Archive for category Publisher: Lark

Paint Pouring Workshop || Marcy Ferro

Paint pouring is The Latest Thing. How long it will continue to be popular, I wouldn’t like to say, but the results are striking if, perhaps, somewhat similar once you’ve got the basic principle. The effect is a cross between marbling and super-abstraction – I was reminded of the abstract books that were popular a few years ago.

Any new technique is about experimentation and there can be a lot of fun – and a lot to learn – in finding out about it. Familiarity is left far behind and new avenues and possibilities open up as rules and certainties vanish. Yes, it most precisely is a voyage of discovery.

In some ways, you might think that this is something you can more or less pick up for yourself and there’s a degree of truth in that. However, as with most things, a few hints and guidelines will save a degree of wasted time and materials – and maybe even a degree of mess!

There’s a good amount of information here, and plenty that’ll be of use to the beginner, which is pretty much everyone. There are also projects, although whether this is a field where you want to re-create someone else’s images only you can decide.

If this is something you think might be for you, this is not a bad way in.

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The Painting Workbook || Alena Hennessy

The strapline for this is “How to get started and stay inspired”, which suggests that it might be a manual for the beginner. While there is a short materials and techniques section at the beginning, it’s shorter than many and couldn’t, even at a stretch, be described as any kind of primer for someone starting out. However, although it’s what it implies to me, it’s also possible that what’s meant is that the book aims to provide a way of getting over creative block, that “getting started” is about the tyranny of the blank page. To be honest, I’m not sure.

To be fair (which we should be, if we’re also going to be honest), this is an original idea and the main meat of the book is the 52 Project Prompts that the front cover also promises. These are not, except for a small number of instances, worked exercises, merely ideas such as Wash & Drip, Masking Technique or Earth & Sky. Each has a short introductory paragraph and selection of illustrations that you can build on or riff off. No, it’s not earth-shattering, but it’s different (fewer words and more pictures) and it really does make you think.

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500 Figures in Clay volume 2 || Nan Smith

This is a big lump of a book that needs to be sat in your lap, but thankfully falls open easily (it’s a paperback) and the weight of its pages are not too much for the spine. This matters, because there’s no doubt that a book which feels good in the hands is always likely to make you feel better-disposed to the contents.

There’s barely any text here, apart from a brief introduction and captions to each of the illustrations that tell you the artist, title, size and basic construction. The organisation is simple, too: the contents lists Heads, Busts, Body Details, Figurines, etc, with page numbers. When you turn to the appropriate section, there are no breaks, no chapter heads. If you’re going through at random, the divisions are invisible. If there’s any further attempt at organisation, I’ve failed to find it. And I love that. I love the way things are seemingly just put in there as they come up, not with any attempt at classification so that you get like with like. You don’t, you get like with unlike and every turn of the page is going to be a surprise. I also love the fact that there’s no attempt at explanation: you make of this what you will. If it works, it works and if it doesn’t, well, there are 499 others.

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