Thursday, December 16, 2010

a book review? Drawing lab

A bloggie friend asked if this book was worth buying, and as I started to reply the answer got a bit too long and I thought a POST   - yeah  :).
Last week my long awaited  "Drawing Lab"  book arrived. Once I took it out of the mailbox and gazed at the cardboard envelop I was a little concerned as it looked a bit small for the book, which while not overly expensive it was not cheap either. Ripping open the cardboard envelope (that's the only way to do it :) ) I saw a 8.5 x8.5 square formated book, which while a bit smaller than normal was also VERY thick. It has 144 pages, semi-hard cover, beautifully put together and bound. If the binding last (I only say that because it is printed in China and I am guessing assembled there) it should be able to handle my household's little fingers pawing through the pages without to much wear and tear.
Now to the actual content. The cover illustration is wonder. I like the author/artist Carla Sunheim style of writing. It is like listening to a friend chat about art.  There are 52 exercise dvided into 7 overall themes. Each exercise has wonderful illustrations and clear instructions. Some of them include some educational/ historical information about the exercise, and others show how the exercise can be developed into an actual piece of art. The exercises vary in the materials they use but most will be easily on hand or could be gotten from an art and craft shop.
The thing I like best about the book is that while all exercise are for adults, children can easily do many of them. A kid may not get the same results as an adult, but for example in one exercise you add random watercolour  brush strokes to a piece of paper and when dried you look at it and see what you can see. Once you see it you then use a pen to draw the outline of what you see. Of course an adult can take it a step or two further but what a great exercise for a kids imagination. Also Carla's illustrations in the book are so beautiful that kids will just love to look at them and want to try draw them (as my 5 year old did).
Cons... honestly I have not found any yet, the only one is that is a bit pricy but if you got $22.99USD (reccommended retail) to spare and are looking for a great inspirational art book go for it.  I got my from  for €11.74 (shipping included), its looks a bit more expensive than but the latter kills me on shipping .

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