When I was small, I loved everything about swords, princesses, and fantasy. Beauty and the Beast always kept my attention, all story versions I heard as well as coloring books. (Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter and Beauty are wonderful later discoveries.) I’m familiar with the wilderness, and all things medieval have always called my name.
So it was natural when Derek Murphy mentioned that adult coloring books are popular that I decided to make some coloring books that reflected the heart of my fiction: medieval historical fantasy. The first, Trencher and Board, began because I was interested in discovering medieval recipes that might fit in late 800s Britannia, where Kyrin Cieri returns to her stronghold from slavery in Araby.
Finding medieval pictures proved much harder than I thought. Nigh impossible. Though I found a few, I ended up downloading more than 1,000 other public domain pictures from Pixabay and compositing them in Photoshop Elements 12, semi-grayscale. I converted the pictures to pencil sketches, and this first journey through a medieval stronghold from the hunt to the feast turned out well. About a minimum of three pictures went into each coloring page, except for the 25 recipe pages, which usually have two pictures, including a Celtic type border.
A Medieval Journey Part I and II, the story of stronghold life from spring through winter, is next to come, along with Nightshade and Knitbone, a medieval book of healer’s potions and poisons, and Falcon’s Ode, the bard’s song Kyrin composes for her betrayed hawk, Samson.
My first loves for fantasy and high romance have never left me, only deepened. What is behind the scenes is not always apparent at first glance. I hope this labor of my heart and soul brings you a clearer look and many happy hours. The final reason I create my stories and coloring books is so creative readers and colorists like you can see a bit of the grandeur and beauty of life, and create a bit of it too.
I grew up in the California hills, building forts in the oaks. The acorns and moss, the purple lupines and golden poppies held the perfume of adventure.
Whether you’re just learning the riches of color, shape, and story or if you’re simply young at heart, if you like medieval, fantastical things, sign up for a Trencher and Board coloring book, or check out my Pinterest adventures. Thank you for joining us Behind the Scenes!–Azalea Dabill, author and editor.