Wednesday, 20 July 2016

My World of Colours - The Beginning

I've always had a soft spot for art during my primary and secondary school days all the way up to Form 3.  I have taken part in many art competitions (and won some), usually abstract art like poster competitions, and once represented my school in an art competition (but didn't win).  But that all ended in Form 3 when I qualified for the Science Stream.

And then, one day, Scottish artist and illustrator Johanna Basford's adult colouring books burst onto the scene and took the world by storm...and got everyone interested in colouring again (me included).  She may have ignited the fire of the 'little artist' in me that I thought was long extinguished! ;D

Her first publication in 2013, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt & Colouring Book, has since sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.  She followed that up with two more books in 2015, the Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Colouring Book and Lost Ocean: An Inky Quest & Colouring Book.  All three books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list.  Two new books are due to be out in 2016, Magical Jungle and Johanna's Christmas.

In Malaysia, the trend exploded (and peaked) in the middle of last year (we are always slower as usual) when her first book was made available locally...and the colouring bug has finally caught up with me! ;D

After thinking long and hard, I decided to purchase Basford's Secret Garden: Artist's Edition (a pull-out and frame colouring book) @ RM76.32 featuring 20 of her most popular artworks from the original book.  I didn't buy any of her three books because I wasn't sure if my interest will wane (like all trends interests do) or if I'll be committed to finish colouring any of her books.  I thought I'll start with just these 20 pieces/pages and see how I feel and go from there.  The other advantage of getting the Artist's Edition is that the pages are larger (10 x 13 inches or about an inch wider than A4 size on all sides) and they can be pulled out and framed when you're done (if you like) plus it makes a nice personal gift too (if you want to).

Front Cover

Back Cover

One of the ready-to-colour artwork inside

Now that I have my pages, ready to colour and frame, I need the tools to do it.  I finally decided to go with Faber-Castell's (Polychromos) artist's colour pencils after researching some options online although Johanna Basford is now in collaboration with (and recommends) Staedtler.  Whatever it is, all these colour pencil brands have her to thank coz she helped increase their sales now that millions of people have taken to colouring! :D

This is my Faber-Castell Tin of 36 colour pencils @ RM207.  I know, I seems mighty expensive! But, it isn't really (coz the cost is nothing when you're passionate about something).  Anyway, there are way more expensive ones if you were to buy tins of 60 or 72....even up to 120 colours (all the way up to RM1k)! O_o

Though I want to do justice to Basford's colouring book and would love to have as many colours as possible, I'm also sane enough not to go overboard and spend too much unnecessarily.  But I do recognise the fact that I still need to spend a bit to get one of the better, high quality colour pencils if I'm committed to bring Johanna's blank canvases to life.

Getting this tin of 36 of colours, I was giddy like a little schoolgirl getting her first box of 12 colour know, the one with the ship on the box cover (when we first went to school), hehe ;)

Let me show you my box of beautiful colours.....

shades of yellow, orange, pink and red

shades of purple, blue and green

shades of brown, grey and black

....and I think a box of 36 colours just about serves my purpose nicely :)

Maybe some may think that this latest hobby of mine is expensive.....but if I have hours and hours of enjoyment, then it's all worth it.  I believe it'll be therapeutic and calming...and I can't wait to get started.

I have my colourful pencils, I have Basford's beautiful and intricate designs, I'm all set to get started.  Stay tuned for my first masterpiece? ^_*  Kekeke! :D


  1. Ah! You like drawing and painting too! That was my hobby when I was young. Coloring books, art blocks, color pencils, magic pens and watercolors were my thing back then. But I am not that good to be competition material lah.

    My favorite subject in school - lukisan hee..hee.. But sadly when I was in form 4 (Assunta PJ), art class was held in the afternoon after school. My mum was reluctant to let me stay back (and have to pick me up later), so I had to drop it :( But hey, it's never too late to pick up again! But right now, I really don't have the time. This is one hobby where you need time and a relaxed pace to be inspired. Well, good for you! I can't wait to see your masterpiece!

    1. We seem to like quite a few similar food...and now we have a common hobby too...hi 5! ;) You think you don't have the time to indulge in this but all you need (actually) is to set aside half an hour...that's all. You can colour a little bit at a time...since it's not a race (to finish). I say immerse yourself in your hobby and let the your artistic nature flourish! ;D

  2. I have seen these books but they are too expensive for me so I retrieved two boxes of children colour pencils from many years ago but still in working conditions and started using them. Will post what I have done so far. Best is I don't need to spend any monet yet have loads of fun. Have you seen the new colouring book with local msian items? Very nice. Perhaps you can buy that book too.

    1. For now, I'm not attracted to any other colouring books except Johanna's. Plus there'll be no buying more books until I'm finished with these initial 20 pcs of artwork! ;)

      And as much as I don't want or like to spend, I find that the children colour pencils are very difficult to use for this purpose, so I had no choice but to get these specific colour pencils.

  3. awww, you're such a tease! as i scrolled down and read this, i was increasingly looking forward to seeing your coloured work. don't keep us waiting too long, hehe :D

    1. You won't have first piece will be 'published' soon.....kekeke! :D

  4. There's something very soothing about colouring. Your book and new set of pencils await you. ;-)

    1. Yes, it's rather calming actually...and, yes, I've already started 'playing' with my new toys :)

  5. I like colouring too but I will not buy the book as I know I'm a hangat hangat tahi ayam type. I rather do the colouring with my girl on her princess colouring book LOL

    1. That's why I decided to buy the artist's edition with just 20 pages to colour instead of the whole book in case I lose interest and cannot finish colouring them. And yeah, colouring is a fun family activity for mom and daughter :)


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