Archive for category Subject: Children
The sheer variety of this ongoing series is breathtaking, as is the quality that actually seems to improve with time.
Children are difficult subjects, not least because they’re hardly ever still and Giovanni acknowledges this with a short section on the use of photography. As ever, the main part of the book is a series of worked examples that demonstrate techniques with children of all ages – as the title implies.
What is particularly impressive is the depth of character that Giovanni manages to get into his work. Children are very much a work in progress and features, expressions and poses are constantly fluid. Picking the right moment is very much an exercise in observation and Giovanni is also sound on this – it’s getting to know your subject, as you should, but in particular detail.
Although this is not an in-depth study of a what is certainly a complex subject, it is nevertheless an excellent primer that includes much more than its 64 pages implies.
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The above-the-title billing gives you a clue to Lee Hammond’s popularity in the US and, if the title suggests a bind-up, you’d be correct. The material has previously appeared in four other titles, but the selection here provides an excellent introduction to the medium. More substantial than many similar books, this one covers still lifes, landscapes, animals and people as well as the basic techniques. Each section is admirably thorough – the one on people includes exercises covering all the main facial elements as well as demonstrations that deal with both male and female subjects as well as babies and toddlers. Overall, there’s a good sense of your money’s worth here.
There’s a slightly saccharine quality to the results produced here, but it’s not something you couldn’t tone down in your own work. Books on portraiture are thin on the ground and on painting children even more so, so this is a particularly welcome gap-filler. There’s a good variety of hair, skin and facial types, as well as sound but simple notes on how to deal with the main facial features and step by step demonstrations that are thorough without being over-worked.
All in all, this is an excellent place to start and would probably also carry some welcome hints for the more practised artist.
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