Dreams of Dragons and Dragon Kin Coloring BookDreams of Dragons and Dragon Kin Colouring Book by Ravynne PhelanDreams of Dragons and Dragon Kin Coloring Book, by Ravynne Phelan
Blue Angel Publishing, 9780987165176, 96 pp., 2016

I have always loved dragons, so when I saw Dreams of Dragons and Dragon Kin Coloring Book I wanted to check it out. I have seen a lot of adult colouring books in stores over the past couple of years since they have become popular, but this one was different. It was about dragons!

Ravynne Phelan was born in Australia and is the author and illustrator of the Dreams of Gaia Tarot, Messengers Oracle, and Dreams of Magic. She started her career in art after being diagnosed with depression. She was told to use art and writing to help in her healing. This rekindled her childhood dream of being an artist. She has painted for publishers, self-publishers, and for private commissions. She creates divinatory tools to help people become self-aware and to reach their full potential. The line work in this colouring book was created by Phelan’s daughter, Jenna Phelan.

The book begins with the author detailing how she has dreamed of dragons ever since she was a child. This was before she had been exposed to them through television or books. She believes in them like someone would believe in a god or spirits. Phelan has this to say about dragons:

The dragons we have been taught to fear are metaphors for human behaviour. Are dragons all good and benevolent? No, but we humans fear them, not because they are evil, but because we do not understand them. We fear them because they are manifestations of pure power, who can teach us to be powerful as well, if we are willing to learn. They are ancient, immortal, and so much wiser than we are. They are all that we seek to become, but fear to be, and so instead of learning from them, we destroy them. We make them the mirrors of our fears, our lust, our greed, and ignorance, and take up arms against them.

What do we see when we look at dragons? Monsters — or ancient beings with infinite wisdom. I agree with Phelan in that we do not understand them. From an early age, we have been taught to fear them and we are told that they are bad. Movies and books cast dragons as destroyers that should be fought and killed, and they are always on the side of the enemy who uses them as a vehicle or fighter. Phelan was blessed to have been able to see dragons for what they truly are without prior influence from others. It is only then can one truly learn from them and be open to what they teach. If we had the courage to gaze into the eyes of a dragon, how would we react? I would love the opportunity to come face to face with an actual physical dragon, to be able to experience its power and magnificence.

Dreams of Dragons & Dragon Kin Coloring Book, by Ravynne Phelan (coloured by Marie RavenSoul)
Coloured by Marie RavenSoul

The book is adorned with a beautiful dust jacket that encases a cardboard cover. At first glance, you wouldn’t think that it was a colouring book. The illustrations are so beautiful that I didn’t want to draw on them. I don’t recommend this book for inexperienced colourers or children, as most of the illustrations have a lot of intricate lines such as those that make up the eyes and facial decorations. I recommend using fine tip markers to make it easier to colour the tiniest spaces. If you use pencil crayons, make sure to sharpen them often.

Each page has an illustration of a dragon or magical creature. On the opposite page is a description of what it is. My favourite of all the illustrations is the one called The Dragon’s Door. The description is as follows:

The Dragon’s Door is yet another reworking of an older painting. The original version depicted a small dragon, who watched over and protected the doorway into his wizard friend’s chambers. This later version has a more symbolic message. The dragon’s message is that we are capable of all we seek to accomplish. Any obstacle in our way — a door, for example — is an illusion. While we are not always responsible for the obstacles we find in our path, we do give them power and make them more solid than they are. The door is an illusion. Go through and discover what awaits you.

These words have great significance to me at this point in my life. I am working on various projects and it can be easy to become discouraged and feel like quitting, but the Dragon won’t let me. I must go through every door that is before me and finish what I have begun.

Dreams of Dragons & Dragon Kin Coloring Book, by Ravynne Phelan (coloured by Marie RavenSoul)
Coloured by Marie RavenSoul

I used both markers and pencil crayons to make the dragon come to life. As I coloured, I meditated on the qualities of the dragon which was empowering, yet calming. It was very therapeutic. If you are dealing with stress, it helps you to relax and takes your mind off your problems.

The image is a door knocker with a dragon head on the top. It has big horns and deep eyes that I coloured purple. Around the knocker, there are designs that look like sigils. In the middle, a small dragon holds on to a pole and its wings are spread out like that of a bee. I alternated between a brown marker and brown pencil crayon for the door to create a more realistic appearance.

I recommend Dreams of Dragons & Dragon Kin Coloring Book for dragon lovers and fantasy fans. You will enjoy colouring dragons of many sizes and types, as well as other creatures such as the sphynx, gryphon, and chimera. There are beautiful maidens, The caduceus, and the Gatekeeper. The paper is thick, so there is no bleed through, which is common among other colouring books. The only issue I have with this book is that the pages are not perforated, so they can’t be taken out for easier colouring.