This is an intriguing idea and yet another Marmite book – you’re either going to love it or hate it.
The cover, which is mainly typographical (why???) and showing only a few fairly conventional line sketches, does it no favours and really doesn’t convey the content. It should be said that the choice of the paper it’s printed on doesn’t either. It’s that matt kind that tends to knock colour back, which is a shame because colour is sometimes central to the book’s message and detail is also sometimes lost – particularly in the section on chiaroscuro.
The first impression, on opening the pages, is a collection of random and seemingly confusing images. However, it doesn’t take long for these to become a cornucopia and an intriguing collection of ideas that make you look and get you thinking. Subtitled The Dynamic Drawing Course For Anyone With A Pencil, the authors’ aim is to teach by stimulation and example rather than through words – which is why that typographical cover is so particularly baffling. There are words of course, but they’re only there to explain what you’re looking (partly) at and (mainly) for and what you should be doing to achieve it.
Sometimes it’s a bit kooky but not deliberately and, crucially, not archly so. Its aim is to teach anyone to draw just by stimulating their imagination so that they can’t help getting started. Personally, I love the idea. It’s random, it’s unconventional, it’s unpredictable, maybe even a bit controversial in a good way. It’s also been written by a couple of illustrators who have a nicely fresh slant on the whole thing.
Click the picture to view on Amazon