Book review – Painterly Days: The Woodland Watercoloring Book by Kristy Rice

What’s even better then a coloring book? Yes. A watercoloring book! Enter Painterly Days: The Woodland Watercoloring Book by Kristy Rice.

Details: Paperback, Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2016
Pages: 22.9 x 1 x 30.5 cm, 60 pages, 90 lbs watercolor paper, double-sided
ISBN10: 0764350927
ISBN13: 9780764350924
Get it: available from all good booksellers, or direct from Gazelle on 01524 528500, e-mail: Priced at 21.99 GBP.

The Painterly Days series is consisted of three books, Woodland, Flowers and Patterns. This is the Woodland one, I’m also very curious about the Flowers but I don’t own that at the moment. The Woodland version has berries, leaves, birds and my favorite page, butterflies. Also check out Kristy Rice’s webpage for fun stuff.
This is a unique book when it comes to coloring books. While some books can take water, none are specifically designed for watercolor. This here is. The paper is 90lbs, it’s not as thick as your standard watercolor paper, however it performs like a champ. I tested the paper with layers and floods and it did buckle a bit but I really used a lot of water for that to happen.
The book itself looks very fancy, the cover is gorgeous and I love the design of the book, of the folding covers, specially that the book itself is protected, the back cover turns over it like a flap, protecting the edges. On the covers themselves, there’s a foreword, a color wheel, a small tutorial bit about different watercolor techniques, a letter from the artist and some suggested supplies.
The book part is glue bound, you can take pages out if you wish. If you want to really flood a page, I suggest you take out the page and tape the page down on a board or something with painters tape, take a clean sponge, soak it and make the paper wet all over. That gets the paper used to the water evenly and prevents buckling later. It might still buckle a little but not nearly as much as before. But if you want to be more modest with water, that’s not needed.
I love that there are tips and advice in the beginning, how to paint this or that. I suggest reading all of it, even if you only intend to try berries or something specific, because there are helpful hints and tricks peppered all through this section.
The book itself has 25 images to paint, all images come on both sides of the page so if you mess one version up, you still have a spare. Which is good for klutzes like me for sure. There are images and quotes on some pages, the lines aren’t black which I really like, they do blend into the paint really well so you won’t have a stark harsh contrast.

My example butterfly page is a hot mess, really, I was trying out different things on it, wasn’t even aiming for a finished page with it but I wanted to show you this experimental page anyway so you 1) know that I too suck at watercolor and 2) see that it floats pretty well. Showing you a part of it closeup. I will probably dabble with it more and try to finish at least SOME of the butterflies but for now:

Overall, it’s an amazing and fantastic book, I love it! It’s a bit pricey for a coloring book but for what you get, it’s really not that bad. I also love that in an interview Kristy Rice said that this book is specially good for those who are scared of watercolor, it will help you get over that fear. Well, challenge accepted. I painted watercolor for a year in art school years ago and have done all in my power to forget all about it and let me tell you, it’s not like riding a bike 😀 So I too am new at this and just throwing paint and water around aimlessly. But anyway, if you’re interested in wet media, try this book, you won’t regret it.

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All of the above opinions are my own.

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