There are a few books that every good writer has on their shelf-a dictionary to look stuff up, a thesaurus for when you’re at a loss for words, and a style guide so that you can check your grammar. But what about for visual artists?
Whether you want to learn how to prime canvas, or how to draw a great landscape-there are a couple of DK books that we think are a must for any shelf. The artists manual, and their new Complete Painting and Drawing Handbook.
This march break, we’ll be lugging the painting and drawing handbook with us as we head out into hills. It’s full of all the things we learned in art classes at school and in university-even the things we’ve forgotten. Like a thesaurus and a style guide, it’s all about ideas and getting them down on the page effectively.
The book is divided into four workshops, drawing, watercolour, acrylic, and oil painting. Each segment features a general overview that covers things like the materials themselves-pages and pages of neat art supplies to drool over; general techniques; and then a series of projects, each building on the last, so that you can nail the techniques they’ve introduced.
It would be the perfect gift for an artistic teen, but it’s also a good primer if you’ve been away from your easel for a while. What we like the most is the specific tidbits that help you tackle tough disciplines. For example, the book gives good advice about the way in which line density plays off white space when line drawing-this picture is of the shoulder of a parrot. Every mark is made with the same technical pen, but thicker lines and cross hatching provide shading and dimensionality.
It’s the newest addition to our art-book library, and we can’t wait until its spine is as battered as its neighbour’s.
The Artist’s Manual is a book we’ve had for years, and it’s as close to a dictionary as an art book gets. Where the Complete Painting and Drawing Handbook tells you all about what to put on canvas, the Artist’s Manual tells you what canvas to pick, and how to stretch and prepare it. As well as ten thousand other thing, like how to clean stubborn pen nibs and properly frame and mount works on paper.
For us, we can’t think of a better way to spend March Break then up to our ears in paper and pencil shavings; but even if painting and drawing aren’t you or your family’s thing, DK likely has a book that would be perfect for your March break-from robotics to space, and from Greek mythology to swords and armor, there’s something sure to strike your fancy.
Check out their What Did You Make On Your March Break contest by following the link below-you could win a prize pack featuring signed books-or a $150 shopping spree.
We were sent this book for review purposes and to promote the DK March Break contest/selection of books. We were not compensated in any other way.