by Shala Kerrigan
Published by Dover Publications on July 15th 2015
Style: color inspiration images, Perforated pages, single page illustrations
Format: Glue Binding, Soft cover
Offering unlimited opportunities for shading and color choices, mandalas can be among the most challenging designs to color. This helpful book offers lightly printed numbers that correspond to a color key.
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Mandalas – Color By Number
Mandalas are always a popular choice with colorists to relax with. The soothing designs usually offer the colorist endless possibilities when selecting a color palette.
One of the main problems that new colorists have is being overwhelmed with how to choose colors that look complimentary, contrasting and interesting on completion.
Color by numbers works by allocating a color to a given number on the design. Having the color choice made for you, with a color by number option, often is helpful to get to know how colors work and remove any stress associated with choosing a palette. Of course, you do not need to color your numbers with the key provided, but can choose or substitute your own colors instead.
Cover & Layout
This book is published by Creative Haven part of the Dover Publications Group. All of their books follow a similar format, being soft cover, containing colored inspirational images and using perforated paper.
The cover of Mandalas – Color By Number features a partially completed mandala. On close inspection, the coloring has the appearance of pencils. If you look closely at the cover, you will also see the numbers underneath the layer of any lighter colors.
On the inside front cover a color key has been provided which provides for 24 colors being used – black, gray, dark gray, burgundy, red, rose, pink, lavender, violet, royal blue, light blue, sky blue, teal, green, dark green, yellow green, bright yellow, yellow orange, peach, orange, orange red, brown, tan and dark brown. Not all sets of 24 pencils would have this range of colors. You may need to substitute colors that you do not have for others.
There are 14 thumbnails on the inside front cover showing completed pages from the book. The balance of 32 colored images are shown as thumbnails on the inside back cover.
Each illustration has been printed on single sided, smooth, white, perforated paper.
There are 46 mandalas included in this book. Creative Haven have provided a lovely variety of mandalas which include, geometric designs, images from nature and kaleidoscope patterns.
There are varying levels of complexity offered by the mandalas. Some illustrations have a lot of large spaces for ease of coloring, while others have very fine details that may not be suitable for all colorists.
The illustrations have been centered well on the page and away from the spine of the book. As the pages are perforated, they can be easily removed in any event. I have noticed that a lot of the mandalas, however, are very close to the right side of the book, some leaving only a small (less than 1/2 centimeter space). This should not cause problems for most colorists.
I love color by numbers, because I am not a confident colorist 🙂 I color more for fun than technique. I am usually happy if I get between some of the lines 🙂
The line work on most color by numbers books is naturally fine, and in this case, a light grey. Color by numbers, by its very nature, has to have light printing for the numbers so that they can be hidden under layers of pencil or markers when colored.
I colored one of the images from this book and found that the faint grey lines for the numbers did not disappear under a layer of pencils for lighter colors like yellow, light blue when using both pencils and when using markers.
What concerned me more was that there was no visible outline of the mandala when colored. I am used to seeing a black or crisp outline on art work. However, once colored, any guidance lines will be lost and the art loses its outline. As first, I was disconcerted by this, then I grew to enjoy the look. However, I would like to see some mandalas with the outlines created in a medium, black line weight, and the numbers still in the lighter grey in future books. The outlines are important to me, visually, so that I can see the work that I am attempting to color.
I have spent many years creating mosaic art work. So perhaps, my opinion is colored by this 🙂 On completion, my mandala, looks like a mosaic, with teal grout lines.
Overall, this is a great color by numbers book offering a large variety of images for colorists and different levels of complexity. I would use the book to get you started with coloring and build your confidence with color schemes.
As a lot of the numbers can be seen underneath lighter colors, these may not be suitable for gift giving.
Mandalas – Color By Number Video Review
Enjoy the video flip through review below of Mandalas – Color By Number:
Where to buy Mandalas – Color By Number
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Happy coloring x