Canadians have got amazing art cred! I say this from a position of knowledge because I have in front of me a simply amazing colouring book called ‘Legendary Landscapes’ the brain child of Witek Radomski and Carrie Wong. This book, published in Vancouver by Colorworth Publishing Incorporated, was originally crowd funded through Kickstarter as is their second book Legendary Worlds which I also plan to review in the future.
Legendary Landscapes features 80 pictures from seven Canadian artists; the books creators Witek Radomski and Carrie Wong as well as Al Sayers, Kamala Melzack, Adrienna Drozdowski, illustrator and graffiti artist ‘Ratbath’ and one other contributor who has chosen to remain anonymous. Each page has a thumbnail in the back of the book stating the artist behind it. The overwhelming majority of the pictures are single sided but there is a handful of two page spreads.
Another outstanding feature of this book is it’s size. It’s big. It is a full 30cm by 30cm (12 x 12 inches). For comparison ‘Secret garden’ is 25cm x25cm or 10 x 10 inches. The pages are printed on lovely thick bright white paper with a good tooth despite the smooth feeling surface and the print quality is very high. There are 6 sewn signatures glue bound into the spine. The cover is soft but sturdy. This book will not fall apart easily, which is just as well because you are going to need a little forceful persuasion to get the pages to lie almost flat when you first start colouring in them.
This book features are large variety of subjects around the central theme of landscapes. You will find forests, woodlands, farmland, urban areas, space exploration as well as pure fantasy settings, each theme loosely set out amongst its like. there is a variety of different line art styles from thin to thick. Something for everyone.
Of course i have had a play in this book already to test the paper and also because those pictures are just begging to be coloured. 🙂 My first picture was the Salmon jumping in the sunset that i have posted previously. I’ll add it again to the end of this post just to be complete. 🙂 This one I broke out my prismacolors and gave them an airing and they did very well. A pleasure to colour on this paper.
The next picture I chose to do was this desert scene with an Aurora Borealis casting coloured light down from above onto a mother and calf musk ox. I decided to colour it with Tombow markers to test the claim that this paper does not bleed through. I can happily report that this is true! Despite my dark intense colouring there is no bleed through at all using water based markers. (Note that alcohol based markers will bleed through as they bleed through most paper.) I used the method of creating an under layer of colouring with Faber Castell Classic pencils and colouring with the markers over the top as I have discovered that I can get a smoother finish using this method. Note that the bright colours on the rocks are Classic pencils alone… as you can see they do quite well on this paper just by themselves. After colouring i went over the piece with Prismacolor pencils to bring out the highlights and shading and to add more interest to the colours. I found this method of colouring quite a bit quicker then my usual method of using coloured pencils only and resulted in much brighter, intense looking colours. I deliberately kept the colouring loose and ‘scruffy’ looking.
Next I tackled the tiger picture. this time i wanted to give the paper a real workout using water based media. The majority of this picture was completed with Inktense pencils with coloured pencils (Prismacolors and Caran D’Ache Luminance) used to intensify shadows, bring out highlights and add more interest to the picture. I also used a mica infused watercolour paint called ‘Twinkling H20’s for the orange on the tiger and Caran D’Ache Neocolor II watercolor pastels for the blue sky and planet. Sparkles were added with a Uniball Signo white gel pen.
I found the the media rendered lovely results but there were a few issues. This paper is not watercolour paper and unfortunately there was a small amount of bleed through with very wet media. The orange bleed through the most but it wasn’t super severe. The Inktense bleed through only if i used a lot of water and only a little. The Neocolors did not bleed through at all. The paper is very thirsty and sucked the pigment very quickly into it giving me only a second or two with the Inktense to spread it around… the Magical City (Australian print) is much more Inktense friendly and gives me a little longer to play before locking the pigment down. Also, I found I needed a thicker layer of Inktense than i would normally use to get the same density of colour. And of course there is a small amount of buckling with the paper. but nothing that happened would stop me from happily and successfully colouring the image on the other side of the page and overall I’ll be using Inktense and other wet media in this book, abeit with care.
Overall… I love this book. it is right up my alley with the theme of the pictures. i loved it so much I joined the Kickstarter for the second book Legendary Worlds and own a copy with even more fantastic pictures in it which I am keen to start going crazy with with my colouring media. And yes I will be after a copy of the next legendary book which is currently in production. If you like big bold beautiful landscapes to loose yourself in colouring wise I recommend this book whole heartedly.
If this book interests you then you can find more information and where to purchase it here at the Colorworth web site: