Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Big Drawing People Book Review

People like to learn how to draw people. There are a number of ways you can learn:
  • study drawings and paintings by those who have excelled at drawing people - artists such as Rembrant, John Singer Sargent
  • read a new or old book about how to draw people
  • join a life drawing class
  • take a course or workshop
  • take an online course
  • or just start having a go!
My own theory is that most people who want to learn how to draw people and create portraits:
  • try out more than one way of learning
  • at some point buy a book about drawing people - in order to study the subject in more depth.
The Big Drawing People Book Review

So - as my unofficial contribution to this month's BIG DRAW 2010 I'm going to create another blog project like the one I ran in 2007 - see The Big Drawing Book Review

This time it's going to be the Big Drawing People Book Review

If you'd like to join in this is how it works.

  • Join in!  EVERYBODY who is an art blogger is welcome to join in with The Big Drawing People Book Review. 
  • Produce a review of a book about drawing people.  The "drawing people" book should be wholly or mainly about drawing people.  That means it might be an art history book (eg about an artist famous for skills at drawing people) or it can be an art instruction book
  • Rate the book.  Please use the rating scale (see below) to assess how good the book is for people wanting to learn more about drawing people
  • Comment across the Range:  It doesn't have to be a "good book" - we also need to know about the books you do NOT recommend.  
  • Be circumspect.  Before you say a book is really excellent or really terrible please make sure you are well acquainted with books of this type.  Please don't rate it at either extreme if this is the only book you have ever read/studied! :)
  • Post your review on your blog.  This is so we can all read what you think! 
  • Leave a Link to your Review.  When you've completed a review just leave a link to the blog post containing your book review on this post or any of my subsequent book review posts for me to find.
  • Get your book review highlighted on this blog.  Periodically I will post about the book reviews which have taken place - and link back to your review post on your blog.  I'll also be developing another site (as I did for the 2007 project) which will also link to your review on your blog.
I'll be posting my book reviews over on Making A Mark Reviews and then providing a summary of all reviews done to date - by me and others - periodically on this blog.
    A suggested review framework

    If you're not quite sure where to start here's a suggested framework for your review - but how you do it is up to you.
    1. Basics: State somewhere the basic facts about the book ie title, author, publisher
    2. Intended Audience:  Who do you think the book is aimed at.  Has the author pitched it about right for that audience?
    3. Content: Express your opinion about what the book covers and how well it does this.  What's it good at?  What does it do less well?  What are the images like?  Does the author include any by other artists?
    4. Communication:  Are the main messages clearly communicated or not?  Bottom line is it a good read and did you absorb what s/he had to say?
    5. Presentation: Does it look good?  Does it feel good?  Is it going to stand up to normal wear and tear?
    6. Value for Money: Is it good value for money?
    7. Overall quality: Would you recommend it? Is so, why
    The rating scale

    PLEASE Rate your book! This is my suggested rating scheme for how The Big Drawing People Book Review rates books about drawing or sketching. 
    • 5 stars - go out and buy this book right now if you have the money. In your opinion, an essential book for anybody seriously interested in drawing people and/or learning more about drawing people.  
    • 4 stars - a seriously good book about drawing people; definitely one you want to own at some point - maybe one for the Christmas present list if you're broke  
    • 3 stars - good effort but nothing which really distinguishes it from other books about drawing people. It's just this author's take on the basics. The sort of book which is good while you are reading it but it doesn't stick in your memory.   
    • 2 stars - undistinguished in your view. For example: content may be a rerun of previously published books and/or remixed with a new front cover; presentation may not be particularly noteworthy. 
    • 1 star - buying this book would damage your wallet but is unlikely to enhance either your knowledge, skills or enjoyment. It may also hurt your eyes! (Unfortunately there are a few of these out there - although I'm assuming we've probably weeded through a few of these without buying!)
    A good way to start is maybe to think about the best art book you have ever seen/read and then rate everything in relation to that.

    If you've got any queries please leave them below - but bear in mind I won't be able to answer them to Monday as I'm now off to a castle in Wales for a family wedding! :)

    1 comment:

    1. I think getting reviews of books by those who actually use them, good and bad is important.

      Our figure drawing Teacher has reviewed his favorite book.


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