- Format – Hardback
- No. of Pages – 96 Pages
- Language – Swedish
- Release Date – May 2017
- Publisher – Pagina Forlag / Printworks
- ISBN – 9789163613685
- Size – 21.6 x 1.5 x 25.1 cm
Skymningstimman which translates in English to ‘The Dusk Hour’ is the third book from Swedish artist Maria Trolle, following on from Blomster Mandala (Twilight Garden) and Vivi Soker En Van. The format of the book is that it is a true hardback and the same size and quality as her first book. The cover is black with a printed design (which you can find inside the book to colour yourself) of beautiful flowers, bee, butterfly, birds and a nest. The title is embossed in gold foiling on both the cover and the spine as are the details (in Swedish) on the reverse. The spine is edged with an antique gold cloth like paper which adds a lovely finishing touch.
On the inside pages both front and back, there are black paper pages. After the title and printing details pages, there is a beautiful nameplate page to colour. At the back of the book there is also a Register index of the flowers in the book, although as the pages themselves aren’t numbered you will have to count them yourself to find the corresponding name if you are not sure. Although the book itself is Swedish the names are the standard Latin flower names so you can easily look up real pictures of the flowers for colouring inspiration if you so wish.
The pages are the same beautiful creamy colour and smooth finish quality paper that seems to be standard in all the lovely Swedish colouring books. the are both glue and sewn-bound. The illustrations are printed on both sides of the pages in storybook format so this is not one for alcohol markers. Watercolour markers should be ok, but test them out first on the test page at the back of the book to be sure first, as this may vary according to the juiciness and colour of the pen. Pencils work well, although I have always found this paper works best with my creamy Prismacolor Premier Pencils rather than the drier texture of my Faber Castell Polychromos, so you may find different brands work differently. the paper takes paint reasonably well although you will get some wrinkling and/or stiffness as the paper stretches, but you can easily iron this out if you wish to use them, (use a tea towel and medium temperature and go carefully) just be careful with the amount of water you use.
The illustrations themselves are beautiful, very much in the same vein as Blomster Mandala/Twilight garden with beautiful floral designs with cute animals, birds and insects; but Vivi and some of her little friends like the leaf spirit, tiny mouse/gopher type creatures also feature in some of the pictures, hidden among the flowers or scene, or sailing in little boats. There is more of a magical feel to the book than her first with the addition of little fairies, imaginary creatures such as water dragons, and fairy houses in some pictures, but it is equally as beautiful. It also adds some variety and you should not feel as though you are repeating colouring pictures from the other two books, although there are some very similar ones due to the subject matter the designs are still new and feel fresh. I absolutely love it and I know the majority of you will do too.
It was hard to choose a picture to colour but eventually I chose this lovely picture of three little cute mice sleeping on sunflower heads. The black background was already printed in the book as were the stars so all I did there was to add a white pencil halo. For the rest of the picture I used Prismacolor Premier pencils and little bit of white Posca paint pen to add highlights.
At the moment both this book and Maria’s previous book ‘Vivi Soker En Van’ are only available from Sweden and maybe other Scandanavian Countries. I do not know if any of these will be printed in English at any time so Sweden may be the only place to get it from abroad.
You can buy it directly from the publisher’s website www.printworksmarket.com. Please check the details and terms and conditions on the website regarding shipping details and costs. You can also buy Vivi Soker En Van on there (just check that it’s the Malarbok which is the colouring book – as the Swedish children’s illustrated story version is also available). There are also lots of other lovely books from the likes of Hanna Karlzon and Emelie Lidehall Oberg available (Many of which I have reviews and/or flip throughs for). If you quote code Hazel_PW at checkout before 5th July 2017 you can get 10% off your order.
I was kindly sent a copy from the publisher, however all thoughts and comments expressed in this review are my own honest opinion and are not influenced by this fact.
Some more books available from the Printworks site. I have reviews/flip throughs of these on my YouTube channel and/or blog.