Review – Color your own… series – Karakter Publishers

Karakter publishers has published a series of coloring books with coloring pictures based upon famous paintings. We received as much as four volumes of this series for which we kindly thank Karakter publishers. (Klik hier voor Nederlands)


These books are beautifully designed, on large A-3 format and have appealing covers.In this movie I page through all four books. This way you can get an impression of the layout and the content.

These are targeted toward the somewhat advanced colorist. The pictures are not easy to color in but being so they are very challenging and make for lots of hours of coloring pleasure. Each volume contains between 22 to 30 pictures. A photo of the original of every painting is included though I must say they are rather small, too small to act as an example to try to copy. Because I wanted to approach the original as close as possible I searched them on the Internet and displayed it full screen on my laptop computer. But of course you can also make your own color version of a painting if you prefer that.

This series is printed on hight quality paper, the pages are printed one sided and are detachable from the book, which is recommended because otherwise it will be hard to color, due to the large format, even more so when you want to turn the page around during coloring.

The print ink is excellent. I used a blender pencil a lot and not a single time the ink has rubbed off.

I colored in seven pages and used different kinds of materials, both dry and wet, in order to test the paper and I was quite impressed.

From “Kleur je eigen Klimt” (“Color your own Klimt”) I first picked “Hygieia”.

Klimt potlood











I used Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils for this one. They performed excellent. I could lay down the colors smoothly and effortlessly. Blending did go well also. As with other pictures in this series I used the printed lines as a guidelines but took the liberty to color outside of the lines also and added my own lines with the colored pencils. This I did in order to stay as close to the original painting as I could. Otherwise one would get a more unnatural result in my opinion. I colored the background also with Polychromos pencils.

The next one is “woman with fan”

Klimt pastel

Here I used Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencils. The pigment of these stuck to the paper very well and there was not much residue left. Partly this is the result of the high quality of these pencils but the paper certainly added to that. Spreading the pastel with a paper stump went fine. After finishing coloring I used Edding fixation spray.

The next pictures are from “Kleur je eigen Van Gogh” (“Color your own Van Gogh”). The first one is “Butterflies and Poppies” and is colored in with Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils.

Van Gogh potlood 1

For this one I mixed many colors and put down several layers on top of each other, sometimes as much as 10. And it went excellent, the paper did nog get saturated. This way you can get the maximum out of your colored pencils.

Polychromos pencils are oil based. In order to test this paper also with wax based pencils I colored in a second one, “Tree roots” with Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils. I used the same techniques as in the previous one and with the same fine result. Because Van Gogh used his striking stripy technique I have tried to copy that by laying down many short and sharp stripess next and over each other.

Van Gogh potlood 2

Next I started in the third volume “Kleur je eigen impressionisten” (“Color your own impressionists”) and used a different medium again: Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens. These are water based markers with a brush point. Paper tends to be rather sensitive when it comes to water based markers, it gets damaged fairly quickly. But not this paper, not for a single moment. The ink could be spread out well and remained its bright colors. One could not wish for better paper for this medium.

The picture is “Two sisters on a terrace” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Impressionisten stift 1














For the next one, “The banks of the river Loing” by Alfred Sisley, I once again used Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils. I thought they would fit this picture best. In this one I once again took the liberty to color outside of the lines and mixed many colors.

Impressionisten potlood

And really, all positive findings on the previous ones I did with Polychromos were confirmed once more.

Finally I dediced to use yet another medium for the last volume “Kleur je eigen Hollandse meesters” (“Color your own Dutch masters”): Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer aquarelle pencils. I picked “De Sint Eliabethsvloed”. First I colored the whole picure with the dry pencils:

Hollandse meesters onaf

After that I used water on the whole. And here also the fine quality of the paper showed. There is hardly any bubbling ot the paper and there was enough time to spread the pigment before it was absorbed.

Hollandse meesters aquarel

All in all I can come to only one conclusion which is that this is a beautiful series of high standards for the advanced colorist who likes a challenge. He or she will find these books very satisfying. Thanks to the high quality of the paper many different techniques can be used. I spent many hours enjoying myself with these books.

Did you become excited about these books? In that case click the links below and get your own copies:

We thank Leo for his time and effort in writing this review.
Would you like to follow Leo? You can, on Facebook and through his own website.

This review contains  products that are sent to us by a publisher or company. This however does not reflect on our opinion in any way.

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