Back in the days of crayons and blocks, every kid wanted the sixty-four box. I was low-spirited; told my talent merited just eight colors of Cray-kray knockoffs.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Out: July 20, 2021
True to its title, this book presents an excellent set of lessons for rank amateurs to develop drawing techniques in a way that helps keep their inner critic from being their undoing. It does this by using mostly abstract and still life subjects as a means to convey the technique, such that the early lessons in each section aren’t expected to look like anything recognizable, and there is not the disappointment of off-kilter drawings. [There are some little birdy drawings in the higher numbered lessons, but nothing particularly complicated.]
The book consists 21 lessons evenly divided between three parts: graphite pencil, colored pencil, and ink. Each lesson gives some background information, presents the list of needed supplies, provides step-by-step textual instructions matched with a series of drawings to graphically demonstrate said step, and a section with creative options that show what some of the author’s students produced with the same exercise. This is also a nice feature for those with an intense inner critic, a tendency to compulsively copycat, and / or a conviction that they aren’t capable of drawing. It does this by presenting numerous different ways a project could turn out – all attractive but all very different.
Besides the lessons, there’s a brief introduction to set up the project. And, in addition to the aforementioned drawings, there are numerous graphics, such as photographs of still life subjects and supplies.
I thought this book was smartly arranged and organized. It’s a small book, but presents the dabbler with all they need to start building their skills, plus it’s beautifully presented. If you’re a neophyte looking to get into drawing but worried that you have not talent for it, this is an excellent place to start.
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Kolam are chalk or (traditionally) rice powder drawings that one finds in front of entryways throughout much of South India. The practice has even carried over to other countries in the South Asia displaying Indian influence such as Thailand and Malaysia. Their drawing is traditionally practiced by Hindu women each day to bring prosperity to the household. Although this one was in front of a business as is also common these days. Some are much smaller and less elaborate than this one. However, some are even more elaborate and perfectly formed. They only last a day, and are traditionally washed away at the end of one day so that a new one can be drawn to start the new day.