2017 Sketchbooks Review

Drawing for Joy

By: Stephanie Peterson Jones

About:

In Drawing for Joy, author and illustrator Stephanie Peterson Jones offers beginning artists a low-stress way to build a successful daily drawing practice in just 15 minutes a day. The accessible series of 52 week-by-week exercises, each with 7 drawing prompts or starts, teaches readers how to draw by exploring line, texture, pattern, and color. The book begins with basic information on the required materials for completing the exercises and essential techniques and strategies for coloring your creations. The exercises start with a focus on simple shapes such as circles, squares, and other geometric textures, then progress gradually toward creating more realistic motifs, including florals and other natural shapes, all built with line and pattern.

About the Author:

Stephanie Peterson Jones is a certified K-12 art teacher who loves teaching art to children and adults. She loves to work on community art projects that encourage kindness and compassion and started Art & Kindness, LLC with her husband following Hurricane Sandy. For her, making art is a meditation and an expression of joy. Stephanie is inspired by beauty in nature, kind people, and the little visual surprises she encounters every day. When she’s not making art, she’s taking a hike, knitting, making pottery, and teaching (or doing) Pilates.

In Cassie’s opinion:

What I love about Stephanie’s new book is that it shows you have to make drawing simple and fun.  I also like how it shows everyone how to be creative and make his or her own art, even if you are not experienced. This book can be for any age from child to adult. A great gift for someone who enjoys art.

Botanicals- Secrets of observational drawing

By: Valerie Baines

About:

Imagine learning to draw roses with Redoute, or tulips with Pieter Brugel. Imagine learning the secrets that made their flower paintings stand out in their eras and still stand out today. Classic Sketchbook: Botanicals is a draw-in book that shows you how by taking a close look at the details of great floral paintings and coaching readers to try the techniques with the help of an expert’s suggestions. Printed on quality uncoated stock and suited for drawing and watercolor, each spread will consist of two working parts.

The left-hand page is for study, featuring a close-up for a drawing or painting by a noted artist from the 19th century or earlier. The right-hand page is for drawing, with only a small box for the expert’s brief coaching tips, observations, and a demonstrative sketch. While progressing through the book and trying the different artist styles, you’ll gain observational confidence and techniques to apply your own drawing and painting. In learning from the masters, you’ll become a master yourself!

About the author:

Valerie Baines has drawn and painted as long as she can remember and has always had an interest in the wildlife around her. As a school child she reared butterflies (especially cabbage whites, because she didn’t like cabbage) and kept various pets, who were models for drawings and paintings. She now lives in Sussex, and finds much inspiration in the countryside around.

In Cassie’s opinion:

This beautiful floral drawing book is in my opinion for the more experienced artist. I loved how the author showed examples of colors of paint you would use for each botanical drawing.  I also liked how she explained the shading techniques.  I would have liked to see more step-by-step drawings but overall the book is very informative and is a perfect gift for the floral enthusiast.

Classic Sketchbook: Cats

By Patricia Wynne

About:

Classic Sketchbook: Cats is the second in a series of instructional books that began with Classic Sketchbook: Botanicals. The series shows how it’s done by looking at details of museum-quality works, then coaching readers through the techniques with the help an expert’s suggestions. In this case the expert is Patricia Wynne, a noted illustrator with a specialty in animals.

Wynne will guide you through fur, paws, and eyes, as well as cats sleeping, playing, or pouncing. Her unique instructions places a close-up of a drawing or painting by a noted artist like Gauguin, Chardin, Gwen John, and Theodore Steinlen on the left side of the page. And on the right side of the page Patricia Wynne coaches you with detailed, step-by-step drawings, that illuminate the process.

About the Author:

Patricia J. Wynne is an artist and freelance illustrator based in New York. She teaches animal drawing classes at the American Museum of Natural History and works as a contract artist for scientists at research organizations around the world. Wynne has illustrated over 170 books for adults and children, and her work has appeared in publications including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalFood and WineCricket, and Scientific American. Her books have received awards from Parenting magazine, the John Burroughs Association, and the National Science Teachers Association. Most recently, she received a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor for her book Hello, Bumble Bee Bat, authored by Darrin Lunde.

In Cassie’s opinion:

This is a really great drawing book for artists who love to draw cats. I loved how she used step-by-step examples, and gave a detailed list of supplies you need for this classic sketchbook.  This book gives many examples of ways to draw cats from all angles and is has vivid pictures throughout the book of cats.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services for free in the hope that I would mention them on my blog and offer an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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