I first found out about Nick Mayer's art when I saw his leafy seadragon design in the summer issue of Do Magazine. The creature looked so fantastic that I had to do some research to see if it really existed, and that is how I found some fascinating images online of this very real life form. That made me interested in Nick Mayer’s Wild Oceans Coloring Book: Saltwater Fish and Deep Sea Creatures in which the leafy seadragon appears.
If you think that marine life is boring or monochrome, think again. There are some wonderfully vibrant species in this book. So, no worries, you’ll get to use your reds, blues, oranges, yellows, greens etc. Or, you can use soft, neutral, earthy or even metallic colors and create some lifelike scallops, seahorses, starfish, oysters etc. Of course you also get to choose from plenty of oceanic fish species. There's even a sea turtle.
One common complaint I encounter from fellow colorists is that they want their husbands/fathers/boyfriends/brothers/sons to join the adult coloring ranks, but they can’t find any coloring books that appeals to them. Well, this is the book that fills this void. Of course you don’t have to be a guy to enjoy it. I’m obviously not a guy, nor am I particularly outdoorsy (unless gardening counts).
Here are the factors that appeal to me particularly, and that I find others of any coloring skill and background will enjoy:
- The book includes tutorials that are easy to understand (including one on how to color fish eyes).
- The designs give you a chance to color realistic, lifelike subjects.
- The pages are perforated for easy removal.
- You learn something new because of the factoids on the back of each page.
- The paper is of high quality.
- You get real-life, color examples of the species on which the drawings are based.
- You can learn new techniques, or improve upon existing ones.
- The factoids for each subject appear on the back of the page, so when you remove it and display it in a binder you can see the appropriate fact. Most books, if they have any pertaining info, have it printed on the left side of the image on the back page of the preceding design.
- It's one of the most nicely produced coloring books in my collection!
- Some of the pages have a separate, removable section on the bottom of the page that includes a color palette suggestion and color example, as you can see below.