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.)
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. 🙂
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.