Drawing & Painting – the complete artist’s handbook || Gabriel Martin

There is much to like about this refreshing approach to the “all things to all people” school of literature. On the face of it, this is the sort of book you’d buy if you were thinking about taking up art but didn’t know where to start. That seems odd, as I’d assume most people have at least some idea of what they like in the first place, but there are enough books of this nature to imply a continuing market. Or maybe non-artists buy them as an ad hoc gift?

Delving further, though, suggests a more serious intent as, on top of just about every drawing and painting medium, a wide variety of styles, techniques and subjects are covered. It’s a bit of a scattergun approach and I think, to be honest, that a beginner would find themselves not a little confused and considerably overwhelmed by the sheer weight of information and lack of an obvious course-like progression. For the more experienced artist – who I’d assume would be more set in their ways and media – there’s bound to be something in the considerable cornucopia that will catch the eye. I said at the outset that there’s a lot to like and the freshness of the style and layout contribute a great deal to that. Books of this nature are often quite stuffy and old-fashioned. This is bright, vibrant and positively invites you in.

Although this is, at 288 pages, a substantial book, it’s not especially cheap, and perhaps not quite an impulse purchase. Nevertheless, I doubt you’d find it disappointing, even if it wasn’t something you kept by your side for everyday reference.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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