Archive for category Author: Jonathan Newey

Drawing & Painting Buildings || Jonathan Newey

It’s good to find a book on painting buildings that isn’t by Richard Taylor. Not, I should say at once, that there’s anything wrong with Richard; far from it, his many books on the subject are so good that he has, until now, pretty much defined and cornered the market. Rather, it’s good to find a new author who stands comparison with him.

This is nothing if not thorough and it’s well thought-out, with step-by-step demonstrations as well as detail sketches and completed paintings that are analysed. In contrast to a lot of recent art books, where the text tends to be confined to extended captions, this is much more fully written and is one to read through as much as it is to look at. The less-text approach works well and the argument in its favour is that it allows the pictures themselves to do the talking. Some readers, however, nay find that they want more detail in the explanations and they’ll get them here because, for each of the exercises featured, Jonathan explains both the intention and approach as well as the techniques used.

There’s a generous variety of building types and locations, including houses, castles, bridges and churches – even new buildings – and a handy section on architectural detail which deals with carvings, windows, bricks, tiles and all those little things that give a building character.

This is a very comprehensive look at just about every aspect of painting buildings and one which should sustain you for along time to come.

Crowood Press 2008

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Drawing With Coloured Pencils || Jonathan Newey

Coloured pencils have never really been taken seriously as a medium for the artist. The main, indeed probably the only reason for this is those sets we get given as children as soon as we’re old enough to hold them.

In spite of this, there’s no shortage of good quality materials from a variety of manufacturers and this is all down to the graphic arts market, where there’s no stigma attached to a medium that gets the job done, no hierarchy which starts from oils at the top and works steadily downwards.

It’s fair to say, and in no way a criticism, that this book does not pretend to be high art. Given that there’s a job of conversion to be done, it’s good that Jonathan Newsy starts right at the beginning and has produced that is both an introduction to drawing as well as instruction in what for many will be a new medium. In fact, the book works equally we in either guise: if you want to learn drawing techniques for a good variety of subjects, what you’ll find here is easily achievable results and well-illustrated, clear demonstrations. If, on the other hand, you already have some facility with drawing and you fancy trying a bit of colour, you won’t feel patronised and put off by too much elementary-school teaching. It’s fair to say, also, that if you’re already an accomplished draughtsperson, then you can probably manage all this by yourself and you won’t be needing a book at all.

The book is entirely structured around a series of 16 step-by-step demonstrations covering subjects grouped into Still Life, Landscape, People and Animals and covers a good selection of most of the things anyone is likely to want to draw. There is also a nicely concise introduction to materials and technique which will be invaluable to the complete beginner and not make anyone else feel they’re paying for several dozen pages of what they know already. All in all, this is an excellent and well-presented introduction.

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