Posted tagged ‘sketching’

New Botanical Drawing and Painting Books and Sketchbooks

May 31, 2017

Botanical Drawing using Graphite and Coloured Pencils by Sue Vize which has a lovely mix of graphite and coloured pencil, one of my favourite approaches to botanicals.

The other one uses support boards for painting which is not something I’m interested in but he has some useful information on glazing and mixing with gouache. Botanical Painting with Gouache: a step-by-step guide by Simon Williams.

BotanicalBooks

I am still having trouble with my shoulder which makes it painful to draw but I am following a vegan eating plan and hoping that will promote healing. To dispel discouragement because I haven’t been able to work in my large Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook for the pretend trip to Chile, I ordered two smaller Stillman & Birn sketchbooks with the same heavier weight of paper for everyday sketching.

I got the wire bound 7 x 7-inch Beta paper which is slightly rougher than the Zeta paper but not as rough apparently as cold-press watercolour. Then I decided to try a softcover Zeta sketchbook in a smaller 8 x 10-inch size than the hardcover I have.

Sketchbooks_June2017

I really like these heavier weights of paper that Stillman & Birn offer. Curry’s in Canada has discontinued carrying these sketchbooks and local shops won’t carry them because of the price, but I mail ordered mine from Aboveground Art in Toronto, who have been very good to buy Faber-Castell supplies from, which I also find hard to hunt up.

Here’s to healing and feeling better!

 

 

Another Art Book: The Realism Challenge by Mark Crilley

May 27, 2015

I was browsing online and this book popped up: The Realism Challenge by Mark Crilley.

I looked at it and the preview pages and it seemed interesting because he often uses coloured pencil, graphite, and watercolour together, which I also like to do. He surprisingly uses gouache to brighten white highlights, even in graphite drawings, so they really pop. Having done a couple of sketches where I was drawing a white object on white paper, I thought this might be useful.

RealismChallenge_Crilley

He has some short YouTube videos of his process, so I watched them. Due to my interest in collecting playing cards, I found this one fascinating.

Mark also draws Manga and has a couple of how-to books for that, and what I liked about his general approach is that he gets realistic folds and shadows and colouring, but they are not so photorealistic that you can’t see it’s a drawing or painting.

I like things to look realistic but not to the point where you can’t tell if it’s a photograph. I find that sort of realism pointless. It’s the small deviations and imperfections of the hand of the artist that make art interesting. Plus, different materials give a different look, from rough to soft, from pale to vibrant, you can draw something several ways and it’s gratifying. Mark is practiced at sketching from life, which is what really makes his studies sing, and I can always use practice for drawing.

I have spent the last five months doing weekly sketches on my Manner and Material blog with a couple of friends. We have been having such a good time, but last week I really noticed how much better my eye was at drawing accurate initial sketches. This week I sat down and did the sketch in about 20 minutes, and it was accurate. They don’t all turn out like that but I’m forging on slowly to get back the skills I used to have. We all know that practice is necessary, all the art books in the world won’t help unless you sit down and practice, and practice using different materials.

It’s like a mountain when you’re out of practice, you climb and climb and feel so lame because you can’t get anything to look right. I’ve heard other artists speaking about this too, so you need to persevere through the duds and build those skills. What we usually find the most frustrating is the remembrance of how we used to draw when we WERE in practice. It’s like being a marathon runner and then not running for years and finding when you try to run that you can only walk short distances. It takes time to recondition yourself and it’s emotionally painful and requires mental discipline. There is no way around it.

Practisss_JJ

It turns slowly, but it does get better. Mark Crilley’s book has many tutorials that you can draw along with and yet retain your own style. I’m looking forward to that.

 

 

My Final Kick at the Book Can

September 4, 2014

These are the last ones I’ll be able to buy for a long time due to having limited retirement funds. In an effort to cover all the bases of emotion and health I used a recommendation from another blogger to buy these books:

MindfulnessBooks

1) Living with Your Heart Wide Open: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Unworthiness, Inadequacy & Shame by Steve Flowers and Bob Stahl

2) Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness & Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear and Panic by Jeffrey Brantley

3) Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda. I ordered this on inter-library loan first and liked it so much that I wanted my own copy.

4) Buddha’s Book of Sleep: Sleep Better in Seven Weeks with Mindfulness Meditation by Joseph Emet. I refer to my bed as “the pit of torture” due to insomnia and chronic pain, so here’s hoping this gives me a way through that.

Since I am doing so much embroidery lately and have extensive stashes of thread and ribbon, I thought I’d buy a new book on crazy quilting. I do like this sort of thing for purses, but I’m not too keen on quilts using this technique. Small items look great to me. What I liked about this book is that she actually tells you what needle to use with what thread and has some inventive insects and animals to embroider. She also uses a lot of beading and silk ribbon and I have tons of that on hand.

5) Foolproof Crazy Quilting by Jennifer Clouston

FoolproofCrazyQuilting

These were on a separate order from some time ago but they both have interesting information on colour and technique.

6) Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color by Felix Scheinberger. Scheinberger’s book was originally published in German and he has a very European approach, and an interesting technique with colours which is bold. I like the storytelling aspect he speaks about too.

UrbanWatercolor_Scheinberger2

7) Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques by Thomas Thorspecken. “Composition, line work, color, mood, speed and impact for sketching buildings, people, cars, bikes, streets, public spaces, and the world that surrounds you.”

UrbanSketching_Thor

Both books are similar to what I have, but a bit heavier on staying loose and colour. I like illustration books more than painting books so I like to have a few of these. They are great for browsing through and simply enjoying the art of other people.

I could probably enjoy the art of other people in the books I own for 1,000 years, but I do like a visual!

 

 

Two More Art Books

November 13, 2013

Someone kindly sent me a used copy of a wonderful art history book, which fills some serious gaps in my own book collection and has fabulous text. It will go nicely with my DVD art history courses.

Nineteenth-Century European Art by Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. I received a paperback copy of the first edition from ABE. It was only $3.50 plus shipping so I worried about the condition but it is in fine condition. I often find that buying an earlier edition of a book saves a lot of money without missing crucial information, and it was a great gift!

MyPetraCover

I put this one on and off my wish list for months: The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World by Gabriel Campanario, but I finally bought it. I have quite a collection of art books about other people’s sketchbooks so thought it might be redundant, but this has a lot of buildings and municipal sites and I find that sort of thing interesting.

UrbanSketching

There is an online urban sketching presence with sub-groups around the world. Groups are things I don’t care to be involved with, but the influence of people secure enough to draw in public and thus draw freely what’s interesting to them is something I like. I see the insistence that plein air work is the ONLY correct way rather tiresome, but there is something magical for the sensory memory in sketching like this and a challenge to working outside in different weather conditions.

One thing I find with such groups is that there can be an uncomfortable homogeny to the resulting work. I really like to see people find and use their own style and use of materials. It takes a while to find your own style, but as you look through books like this you can spot the people who have a distinct style, they are immediately recognizable. I like that, it’s an aim of mine, a good goal.