Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sketch Book for the artist

9780756651411HSketch Book For The Artist – An innovative, practical approach to drawing the world around you
By Sarah Simblet
Published at DK Canada

About the book

Sketch Book for the Artist takes its journey of investigation beyond the shores of Fine Art, covering a wide range of themes from portraits to plant studies and still life, and showing how to tackle each subject in a variety of different ways. From quick pencil sketches to fully finished color studies, the author uses "drawing classes" throughout the book to skillfully demonstrate each technique. Alongside drawings by famous Masters, the book uses the artist's drawing book as the center of its investigation, examining attitudes and demonstrating techniques that will excite the imagination and enhance the skills of the reader.

Who is Sarah Simblet?

Sarah Simblet teaches at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford, and at the Royal College of Art in London. She has studied and worked in Oxford, Cheltenham, Heidelberg, and Madrid, and was awarded her PhD by the University of Bristol. Her drawings are in national and private collections, including the Royal Academy of Art in London and the Ashmolean in Oxford.

My Thoughts

I have discovered drawing a few years ago while we were planting a church in the downtown area.   The church had to close at some point in time due to various reasons but my exploration of drawing was not brought to a complete stop.    I guess that drawing is in my veins with two grand-mothers who used to paint.   My maternal grand-mother while she was younger and my paternal grand-mother was still doing it when I was younger.    I never really though that I would have some gifts in the area of drawing.

So when I requested the Sketch Book for the Artist, I was hoping to find time to develop this new side of me.  Immediately after I received it, I dug into it to discover the lessons and guidance of the author.     I was delighted to have this book in my hands.  All I needed was time… which is difficult when  you care and homeschool four kids.    I also wanted to find something to draw.  Something that will grab my heart and inspire me.    While attending a weeknight teaching on healing, I had a vision of Christ’s feet and hands with nails in it.    I knew immediately that I had find what I wanted to draw.   Still the weeks went buy and I couldn’t find the time to do it. 

On page 120 of the book, I could see some ideas on how to draw hands and feet in various positions.   One day I had grossly sketched the feet and one hand on a cardboard.   I hoped that I could develop it more in the days to come.   It wasn’t meant to be.   Every once in a while, I saw the book and thought that in the afternoon I would have time.   Unfortunately it wasn’t the correct time.

However, on Easter Sunday, I had time and decided to use it to draw.   I grabbed the book, sat in the sofa, and with pencil and eraser in hand I drew the feet and than one hand.   I originally intended to draw two hands but drawing the mirror image of the one I drew already was a bit overwhelming.  

4-8-2012 2;16;59 PM

As you can see I am not a professional but I kind of like what I was able to draw today.    The hand itself is a bit more realistic than the one I had done about two years ago.   Having the book helped quite a lot.   I also found interesting sketches on birds that I am going to use for another project of mine.

Here’s the table of content of the Sketch Book for the Artist:

  • Animals; Documentaries, Presence and Mood, Movement, Icon and Design, Pen and Ink, Drawing with Ink, Capturing Character, Sleeping Dogs, Turtles, Dry Birds.
  • Plants and Gardens; Botanical Studies, Jeweled Gardens, Fast Trees, Graphite and Erasers, Cropping and Composition, Negative Space, Fig Tree, Summer Flowers, Acanthus Spinosus.
  • Architecture; Master Builders, The Order of Sound, Future Fictions, Pathways of Sight, Single=Point Perspective, Creating an Imaginary Space, Further Aspects of Perspective, Theaters, Venetian Life, Parisian Street.
  • Objects and Instruments; Still Life, Instruments of Vision, Bench marks, Light and Illusions, Further Illusions, How to Draw Ellipses, Tonality, Drawing with Wire, Artifacts and Fictions.
  • The Body; Postures and Poses, Choreographs, Passion, Measurement and Foreshortening, Quick Poses, Hands and Feet, Charcoal Hands, Phrasing Contours, The Visual Detective, La Specola.
  • Portraiture; Poise, Anatomies, Revelations, Self-Portraits, Silver Point, Head and Neck, Essential Observations, Drawing Portraits, Generations, Castings.
  • Costume; Cloth and Drapery, Character Costumes, Femmes Fatales, Colored Materials, Study and Design, The Structure of Costume, Textures and Patterns, Dressing Character, Posture Carving.
  • Gatherings; Projections, Magnetic Fields, The Human Condition, Disposable Pens, The Travel Journal, Catching the Moment, Grand Canal, Crossings, Caravans, The Big Top.
  • Earth and the Elements; Air in Motion, Storms, Nature Profiles, Charcoal, Landscapes, Drawing in the Round, Decaying Boat, Cloudburst, Notes of Forces, Mountains.
  • Abstract Lines; Process and Harmony, Writing Time, Chants and Prayers, Compositions, Being “Just”, Collage, Zen Calligraphy, Nocturnes.
  • Gods and Monsters; Marks of influence, Hauntings, Convolutions, Brushes, Brush Marks, Monsters, Goya’s Monters, Consumed.

The introduction also gives you an idea of the type of paper to use, the way you can draw and the various material you can use.   Blending the teaching with inspiration through the book, the author is giving step-by-step demonstrations, suggest ways to fill your own sketchbook, learn from Masters throughout history and gives you various techniques to explore your new hobby.

I’m quite satisfied with this book and only wish I had more time to explore drawing more.   One of these days it will come.   In the meantime, I can have fun every once in a while by taking this book, read it and try it on my own.  The book is perfect for anyone interested in developing the skill of drawing.   It could be a perfect gift for the older child in your house who has expressed a desire to develop this skill or has a unique incline toward drawing.

The Sketch Book for the Artist is available at your favorite bookstore, even  

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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