A new review of Form Drawing and Colouring, from the The Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain Newsletter Newsletter, volume 94, March 2017. This one got lost in a pile of magazines in our office for a little while, but it was wonderful to find it! Many thanks to Margaret Jonas for the review.
This is a companion volume to the colourful series of form drawing books intended more for children. Here we find patterns inspired by Celtic, Moorish, Native American and Buddhist designs. They are very simply presented with a few dots to start off with and examples of how to develop the forms are then given. One needs only coloured pencils and a ruler to proceed. Colouring books for adults have become very popular and are sold in order to relieve stress so it is good to see on that is developed from the creative form drawing taught in Waldorf schools. A short text encourages one to get started and informs the reader of the benefits to be gained and the thick paper makes it possible to draw in the book itself. The layout and colours are very pleasing and both adults and children should have little difficulty in working through the designs. It is altogether a very clear and pleasing book.
This wonderful review is from the latest issue of Juno Magazine. It will be available from Thursday the 1st of December, and we can tell you now that it’s well worth buying; packed full of fantastic articles, craft activities (we particularly liked the ‘frost discovery’ ones) and some lovely seasonal eating ideas. Thanks to Saffia Farr for taking the time to review it, and for making the review look so beautiful in the magazine!
I have really enjoyed trying out this book, and I found it very therapeutic to sharpen some pencil crayons and learn how to build up patterns. At first the childish and perfectionist part of me was frustrated by my “mistakes” and wanted to rip out the page and start afresh. But then I experimented with merging colours and lines and made my “mistakes” look beautiful.
The book features four-fold patterns of increasing challenge and it’s very satisfying to build up the pattern section by section. There is plenty of space to practise the lines and shapes and also blank areas on the pages for freestyle doodling. The designs are inspired by Celtic, Moorish, Native American and Buddhist patterns as well as natural patterns such as leaves. I don’t yet have the confidence to try the most complex ones, but I am pleased to see some are part drawn so that I can embellish those elements or simply colour the shapes. I will certainly enjoy continuing to experiment with this book.
This review was written for the SWSF newsletter by Kevin Avison, and we’d like to thank him for letting us reproduce it here.
Once a diversion for children with few claims to be serious or educational, colouring-in has become respectable enough to be taken up by adults. Often this is explained as a form of “mindfulness practice”. Indeed, one such book is called The Mindfulness Colouring Book, and, for example, Hephzibah Kaplan, director at the London Art Therapy Centre, is quoted in the Independent newspaper saying: [colouring-in]… “requires a relaxed focus where the outline is containing and the mark-making repetitive and smooth…a bit like repeating a mantra where repetition is a means to relaxation, colouring-in is also a type of mediation….Meditation, whether secular or otherwise, has known benefits to mind, body and spirit. When focusing deeply on a simple yet safe task, other anxieties become less present, less pervasive.”
So, colouring-in has become a “thing”; newspapers, such as the Independent, publish lists of best buys, while Amazon’s website includes seventy-five pages of books and colouring materials. Angela Lord’s book is, however, a little different, offering a cleverly though-through sequence of patterns to help users practice and be enabled to create a variety of fourfold patterns, both guided and individually-designed. Someone working with this book will thus experience a “breathing” between concentrated linear form drawing and a relaxed colouring-in process. Needless to say, Angela Lord provides examples for the latter as well as step-by-step help to produce the forms. Someone who did not attend a Waldorf school can use this book with confidence and produce beautiful results. Those involved in the education will also enjoy these books and teachers will certainly find them helpful alongside the same author’s Creative Form Drawing for class teaching. A further book for adults is promised, this time with fivefold patterns.
The book is nicely produced, although the binding can be restrictive and the user might be advised to break the spine – which is a pity to have to do – so that the book can be opened flat (a spiral-bound format, or some other system of the sort, would work better). It is a little pricey too compared to other books of this general type. On the other hand, the unique qualities of this book make it particularly attractive and potentially creative. The claim that working with it will harmonise “body & soul” may depend as much on the user as the evidently deeply-considered patterns themselves. However, I rather imagine that the sound of colouring might well become a feature of some school meetings: perhaps for the better!
This wonderful review appeared on the blog adventureswithmonster on the 5th November. For more information about the blog, visit this link.
This new title is a refreshingly different take on the ‘adult colouring book’ and mindfulness theme. Form drawing is a very important part of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum and holds a magical appeal for both children and parents alike so it’s great to see a form drawing colouring book just for us grown ups ‘for Fun, Healing and Wellbeing’, encouraging us to slow down and enjoy a focused, relaxing yet will building activity.
Inside the book you will find a wealth of ‘fourfold patterns of increasing challenge and complexity’ which you can work through at your own pace, plenty of freedom to experiment and choose from a bit of relaxing drawing to something more taxing and involving a higher level of focus and concentration.
There is a handy introduction section and ‘how to use this book ‘ guide at the beginning of the book which we found very informative, part of this is written in a ‘question and answer’ fashion which is engaging and fun, an especially nice touch for someone in need of some healing and wellbeing to have a friendly voice there on the page.
So, us grown ups had a go at some form drawing, and it really is great fun. We used some of Bundle Number One’s special Kindergarten colouring pencils which were ideal for this, but you can use any coloured pencils of your own choosing.
These forms drawings are a fantastic will building exercise, and give a great sense of achievement as there is plenty of space to get them a little wrong and then try again and improve. Do take note of the title though, and allow yourself the space to give this your full attention. Do not try this while there are little ones around, its distracting. In fact, if you look closely at the drawings you can actually see wobbles where said distractions occurred! Definitely keep this one for a quiet evening with a nice hot drink, and now that the nights are drawing in its an ideal activity to sit and immerse yourself in for a while
A few of the forms were a teeny bit tricky to follow due to the inside page creases but this was easily solved by my not being so precious about book spines, yes I am one of those people who like to keep books in pristine condition but this one needs and wants to be used ;-)
We would definitely recommend giving this new book a try, and it also makes a lovely gift for anyone you know who is in need of something just for them, ‘for Fun, Healing and Wellbeing’.
So go on, find a copy here , wrap it up with a pack of new coloured pencils and make somebody smile
This review appeared in the wonderful New View magazine, 4th Quarter Autumn 2016, and was written by Trevor Dance. This is an edited extract. To find out more about New View, visit their (new and beautiful!) website here.
Form Drawing and Colouring: For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing will be available from the 31st October.
Form Drawing and Colouring: For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing is a form drawing book for adult beginners, developed as a result of requests by parents who have been fascinated by the work of their Steiner school attending offspring. Form drawing has been used in Steiner schools for nearly a century, to help pupils develop their motor skills – hand and eye co-ordination, spatial awareness and relationships – and in preparation for handwriting. Angela Lord is the author of two books for schoolchildren: Creative Form Drawing with Children aged 6-10 years Workbook 1 and Creative Form Drawing with Children aged 10-12 years Workbook 2.
This book for adults uses ‘fourfold structures’ i.e. squares, diamonds and circles. The introduction takes the form of a discussion between Angela and a hypothetical reader, who is told: “ A fourfold structure is stable, regular, balanced, and easy to line up. So it’s a good place to start.”
This would seem to be true. I did some of the exercises and found myself to be at ease with the book. Form drawing is in a way akin to meditation – ten minutes a day, when purposefully executed, confers considerable benefits. For those who like the right brain/left brain (creative side/logical side) theory, it definitely engages the right brain functions. In anthroposophical parlance, the drawing and colouring especially benefit the etheric and astral bodies. In this book the author encourages the reader to, if they feel so inspired, strike out on their own and improvise, creating their own forms, thus engaging other soul aspects.
Angela Lord’s books are usually well-structured and this one is no exception. There are three parts. The easiest forms – which are accessible to all, no matter how adept (or inept!) with a pencil you may be – are at the very beginning, and the more intricate final stages are gradually worked up to. It is particularly helpful to have unfettered access to a photocopier, but a rubber will suffice to repeat the tasks for extra practice.
This is a stimulating book and, partly through the encouragement to use colour and partly through the way the forms metamorphose from simplicity to intricacy, it feels more user-friendly to its adult audience than others in this particular realm.
There is a pleasingly multi-cultural element to the forms. Christian symbolism is intermingled with imagery derived from Islamic art, Buddhism, Native-American sources and Hinduism. The forms and colours are original, but the sources relate to world religions covering a lengthy time span. This development of work that is entirely relevant to contemporary culture, but rooted in such rich traditions seems especially commendable.
Many of the forms are derived from the world of nature. In the words of the author: “In turn nature (especially flowers) provides inspiring ideas for colour combinations and beautiful new forms so that you can develop original imaginative drawings of your own. In this way drawing and colouring become integrative healing processes which provide focus and harmony through form, colour, beauty and balance with the potential to cultivate individual creativity.”
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