The Golden Ratio Coloring Book by Rafael Araujo is one of the most unique coloring books we've come across. Almost all coloring books have a theme, whether it's very broad or incredibly specific. There seems to be a coloring book for even the most obscure niches and interests, whether it's Golden Girls, Donald Trump, or your favorite baseball team. While these niche books do incorporate very specific topics into their art, they usually aren't the highest quality. Coloring in a scene from your favorite classic TV show seems novel the first time you do it, but gets old fast.
The Golden Ratio Coloring Book is different. Not only does it cover a unique topic, but it also incorporates the topic into the actual line art in very interesting ways. I review a lot of coloring books. I can usually tell if I'm going to like a book or not before I even start filling it in using one simple rule-of-thumb: if I'm hesitant to start a book because the pages look so beautiful before any color has even been added, it's safe to say it's going to be an enjoyable book to cover. I've heard of colorists buying two copies of their favorite books; one to color, and one to preserve. This is definitely one of those books.
The "golden ratio" is just that: a ratio. It can be approximated at 1.618, and has a lot of significance in mathematics, art, and plays a role in the underlying patterns that make up our world. The ratio appears over and over again in nature, whether you are looking at the spiraling seeds of a sunflower, or the sizes of each chamber in a nautilus shell. The golden ratio even appears in the human form; compare your overall height to the distance from your head to your fingertips, and you will likely come up with the golden ratio. In 2010, the journal Science even published a study showing this ratio appearing at the atomic level.
In his coloring book, Rafael Araujo illustrates all the different ways this mathematical relationship appears in everyday objects. Using complex mathematical diagrams that more resemble incredibly detailed works of art, Araujo illustrates how this concept manifests itself in the real world. Things that you originally thought were purely random, such as the flight path of a butterfly, are suddenly revealed to have order. It makes for a truly thought-provoking coloring experience.
While most of the book's line art appears more like a technical diagram rather than a traditional coloring page, the beauty is undeniable. Going through the book, you will feel like you're coloring in long-forgotten schematics from Da Vinci's workshop. As mentioned, the mathematical nature of each design adds an extra layer of depth to the page, making this the perfect book to convert that architect or engineer in your life who thinks that coloring is just a silly, childish past-time.
The paper quality is right on par with that of the art. The pages are nice and thick, and acid-free. They are designed to hold the color over time, and can be easily removed to frame or display. All of the pages are one-sided and contain the artist's signature on the back, which is a nice added touch. Some of the pages contain grayscale art, and others even fold out to reveal a larger-than-average coloring area.
While this book is a bit pricier than others, I feel that the quality and unique theme make it well worth the price. This book originally started on Kickstarter, and now that it is available on Amazon, the price has come down a bit and Prime users get the added benefit of free shipping.
All in all, this is a really special coloring book. The quality of both the art and the paper is impeccable. It would make a beautiful coffee table book, filled-in or not, and would brighten the day of anyone interested in mathematics or architecture regardless of their interest in coloring. Rarely can a book offer the opportunity to color while simultaneously illuminating the secrets of earth and nature, but this one does it. Don't let it pass you by!