Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learn To Paint Wildlife With Watercolor

Yes, learning to paint wildlife with watercolor is a worthwhile pursuit.  Learning to paint vibrantly colored, dynamic paintings depicting wildlife is even better!  If you are going to invest your time, I suggest also investing in this book by Peggy Macnamara and Marlene Donnelly to learn to use color creatively.

Watch a video review of an art demonstration from inside this book, here, to get an idea of just how creative these authors get with color and yet how none of the form is lost.  This book gets a 5-stars for beginning to intermediate watercolorists or for any artist adding watercolor to the list of mediums they use to create art.

Watch the Video Review from inside the book, here:

Paint Wildlife in Watercolor - Demonstration

Or see inside buy the book at Amazon, here:
Painting Wildlife in Watercolor.

How To Draw A Buck Mule Deer

Remember those HTML Bibles?  You didn't know the code, but you knew it was on page 47, alongside pizza stains or a coffee ring?  This book by wildlife artist J.C. Amberlyn is that book - only for wildlife artists instead of bloggers and coders.  You might not remember that skunks have 5 claws in front, but only 4 in back; but you have confidence to be who you are with this book (wildlife artist) because JC Amberlyn knows and all you have to do is check page 204.  This is the guide book for any artist who has other wildlife artists in their life - real or vicariously - because you must know the code or have the bible.  This is that bible.

Drawing Wildlife

Watch the video step-by-step from inside the book: 

This step-by-step Art by the Book Review is from inside the book by J.C. Amberlyn, Drawing Wildlife. The review shows the book's demonstration, How To Draw A Buck Mule Deer. I think anyone can accomplish this drawing using the guidelines taught in this book, for this reason, I think the book lives up to its claims. This book and demo gets a five star review from me! 
Watch the video, here:


Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Art of Creating Beautiful Faces

The rage for mixed media art 'girls' has a list of rock stars and Jane Davenport is one who makes fans where ever she goes.  In her book, Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces - and on her Youtube channel - she explains how her background as a fashion illustrator helped her hone the style and techniques that she discovered and teaches in mixed media workshops and online classes.  The book is gorgeous, thorough, and brilliant!  A 5-star art book if there ever was one!  The step-by-step demonstrations give tips and insights that only a pro can give.

Want to see more about this book?  Watch the video review of the book's step-by-step demonstration, Making Clouds, with book review, here!

Get the book! Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces: A Mixed-Media Portrait Workshop

Or, take one of the author/artist's online workshops: Jane Davenport's Youtube Channel

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Guide for the Fine Art of Writing - and Living!

Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents: Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Over (Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents)

This book is just as the title, and subtitle explain - a guide to the world of living as a writer, making it as an author, and navigating the world of traditional publishing.

I have read this book and will be doing a step-by-step review of one of the sections - Writing the Perfect Query Letter.  This book has tips that really matter once the book is finished or the non-fiction book idea has been determined.  There is a thorough section on writing a non-fiction book proposal and real world advice as to how long it should be, what should be included, and tips only an agent who has worked in the business would know.  Jeff Herman has been a publisher's agent and worked for a traditional publisher, in-house.  The advice is solid but not derogatory.  You won't think yourself a crazy dreamer, but rather a hard-working writer, as mastering the tips in this guide won't be easy, lazy, and there are sections about what to do - and how to keep going - after rejection.  There are even insights about authors we know and love who were rejected (and how many times) who prevailed by continuing to send out queries.  Girl, you'll be an writer, soon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brave Intuitive Process for Finding Your Own Art Style

This book hits my 5-star list, here, on this blog.  It not only helps you let go, be bold, and unfold - as the subtitle suggests, but it gives tips on creating a life and art that you love.  The intuitive mind holds many secrets - or, we can open up to our intuition and live according to what our inner-voice is telling us.  I guess that it the gist that I got from reading this book.  I also did a step-by-step painting exercise according to the *prompts* which the artist lists in the book to paint by.  I chose one, as my format for the review and came out with a painting I don't hate.  And, truly, it was through a process that could easily be loved.  Painting by letting go of fear - fear of failure, fear of the competition, and also letting go of the mind and lines from photographs, she sort of teaches you that your hand is creating the line as your mind does, not according to a photograph you feel you must represent, or anything else, at all.  If you haven't tried it, you should.  The best way is either take a workshop or class from an intuitive painter - but the second best, I think, is this book.  It really didn't skip a thing, and I'm not sure any art class goes into helping you find a creative life as much as your creative style.

Watch a video review of Brave Intuitive Paintinghere!

Or, just get yourself these books:
Brave Intuitive Painting-Let Go, Be Bold, Unfold!: Techniques for Uncovering Your Own Unique Painting Style
Brave Intuitive Painting: An Art Journal For Living Creatively

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Art of Botanical Drawing From TimberPress

The Art of Botanical Drawing
by Agathe Ravet-Haevermans 
This gorgeous book came from the city I live in, Portland!  Not everything great about Portland is on TV, and not everything on TV is true!!  This botanicals book about the art of drawing plant-life and painting illustrations with watercolor is by the scientific illustrator at the Natural History Museum in Paris.  It exudes taste, style, know-how, and classic botanical art like something from a museum in Paris - sort of because it is, or the author-artist is, anyway.

I tried my hand at a step-by-step exercise as I do in my video reviews, but this book doesn't have step-by-steps.  Instead, it has color charts, and tips 'paperclipped' to the pages, along with information on how to see botanicals in order to be able to draw them.  I loved the subject matter she chose - a drying rosehip rather than roses, a rope of braided garlic which is so lovely I almost ran and bought garlic, and my fave (which I tried out) the pumpkin blossom - rather than the pumpkin.

The Art of Botanical Drawing: An Introductory Guide

My attempt will be published September 23 - Draw and Paint Pumpkins - Art By the Book Review - The Art of Botanical Drawing and Late Summer Botanicals.

In doing my research for my attempt, I put together a video with royalty-free images, for anyone who'd like to try - and if you get this book, you probably will.  If you live in the Northwest, chances are you have pumpkins growing outdoors, right now, but it won't always be late August, and not everyone lives where pumpkins like to grow, so here is a video with Late Summer Botanicals - just a few - to draw from.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

How To Draw Your Dragon Is Fantastic

I am now a fan of dragon art and Sergio Guinot, author-artist of How To Draw Your Dragon.  As simple and straight forward as the title, are the steps to drawing these incredible dragons.  Starting with just simple shapes, anyone can learn to draw their dragon.  The information doesn't start - or stop - there.  Dragon Anatomy is a chapter which includes teaching the reader to draw a dragon skeleton, skull, teeth, and claws.  Drawing a dragon shield on up to dragon riders is all part of a storyline plot as though the author is sketching furiously in a sketchbook while the wings of dragons beat overhead.  I did a review of the step-by-step exercise: Polar Dragons.  5 stars and then some.

How to Draw Your Dragon

Watch the Video Review from How To Draw Your Dragon step-by-step demonstration - Polar Dragon - from inside the book, here!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dreamscapes and Dragon Remains

This book has been a favorite of mine for a very long time.  It is nice to be able to include it in my recommended books about art.  Although I had reviewed the information in the book, I had not done a step-by-step, review of one of the art exercises, until now.  In this video review, I take on the challenge of the demonstration: Remains of Ancients, a dragon bone ship seemingly traversing the yard through the trees.  Awesome.  Pui-Mun Law's imagination is as exciting as her fantasy art textures.  The thing about her book, too, is that she doesn't assume the artist-reader can keep up with her, so her break-down of steps is very logical and easily attainable - except for the drawings.  I think it is a skill best already possessed before working through this book.  So what then will this book teach you?  Creating the textures, dynamic and fantastical in her artwork; adding imaginative fantasy details, and how far to take both in a fantasy work of art.

Watch a video review of the step-by-step art exercise: Remains of Ancients, from Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds, here!

Dreamscapes Fantasy Worlds: Create Engaging Scenes and Landscapes in Watercolor

Friday, August 14, 2015

 This book is published by North Light - which almost made me think it didn't need a review, by me, but then I took a second look - and I was already a fan of Sandrine's from her Youtube videos on Artist's Network.  This, for a few of you will be the defining moment when you find a book that unlocks the secrets of a medium you have explored but not held on to the keys for yourself.  The author-artist uses Yupo paper.  She zen doodles.  She also keeps up with old masters proving she's owned a sketchbook and used it before.  The skin tones are luminous.  The step-by-step demos reveal the new updates your watercolor art needs to succeed in this world of Modern Art.

If you are looking for a guidebook to watercolor - this is a 5-stars for all levels.  I sort of want to say not for beginners, but what I've seen from beginners lately just disproves the words not for beginners.

Watch the Video Review, here, Painting Skin Tones By Layering Color

Fearless Watercolor for Beginners: Adventurous Painting Techniques to Get You Started

Fantasy Art Drawing Skills

This book, by Socar Myles, if you did all that it told you to do, is the equivalent of about 2 terms in Fantasy Art at a university.  And, let's be honest, after all the Lit 101's, PE, required health and science, you rack up about 4 terms for  your specific major anyhoo.  Not bad for one book.  The problem is, the advice includes - draw the figure - Life Drawing, so there you go, you are already enrolling in a Life Drawing class, now.  However, if your mission is to be self-taught I believe it can be done within the subject of art and even get a specific genre (major) like Fantasy Art.  This is a book not to miss; however, I do feel it fails its subtitle that this book would be all you need to master Fantasy Art.  Following it's advice, demonstrations, and tips, though, would be accomplishing a Master Class in the particular genre - with a most awesome guide (Socar) - and that is not a given when you sign up for class.

Watch the video Step-by-Step book review: Toad King, here!

Fantasy Art Drawing Skills: All the Art Techniques, Demonstrations, and Short Cuts You Need to Master Fantasy Art

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Steal Like An Artist

One of the best art books I have read is, Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon.  I have set out to read the sequel, Show Your Work.  Making a video of a step-by-step in this book should be fun - or a horror!  It's coming, but until then, Steal Like An Artist has been reviewed, slightly, by adding bits of its wisdom and book quotes to A Glimpse At Botanical Art, posted, below.  A concept I am practicing now, that the book covered was Wonder and Invite Others to Wonder with You.  I guess that is what this blog and the new vlog playlists, Art Notebook and Art by the Book are about.

Austin Kleon knows his step-by-step processes, but they are not about adding the right color, paint, or technique to your artwork, they are about the art you are doing becoming the work you do.  This book helps create a life as an artist, with the art that you do, rather than change the way you hold your brush.  It does help you hone a style, however.  And it suggests that you do this by mimicing, faking, and yes, even stealing (sort of - by taking from a style, a movement, an artist, an idea) until you make it to a style of your own.  The most important aspect of this concept is in the video review, below.

5 star, must-read for artists who hope their work becomes their art or living off their artwork.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Flower Painters Your Masterpiece Awaits This Six-Step Process

Ever feel ashamed that you want to paint flowers?  This book will have you bursting with pride - and color.  Its a book for watercolor painters, but gouache, colored pencil, and acrylics can apply.  Each page, after the bsic techniques and essential tools are explained, has a full-color, full-bleed photograph of a flower.  The facing page breaks down a watercolor - near masterpiece - into 6 steps to follow and paint along.  The artists in the book don't make flower painting seem boring, or tired - like we've seen it all before - and the artists' convey their personal approaches through the 6-steps to any reader willing to participate.  I've only done one exercise, The Bird of Paradise, which I put on video for  you to see if you think it 'works'.  Did I improve?  This video is scheduled for August and I will put a link to the video review, here.  So subscribe to the left - not to miss this review.

Do I think this book 'works'?  Definitely.  After only reading and testing one 6-step exercise, the book has opened my mind to the creative and skillful approach the book teaches the artist who reads it.  Complete each exercise in the book and the information is priceless, without a doubt a style improvement if not a life-changer.

Watch the step-by-step video review of this book with the art exercise Bird of Paradise from inside the book to find out what can be expected from the subtitle's claims: Create Your Own Masterpiece in 6 Easy Steps, here!

How to Paint Watercolor Flowers: Create Your Own Masterpiece in 6 Easy Steps