Those who follow publishing news will be well aware that one of the big stories of 2015 has been the phenomenal success of coloring books for adults. That’s not “adult” in the rated-X sense (though those are being published, too)–but in the sense of an appeal to grown-up people who have discovered the benefits of sitting down with colored pencils or gel pens and coloring in an image on a page.
As an April 2015 CNN feature reported:
Here’s a new entry in the field:
I’m a lifelong Shakespeare fan and also enjoy making pictures, so this was a natural fit. My draftsmanship is nothing to brag about, but I love composition and fiddling about with bits and pieces of our visual cultural heritage. It was fun to find actual pieces of advice in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets (as opposed to his peerless observations and descriptions). Finding appropriate historic artwork that matched the advice was an enthralling pursuit (and one in which I relied heavily on Wikimedia Commons).
This book contains 42 pages of my pastiche art to color, each page having one image to a sheet. (Many of the been-around-for-years examples of coloring books for grown-ups, particularly the Dover series, had images on both sides of a single sheet of paper. As more people have gotten into the pleasures of coloring it’s become apparent that blank-backed pages are more satisfactory.) There are 21 pieces of advice rendered on poster-like pages, and 21 illustrations, complementing each pithy adage.
In the artwork, gray lines have been used (instead of black) to facilitate color blending, and to produce a more natural-looking result. Introductory matter and credits bring the page count to 96.
All ages may enjoy this book, though the fine detail of many of the drawings may be challenging for very small children. Despite the presence of the word “adults” in the title, all elements of the book are suitable for family viewing.
The book may be viewed at two sites: