Review for Enchanted Forest Artist’s Edtion


May 3, 2016 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog

cover for Enchanted Forest Artists Edition

In case you are new to the world of adult coloring or live under a rock like I do most of the time, Johanna Basford is a household name among adult colorists. Johanna is the artist behind the wildly popular (and no, I am not exaggerating!) Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest, and Lost Ocean adult coloring books. In fact, back in the spring of 2015 there was such a great demand for the Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest coloring books that both books were extremely hard-to-find and unavailable for some time [get the scoop on Johanna’s blog].

The Enchanted Forest Artist’s Edition: 20 Drawings to Color and Frame is a curated collection of 20 images from the Enchanted Forest coloring book. The images are printed on uncoated, very sturdy and thick 400 (!!!) GSM light cream colored paper (card) sized 9.75 x 13 inches. The images are printed on just one side so you have the luxury of using any medium you want without having to worry about shadowing or bleed-through. The book’s lay-flat binding permits all the pages to be easily removed. Even though the pages are removable, the binding is still quite sturdy — I have flipped through the book multiple times and the pages are still attached. The Artist’s Edition is ideal for those of you who want to display and frame your work or give it as a gift if you can bear to part with your masterpiece.

That being said, I have to confess that I mixed feelings about the Artist’s Edition. And to be clear, while this wasn’t quite a coloring book love connection for me, I am confident that others will absolutely adore the Enchanted Forest Artist’s Edition: 20 Drawings to Color and Frame.

In all honesty, I prefer the Enchanted Forest coloring book to the Enchanted Forest Artist’s Edition. Perhaps it’s not fair for me to compare the two since they both have different purposes but I do have a few quibbles.

First, with just 20 images selected from the Enchanted Forest coloring book, it’s inevitable that some of my favorites (and yours, too) did not make the cut. I was a bit disappointed that the tree stump house with the hanging lantern, mushroom with the castle and stream on top, and the duck pond scene were not selected.

Second, with the Enchanted Forest coloring book, as you turn the pages, you feel like you are going on a special (coloring) journey. This “enchanted” vibe and sense of wonder is missing in the Artist’s Edition.

Third, the majority of the images in the Artist’s Edition are not “in a larger format” — which I (incorrectly) interpreted as the image being larger in size. Rather, the image is just on a larger piece of paper (card) sized 9.75 x 13 inches. (For a comparison, the pages in the Enchanted Forest coloring book are sized nearly 10 x 10 inches.) 15 of the 20 images in the Artist’s Edition are either the same size (6) or a smidge smaller (9) than the images in the coloring book.

Below are all 20 images from the Artist’s Edition so you can decide if you + the Artist Edition equals a coloring book love connection. Many of the images are positioned in a way so you can compare the Artist Edition image to the coloring book image. In each of the photo’s captions, I comment as to whether the Artist’s Edition image is the same (6), smaller (9), or larger in size (5) when compared to the image from the coloring book. In several cases, I provide measurement comparisons.

(As a side note: Johanna Basford published her third coloring book, Lost Ocean, with a different publisher, Penguin Books. Only time will tell if Penguin Books will release an Artist’s Edition for Lost Ocean.)

I have also reviewed the following coloring books by Johanna Basford: 
Johanna’s Christmas: A Festive Coloring BookMagical Jungle | Lost Ocean

WHERE TO BUY: Enchanted Forest Artist’s Edition: 20 Drawings to Color and Frame by Johanna Basford and Laurence King Publishing. On-sale date: May 3, 2016. Available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Laurence King Publishing also has published Secret Garden Artist’s Edition: 20 Drawings to Color and Frame — available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Connect with Johanna Basford: website, facebook, twitter

Connect with Laurence King Publishers: website, facebook, twitter

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are my own.

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6 thoughts on “Review for Enchanted Forest Artist’s Edtion

  1. It’s not for me, like you I feel it could have been so much better. No duck pond, leaf boat, tree stump or dragon which are pics I would have liked in this. Too much white space to fill and I do not like the way two page spreads have been cut.

    • Beth says:

      Agreed, the chosen images are a bit odd but I do think others will be pleased with the choices the editors made. I wasn’t crazy about how the tree house imagery on the double-page spread was made so much smaller to fit the card. And yes, handful of the images do have too much white space — especially #5, the “animal pyramid,” it just didn’t translate well to the larger paper format.

  2. Laura Stotlar Bagby says:

    I am busy in the “Enchanted Forest” which I love but now I have no desire to buy the artists’ edition. That’s ok because I have enough coloring to last the rest of my life!

    • Beth says:

      Is the Enchanted Forest coloring book your “the one”? As in the one coloring book that you are going to color every single page?

  3. rdrlv says:

    An awful lot of $$$..even if Artists Edition.

    • Beth says:

      Well the book is currently listed at the discounted price of $15.70 on Amazon (retail $22.50) — that’s not too much when you consider the amazing quality of the “paper” — it’s card really — the art is printed on. The Artist’s Edition is meant to be a different kind of coloring experience than just a coloring book. But I still respect your opinion 🙂

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