by Denyse Klette
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 12th 2017
Style: single page illustrations
Format: Card cover with fold out
With Fairies in Dreamland, Denyse Klette brought us beautiful, sleepy fairies in magical settings. With Mermaids in Paradise, she brings us equally beautiful, happy mermaids in tropical settings, complete with underwater creatures
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Coloring Book Video Review
I hope you enjoyed the video review of Zendoodle Coloring Presents – Mermaids in Paradise – An Artist’s Colouring Book.
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Mermaids in Paradise Coloring Book Review
About this time last year I fell in love. I was in love with wafer thin little fairies. They couldn’t keep their eyes open they were sooo tired! They lived in a beautiful, delicate world called Dreamland. There were lovely flowers everywhere and a lot of soft things that a fairy could curl up on and have a little nap between fairy duties.
Playing a cameo role was a cute little pig that I was very attached to. The book, of course, was Fairies in Dreamland. It was such an interesting book because of the way the fairies were drawn, so wispy and intricate, and the imagination that thought of having a whole book of tired fairies. Who would have thought?
When Denyse Klett announced that she was following this book up with one based on mermaids, I crossed my fingers. I hoped that the mermaids would be sleepy little sirens too (and I hoped for more of my friend the pig).
Denyse asked her fans what they would like in her new coloring book. I thought this was very brave. Trying to incorporate a variety of tastes and skill levels would be a task that would have me screaming at the walls. By the way, I’ve done it before, when developing software, and it’s something that I would prefer not to do again lol.
As well as attempting to satisfy what most colorists want, most product creators and content creators know one thing for sure in life – you will never ever please everyone. What worried me the most with the call for feedback, was the effect on the artist. Often we are so influenced by what others want, that there is a danger of losing the uniqueness that set the art apart originally. The vision becomes obscured with the needs and wants of others. You are no longer creating to satisfy your soul but the hungry horde of colorists 🙂
The other danger is, of course, that the flow of the art work may be lost and cause a disconnect with the original book and the brand.
Denyse has managed in this book to cater for those that want pigs, walruses, darker lines, larger spaces, simple images, intricate images, more white space, less white space and the like without losing her artistic style and flow of the illustrations. This alone would have sent most people screaming from the room.
She has created a book that is full of fun and life, that’s similar to Fairies in Dreamland but caters for a broader spectrum of colorists, and for that she is to be commended. There are also several nods to the lovely Dreamland that form a bridge between the two books, a little fantasy connection 🙂
Cover & Layout
The cover of Mermaids in Paradise features a partially colored image from the book. It is a very intricate, full page design. Colorists that prefer less detailed images will be relieved that the book contains many images that fit that bill.
Lovely green foil highlights play a starring role on the front cover. On the back cover, partially colored images surround the line art. The coloring is gorgeous and so pretty you may be tempted to color the back cover as well.
A deep purple background on the spine contrasts with the green foil title and artist details. The contrasting foil on the spine sets it apart from Fairies in Dreamland on your bookshelf, making it easier to find.
The book measures 25cm x 25cm.
An extended title page featuring a clam bed commences the book. The clam bed with its stack of mattresses is a nice reminder of the previous book, while changing the setting leads us into a new adventure.
A decorated nameplate page follows with a waif like mermaid playing on her exercise band.
The preceding pages are the only places to test out your mediums and see how they react with the paper and your technique.
Illustrations have been printed on one side only of the white, medium quality paper. This means that you will have a lot of choice as to what mediums you use in your book. As always, I would discreetly test to ensure that there is no bleed through or buckling of the pages. Even though they are single page illustrations, it is always a good idea to pop a blotter page between, in case of mistakes.
There are no double page illustrations within the book.
Some line art does run close to the spine of the book. At the moment, the binding is very stiff but will loosen with a little gentle pushing.
Mermaids in Paradise Coloring Book Images and Illustrations
The illustrations were the first thing that really struck me in this coloring book. Our mermaids are generally bigger and have more meat on their bones than our fairies of the past. Some of the mermaids, dare I say it, are a little cuddly.
Denyse has managed to incorporate a variety of interest in the mermaids by changing their shape, hairstyles but most often their bra top and scales. Normally, our mermaids have scales. I should know, of course, that Denyse does not do normal. These mermaids have giraffe prints, flowers and all sorts with their scale area – like fun yoga pants or leggings in a variety of colors. There are even mermaids that look like they are still caught up in the 70’s and I expect, if they could, they would have had a flared tail.
You will find a wide variety of images within the book to cater for all the needs that colorists might have. There are intricate, itty bitty images. There are larger sized images. Images that have a lot of white space for fancy pants backgrounds and some that are a page packed full of detail.
Our mermaids have friends too including the little piggy that I love so much. You will also find the birds that were present in Fairies in Dreamland taking up a starring role in Paradise. The pigs and the birds form a real connection with the Dreamland book. The real connection, for me, was the use of the stacking mattresses in both books. At the end of Mermaids in Paradise, you will also see some sleepy mermaids too (I so wanted that!). In one image the mermaid has a tiny, eeny, weeny little fairy in her hand which really merges the books for me and avoids the disconnect I was worried about.
The mermaids are not present in each image. There are no mermen at all. At first this disturbed me. Now, I’m somewhat relieved. I have a bit more variety with other illustrations to color, that are not always mermaid centric.
The line art is black, crisp and very easy to see. A variety of line weights have been used including thick and medium which is great for those colorists with a minor visual impairment. Having images that have larger areas of open space is also something that colorists with visual issues appreciate, and this book contains a number of images that fit that category.
One thing you will notice about these mermaids ….they are having way too much fun to sleep!
Please click on an image to view more detail
Where to buy Mermaids in Paradise Coloring Book
Happy coloring x