I’ve remarked in the past how refreshing it is when an author provides drawings rather than photographs in the (perhaps) inevitable materials section. It can be revealing of their skills with perspective too, as complex shapes are frequently involved.
When I first picked this up, I thought “I’ll bet it says it’s useful for when you’re stuck for ideas” and sure enough, the back cover blurb begins with just that. I’m not convinced, and I never have been. If you’re stuck for ideas, my guess is that you’re really stuck. However, there are days when you want to practise and it’s too cold or wet, or just not convenient to go out, and that’s when looking around the home is a good idea. And, as I said, there are some complex shapes there that can flex your perspective muscles like nothing else.
This is an imaginative book that will certainly convince you of its premise. Jon’s style is pleasantly loose and he sets himself a variety of challenges that include simple as well as complicated subjects – spectacles, mugs, a pile of tumblers, a self-portrait, an untidy bedroom, even a bathroom. I’m not totally sure he gets the perspective right every time but hey, if you think you can do better – well, there’s your challenge.
This is a book about drawing the mundane, which means noticing things you don’t normally notice, and lifting them out of everyday invisibility. It’s a brave premise and Jon carries it off really rather well.
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