by Chris Garver
Published by Get Creative 6 on February 17th 2016
Style: double page printing
Format: Card cover, Glue & Stitched
From Chris Garver—in-demand tattoo artist, illustrator, and former star of TLC’s Miami Ink—comes a richly illustrated coloring book that explores the beauty of nature. With double-sided pages of mostly hand-drawn images, Color Odyssey features elaborate butterflies flitting among gardens of flowers, an octopus in the ocean waves, a fantastic elephant, and many other creatures. Garver’s stunning, intricate drawings will thrill grown-up fans of coloring books.
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Color Odyssey Coloring Book Review
I have long been a fan of Chris Garver, a professional tattoo artist. I first came across his talent on the reality tv show, Miami Ink. He is well known for his beautiful illustrations and Japanese style tattoos. He has mentored a number of well known tattoo artists and is one of the artists that tattooists choose to ink them.
Whenever I watch tattoo shows, I always try and pay close attention to their technique. It is very similar, albeit without the blood, but perhaps the tears, as coloring. The artists are always trying to show dimension by shading and blending, paying attention to color saturation and hue, and almost always working within the confines of a black ink outline.
Watching a professional tattoo artist at work, like Chris Garver, is inspiring because you know their work is totally permanent and no amount of erasing will fix an oops that you have made.
Cover & Layout
The cover of Color Odyssey is a beautiful bird rising above flowers that have been colored in shades of red and green and dashes of teal and tan. There is some uncolored line art that you could decorate as well, if you wished. Elements of the front cover wrap to the spine, making this area look very decorative. The title and some of the feathers on the two birds have copper foil highlighting which adds elegance.
The back cover features the line art for the poppies shown on the front cover with the addition of some butterflies. The whole of the back cover can be colored if you wish.
The book measures 9.6 x 9.7 in (approximately 24.8 cm x 25cm).
To make it easy to find on your bookshelf, the name of the coloring book is clearly printed on the spine.
A title page featuring a flying, intricately decorated elephant follows. I would have liked to see the cover art as the title page as this always give a sense of continuity for me. This is followed by a double page spread featuring 15 thumbnails from the book and a short introduction by Chris Garver. This would be an ideal spot to test out your wet mediums and see how they react with the paper and your coloring style.
The coloring book proper then commences with illustrations printed on both sides of the white, medium quality paper. The drawings have all been orientated portrait style throughout.
At the end of the book, a further 5 thumbnails have been added with a small section about the author. Details of how to connect with the artist online have not been provided.
The illustrations tend to reflect a real Japanese tattoo style and American Traditional style about them, as you would expect from this very versatile and talented tattooist. There is an abundance of flowers including the ever popular lotus flower. Animals also feature including snakes, birds, butterflies and koi fish. There are also geometric styled images as well as a mandala in the selection.
All of the drawings contain a lot of detail, with varying levels of complexity.
The first pleasant surprise that I had was the outline of the art. The illustrations have all been drawn in a crisp, black but not in a fine line weight as you may expect from a tattoo artist and the subject matter. In fact, the art is a medium to heavy line weight on the whole. This is an absolute blessing for me, because it is super easy for me to see without popping on the glasses. The other bonus for me, is that about half of the book contains detailed imagery with large spaces making it easy to color for a novice like me and for those with visual or motor impairment.
There are 22 double page spreads within the book with the balance being single page images. Unfortunately, most of the images do run into the spine and you may find it tricky to color these bits. As the book is glued and stitched, in this case I would recommend carefully snipping the thread to loosen the pages to make coloring near the spine easier. It is usually expected that a double page scene will run to the spine but it would have been nice if the positioning of the single page images had been rejigged in order to avoid that issue. I do realise that often the art looks great the way the artist has intended, but the practical reality for the colorist means that it can be tricky to color the area, and obtain the result that the artist intended.
On the whole the art work has been created with a lot of balance for the way that it sits on the page with a good proportion of line art to white space.
Color Odyssey Coloring Book Video Review
Where to buy Color Odyssey Coloring Book
|Amazon US||Amazon UK||Amazon Canada||Book Depository|
Color Odyssey Postcard Set
Happy coloring x