Coloring: The Butterfly Gardener

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - finished

“The Butterfly Gardener” – Ink design by Johanna Basford in Secret Garden, coloring and custom artwork in the center square by me.  All coloring was done with Prismacolor Premier colored pencils (36 pack).

The coloring bug has bitten me yet again.  I don’t know what it is about adult coloring books that I find to be so ridiculously addictive.  All I know is that when I get the itch to color, it’s like entering a mystical time warp of colorful, flowery bliss.  My latest finish is this flower garden filled with a melange of delightful creatures.

In Progress
Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - in progress 1

I forgot to take a photo of the page before I started coloring in earnest, but here you can get an idea of what the original page looked like.  I had originally chosen this page to be a “quick and easy” coloring experience.  Ha!!  As if any of these pages ever turns out to be quick or easy.  They all take forever.  🙂

I did make things a bit easier on myself by limiting the color palette to 3 pinks, 3 greens, and yellow.  Also, since the design is symmetrical, I tried to keep the colors consistent in the matching parts of the design.  Nothing too complicated, just slow and steady coloring on this one.
Outdoor coloring setup

Since I was on vacation this past week, I took the opportunity to color outside on the deck.  I have to admit, it was pretty relaxing.  🙂  Here was my view:View during outdoor coloring

Not bad!Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - in progress 2

Here you can see some of the shading that I did on the leaves, in addition to the alternating petal colors on most of the flowers.  Some of the spaces are so tiny that my neck was starting to hurt from bending over so close to the table.  Eventually I propped up the book on a pair of tissue boxes, which worked pretty well.  Very low-tech solution.  🙂

Finished!

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - finished

After many, many hours (maybe ~16 hours?), this page was finally finished.  Phew!!  It took me a while to figure out what to do with the center square, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  Here’s a closer look:
Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - custom artwork

The suggestion was to draw a field of butterflies, which I did, but I wound up adding a bunch of other delightful objects into the mix as well, including vines, daisies, tulips, ants, snakes with top hats, hearts, lightning bolts (?!?), swirls, and exactly one watchful gardener who looks suspiciously like my partner, John.  Haha.  I couldn’t help but throw him in since he finds my coloring obsession to be pretty perplexing, to say the least.  🙂

To add the custom drawings, I used a Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen with an extra superfine (0.1 mm) nib, which I talked about in this post.  I really like this pen and would recommend it for coloring book embellishment.

A few close-up images of my cornucopia of creatures:

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - custom artwork detail 1 Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - custom artwork detail 2 Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - custom artwork detail 3

Can you spot the butterfly gardener?

When you zoom in this closely, you can see that my drawing and coloring are far from perfect, but whatever!  I enjoy it and officially declare it to be “good enough.”  I don’t think the coloring police have found me yet.  🙂

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford - The Butterfly Gardener - coloring detail

Anyway, that’s about it for this page!  This was a fun one with all the customization in the center square.  You can check out my other finished coloring pages in my Finished Project Gallery (scroll down).

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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6 thoughts on “Coloring: The Butterfly Gardener

  1. I totally get the bliss of ‘colouring in’ as it’s called down here (Australia). Such a great mind refresher 🖍🖍🖍 Your works of art are wonderful!

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