Pen & Ink || James Hobbs

Books on pen & ink drawing aren’t exactly two a penny. It’s the Cinderella medium that everyone assumes is covered by something else and then goes and does a more general book on drawing or sketching.

This rather nice little volume is packed with ideas. Subtitled “contemporary artists, timeless techniques”, it achieves with aplomb what it promises. Each spread is a different idea, with a completed drawing and some explanatory text that deals not just with the technique itself, but also the particular way the artist has executed it. To do all this in really very few words is quite an achievement. I also like the colour-keyed running heads that denote the sections – line, tone, colour, texture etc, allowing you to focus on a particular area quickly. You can also dip in at random which, in my ’umble opinion, is the best way to approach books like this. The unexpected often sets your creative mind off in fresh directions far more than dedicated study and research.

Having so many different contributors from all around the world (I counted 35, contributing some 200 pieces of artwork) provides an easy route to variety and James Hobbs acts as an overall curator to pull it all together and make sure the approach is coherent rather than messy.

If you like drawing for its own sake, as well as variety and originality, this is a delightful and inspiring book that even provides some gentle instruction as well. You’d have to work hard to find anything not to like.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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