- Type: Paperback
- No of Pages: 52
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: 20 October 2016
- Language: English
- ISBN: 9781539632856
- Size: 21.6 x 0.3 x 27.9 cm
Fairies Grayscale by Alena Lazareva has 25 fairy grayscale illustrations of Alena’s beautiful digitally produced fantasy artwork. The book is A4 in size and glue bound with a glossy coloured cover of one of Alena’s originals, the illustrations of which is inside the book for you to colour. It is self-published on Amazon Createspace and this means that the paper is quite thin (copier type paper) although it has improved a lot recently as it is smoother and takes pencils much better than it did without lots of blending. The pages are one-sided so if you wish to use markers (just use a spare sheet of paper behind the one you are colouring in case of bleed-through).
The illustrations however are beautiful grayscale versions of Alena’s stunning digital paintings and most contain both grayscale and linework elements (often the leaves and flowers are simpler line work). Some find the idea of grayscale daunting but it is actually easier than colouring line-work as most of the work has already been done. You can just simply colour over and allow the highlights and shadows to show through, or you can choose to use three colours of light, medium and dark. It can be as easy or complicated as you wish it to be. If you’ve never tried grayscale I highly recommend at least having one book in your collection to try it out for yourself, and this would be an ideal one for beginners as the tones and highlights are well done; it’s not too dark or light and you can still see lines to follow unlike photographs which I find harder as some of the picture can be out of focus.
Alena’s fairies are beautiful women, each one is unique in look and personality so none of the pictures feel like a repeat. Alongside the fairies there are flowers, leaves and fungi and some are accompanied by their animal friends including cats, squirrels, birds, butterflies, rabbits and even a peacock. Each illustration is stunning and will be a joy to colour.
I chose to colour this lovely illustration of a fairy with a cat in Prismacolor Premier Pencils. The grayscale was just right. It was dark enough so that the shading and line-work showed through well enough and it was still light enough to allow highlights to shine. It also meant that her skin still looks healthy enough without giving it a really gray tinge to it. The grayscale made colouring the picture a breeze and it was quite quick to colour.
I was kindly sent a copy of Fairies Grayscale by the artist. There will shortly also be a linework version of this book which I shall also be reviewing.
Other books available by Alena Lazareva