- Type: Paperback
- No of pages: 64
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: 28 October 2016
- Language: English
- ISBN: 9781536817164
- Size: 21.6 x 0.4 x 27.9 cm
The Pomegranate Grove by Antonina Kalinina is a colouring book of 28 intricate designs inspired by Iznik Pottery. The book is A4 in size and has a glossy cover which is covered front and back with an attractive Iznik traditional blue and red coloured design around a beautifully ornate circle which houses the title. The back also has two circular thumbnails of details from designs inside the book and four with small details.
It opens with a pretty colourable title page on the back of which are the copyright and artist details opposite which is a lovely ‘This book belongs to…’ page. Then there is a page with a brief history of Iznik pottery and a beautiful description by the artist framed with pretty motifs.
“I hope that the spirit of Iznik is present here despite some inevitable modifications. Welcome to the Pomegranate Grove – fragrant with Campanula and Hyacinths, where the tree of life grows clad in perpetual bloom, and where precious Pomegranates hang down from intertwined branches and fall on the grass mottled with bright carnations and tulips. Whether you color it your own way or the traditional way – using blues and reds only – I hope the time you spend on it will be pleasurable and rewarding”.
It is obvious that the artist loves the subject matter and the book has been carefully thought out and put together (It is obviously the work of a professional artist rather than an enthusiastic amateur; this is someone who knows how to combine both digital and traditional ways of creating art and does it well). She even has a thank you code enabling you to purchase a digital copy at 80% discount so you can download and colour as many times as you like if you wish to do so.
The designs are indeed intricate and some are really challenging. The good thing is that the illustrations are clearly drawn and printed crisp and clean which is so important especially in designs like these. These are definitely ones for your fine-liners and if you choose pencils you will need a good pencil sharpener handy. This is a book that will require patience and precision. Good eyesight, motor control and lighting are essential for this one. If you have these most of the designs although intricate are ‘doable’. I chose one with probably a medium complexity and as there were some teeny-tiny details I thought I might feel a bit frustrated, and I didn’t. I found it soothing and therapeutic and for someone who is not a fan of colouring patterns or mandalas, I really and honestly enjoyed it.
There are some very intricate ones but none of the details are too small to get your fine-liner or pencil point in, unlike another book I recently reviewed where there wasn’t enough space to make a small dot. This would be a lovely book for mandala fans who love the repetition and find it soothing to colour, the difference here are the variety of different shapes although there a few mandalas. There are only two designs in the book I wouldn’t attempt myself as I’m prone to headaches and they were making my eyes go funny just looking at them briefly. One was a mandala made up just of pomegranates, each getting smaller and smaller towards the centre, although I imagine it would look lovely coloured. Maybe if I placed a piece of paper over it and just moved it down gradually it might help.
The designs are also a good size – they’re just big enough to make a lovely design without it starting to feel repetitive and boring. I think this is why I enjoyed it. You could easily colour one of these designs in an evening even taking it slowly. This is also a book I can see making things with. Whether it’s using as backgrounds for my handmade cards, as beautiful gift wrap for small items, covering a small jewellery box, or using to decoupage on coasters and other items.
The pattern motifs themselves are simple but intricate enough to colour to make them interesting. There are lots of bell-type flowers, simple stylised leaves, Carnations, Fuchsia and Pomegranates. I found there are enough little variations between the different elements to keep my interest there.
The last design of the book is a hexagonal design with ‘I finished coloring this book on… Date…Name…’ so when you complete it feels like you’ve achieved something. With 28 designs there are enough to keep you entertained for long enough to feel you have had your money’s worth, but not so long as to start to get tedious.
I admit it won’t be for everyone – some will see the level of detail and want to run in the opposite direction. I’m still not converted as I prefer flexing my artistic skills to colour illustrations, but I can definitely see myself colouring more in the future when my goal is simply to relax, unwind and concentrate on something other than life’s problems. Some of you will love it instantly and those who fancy a change of pace give it a go, it might be something you’ll enjoy.
I finally decided to colour this lovely design in Prismacolor Premier Pencils – I loved the pomegranates on it and it looked intricate enough without being too intricate for a pattern novice like myself. I liked that some of the motifs were still large enough to add a bit of shading and interest. It’s a very pretty design and I enjoyed colouring it a lot more than I thought I would.
You can follow or find out more about the artist on
I was kindly sent a copy from the artist, however this has no bearing on my review and all thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.