I was delighted to receive these two unusual colouring, art and drawing books by Hannah Rollings for review from Alara at Michael O’Mara Books. Published on 21st January 2016 Doodle a Poodle and Colour a Cat are available to purchase here on Amazon UK and for order here ready for a 5th April release on Amazon US.
Let me just say straight away that there is a problem with these books – I didn’t want to use them and spoil them.
I think some might be expecting intricate colouring books with every page filled with designs ready to be coloured in and may be disappointed that that is not what they are getting, but Doodle a Poodle and Colour a Cat are designed for inspiration and invite users to ‘colour, copy, doodle and draw’. Equally I think they would make super notebooks for poets or writers who like dogs and cats as there is plenty of white space for reader use.
Both books open with annotated illustrations that explain how to create texture and pattern, depth and movement. I like the fact that the books are ordered alphabetically from Afghan Hound to Yorkshire Terrier dog and Abyssinian to Turkish Angora cat.
Many of the dogs and cats are created with a few simple lines and splodges of colour that I think any artist, even one as poor as me, could emulate. Also important is the fact that these are not anatomically perfect illustrations, but interpretations of what the cats and dogs look like made with techniques budding artists can create for themselves. A totally recognisable Doberman Pinscher, for example, is created in little more than a dozen brief brush strokes as is a Russian Blue cat.
There are animals to copy, colour in and paint. The quality of the paper is such that felt tipped pens and some water colour paints could be used successfully.
Another really positive aspect of Doodle a Poodle and Colour a Cat is that the illustrations by Helen Rollings are a pleasure to look at in their own right. There’s a sense of joy in the Golden Retriever carrying a scarf and the expression on the Persian cat’s face is one of sheer haughtiness.
I think buyers should do what the books tell us and unleash and release your inner artist – though I think I might practice first for fear of spoiling my copies before I put brush to page!