Archive for category Subject: Techniques
The strapline of this really rather enjoyable book, “develop your style, guided by professional artists” is perhaps an exercise in stating the obvious (would you want a bunch of amateurs telling you absolutely nothing?), but it does sum up what you get here. I think it’s pretty much certain that, if you were to pick it up for a cursory glance, you would be immediately enthralled and reckon there’s something – indeed quite a lot – for you.
The presentation is very much like the sort of book which I describe as something people buy for others rather than themselves. This, however, although slickly presented, is about much more than just appearance and the contributors offer a wide range of styles, subjects and techniques. Indeed, it’s precisely this variety that makes the book so appealing.
The layout is in the encyclopaedia style, with each topic generally covered in a single spread. What this can lose in superficiality, it makes up for in comprehensibility and the editors do seem to have addressed the dichotomy; there is no sense of trivialisation and the sheer number of illustrations keeps you engaged and informed at all times.
Media include pencil (graphite and colour), charcoal, pen & ink and pastel. There is also a bold attempt to cater for all levels of ability by dividing each section into techniques that are for the beginner, intermediate and advanced. This is always a hostage to fortune as one person’s beginner is another’s expert. However, some things genuinely are more difficult and the gradation is welcome. Maybe “elementary” might have made it clearer that the reference is (I think) to the techniques rather than the artist. It’s neatly done, though, and consistent throughout the book, which helps break up the broad range of the coverage and makes for easier reference.
All-in-all, this is one of the best general guides around and something which merits a lot more than a second look.
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