Start to Finish (Secrets of Drawing) || Craig Nelson

Whereas the same author’s other title in this series had an obvious point, this one is less clearly defined. I think the idea of the title is that it’s full of hints and tips (the stock in trade of the series) on the whole process of drawing, but that’s not immediately clear from the title and an initial examination isn’t too much help either as the content seems all a bit jumbled up.

First impressions are important, but they aren’t the whole story, so does it fare better under closer examination? Well, yes, it does. Inevitably, cramming the book’s avowed intent into 96 smallish pages is a tall order, but, like the other titles in the series so far, the size isn’t a drawback. What does happen, though, is that a lot of material gets left out – you can’t do everything in a book this size and we therefore have to judge it on what’s left. Are enough topics covered and are they covered adequately? Well, when you only give yourself a page or two, you have to be succinct, and this can be a strength. Conveying a topic such as three-point perspective in one page is another tall order, but get it right and it can be easier to understand than a whole chapter on the subject. As long as perspective doesn’t give you brain-ache, you’ll appreciate this (if it does, you may never be able to get your head round it, sorry).

Overall, I’m impressed by what this does manage to include and, while I’m sure everyone will have their own idea of which of their favourite topics has been left out, the book nevertheless has a positive and busy feel to it that makes it a pleasure to use.

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