Fancy Prancers: A Fine Art Coloring Book of Horses
Publisher: Still Horse Studio
Number of designs: 22
The horses paw and prance and neigh,
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins;
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Horses have fired our imaginations and stolen our hearts almost since the dawn of time. In Fancy Prancers, Deanna brings them to life for us to color. This is one of the most unique coloring books I’ve reviewed. Not just line art, each horse in this book has depth and shading that makes them almost leap off the page.
- Complexity: Intermediate
- Book Size: 8.5 x 11 inches
- Design Borders: Most designs go all the way to the paper’s edge; with a couple designs in hand-drawn frames
- Design Lines: hand-drawn, so it varies, but generally thin
- Paper: average thickness
- Printing: single-sided
- Binding: glue-bound
Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
I believe Deanna’s horses may have found Stanley’s paradise in the pages of her coloring book. Adding color to these designs almost seems wrong – the images are gorgeous and artful just as they are. At the same time, the gray scale images do beg for color, especially the horses with designs drawn on them. Those evoke thoughts of Native American “painted horses.” A difficult decision, to color or not color!
In her letter to me, Deanna says “My hope is for the shading to help take some of the guesswork out of muscle and skeletal shape, as well as perspective and background.” These examples, combined with several pages of drawing ideas/tutorials in the back of the book, are a great way to encourage new artists to try their hand at drawing a horse or two.
One thing to note – most of the designs are in landscape, rather than portrait orientation, and Deanna chose to create all the other pages in that format as well. So the binding is done in a “calendar” style – at the top of most of the images rather than to the side. It doesn’t really make a difference when coloring the designs, though, so I don’t think it detracts at all from the book.
Both Deanna and I would love to know what you think of this style of drawing in a coloring book. Do you think the additional shading helps or hinders the coloring?
Do you have this book? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments!