer in this book you will have to go gently.  Secondly the binding is the worst I’ve come across so far in a colouring book.  Although the pages feel secure the glue used has dried outside the centre folds meaning that the signatures have glued creeping up in between them with some of the glue, still tacky, leaking a little onto the very middle margins of the page.  I was wondering why my hand was feeling sticky while colouring until I worked it.  It’s not a major issue but it is annoying.

RabbitHole

Coloured with Derwent Coloursoft, Polychromos and Prismacolors.

The white rabbit picture above was a lot of fun to colour.  Note the colour scheme used here is not entirely my own.  While looking up this book I came across this picture coloured similar to the one you see above.  I loved the bright,psychedelic result so much that I employed a lot of the same elements into this piece  (namely the leaves in the tree and the colours of the rabbit.).  I do not know this artists name so I apologize to her for not giving her the recognition she deserves here.  If anyone finds her name please let me know so that I can add it here.

GryphonSml

I added the sea in the background as I felt it needed something more to fill it out. White gel pen was used for the sparkly effects.

I love gryphons.  The style of this book was begging for some Inktense action so I broke out my Derwent Inktense pencils to see how they would perform.  And I was quite surprised.  The weak tooth isn’t an issue for the water activated Inktense pencils.  And the paper allowed the pencils to almost fully dissolve leaving just a little texture.  As you can see the colours came out nice and bright.  BUT there was some bleed through. :(.  Fortunately for the most part it was minimal and faint and only a worry if I really saturated the paper.  Still, something to be mindful about although it won’t stop me from using more Inktense in this book.

Cards

 

Lastly I wanted to test water based markers in the book so next came my Tombows.  Again the results were nice and bright but again there was faint bleed through in some spots.  Not enough to stop me colouring the pages one the opposite side of the paper but still a little annoying.  If you are going to use water based markers I suggest you choose soft tipped ones as they are less likely to drive the ink through the page.  And work fairly quickly using only a single layer, don’t try to smooth over with a second layer.  I will limit my marker use in this book to smaller sections.  Also I used a gold gel pen to give the cards an authentic look.  No problems with these and no bleed through that I can see but it will need a more thorough test before I’m satisfied that gel pens are safe to play with in here.

On the whole I’m pleased with this book and will be colouring a lot more in it, so expect to see more pages from it in the near future.  My video review of this book has been filmed and should go live on my YouTube channel in the next few days… I’ll keep you posted.

19 Comments

  1. Sharon k

    I received this book at Christmas and you have inspired me PETA to start it with your beautiful images

    Reply
  2. Beth Feldman

    What beautiful choices of color! Love your illustrations!

    Reply
  3. patchie dee

    Hi Peta, where did you purchase this book from, it’s lovely…..and your colourings are lovely.

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Patchie. I bought this book from Dymocks in Australia but I believe you can buy it online from the Book Depository.

      Reply
      1. Melvina Grose

        Yes you can buy this book at book depository. I have this book on my wish list. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Sharon k

          I bought my copy from Amazon, hope this helps x

          Reply
          1. Samantha G.

            The Amazon website says this book is unavailable. I will try the Book Depository. Thanks.

      2. patchie dee

        Great thanks! I’m also in Australia, so I’ll try Dymocks.

        Reply
        1. Mechell

          I live in the US and I just purchased mine on Book Depository – Can’t wait… Thanks PETA for letting me know it was out there ?…You do great work and you also inspire us all , keep up the wonderful work….

          Reply
  4. Tracey

    Hi Peta, your work is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    Regarding the binding problem you mentioned, I see your copy is printed in Oz but my copy is printed in Britain and I don’t have any issues. A couple of the double page spreads don’t match perfectly in the centre but it is not a major drama for me. I am a novice so unfortunately, I don’t know if the paper is any different in quality.

    Thanks again for your amazing tutorials.

    Reply
  5. Charne

    I have my eye on this one for sure 😉

    Reply
  6. Reva S.

    Hi Peta,
    I have been looking through various Alice in Wonderland coloring nooks. I want to send a gift to my dear, dear friend (we have been close friends since we were about five or six years old. ) For most of our adult lives we have lived in different places but we have kept up and now we speak to each other every week! One year, when we were kids she gave ma a copy of the Alice in Wonderland book with the Tenniel sp? and also had Through the looking Glass in it as well. So this has a special meaning. Also when I was in my senior year in high school, I was asked to draw the illustrations for our Year Book and they wanted them based on the original illustrations. So another reason this is special for me.
    I love the way you have colored in Escape to |onderland! As always your sense of color is splendid, your approach to the subject matter wonderful, and such a pleasure to see. And your review was great. I have decided to get this book and I have decided to color this with crayons. Crayola now has what they call Twistable crayons which sharpen the crays with a twist. There is an interior sharpener. They have this for pencils as well but I am just going to use the crayons and will be using Derwent Color Soft pencils which I am now buying as well. There is also another book on this subject and the pages are made to be taken ount. I have been thinking of coloring a number of the pages as the gift so that she can put them up for her grandchildren to enjoy when they come to visit her. It will take some time because it seems that there is a long delivery for things to get to me so I guess it may be almost a month before I can get started. I will let you know if it goes well.
    I know this is long but I must tell you this. I am so impressed with your art journal. I adore the winged boys and while thinking about them today I was wondering if you have any ideas of doing a book or a series of books with them and character like them. You do love whimsy and I think you would have a winner! I would buy it and other copies to give as gifts. Thank you again and again for sharing so much with all of us every week. As many other have said, I too have learned so much from you. All the best, |eva

    Reply
  7. Rikki

    Thanks so much for the review Peta. Loved the pictures so much I ordered one from the Book Depository. It arrived quicker to WA than things posted from Sydney. Its has quickly become my favorite book so much so, I’m going to treat myself to their other book, Escape From Christmas Past to take on holiday.
    I have learned so much from watching your videos. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Alain

    Hi Peta. I have this book and it is printed by Puffin in Great Britain. I’ve tried using Polychromos but with disastrous results. You see the tooth of the paper through the colours ache it looks patchy. So I’m going to try Faber-Castell watercolour Pencils (not the Durer ones, the less expensive ones). Thank you for your review. It helps a lot.

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      I agree. I did not like the laydown of Polychromos on this paper. If you can get your hands on them try Prismacolor or Derwent Soft pencils. I think softer pencils do work better. The water colour pencils are softer. I haven’t tried them yet but they may work. (Actually i do have a pack of FC watercolour pencils, I’ll give them a go myself.)

      Reply
      1. Samantha G.

        I have been using the Colleen pencils in this book and they work great.

        Reply
        1. Rikki

          Agree about the Colleen’s I have just got a set and have found them to work the best after trying several other pencils including Polychromos.

          Reply
  9. Alain

    Peta how did you do those clouds in the background? Is it pastel and a template?

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Alain. I did the clouds freehand, I drew and coloured them in with coloured pencil. I’ve just used the same technique with a picture I’m currently working on in Dagdrommar.

      Reply

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