Archive for category Author: Maggie Price

Creative Freedom || Maggie Price

This is an intriguing title with lots of good ideas, but let down slightly by its layout.

The subtitle is “52 art ideas, projects and exercises to overcome your creativity block”, and that’s exactly what you get. Each idea is given a 2-page spread and topics include Paint Beyond The Boundaries Of The Photo, Explore Colour Variations Of The Subject and Change Your Viewpoint And Medium. Yes, they sound a bit obvious to me too, but this is another of those books that you’ll either want to take home or never to see again.

The problem is apparent the moment you open it. There are no full-page illustrations. Because each section only has 2 pages, all you get are the various steps. This means you can’t really see the finished results, which is a bit of a drawback. It also means that there’s nothing to provide impact or to break the book up. It just looks indigestible. Back when I was designing catalogues, one of the rules was to have “hero” pages: a single product that stands out. It gave impact, but it also broke up the flow and provided handy stopping points and attention-getters. That’s what’s needed here.

Otherwise, as long as you don’t think this is a collections of things you’ve tried already and you’re in the market for a bit of creative stimulation, it’s worth a look.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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Painting Sunlight & Shadow with Pastels || Maggie Price

There I was, saying pastel books are a bit thin on the ground and here’s another one! And one that goes deeper than the usual general technical manual as well.

That this is an American publication is only apparent in some of the faces and maybe some of the colour choices – continental light is brighter than the more muted colours we’re used to in Britain. However, the principles are sound and the author has a lot to say which she communicates well. The step-by-step demonstrations are relatively short, but are balanced by good accompanying text and nice large illustrations that allow you to see what’s really going on. There’s a good range of subjects which are mostly landscapes but also include figures, water and boats. Each section is devoted to a particular way of handling light – painting reflected light, making the shadow your subject – so that there’s never any doubt about what you’re doing. The final chapter, The End is Only the Beginning, includes work by several other artists, serving to increase the scope and authority of the book as a whole.

As an instruction manual, this can’t be faulted and, as an extension of the literature on pastel painting, it’s invaluable.

Buy it on Amazon

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