I love everything about Tim Jeffs’ coloring book Intricate Ink – Animals in detail. If you love animals, this book will make you very happy. The quality is superb – hard cover, nice thick paper, single sided, black background which makes your animals all the more vivid. The drawing is so detailed with shadow, fur, scale, everything is drawn out for you. I don’t think there’s any reason not to get good results no matter what level of coloring skills you have.
This book is my go to book if I need stress relief. I normally picked my animal, then I googled that species to get a reference photo if I wanted it to be more realistic. However, that’s just for reference, nothing stopped me from adding colors from my own imaginations. For example, elephant is grey/brown, so I dramatized mine with blue and red to make it fun.
I have only used colored pencils with this book although I have seen pretty cool work using other mediums like gel pen, water-based pen, crayons, Derwent Inktense and so on. For me, I am reluctant to use anything opaque for fear of destroying all the details that Tim originally drew.
How I colored the elephant
If you are my follower on my instagram (@colorartbybettyhung), Facebook page (Color Art by Betty Hung) or Twitter (@colorartbybetty), you have seen some really really bright and colorful work from me lately. So I needed a little rest from the bright colors. For this elephant, I settled on 4 main colors for the body and trunk of the elephant from my Faber-Castell polychromos set: Warm grey (9201-274), Umber (9201-180), Helioblue (9201-151), Dark Red (9201-225)
Here’s how I did the body (except the trunk):
- warm grey as a bottom layer – color everything
- blue on the dark shaded area – blend into the grey as to not leave a sharp edge
- umber highlights but don’t cover everything, just here and there, so that some blue/grey
- red very sparingly, note that you see some purplish color – that’s when my red gently blend with the blue.
As you can see from the close up, the illustration has tiny circles/patterns through out. I did not color each of those circles individually, that would probably drive me insane. In the bottom right picture below, you can see I decided to add a little border to the elephant’s ears with red and blue. I think it looks cute. What do you think?
Now the trunk. I wanted it to be more colorful, like a crocheted afghan. Here’s a step by step of how I did it. Basically I colored everything grey as a first layer. Then I alternated blue, umber and red to create a striped look. I used a light hand in case I made a mistake, it could be erased. When I was happy with the pattern, I went over each of the colors to darken it (i.e. heavy hand).
Just for fun, I added a special little ornament for the elephant to wear on the tusk. I outlined lightly in pencil, then I use a very fine black pen (e.g. Tombow mono drawing pen 01) to draw the design as shown below. I colored it with jewelled tone. I think it looks pretty good on my elephant, agree?
Here’s the finished look again:
My other work from this book
I have completed 4 pages out of this book so far, I love them all. What is your favorite?
There is now a book 2 released with many more intricate animals. I don’t have the new book yet but I am sure it’s just as marvellous. I hope I have inspired you to give this book a try or visit Tim Jeffs’ website for digital copies of his wonderful animals.
Disclaimer: I am not affliated or paid to review this book, just a big fan giving an honest opinion.