52 Flower Mandalas: An Adult Coloring Book for Inspiration and Stress Relief (Diversion Books, 2015) is my first adult coloring book. David Bookbinder approached me in June of 2015 to explore the idea of translating his digital photographs into line art for coloring. To see if it was possible, I created one illustration. Before I had time to think twice, David’s agent reported interest from publishers and asked for additional samples. Following David’s master vision, I created some sample spreads that paired a quote with each flower mandala.
For the next five months it was full-force ahead. There were many ways to approach each flower, especially those that were more complex. What to include? What to leave out? Where were the patterns that were integral to the flower? Which spaces were too small or big for the colorist to color? Is it complex enough to engage the colorist for four hours but not too complex to see the patterns? How to provide guidance for those who want it that won’t bother those who don’t?
Here are the before and after versions of the same flower:
David’s photograph of a dandelion:
Early illustration #1:
Early illustration #2:
Printed page colored by Liz Rosenthal: