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Review | Little House Coloring Book

It seems these days that there is a coloring book for almost any topic or theme that a coloring book fanatic could imagine. There is, literally, something for everyone. For coloring fans of the generation that grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and the Little House on the Prairie tv series, that something might just be the Little House Coloring Book.

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Little House coloring book

I was gifted Laura Ingalls Wilders’ classic series of books by my grandparents for holiday gifts over a series of years when I was in elementary school. I read them obsessively and became such a fan that our family visited the Ingalls/Wilder historic sites in DeSmet, South Dakota on a family vacation during my high school years.

So when I saw the Little House Coloring Book containing some of Garth Williams’ illustrations from the most famous edition of the series – the edition that I own in hardcover – I just couldn’t resist adding it to my library of coloring books! Williams’ illustrations are just as iconic as the stories themselves.

The book contains illustrations from all of the books that are considered part of the original Little House series (Little House in the Big Woods through The First Four Years). Since the Ingalls books were not heavily illustrated and some of the illustrations were small, the coloring book adds in text elements and combines some smaller elements to make repeating patterns on pages.

Little House coloring book page

One of the challenges of working in a coloring book such as this is that you are working with and trying to emulate the style of a familiar artist. Most of the Little House illustrations from Williams that are included in the coloring book were published in black & white sketch form, so there isn’t a specific example to copy from for coloring them. But Williams’ style in the images that he did complete in full-color for the books (such as for the covers) is very beautiful and distinctive.

For those who grew up loving and admiring the Williams illustrations and want to color in that same look, you may be interested to know that Williams usually worked in colored pencil and ink wash for his children’s book illustrations (he’s also famous for illustrating other books such as Charlotte’s Web by EB White).

For the illustration above, from On the Banks of Plum Creek, I used watercolor with limited success to try to mimic the look of Garth Williams’ ink wash look. I should have diluted my colors more.  For the illustration in progress below (from the same book), I am using colored pencil with a blending pencil.  This technique has me much happier with the results compared to the look of Williams’ work, but I have still not entirely got it nailed yet.

Little House coloring book page

This coloring book has been a lovely nostalgic walk down the memory lane of one of my childhood favorites, and also an artistic challenge.

Little House Coloring Book has 90 coloring pages and a cover price of $15.99 (but is currently available on Amazon for around $11).

Review | 20 Ways to Draw a Butterfly by Trina Dalziel [video]

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20 Ways to Draw a Butterfly and 44 Other Things With Wings: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers” by Trina Dalziel is a straightforward book that shows a variety of different ways that an artist can draw a winged creature using simple ideas and shapes. 

20 Ways to Draw Butterfly Trina Daizel
Trina Dalziel guides the reader to use their basic doodling skills to create unique versions of the same object, a butterfly.This book is not a step-by-step drawing book, but instead more of a fun inspiration book.As you will see in the video, the author has shown how each person can have totally different perspective of the same object.She also points out in her introduction that one artist should not compare their work to another’s.The message of the book is that each one of us is unique, as is our perspective. Continue Reading →

Book Review | Washi Tape by Courtney Cerruti

Washi Tape by Courtney Cerruti[Some links in this article may be affiliate links that help support the continued operation of Craft Critique if you make a purchase using them.]

Courtney Cerruti’s book “Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining, and Party Fun!” is full of quick and easy ideas for creating great projects with washi tape and decorative tape. 

The book begins with a short introduction to washi tape and examples of some of the different ways it can be used in DIY crafting. Courtney briefly reviews the various types of washi tapes on the market. She also touches on the decorative tapes that are sold with the washi tape name and those that are not, and points out the differences. It is brief overview but enough background to educate the reader about the tapes without taking up too much space in the book.

Washi TapeShe encourages the reader to try the various types and see which ones they enjoy working with. I have personally purchased both washi tapes and some of the new decorative tapes that are now available. Each type has good and bad features, and I use them according to the kind of project that I am creating.

After educating the reader on types of washi tape, the author explains what surfaces washi tape adheres well on, which lets the reader know that washi tape is not just for card making. Courtney also discusses which inks are good for writing on washi tape. The book includes ways to store tape, which is very helpful because once you get hooked on washi tape you will quickly build a collection!
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