The Aviary: Bird Portraits to Colour
by Claire Scully & Richard Merritt
Published: 2nd June 2016
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
Images to Colour: 31
Having recently joined the adult colouring craze I was super excited when I was given a chance to review this book for the publishers. I’ve bought a few of the more well-known adult colouring books but I’ve felt a little intimidated by the amazing artwork I’ve seen people do with these books, so they’ve just sat on my shelf. For me The Aviary is different I instantly found it an accessible book and dived straight in with colouring the many detailed areas. It’s a book where there is enough detail in the drawing that the images look stunning without blending and shading, which really appealed to me as a beginner. There is potential to blend and shade though if that is your thing as you could just work over a larger area or add a background in.
It measures 29cm square so is slighter larger than most colouring books available. This maybe does make it a less portable choice but this book has gone on a recent holiday with me and was not cumbersome to pack or carry around. The book itself has thirty-one bird images to colour on a good weight of bright white paper, all single sided which means using markers is possible. The images themselves are quite detailed but not so much that you don’t know where to start. They do take a while to colour but I’ve enjoyed the hours I’ve spent with this book greatly and look forward to many more hours with it. I love that the images themselves have hints of backgrounds and colours which you can add to or leave blank. I found the suggested colour schemes helpful when I wasn’t sure where to start.
I love the mixture of bird designs in the book some are looking straight at you, some are looking to the side, some are further away in flight and some are in pairs. My personal favourites are the penguin, the peacock, the ostrich and the mallard ducks. There is sure to be an image that appeals to most people.
I have predominantly used the Marco Raffine pencils to colour this books which have worked well and have also started to use the triplus fineliners from Staedtler and these have not bled through the pages. Here is one of my completed pictures:
The Avairy is the sequel book to The Menagerie by the same authors which features animal portraits and is soon to be joined by The Aquarium, both of which are now on my growing colouring book wish list.
I think The Aviary is an excellent quality colouring book which will provide hours of fun and relaxation for whoever buys it, I know my copy will be enjoyed for many months while I complete the images.
Thank you so much to the publishers Michael O’Mara for sending me a copy to review in exchange for my honest opinions.