Drawing For Dummies - by Jamie Combs and Brenda Hoddinott
Courtesy of Wiley book publishers, they kindly agreed for me to review their Dummies book called, Drawing For Dummies, and this is what I thought of the book :-)
The bookholder test was very successful with this book :-) the spine of the book is not stiff, every page opens easily, the book is what I call 'floppy' the book is heavy, but floppy. The size of the text could be just slightly bigger than it is, but it is not as tiny as some text can be. I had the bookholder on it's highest setting, so that the book was sat almost bolt upright and the book was still floppy and the pages kept easily opened.
The actual book itself I think is amazing, and i was not aware this book existed or that Dummies did books for artists. I wish I had found this book sooner when I first was interested in Art, because it would have made everything a lot easier to understand, as learning it at School/College is not always best for everyone. This book covers many topics on Drawing, and though it is for beginners, it helps everyone. It is helping me a lot and it is inspiring to dip in and out of. The Front and back cover are wipe clean by the way.
I also like how contemporary scribbles are explained in the book on page 16. I could never understand how certain artists around the world have made a name for themselves with some of their work, which for me, seems ridiculous, but this book explains it :-)
Pages 20-23 are very good, they show and teach you how you should be holding your pencil or any other drawing media, like charcoal :-)
I like the 'Tips' that are throughout the book, they give added inspiration and new ideas.
there are about 338 pages of actual teaching if that makes sense. Then the last few pages are the index which is useful if you just want one particular section.
£14.99 is the RRP in the UK. I asked myself would I want to spend almost £15 on a book? ....................................... and I realised after just flicking through it, how beneficial it is for the price, and I think the first and only Drawing book anyone needs really, there are so many teaching art books, and they are so complicated most of the time, but Dummies really have simplified everything, even Drawing skills, it is brilliant.
One book just for Drawing, One book just for acrylic painting, one book for watercolour painting, one book for pastels, and one book for oil painting, I think Dummies have done a great job by reducing the need to buy loads of different books about the same topic.
If you are needing an art book to teach yourself to draw, then you only need this book :-) so much simpler.
This book is worth the price, especially considering how many topics are covered.
In total 360/363 pages including a Notes page for you to write your own notes :-)
It starts off with the Introduction, introducing you to the book, and what the book's purpose is. I would have thought it a total bargain though for the price, if, a Dummies 5 sheet sketch pad and HB pencil with eraser on the top of it were included in the price, because it would help people get started, because once you have flicked through the book, you will be desperate to get started, I know I was :-p
When it comes to drawing I have probably mentioned I am still below a beginner, but even I can understand the book, but, I need to take longer to practice the exercises/projects in the book, there are some step by step exercises too.
I would prefer to see a checklist at the beginning of the book (like page 35), just before the introduction too, that tells you what supplies you need, and no, you do not need the expensive supplies at all to get started, just standard Drawing Pencils, eraser, paper.
I like page 2 of the book that tells you it is ok to skip parts of the book :-) You can progress to the artist standard products once you are more confident.
The page numbers are big and bold (top left and right), so you cannot miss them.
Page 85 is so much fun, and I could actually do it :-) flipping between left and right sides of your brain exercise, there are pictures in the book, and you have to see if you can see something else, for example, there are 2 outlines of faces in one picture, and you have to see if you can see a different image when you look at it, and I actually could :-) for the first time I actually saw another image, and it was the correct one :-) it tells you further down the book the image you are meant to see, and I did not cheat, I read about it after looking :-)
Half Negatives (not 100%) NEGATIVES:
I wish the rest of the text in the book could be slightly bigger because there is a lot of info and many paragraphs that can make your eyes cross-eyed, but I want to keep reading :-p
I was not keen on the computer art section covered in the book........... personally I do not like computer art, I do not feel it is correct art, but that is just my view and personal opinion on the matter. I personally feel that the computer art section in the book, (Chapter 4) should be part of a Dummies computer book, and not part of a traditional Drawing/art book. However, one point in that section i did like are pages 68-70 they give website addresses for online art communities, that could help get your artwork seen by the world, paintersonline.co.uk did not feature here, because Dummies are American, but, the websites featured in the book are still accessible around the world no matter where you live, and some I had not heard of before, so, it has encouraged me to check them out :-)
I would also like to see more pictures of what the products (supplies) recommended,apart from page 35, in colour I wanted to know what the items looked like in the book, for example, the
(Supplies for what you will need section) page 35, was not obvious to me in the book, and though I have been looking for it at the start of the book which is where I thought it would be, it is not there, but throughout the book and searching, page 35 is the page for basic supplies.
The book tells you about different grades of pencils, charcoal, erasers, etc, for me, I am being repetitive on purpose now :-p so, here we go :-)
I would like a supplies list (page 35) at the beginning in the introduction for the basics with coloured pictures of each product :-)
a 180gsm sketchbook, Ruler, Tracing paper or even something like (Tracedown) masking tape, loose sheets of Drawing paper, perhaps no bigger than A4, HB, 2B, 6B pencils, stick of charcoal, or charcoal pencil, putty eraser, Vinyl eraser, I prefer Steadtler Mars plastic eraser, because it does not smear your pencil when you use it for rubbing out.
An obvious supplies list at the start of the book or move page 35 to the introduction perhaps :-) this is just my personal view :-)
On the whole, this book is useful for any artist. Beginner, amateur, leisure, and even professional because I think it will help professionals do things faster, because the complicated aspects have been broken down and simplified. You do not have to take an art degree course once you have this book, and it is no longer boring to learn new art skills, :-) and for people like me who find it difficult getting out and about, but love art, the book is something very beneficial, (a tutor at home without the person) :-)
Page 98 (Doodling) this is addictive and a lot of fun :-) I had a go at the doodling section on page 98, the results are below. The point of the project was to start with a dot on any part of your drawing paper, and start your doodle from that spot and end on that spot, and not to lift your pen/pencil off of the paper until you have finished, then, you are meant to look at your doodle from every angle, and see if you can see shapes, a face or an image, the book recommends that, sometimes it helps to blacken in some areas of your doodle in order to see better. I could only just make out some shapes in Doodle 1 (below) and so I outlined them as suggested in the book and went on to do another doodle (below doodle 1)
This is a book I will be dipping in and out of often :-)
Thank you Wiley Publishers for letting me review this lovely book :-)
Go to Dummies.com to get free cheat sheets too :-)
Visit Wiley publishers by clicking this link - www.wiley.com
I blackend in blank areas to make other shapes stand out better for me to recognise, and then outlined the shapes i could see within the doodle. a circle, deformed rectangle :-p and a droopy circle i could see :-)
I could see a face in this doodle, a shocked face, and so, i outlined it :-) then i thought i would fill in other areas with hearts, criss crosses, flowers and dots :-)