Artbookreview.net: This new series from Search Press concentrates on the absolute basics and assumes very little prior knowledge on the part of the reader. It's one stage on from those omnibus how to paint everything in every mediumA" books that are - or claim to be - an even more elementary introduction for the general reader. Some of them are good, but a lot are aimed at people who know someone who wants to paintA" and assume that a fat, suspiciously inexpensive, tome is the way forward. That the recipient probably never gets further than the first 20 or so pages and one half-completed watercolour means that their real value is never really tested.I'm sorry, we seem to have got a bit off-topic there and I should add there are some really quite good big fat introductions around that are the ideal starting point for someone who's reasonably serious but hasn't got as far as deciding which is their medium yet.But, back to our sheep [revenons a nos moutons]. If you've got as far as browsing this series on the shelves, you've also got as far as making a decision on which medium you're going to pursue and that's the first rung up the ladder. So, we'll assume that you know what a brush is and what paints are, but that you don't really have much experience in using them. And this is where this series comes in. There's a very good section on materials and media that will show you the basics of colour mixing and brushstrokes and then a series of 3 fairly straightforward demonstration paintings that will get you started.64 pages isn't enough to offer an exhaustive study, but the point is not to bog you down, but to give you something to achieve reasonably quickly so that you can move on with a sense of something already achieved. JeannieZelos.com: From the popular How to Paint series, this book is a welcome treat. Drawing is a sadly neglected skill and one that both amateur and professional artists will need to spend time practicing, to get the best from their artwork. In this book Quentin gives clear advice on choosing materials, how they differ from each other, and the best way to use them to achieve the effects we want. Each material he describes is accompanied by an illustration produced with that medium and so we can see exactly what effects can be achieved. For people starting from scratch the section on observation is very useful, we think we know how to observe, but in reality many people need to train themselves to look carefully and see form light and angles in what they are watching. Artists see the world in a special way and it doesn't come naturally to everyone but by working at it it's a skill that can be learned. Quentin starts with an analysis of basic shapes, circles, blocks and triangles and goes on to explain how to use these within the creation of basic structures. There are further descriptions of such techniques as cross hatching, scribble shading and blending, with small demonstrations to show how they are used most effectively. There are further sections dealing with composition, surfaces and textures, perspective - both linear and aerial, all essential to hone drawing skills. There are some very clearly illustrated drawings using pencil, sanguine and charcoal and he shows some useful hints on how each was used to get the best effect. This book ends with five clearly detailed demonstrations to put into practise what he has talked about. It's a real treat to find a book covering basic drawing skills, as this area has been sadly neglected by the publishing industry until Search Press have taken up the challenge. Anyone who wants to develop their drawing skills will find this book truly inspiring. Myshelf.com: Surely one of the essences of a good picture is the skill with which it is executed, so a primer on drawing is a vital purchase for a budding artist. I was drawn (pardon the pun) into it instantly, by the way the author starts by saying whom he has written the book for - something all primers should do. He tells the reader that it is for anybody who wants to learn or who has done a little. If this is you then read on! This book attempts to get under the skin of the subject, with chapters on composition, materials, learning to observe etc. There are sections on what drawings look like using a variety of art materials, and finally several pictures to have a go at with staged photographs. These include portraits, a landscape and a building. This is a short book, but that is not always a bad thing for a beginner. Working through these exercises is the sort of thing that won't take too long and might let a would-be artist know whether they are likely to be any good or not, and whether they are enjoying themselves enough to take it up as a hobby. Handy through not being intimidating, this is suitable to start somebody off although they will certainly need other books that cover the subject in more detail. Quentin de la Bedoyere deals with pencil, charcoal and Sanguine crayon, offering sound advice on the three techniques. The book is well illustrated by the author's own drawings and it is hard to believe that he only became interested in drawing at the age of 50! His example will encourage other late starters to persevere.-The Leisure Painter
Quentin de la Bedoyere first took up drawing at the age of 50. He subsequently included painting in a wide variety of media, and has exhibited in the Mall Gallery, Llewellyn Alexander Gallery and the Society of Graphic Fine Art, among others. He now works almost exclusively on private portrait commissions. Drawing remains his first love, and he carries a small sketch book wherever he goes. He is retired from his professional career as Vice President Product Marketing and Managing Director for Unit Trusts for Sun Life of Canada financial. He is married with five children and 14 grandchildren, and lives in Wimbledon.