Dover Coloring Book

Text Box with description of Book

A.G. Smith has long been one of my favorite Dover coloring book artists. His subject matter is of great variety, always fun to color and educational, too. This book, typical of all Dover Stained Glass Coloring Books, contains 16 designs, characteristic of Arabic, or Islamic art. These were not drawn from specific works, nor are they labelled. The blurb on the back cover states:

Forbidden by their religion to depict the human figure, Islamic artists developed different motifs from those displayed in European art. Intricate patterns, created over the centuries by Muslim artists, depict—among other designs—a dazzling array of geometric figures. This striking collection incorporates a wide range of these designs: pentagons, squares, octagons, combinations of stars and rosettes, and more.

These, however, are not intricate, but rather simple, which makes them the perfect choice to color on those days when one just wants to relax without worrying about getting it "right" or doing a complex work. I generally research to learn, for instance, the predominant colors that would be used, but am usually a little freer with the Stained Glass books than the regular ones. However, I did look up Islamic Art, which slightly disagrees with the Dover blurb. Here is part of a quote from that page.

While not condemned in the Quran, making images of human beings and animals is frowned upon in many Islamic cultures and connected with laws against idolatry common to all Abrahamic religions. Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood reported Muhammad said, "Those who will be most severely punished by Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers". However, this rule has been interpreted in different ways by different scholars and in different historical periods, and there are examples of paintings of both animals and humans in Mughal, Persian, and Turkish art. Siyah Qalam (Black Pen), frequently depicts demonic creatures from Islamic narratives, but seem of Central Asian origin. The existence of this aversion to creating images of animate beings has been used to explain the prevalence of calligraphy, tessellation, and pattern as key aspects of Islamic artistic culture.

I had a hard time choosing which to post, as is most often the case, and ended up with these six. For all my A.G. Smith coloring book reviews, please visit his Index Page.

Page 3: Highlighters
Page 4: Crayola Watercolors
Page 8: Watercolor Pencils

Page 4: Crayola Watercolors

Page 8: Watercolor Pencils

Page 3: Highlighters

Page 12: Metallic Crayons
Page 14: Acrylics
Page 15: Rainbow Pencils and Pencils

Page 14: Acrylics

Page 15: Rainbow Pencils and Pencils

Page 12: Metallic Crayons

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