I am very proud of this new release “Fanciful Garden: A Weekly Journal And Coloring Book” which will appeal to teens, preteens and grownups alike. Designed with room on each page to write around and among the illustrations, perfect for creative journal writing or diary entries, there are also bonus pages with decorative borders for additional notes. Pure colorists can make use of that extra space to add their own details or create colorful and inventive background effects.
Filled with original drawings, Fanciful Garden is based on life in a garden that exists only in my head. There are giant snails amid Dr. Seuss like foliage, intricate butterflies, mushrooms with curious patterns and stems, fantastic trees dripping in jewels or blooms and a bounty of flowers. There is also a selection of unique garden fences and their contents, fanciful birdhouses of amazing architecture, tightly packed circles of blossoms or nuts or leaves and a smattering of mosaic style drawings encompassing all of these subjects. This book is a testament to my fantastical and unique style. Every illustration is a labor of love, every hidden creature is a delight and I still smile when I look at each piece.
Fanciful Garden was begun in late 2017 when I grabbed a fresh stack of paper, sharpened my pencils and began sketching in quick, bold strokes. I know there are faster ways to create illustrations these days but I like the old school approach. I rough out the main idea, start filling in details, chew on the old pencil a little bit, erase, re-draw, fiddle and then, when it looks just write, I go over every pencil line again to darken and finalize it, making sure everything is positioned precisely and just so. Then, and only then, do I ink the piece. (I adore the Sharpie Pen FINE in black for thin controlled lines) I prefer to have the entire book completed in pencil before I begin inking.
The inking for Fanciful Garden began on January 1, 2018 and took quite some time. As a self professed geek, I am not ashamed to admit that The X-Files slowed me up a bit. The newest season was about to debut on FOX so they had been kind enough to make all the seasons available via On Demand to celebrate. I spent a good chunk of the ink time on this book watching or I should say, mostly listening to, every single episode of The X-Files starting from Season 1 Episode 1. I couldn’t have been happier.
Once the last Sharpie Pen was laid down, I scanned the pages and began the clean up of each illustration via my favorite graphics program GIMP (and it’s free!) pixel by pixel. Artifacts happen and my hand does sometimes veer off slightly, or even a lot, so correcting those things are important. Again, I know there are automated and much faster ways to clean up a black and white drawing but I enjoy doing it “by hand” which means my hand on the mouse, inspecting and correcting a little at a time. Plus my method retains the hand drawn quality of my work, which I like and I think my colorists appreciate.
Finally, it was time to create and color the final cover design, add text to the title page, the copyright page et cetra et cetra and layout the book for publishing. When Fanciful Garden dropped on September 18th, 2018, it was a proud day indeed.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed creating it. Whether you use it as a journal to color or strictly as a coloring book, put as much heart into it as I did.
Please visit theartofvikki.com for more information and take a moment to download one of my free coloring pages as my gift to you.