Colouring Book Reviews · Fashion Life (Grayscale) - Alena Lazareva

Fashion Life by Alena Lazareva (Grayscale)



  • Format: Paperback
  • No of Pages: 70
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: 20 June 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781548194765
  • Size: 21.6 x 0.4 x 27.9 cm

Fashion Life by Alena Lazareva has 23 grayscale illustrations of Alena’s beautiful digitally produced artwork, this time it is with a fashion theme. 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.

Many of Alena’s colouring books feature her wonderful fantasy art, this book however concentrates solely on fashion. There are full clothed figures as well as close ups. Some have no backgrounds while others are placed within a setting. There is also pages of eyes, shoes, nails and poilishes which is great for practising how to colour these for your other colouring books as the grayscale shows where the shading is so you become familiar. It is for this reason alone every ‘serious’ colourist should have at least one grayscale colouring book as they are a great teaching tool.

There is also a bonus 8 full page pictures to colour from Alena’s other books included at the back. 6 of these are grayscale and 2 are line art illustrations.

Another lovely book from Alena, and one for all you fashionista’s out there!





I chose to colour this lovely illustration of a woman wearing jeans with her shopping 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.

Fashion Life Grayscale is available to purchase from Amazon., Amazon. com, Book Depository and The Wordery (both with free worldwide shipping).

I was kindly sent a copy of Fashion Life by the artist, however all thoughts and comments expressed are my own.