200 Tips and Techniques and Trade Secrets by Donna Krizek
An indispensable compendium of technical know-how and troubleshooting tips. Just like having a drawing tutor on call 24 hours a day this book is packed with information on everything you need to know to get started and then get good at drawing and sketching. Explore the versatility of drawing both as an art in itself and as a foundation for building other media. Over 200 tips and step-by-step techniques are organised in the order you would need to use them, with quick fixes and solutions for common problems. This book covers all kinds of pencils, pens, and techniques, different drawing surfaces, line work, shading and textural effects, and how to build your observation and composition skills whether you are working from life or drawing from your memory and imagination.
160 page paperback.
Never has the phrase 'it does what it says on the tin' seemed more apt yet incomplete. I was expecting a book with such a scope to skim some areas and focus on key concepts. What I got was a how to book that would be an ideal homework tool to reinforce and develop learners knowledge in drawing. In a class you are limited in time and this would be great to cover background reading prior to lessons. It really does cover all the areas and would be a great aid for anyone considering drawing in its many incarnations. This is not just a book for my learners; this is a book to keep handy for myself as a concept art lecturer. This compendium surprised me because behind a title that showed promise was a book that showed much, much more. An excellent resource which I would recommend whole-heartedly.
Krizek's book is a perfect answer to anyone looking for a gift for an artist keen to improve skills in sketching and drawing. There are many useful hints such as how to create natural looking hands, how to draw from models, and dealing with the planes of the face. It is both a reference book and a guide as it contains over 200 tips and step by step techniques, together with advice on dealing with common problems. Even choosing mounts and frames can be a hazard for artists - the wrong choice can badly affect the style of a painting. The pros and cons of dark versus light, simple versus complex are highlighted using examples of each type as well as providing instructions on just how to mount a work of art. 4 stars
This book is literally packed full of information, from the tools and materials needed to get started, sketching and drawing techniques and working with your subject, to commissions and exhibitions. It's a busy book to look at, with numerous illustrations and text kept to a minimum, but the work, which is by a number of artists, is very strong and the captions provide a great deal of useful information. There are also plenty of exercises throughout, inviting you to have a go at a particular technique and exploring how basic drawing can be used as a foundation for building confidence with other media.
A first glance at this, sitting on the shelf, screams Quarto. Theyre a company that designs and produces books that publishers then put their imprint on and sell. Theyre very much design-led and have always been at the forefront of that. I dont think its an exaggeration to say that book design would be twenty or thirty years behind where it is now if it werent for them. Theyve absolutely nailed the art of getting the reader to understand the point from a simple set of images, the minimum of text and almost always a single page or a single spread. This, which as far as I can tell is all new material (you do have to check these days!), is a classic of their style. The subtitle, 200 tips, techniques and trade secrets, tells you what to expect. Each section is numbered, and there are 234 in all so you get quite a bonus, and the book covers things like perspective, foreshortening, contour drawing, the use of photographs, facial features and colour values. Theres also an overall chapter structure that groups things into Tools and Materials and Techniques as well as the more esoteric: Working with Your Subject and Commissions and Display. To be honest, I think the chapters have been introduced to break the book up and Im not really sure theyre necessary. A list of tips is a list of tips and I like the fact that they go from the technically practical to the more general a little psychology on the Working with Pets page isnt something Id have automatically expected. Serendipity is a word youd very much associate with this book. Its one to dip into, and especially to open at random, rather than to read, or even to use for reference, though theres an index if you want to do that.
The sheer variety of ideas and subject matter, combined with the extraordinarily sensitive illustrations, make this book quite the tour de force. As a result, its hard to believe it wont have something for even the most experienced practitioner. Suffice to say that the book covers just about every drawing medium from pencil to pastel by way of scraperboard and watercolour and is a veritable box of delights.