Drawing Masterclass || Guy Noble

A masterclass can take a number of forms. It can be simply a set of lessons for the advanced student or a lecture by an acknowledged expert, often for a selected audience. It can also, as is the case here, be an analysis of the work of other masters as a way of learning the techniques that mark true greatness.

The weakness of this approach is that it can all too easily become a study of art history rather than practice. The analysis has to be cogent and the lessons clearly and incisively extracted in order to be meaningful. Guy Noble studied at Byam Shaw School and teaches at Central St Martins. He is also a practising artist and has work in collections worldwide. His bona fides are impeccable.

The book begins with an overview of the art and method of drawing and this is, perhaps, its weakest point: some of it is a bit too basic. Does a masterclass need to be told about elementary techniques or how to stretch paper? However, the 100 studies of the work of an impressive variety of artists, both older and modern, are both concise and incisive and the analyses always to the point for the practical student. Subdividing by subject makes the book particularly easy to use and the whole richly deserves its self-applied masterclass tag.

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