Need For Color Coloring Books – A First Look
Our friends over at Need for Color invited us to try out a couple of their new coloring books so this article is dedicated to discussing these two coloring books and what we think of them. In what can be a pretty competitive market, having a coloring book that stands out can be somewhat of a challenge. However, Need for Color seems up to the challenge.
Need for Color is a project from a European gallery owner/artist whose main goal is to bring art closer to people. This is primarily accomplished through their implementation of a digital format for their coloring books.
*Note* We have recently learned that Need For Color is also making paperback versions of their book. We have provided direct links to these as well.
Digital Format – What Does This Mean?
Some of you might be wondering what this means exactly. Unlike conventional coloring books that you purchase from a store in a book format (either hard-backed or paper-backed) when you purchase a Need for Color coloring book you receive a digital download of the book. This is a file of the book that you then print off onto your own paper. This was a bit different than what we are used to be we quickly became comfortable with it.
The decision to go digital was partly due to the research that Need for Color performed before starting on creating their coloring books. After speaking to hundreds of adult coloring book fans, a common complaint they found was that the coloring books that people purchased were often printed on double-sided paper or of poor quality. Low-quality paper directly affects how well you can blend and there could also be potential bleed-through when using watercolor pencils or even standard colored pencils with heavier hues. This obviously could really affect the enjoyment one has while coloring and it is something that Need for Color wanted to make sure they avoided.
Benefits of Digital Format Coloring Books
By going digital, it allows the user to choose their favorite type of paper to use and also avoid having to draw on two-sided papers. In addition, it allows for multiple prints of the book which means you can get a lot more use out of a purchase since if you want to color another drawing you simply go print off a new copy. You can not only share it with family and friends but also try different color schemes for a given drawing, which goes along with their intention of bringing art closer to people.
Cons of Digital Format Coloring Books
The most obvious additional step that you have to go through is going out and purchasing your own paper and finding a place to print the pages onto the paper. This is an added expense in terms of both money and time which might turn some people off of digital coloring books. In addition, giving colored pencils and coloring books as gifts has become extremely popular and a digital copy of a coloring book might not have the same impact as a book that is part of a physical gift (obviously you could still make a coloring book out of a digital download, though!).
The Coloring Books
As mentioned above, Need for Color currently has two books available on their website. These two books are Return to Heaven and When Dreams Come True. Need for Color was nice enough to send us a copy of each so we will give our thoughts of both below.
Return to Heaven
This coloring book Return to Heaven was made by Persefi Eskes, a 27-year-old artist from Bulgaria. It is 36 pages long (30 pages of which are drawings) and is primarily comprised of pictures of mystical environments that are often being occupied by tribal-like people. There is a wide variety of floral arrangements that allow for nice color variation. This will be particularly good for those who have multiple shades of a certain color and want an opportunity to use them all in a contrasting way. The drawing style is very free-spirited and unstructured which really helps to foster a sense of originality and artistic exploration.
You could implement many different shades of green and skin-colored tones and make it appear quite natural or if you want to go wild and explore a wider palette, the dream-like settings would handle them without looking too abstract. The backgrounds and the relatively large areas on the people’s skin allow for you to work on blending techniques.
Our favorite pieces are the image of a mother with her baby (page 24) and a woman in the forest with an interesting bird-like creature (page 29).
If you are interested in trying out Return to Heaven as a paperback book you can purchase it here.
When Dreams Come True
The coloring book When Dreams Come True is the work of Petya Konstantinova, an artist who lives in Prague and who left the corporate world to hone her creative spirit in art. It is 35 pages long (with 30 individual drawings) and is comprised of a wide range of playful and dreamlike settings that are occupied by an eclectic group of characters. The themes are a bit more diverse than in Return to Heaven, with more emphasis on modern-day buildings and structures and less on elaborate floral arrangements. However, there are still many areas to implement fine contrasting colors such as in rain drops, striped hair, and door shingles. There also are large backdrops which are perfect for blending and exploring color layering without concern of smearing over the lines.
Our favorite pieces in this book are the cats overlooking the city in a hot air balloon (page 22) and the lady in the dress drinking a glass of champagne amidst vegetation (page 11).
If you are interested in a paperback version of When Dreams Come True you can purchase it here.
We really enjoyed working with both of these coloring books and feel that their art design is original enough to warrant looking into. We are also fans of the digital download approach as it gives us the opportunity to use our favorite coloring paper. While those who enjoy giving and receiving physical coloring books might be a bit turned off by having to print their own pictures, the extra flexibility and re-usability you enjoy more than makes up for it.
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