This is probably one of the loveliest coloring books I've ever done. Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), according to Wikipedia, was "the greatest botanical illustrator of all time." I won't argue with that. There is something about his artworks that take them beyond the ordinary. They are almost sensual, voluptuous. Charlene Tarbox did a fairly good job of rendering these 30 examples for coloring, (although for quite a few of them I wished she had been just a tad more accurate), but I am being extremely picky because I stared at them with microscopic eyes in order to recreate Redouté's beauty. Every flower is reproduced on the inside covers, so that you do not have to stare at a computer screen while coloring. In addition, I purposely bought the Redouté Flowers and Fruits CD-ROM and Book quite a while ago to assist me when I was ready to color. Unfortunately, only eight of the flowers pictured appear in the CD-ROM collection. That really wasn't a big deal, however, since all were pictured in this book. Although the ones in the CD-ROM book are much bigger, and just a bit different colors. Below, I have listed the page numbers in the coloring book that correspond to the numbers on the CD-ROM, if you wish to buy that collection, and I suggest you do. I realize this is a book of flower pictures, but Redouté also did gorgeous fruits, and I wish Tarbox had included some of them, or that she would do another book. Of the 30 pictured, eight are roses, which seems like a lot, but in the CD-ROM collection, there are pages and pages of roses, that particular flower being one of Redouté's specialties.
I chose to do all of these in pencil, which is a rare choice with me, and I only do it when I want to be painstakingly accurate. I thought this would be one of those books that was a labor of love but more often just plain labor, with the reward coming when it was all done. That proved not to be the case, however, and I found myself looking forward with excitement to each page. And yes, the finished product is most definitely a reward. I know I say this with nearly every book I finish, but I REALLY had a tough time choosing what to post. They are just all so gorgeous. I have included three that are on the CD-ROM: two roses, and the tulip, which is pictured on the CD-ROM page linked above. I hope you not only enjoy these exquisite beauties, but also make a point to check out more of Redouté's vast oeuvre.
Here are the eight that are on the CD-ROM. The page number in the coloring book is first
followed by the image number on the CD-ROM. One of the difficulties I had matching them was that they were labelled differently in the two books. Three
are pictured in the bottom row.
7 (133); 16 (047); 24 (146); 25 (147); 26 (156); 28 (140); 29 (179); 30 (104)
Page 2: Althaea, Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Page 4: Anemone (Anemone coronaria)
Page 10: Christmas Rose and Carnations (Helleborus niger and Dianthus caryophyllus)
Page 12: Dillenia (Hibbertia scandens)
Page 18: Iris (Iris xiphium)
Page 27: Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Page 24: Rose of Love (Rosa gallica pumila)
Page 28: Tea Rose (Rosa odorata)
Page 29: Tulip (Tulipa gesnerianna)
CD-ROM #179 (See Redouté Flowers and Fruits CD-ROM and Book
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