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Loire Valley Sketchbook (Sketchbooks)
Loire Valley Sketchbook (Sketchbooks)
von Fabrice Moireau
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 24,05

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Enchanting place and watercolours, 16. September 2011
Länge:: 0:56 Minuten

This is one of the many sketchbooks I have of Fabrice Moireau.

Loire Valley is known for its beautiful chateaux and gardens. In 2000, UNESCO added a region of the river valley to its list of World Heritage Sites. It's a beautiful cultural landscape of historic cities, villages and amazing architecture.

The watercolours of Fabrice Moireau are enchanting, as usual. There are paintings of beautiful houses by the river, workers working on vineyards, the exquisite architecture of the chateaux, and the beautiful townhouses. The chateaux are just majestic.

I've checked out some photos on Flickr, but I must say that it's hard to match the charm of watercolours.

Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

A Petoskey Watercolor Journal
A Petoskey Watercolor Journal
von Catherine Carey
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 21,42

4.0 von 5 Sternen Charming look at Petoskey, 15. September 2011
Länge:: 1:17 Minuten

A Petoskey Watercolor Journal is a nice sketchbook by watercolour instructor Catherine Carey on her hometown of Petoskey. I now know know that Petoskey is a city and coastal resort community in the U.S. state of Michigan.

The book is slightly smaller than A5 size. It's a round-edge hardcover with very thick covers. There are 120 pages.

The style belongs to the splotchy type, free and loose. The colours are nice. Every page come with some quick watercolour tips and her observations of the area.

Much of the sketches are on flowers, the gardens, tight compositions on houses and the scenery that are found in Petoskey. There are lots on the flora, so if you like those, you should like the book.

Definitely check out her blog for more art.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Essence of Watercolour
Essence of Watercolour
von Hazel Soan
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,75

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful and inspiring book, 13. September 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Essence of Watercolour (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:12 Minuten

I've no idea who Hazel Soan is when I bought the book. Now, I'm a fan of her work.

The Essence of Watercolour contains very beautiful and inspiring paintings.

I like her suggestive style, which is to draw just enough and let the mind fill in the rest. Her use of wet on wet for blending colours is masterful and the pastel colours used are a joy to look at. It reminds me of the feeling you get when you watch a beautiful sunset.

Accompanying the paintings are brief but insightful instructions that are easy to try. There are lessons on transparency, layering, experimenting with colours, understanding brushstrokes and other watercolour techniques. Even though the watercolour tips are not unique to this book, it's always interesting to read it from the perspective of different artists.

Highly recommended to watercolour lovers.

Kommentar Kommentar (1) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Nov 10, 2012 10:19 PM CET

Sketching: The Basics (2nd printing)
Sketching: The Basics (2nd printing)
von Roselien Steur
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 27,95

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Very informative, 10. September 2011
Länge:: 1:24 Minuten

This is the second book put out by Roselien Steur and Koos Essen, both educators who teaches design sketching. The first book Sketching (5th printing): Drawing Techniques for Product Designers was also on sketching. This book is marketed as the prequel.

The focus here is on getting the basics. There are seven chapters but in general covers techniques on drawing geometry, choosing the correct viewpoint, and adding colours and details. It's not totally basic though, some prior knowledge of perspective drawing will be extremely beneficial.

The examples provided are well illustrated and explained. There are lots of tips even for something as simple as drawing a cube, the basic building block. Every page is packed with information and beautiful designs. I like that there are a few real world case studies for each chapter.

The book could do better with a few detailed step-by-step construction of the example products, from start to finish. The way it's presented now is basically having sketches on the page, and focusing on a few parts, such as drawing rounded corners for phones and only that. The section on colouring should also be broken into steps to show how certain effects are achieved, like blending chalk with markers to get a nice gradated effect.

Overall, it's a very informative book. I'm not a product designer but I found certain sections helpful, especially the chapter on using the appropriate viewpoint to highlight product features.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss
Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss
von Chris Foss
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 30,70

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Chris Foss. Sci-fi Art Master, 7. September 2011
Länge:: 1:27 Minuten

I managed to get this book from Amazon UK as it was released earlier there.

This book is an amazing value for money. It's a rather large art book and it's filled with all these wonderful art from Chris Foss, mainly from the 70s and 80s. Each page typically has around 1 to 4 illustrations and there are a total of 240 pages. That's a lot of work!

Chris Foss is an incredible sci-fi artist. There's a sense of realism that comes not just from how his works are painted, but also from the designs. For the ones that are printed full page, you can really check out the details that are put in. All are fully coloured and there are some line sketches as well.

There are lots of variety of spacecrafts featured, space stations, alien landscapes and cities, a few robots, some ships and planes. Chris Foss certainly made space more colourful with his colourful spacecrafts. Many of these work have appeared on sci-fi novels, and have also inspired sci-fi film designs.

It will take a while to go through this wonderful collection.

Highly recommended if you're into sci-fi art.

You can also check out more work at Chris Foss' website.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art
Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art
von Karen Haber
Preis: EUR 29,90

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful collection and a truly enjoyable read, 30. August 2011
Länge:: 1:21 Minuten

Rockport Publishers usually publish graphic design books so it's a bit surprising that this book was published by them.

This is a 224-page paperback that comes with a dust jacket that unfolds into a poster. The poster doesn't show poster art but a collection of the illustrations that appear in the book.

The book profiles and features 28 upcoming and leading artists in the realm of science fiction and fantasy art. The variety is great. The artists are sorted by three mediums:

Combined traditional and digital tools
- Jim Burns
- Shaun Tan
- Dave Seeley
- Avi Katz
- John Picacio
- Pavel Mikhailenko
- Ken Wong
- Brom
- Greg Spalenka
- Bruce Jensen
- Scott M. Fischer
- Todd Lockwood

Digital tools and Techniques
- Stephan Martiniere
- Tomasz Maronski
- Camille Kuo
- Galan Pang
- Marta Dahlig

Traditional Tools and Techniques
- James Gurney
- Kinuko Y. Craft
- Charles Vess
- Donato Giancola
- Rebecca Guay
- Dan Dos Santos
- Petar Meseldzija
- Terese Nielsen
- Bob Eggleton
- Don Maitz
- Gregory Manchess

This is a large book and well laid out. Each artist comes with a few beautiful pieces of illustrations featured, ranging from quarter page size to full page. Some of them are progress snapshots of paintings and come with captions on how they were created. It doesn't go very technical but general enough to know what's going on.

The artists profiles are lengthy and inspiring to read. They talk about how they got started, their influences and views on art and also shares some tips and techniques. It can be Todd Lockwood explaining why he likes graphite, or Marta Dahlig talking about the challenges of creating art for clients.

It's great to see new artists featured along with more established ones like James Gurney, Stephan Martiniere, Charles Vess, etc. More than half of the artists are new to me and their work are of high standards.

This is a wonderful collection and a truly enjoyable read.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner: Great Value with More Than 70 Step-By-Step Exercises
Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner: Great Value with More Than 70 Step-By-Step Exercises
von Alwyn Crawshaw
Preis: EUR 15,99

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent for watercolour beginners, 25. August 2011
Länge:: 1:26 Minuten

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner is actually a collection of 3 books that were published earlier, namely You Can Paint Watercolors by Alwyn Crawshaw, You Can Paint People in Watercolour by Sharon Finmark and You Can Paint Animals in Watercolour by Trevor Waugh.

It's now sold together as a 224-page paperback at a wonderful bundle price.

This is probably the least intimidating watercolour book I've seen. The exercises are short and easy to follow. It shouldn't take more than 15-30 minutes to complete each one.

The examples are simple, usually a single subject, like a banana or some grapes. Even for the landscape paintings, there are also very few elements included. The simple examples are great in a way because they build confidence.

What's lacking is perhaps the section on colour theory. It teaches basic colour mixing, with simple recipes provided in all the exercises. But it doesn't talk about colour harmony, like how some colours work well with others. Anyway, you can get another book for that called Watercolor Artist's Guide to Exceptional Color by Jan Hart.

This book is highly recommended to watercolour beginners who want something less intimidating. Or if you want something more challenging, but still suitable for beginners, check out Complete Watercolour Course by John Raynes.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art
Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art
von Gallery 1988
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 30,62

4.0 von 5 Sternen For cult movie fans who like a bit of lowbrow art, 24. August 2011
Länge:: 1:15 Minuten

Crazy 4 Cult is a cult movie art collection, featuring art from Gallery 1988, a Los Angeles art gallery opened in 2004 that focuses on pop-culture themed artwork.

It's a 176-page hardcover published by Titan Books.

The movies included are limited to just cult movies, depending on how you define cult. Some of them are Clerks, The Big Lebowski, Edward Scissorhands, Donnie Darko, The Shining, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory etc. Some titles are really obscure.

The art is essentially fan art, a collection a paintings and a few handmade figures. Some ideas are nice, some average. There's a variety of interesting style but overall, there's a strong lowbrow art feel to the book. Can't say that it's the style of art I like.

This book reminds me of Star Wars Art: Visions which is also sort of a cult movie book, but their selection is more refined, and quality is higher. By the way, there's no Star Wars art in Crazy 4 Cult except for some characters that appear as only as cameo.

This book is probably a fan service. I think you need to be a strong cult movie fan (who also likes art) to appreciate.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Sketch Book for the Artist
Sketch Book for the Artist
von Sarah Simblet
Preis: EUR 20,43

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5.0 von 5 Sternen A general overview of sketching, 23. August 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Sketch Book for the Artist (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:24 Minuten

This book is published by DK is an encompassing look at sketching. It's not an instructional book although you can get lots of ideas from looking at the classic and contemporary drawings included. Some of the sketches are from artist Sarah Simblet, and others from a myriad of artists.

There isn't much covered on the techniques. While there are topics like composition, light and shadow or perspective, they are mainly to introduce such concepts to beginners.

The book is heavy on subjects. The main chapters are on animals, botany, architecture, still life, body, portraits, costumes, imagination and many more.

It's a general guide to sketching and understanding the different sides to it. It's a bit too general for me though. For drawing books, I prefer those that are dedicated to specific subjects.

It's an interesting book to flip through, and isn't too expensive.

The US version of this book is "Sketch Book for the Artist". There's another edition with British English called "The Drawing Book".

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

"Watercolour Challenge": Techniques in Practice
"Watercolour Challenge": Techniques in Practice

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Lots of great exercises to try, 23. August 2011
Länge:: 0:54 Minuten

This book seems to be one of the book published to accompany the Channel 4 series Watercolour Challenge created by Planet 24. That was in 1998. I guess the show was interesting because the content in this book is great.

Below's the list of books from the series, some of which are hard to find.

- Watercolour Challenge (Art)
- Watercolour Challenge
- Painting with "Watercolour Challenge"
- Watercolour Challenge: Practical Painting Course

Looking at the titles, it's difficult to tell if there's any overlap in content. You've to check out other reviews from Amazon.

For Watercolour Challenge: Techniques in Practice, it is split into three chapters: the techniques, mixing colours and projects. 224 pages in total.

Chapter 1 explores the techniques you can use to tackle different painting subjects, such as elements from the landscape, from the water to the sky. These are one-page lessons that give a step-by-step look and explanation at how to paint. There are hands on practices and demos. The lessons though short are insightful and easy to follow along.

Chapter 2 looks at colour mixing with a limited palette of 12 colours. The palette is based on a warm and cool version of each primary: red, yellow and blue. Each of the 12 colours are mixed in a 80 to 20 ratio and the results are presented on a page for quick referencing. There are also 50-50 mixes but only with colours beside them on the colour wheel. Besides explanation of the pigments, there are also some cool photos of the grounded powder pigments.

Chapter 3 has 22 step-by-step guided projects for additional hands-on practice. Each project is filled with satisfying large pictures of the steps, together with clear instructions. Some projects come with a helpful starting template which you need to redraw onto a bigger surface.

Lots of beautiful watercolour examples are used throughout. It's not just a practical book but also very inspiring.

Recommended to beginner to intermediate watercolour artists.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

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