October 20, 2016 by I SNIFF BOOKS - Beth
I’m exited to introduce to you Emma Hultén, a Swedish illustrator and biologist who for several years was a scientific illustrator for the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Presently, Emma is an independent artist and has just released her first coloring book with Swedish publisher Dokument Press, Wonderful Insects Coloring Book.
Wonderful Insects is a stunning coloring book full of detailed ink drawings of insects and plants from around the world. There’s flies trapped in spider webs; butterflies among flowers; insects and bugs with intricate patterns on their bodies; grasshoppers perched on flowers; bees among honeycomb; pupa, caterpillars, and butterflies among leafy branches; ants on parade; ladybugs among clover; and so much more.
What I find a bit thrilling (but also a bit cringe-worthy, but I sincerely mean that as a compliment) is that Emma did not shy away from including some truly eep-worthy insects — there’s a page with filled with maggots, a few pages with various insect heads, and a truly cringe-worthy double-page spread filled with cockroaches!
I find it quite exciting the way Emma plays with perspective and design and sense of place in her illustrations. Some of the images give the perspective of someone squatting down and looking at the ground. One page features four insects in ornate frames — like something you’d see in an art gallery or museum. Some pages have zoomed in perspectives where the landscape and bugs and details are quite large. Other pages feature creative wallpaper designs of insects.
Wonderful Insects is softcover and measures 8 x 11 inches and has 64 pages. Images are printed on both sides of the page. The paper itself is smooth and white and has a satisfactory weight — it’s not quite medium-weight paper but it’s a bit heavier than CreateSpace paper.
Wonderful Insects is an absolutely terrific coloring book but I wish two features were included: (1) I would have loved an illustrated glossary (perhaps a page or two) featuring thumbnail images of the insects along with their common and scientific names. (2) I also would have loved a Color Palette Test Page — a blank page where you can test your coloring mediums to see how they will look and perform on the paper.
(If you want to try a new coloring technique with the insects in Emma’s coloring book, search YouTube for “gem bug coloring tutorial” or “gem stone coloring tutorials.”)
Below is a silent video flick-through of Wonderful Insects Coloring Book — you can click the arrows in the bottom right hand corner of the video screen and make it full size.
Where to buy: It’s fantastic that Wonderful Insects Coloring Book is widely available online for purchase — especially since Emma’s publisher, Dokument Press, is based out of Sweden.
Wonderful Insects releases on October 25, 2016 in North America but the coloring book is already available for purchase in other countries. Retail list price at the time of this post for Amazon USA and Barnes & Noble is $9.95 USD.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher. I was not required nor obligated to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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