Book Review: Imagimorphia with Coloured pages.

I love Kerby Rosannes’ style.  His wild doodles make engrossing colouring entertainent and I’ve enjoying playing in his second book ‘Animorphia’.  So when I heard about a second book set to be released I jumped straight onto the Book Depository and told them to take my money. 🙂  For a little while my copy of Imagimorphia has sat patiently on my book shelf next to it’s brother Animorphia waiting for me to cycle through my obligatory book reviews and tutorials.  Finally it was it’s turn to see how it compared to the first book in this print style.  And it didn’t disappoint.

(See below for a few of my coloured examples.)

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Once again the doodle master Kerby has presented us with a romp of wild images to play in and explore.  A fascinating mix of animals, mech and panorama’s all populated with his inky kaleidoscope of beasties and objects to discover. Once again he invites us to hunt a list of objects detailed in the back of the book and this is part of the fun for me as I like to tick them off as I find them.  Self imposed rule: I’m only allowed to tick them off when I actually colour them. 🙂

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This pair of skulls have been a colouring hit. I have seen many examples of them coloured online.

The pictures in the book are a combination of double page spreads and paired single page pictures like the skulls above.  This gives the book a pleasing sense of organisation.  There are only a handful of single, stand alone pictures.  Great news for people who are not interested in drawing: Kerby has drastically cut down the number of images that require you to add your own drawing to fill out the page.  People who like to do this may be disappointed.  For myself, I love drawing but if I’m going to draw I prefer to add a background to a floating image or else draw something completely for myself on my own work so the change hasn’t bothered me.

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One of a number of mechanised doodles. I love the way Kerby has combined living creatures and metal. This picture is paired with another half mech beetle on it’s facing page.

The paper and print quality is very good in my book.  Mine was published through Michael O’Mara books and printed in Italy. It feels very similar to the paper in Animorphia.  It is smooth and bright white. (Ignore the yellow tones on my pictures… it’s a horrible day weather wise and my camera was not co-operating.) Pencils love this paper and they lay down easily with plenty of tooth for layering.  My Tombow water based markers and my Faber Castell Pitt pens (indian ink) did not bleed through or even show through.  Inktense pencils activate equally as well with a Tombow blender pen and a water filled aquabrush giving a few seconds to spread the ink out before setting.  Again I experienced no bleed through, even with a fair amount of water.  The Tombow activated Inktense parts did not experience any paper buckling.  There was a small amount of buckling with water but not enough to worry me.  Activating the Inktense with blender pens is fun but I have a slight preference for the aquabrush method as I feel I have more control over the density of the ink.  Also Tombows here are crazy expensive and one book would drain a LOT of Tombows. 🙂

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Onto my finished pieces:  First off I started with the first paired set of pictures in the book: the Swans.  I have seen all different kinds of coloured swans completed but I really wanted to colour them realistically.  So I chose one to be a white swan and the other to be a black.  Black swans are Australia’s native swan species and they are very common where I am.  In fact I didn’t realise swans could be white until I saw them in Disney movies and thought they were elegant looking geese!  The swan is not completely accurate… black swans do not have the large black cere white swans have.  Other then that i think it comes pretty close.  I used a light blue for the edges of the feathers just to give it a bit more definition and life.  In real life the feathers are more of a very dark ashy grey that lighten towards the edges.

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Sorry about the rotten lighting. There really isn’t a yellow cast on the left side of the page, it’s all bright white.

On the opposite page I coloured the swan white.  White has always been a bit of a puzzle for the new colourist.  the secret to colouring white is to know that nothing is actually truly white.  Everything white actually has a tiny amount of another colour tinting it and that is what you look for to gently shade in shadows with.  My own favourite trick for colouring whites is to choose three light examples of the primary colours and carefully combine them to give the overall illusion of white while still making the picture look lively and coloured.

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Looking at swan pictures I found that, to me, the suggested shading for the white was a kind of muddy yellow green so I allowed a light olive colour to dominate the shadows of this swan’s feathers.  These two pictures where coloured with Faber Castell polychromos pencils only.

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The swans together. Just don’t do this in real life. Black swans are very aggressive and will drive away it’s white cousin.

I wanted to test Inktense in the paper so I coloured in one of the pair of clocks that appear in the book.  I was very happy with their performance and glad to report there was absolutely not a hint of bleed through or show through on the other side.

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This book has entered in my selection of favourites.  Along with Enchanted Forest, Dagdrommar and The Magical City I’ll be colouring in this one for a long time to come.

23 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    Beautiful, as always. Love the swans. And thank you for the explanation you gave on your coloring, particularly of the white swan.

    Reply
  2. Paula Puffer

    Hi, Peta. Your review comes at an opportune time because last week I received my copy from the Book Depository. I was paging through and I do not know how the paper in my copy compares to yours. Mine was from the same publisher as yours but mine was printed in China. When you were working with Amimorphia, I saw a copy here in the US and was not impressed with the paper. But the new book seems better. I am not an artist so I was put off by having to do my own additions so the new book being more complete was a nice idea to me. I am a total novice and am currently making my color charts. Can you please tell me how you did the yellow background? Backgrounds are perplexing to me. I did find your tutorial about pastels informative. Thank you for this informative review. I look forward to coloring in this book.

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Paula. How strange. i ordered mine also from the Book depository and it was an Italian print, i wonder why they’ve used two different printers for their British version. BTW, my Animorphia is Chinese and the paper seems to be okay. I have not tried inktense in it though.
      The yellow background was done with a yellow Inktense pencil… coloured the paper and activated with water. Yellow is very forgiving and I find I can get a fairly smooth result with it.

      Reply
      1. AnnW

        Peta, I am glad you mentioned yellow Inktense being very forgiving as I have been meaning to ask you if you had any trouble with the darker colors spreading smoothly for example the browns such as Saddle Brown. Of course th blacks like Indian Ink spread very well but I really have trouble with the browns. Do you also experience this or is it just me?

        Reply
        1. Chaypeta (Post author)

          I find some of the Inktense are easier to smooth than others. I’m afraid it comes down to trial and error. Browns don’t smooth so well but paynes grey, for me, is great.

          Reply
  3. Sandra Harris

    Love the results you have achieved Peta, the swans are strikingly beautiful.I am enjoying this book immensley even more than the first one. Look forward to a tutorial in this, please!

    Reply
  4. Chris Sadler

    Stunning as usual. Many thanks for your time and effort teaching us newbee’s the tricks and tips we all crave. we may have given up otherwise which would be a shame. There is a lot of hidden talent out there. We can now produce work to be proud of because of you.

    Many Thanks

    Chris

    Reply
  5. Lo

    As always the colouring is just gorgeous Peta. This is another book to add to my collection,.
    We’re on holidays and I took a huge plastic container full of books and pencils and markers. Travelling for a full day meant no colouring and I think I have withdrawal symptoms ?
    I was so happy to see you had a blog post I could drool over. Helped take the edge off seeing your magnificent work,

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      🙂

      Reply
  6. Chris

    Wow Peta! Beautiful as always. Thanks for the tips as well as the wonderful info on coloring both the white and black swans. I think it’s awesome that you’re so willing to share so much info with us. I’ve learned SO much!

    Also, I’ve noticed that the US versions of a lot of these books aren’t quite the same quality as what you describe. Johanna Basford even confirmed that the printing is different. So I’ve taken to ordering my coloring books from Amazon.uk so I get the same ones you’re reviewing. I have both versions of Lost Ocean and I’m surprised at how different they are. The images are the same; but the binding, paper, and covers are different. I’ll be ordering this one from the UK too.

    Once again, thanks for your tips and inspiration!

    Reply
  7. Helene

    MAGNIFIQUE… Thanks for your tips and inspiration. It’s almost wonderfull.

    Reply
  8. Dee

    Very Nice. I have been ‘collecting’ coloring books.I love the art work…Enjoy following you and a great inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  9. Cleo Fraser

    I knew nothing about these 2 books. Thanks to your tutorial, I now know quite a bit. Well done, as always, PETA!

    Reply
  10. Laureen Hawes

    Hi Peta, I was just in my local craft store today and picked this book up and immediately put it down. I have become a coloring book junkie and promised myself,”NOT ANOTHER ONE” until I’ve worked the twenty or so ones I all ready have. Maybe later as a special treat if I;m good…. As always a fantastic review, please keep up the good work.

    Reply
  11. Denisa

    Hello Peta, I really like the swan picture. Could you please share with us which Polychromos pencils you have used? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Denisa. I can only tell you the colours of the swan feathers as I used lots and lots for everything else and I can’t remember all of them. The Black swan feathers were coloured with paynes grey, black with sky blue for the edges of the feathers. The white swan feathers were carefully tinted with layers of light cobalt turquoise, cream and light magenta ALL very lightly applied and careful to leave the edges of the feathers white. I shaded the darker areas with olive green yellowish.

      Reply
  12. Tracy

    Fun review Peta! I’ve been looking forward to seeing you work your magic in Kirby’s latest book 🙂

    Reply
  13. Debbie Blazton

    PETA, thanks so much for sharing your review. I have received my copy from Book Depository as well, and I am anxiioous to get started. I do appreciate the information on coloring with white. That information helps so much. Happy Coloring!

    Reply
  14. Samantha G.

    News Flash: the next book in his series, Mythomorphia, will be out May 2017. I have barely made a dent in this latest one, but can hardly wait for the next!

    Reply
    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Ah… i spotted a potential cover for this one. Definitely on my wish list. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Sade

    Hi peta

    Reply
  16. Tracy

    Thank you for another great review! I finally got to see a US copy today in a bookstore – another coloring book with a GLUED binding (and badly at that – very difficult to open many of the 2 page spreads). The paper is also so smooth that it’s practically slick. I came home and ordered a UK version from Book Depository. I sure wish US publishers would get a clue!

    Book Depository also has some listings for poster versions of Animorphia and Imagimorphia due out in coming months. From the descriptions, it sounds like each will have 20 large “artists’ prints” which would be a great way to do some of Kerby’s really magnificent 2 page spreads.

    Reply
  17. Alain

    Hi Peta. Wonderful review. Does the paper not warp when you wet it?

    Reply

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