by Odessa Begay
Published by Lark Crafts on 6 September 2016
Style: double page printing
Format: Card cover, Glue & Stitched
Settle in for the night and enter the macabre, mysterious world of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling tales coloring images that reference settings, motifs, and details from Poe's famous literary works.
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Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book
Edgar Allan Poe is a renowned literary figure. Most fantasy artists credit Poe with the inspiration behind a lot of their artwork. He is best known for his short stories and poems that are often described as macabre and chilling. He left his mark on the world with his contribution to mystery writing, detective fiction and science fiction.
It was only natural that someone would bring to life the words of Poe into illustrative form in the form of a coloring book. Odessa Begay has taken on the arduous task of providing illustrations suitable for colorists that correlate with snippets from some of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous works. I say that it is an arduous task, because whenever you try and interpret a literary giant of the magnitude of Poe there will be difficulties. You have no direction from the creator of the words and how they would visualise the art. You are limited by the outline form of coloring books rather than the freedom of painting the image you see it. I really admire illustrations that take on this job as I see it as a very difficult task.
Cover & Layout
The cover of the Edgar Allan Poe is very indicative of his literary works. The black sky with the old style font and ravens in the background already conjure up a lonely, night where anything could happen 🙂 Some red foil highlights with droplets on the cover immediately remind us of blood. The balance of the cover is in line art. As the cover is a matte finish you could happily color the rest of this stark imagery. The back cover follows the theme through. There are some red pre printed highlights and the balance of the cover can be colored. This same shade of red has been used on the spine of the book with simple white text.
The book measures approximately 25cm x 25cm (10 in x 10 in).
The inside cover is beautifully presented with a black matte inner cover and a start black title page with white text. Usually, I like the title page to be something that I can test mediums on, but in this instance, the black is just right and the double page spread of black really suits the nature of Poe.
A copyright notice follows with a simple black cat adorning the page. A lovely dedication by the artist follows with elements including an envelope, feather, spectacles and flourishes to color. On the reverse of this page is an introduction by the artist. This is a really nice touch because as I said earlier, illustrating for Poe is one giant task. Odessa explains how she wanted to capture the essence of Poe and the “duality of sadness and beauty”. She did not wish to focus wholly on the dark but also to include the love that is associated so much with longing and pain. Odessa has also tried to incorporate the symbolism that is often evident in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. This lovely page has been decorated with a gorgeous frame and adorned with a simple raven. This would also be a fabulous spot to test out those mediums and ensure there is no bleed through.
The illustrations have been printed on both sides of the white paper. The paper is a medium quality and has a slight texture to it making it ideal for layering pencils. Alcohol based markers would bleed through but water based like tombows, should be fine (always discreetly test before diving in!).
All of the images have been orientated portrait style. Throughout the book there are ….double page scenes with the balance being imagery contained on one page.
I originally thought that a coloring book based on Edgar Allan Poe would be extremely dark and macabre. I thought I might be scared turning the pages over and have to run to one of my bunny books for comfort 🙂 This has not been the case, thankfully 🙂
The illustrations in this book are all delicately drawn with a fine hand. The line weight is fine throughout although there is some solid black coloring. The line art is a dull black and has a hand illustrated, sketchy feel to it. This is further enhanced by the fact that in some images the line color is fainter on some elements presumably to distinguish foreground and background elements.
You will find skulls, black cats and skeletal parts, stones, stained glass imagery, candles, ravens and creatures together with windy nights. Whilst there are some pages that are more filler style, comprising either patterns or quotes with an elaborate frame around it, the bulk of the imagery provides a lot of coloring opportunity.
There are approximately 34 pages of double page scenes. In a lot of these scenes the art work has been cleverly positioned to avoid the spine area of the book. There are a number of images throughout the double page scenes and the single page imagery that do abut the spine. The book pushes down well making it easy to tackle these areas near the spine.
Most of the imagery, although filling the page, has large areas of space to color, making it easy to color for all skill levels. This also makes it ideal for Poe fans that have minor visual issues or health issues that make coloring tight spaces a challenge.
Most of the art work tends to fill the whole of the page. There are some images where you could some background magic but not too many. I’m somewhat disappointed that there hasn’t been a few pages with a pre printed black background which really conjures up Poe art for me.
Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book Video Review
Enjoy the video review of the Poe Coloring Book below:
Where to buy Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book
|Amazon US||Amazon UK||Amazon Canada||Book Depository|
For Poe fans, there is a choice of coloring books with a more cartoony style alternative called The Book of Poe here.
Happy coloring x