Not that long ago, I heard about this beautiful new coloring book called Soul Coats. It features the stunning artwork of professional illustrators Riley Rossmo, Scott Kowalchuk, Su Lee, Chen Li, Ian Nicholas, and Stephanie Reynolds in a visual exploration of some of the most arresting scenes from the Bible, including the garden of Eden, Jonah and the whale, the flood and Noah’s Ark, and more.
The previews I saw of the book were gorgeous, and once I saw them, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. So I did, and I wanted to share it with all of you!
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of Soul Coats to review. This page contains several affiliate links, which means that if you love this book and decide to head over to Amazon and purchase it through my links, I will make a small commission off the sale, at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Cleverpedia!
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Soul Coats: A Look Inside
Soul Coats is a gorgeous coloring book by any definition. It is 10″ square, the cover bursting with brilliant rainbow color.
Inside, there are 64 expertly illustrated pages to color spanning 48 scenes; some are single page drawings while others, like the first page I colored, below, cover two pages. There’s even a key in the back of the book that offers up a little description of each image, though I did find it hard to identify a scene in the index without counting out to it since the pages aren’t numbered.
Because six illustrators contributed to this book, there is some variation in style and line width throughout. I sometimes find compilation coloring books distracting, but for the most part I thought all of art here worked in harmony with the other pages. Nothing felt cheap or like it was rush produced to give the book more filler.
The illustrations are printed on both sides of thick white paper. In fact, neither my Staedtler triplus fineliners nor my Tombow brush pens left any shadows of ink on the other side! While this makes me suspect most water-based markers will be safe to use in this book, your results may vary, especially if you go over areas many times. The only indication I saw on the backs of the pages that I had already colored in the book were a few places where the ink had rubbed off onto the opposite page, likely from pressing hard with my pencils. Fortunately, these marks were all very light.
On most pages, the illustration continues right into the binding, which I found to be a little hard to color around, but it’s not super noticeable in the end.
Here are a few sample pages from inside the book:
Isn’t that whale just absolutely gorgeous?!
Here’s the page spread I colored in the book:
The Garden of Eden scene is early in the book, and it called out to me because of all the exciting pattern and color possibilities I saw. To color it, I used a combination of Caran D’Ache Pablos and Tombow dual-ended brush pens, as well as my Staedtler triplus fineliners in a few spots.
I used a technique that I explained in more detail in my review of Cristina McAllister’s book Monstrous Mandalas. Basically, it involves first laying down a heavy gradient of color with my pencils, then coloring over it with my Tombows, to end up with a gradient effect I couldn’t have achieved with my markers alone. You can see this in the leaves most obviously, but I tried to do it in a number of places.
Here are some larger shots of each page to show detail:
There were a few places in this particular illustration where I wasn’t sure how to color the background due to a few key missing lines. The most obvious example is the peacock, but the top of the trees where they hit leaves is another example. I could continue the colors of the water and some green behind the peacock, and I might do this later, but it was a little disorienting at the time I colored it.
Beyond that relatively minor complaint, I really enjoyed coloring this in. I completed this page spread over a few days, listening to audiobooks all along. It took between 5 and 7 hours (judging from the books I finished), working at a relatively leisurely pace. The line widths, size of the spaces, and the style of the illustrations are perfect for me — I’ll definitely be coloring more of this book in, especially that whale.
Okay, I’m sold… how do I get a copy?
If the illustrations pictured above look fun to color to you, too, I definitely encourage you to go for it. I was really impressed with the quality of this book, both in the artwork and the printing, and I bet you will be, too. You can pick up your copy of Soul Coats here on Amazon!
Don’t forget to share your pages! You can tag #soulcoats on Instagram to share your works in progress or final colorings — can’t wait to see what you do! Check out Soul Coats’ official website to see more examples from the book.