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Drawing and Painting Wild Animals [Paperback]

Vic Bearcroft
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

7 Aug 2012
Using simple steps and plenty of detail, this book shows you how to create beautiful artworks, from drawing the basic shapes through to realising your favourite animals in your preferred medium. The author is extremely well-informed on animals; and imparts subtle but vital information on portraying them effectively Multiple media makes it accessible to all artists Drawing titles are popular Animals are a perennial favourite

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press Ltd (7 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184448694X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844486946
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 21.3 x 27 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Most books about animal painting tend to fall short when it comes to the practicalities of anatomy, texture and mark-making. Vic Bearcroft is sure-footed on these and covers details such as eyes and paws thoroughly. He is also particularly sound (and useful) on how to give skin and fur exactly the right texture. The main topics are cats, ungulates, bears, pachyderms and apes, as good a division as any and one which separates out quite different builds that have different requirements and approaches, to which Vic gives proper attention. You'll probably notice, though, that the author is better at animals than he is at backgrounds, which tend to be a trifle flat.-The Artist Whether you like this book is going to depend on whether or not you want to paint the zoo's stock-in-trade (the analogy is Vic's - he suggests zoos as the most practical way of seeing animals in real life). Assuming you do, this is a thoughtfully arranged book that groups its subjects into Big Cats, Bears, Pachyderms, etc. This makes a varied topic manageable and also means that creatures with broadly similar characteristics - body shapes, hair/fur and so on - are kept together. You could, I suppose, argue for geographic groupings, but this would suit the naturalist better than the artist. In each section, Vic deals with basic shapes and distinctive features, moving on to demonstrations that will show you how to paint a specific animal. Treatments and backgrounds vary, which gives you the chance both to highlight your subject and put it in its natural context. It's in the former that Vic is at his best as his landscapes have a habit of looking rather flat. I can't decide whether this is deliberate, though. It's possible that he is playing the backgrounds down so as to concentrate on the main subject, but it also has the effect of making the animals disappear into them, which is unfortunate. This is a bit of a quibble, as this is otherwise an excellent book and Vic is superb on both the modelling and the detail work that give his subjects life - the most important aspect of animal painting.-Artbookreview.net This is one of the best, most thorough and most easy to follow books on animal painting there has been in a long time.-SAA When the winner of the Endangered Species category of the BBC Wildlife Artist of The Year competition writes a book, it's worth taking notice. There's a nicely structured approach, too, so that you're introduced to materials in watercolour, acrylic and pastel, moving on to some basic techniques and then to features such as eyes, noses, skin and fur before you get to the full demonstrations. Most of the animals illustrated are ones you'd only find in exotic places or wildlife parks, and Vic helpfully includes advice on where to find them as well as how to work from photographs - which, to be honest, is probably the simplest approach. Vic is a master of his craft, but also a good and generous teacher and the book is full of helpful information that makes it one of the best guides to the subject that I've seen in a long time.-Paint Capturing the personality and movement of wild animals is hard. It needs a lot of practice and help to become really effective at this. Even trying to decide where to start can be difficult. This is an ideal book for someone seeking to learn the techniques, and is perfect for a beginner. It starts with instructions on how to draw the basic shapes, through to creating animals in any medium. There are six step by step projects covering animals such as tigers, wolves, and pandas. Lots of advice is provided on drawing and painting eyes, noses, paws, fur, hooves and horns. Notes are given enabling artists to draw a wide range of other animals including zebras, desert foxes, coyotes, elephants. Plenty of inspirational illustrations give ideas and examples of how to achieve a specific style. Definitely worth a place on any artist's bookshelf. It is a book which will be referred to time and time again.-Monstersandcritics.com Animals have been popular subjects for art since Palaeolithic times, and with people's current interest in wildlife they are more popular than ever. Here is how to go about putting some of them down on paper (or canvas). I never think there are enough books on this subject. Landscapes, seascapes, portraits, flowers but look for a good book on depicting fauna and the choice is a lot smaller. It is a huge topic, and this book, although it is good, can only brush the surface. A number of different media are used and examined: drawing materials, watercolors, acrylics and pastels as well as what you make your mark with them onto. These are discussed in the light of what they can offer the wildlife artist, including working on black paper and using a limited palette. There is a section on getting the best out of zoo trips and reference material, as well as one on how to break down a beastie into simple shapes to begin a drawing and composition. The rest of the book deals with groups of animals. Big cats, canids, great apes, ungulates, pachyderms and bears are all looked at. Each section shows how to paint or draw the various features unique to the species, and the fur maps are particularly useful. There is also a whole project to tackle in each section with the helpful steps with photographs Search Press is justifiably renowned for. Choose from a panda in a tree, a wolf in a snowy wood, walking tiger and others. The author's favorite animal is clearly the wolf (followed by the tiger) so expect more on these iconic species. All the beasties are the larger mammals rather than say, meerkats or crocodiles but there is plenty to work through that will stand an artist in good stead whatever creatures they decide to depict. A good grounding in this type of art suitable for improvers who want to branch out rather than total beginners to all art.-Myshelf.com

About the Author

Vic Bearcroft is a self-taught professional wildlife and pet portrait artist, who specialises in pastel on velour, but also works in pencil, watercolour, coloured pencil, charcoal and acrylic media. Having spent part of his childhood in Kenya, Vic has been drawing animals since he could hold a pencil. Being passionate about wildlife in general, and particularly in wolves, Vic works with a large number of animal welfare and conservation organisations worldwide, donating prints, merchandise and funds.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, with many tips and demonstrations 20 Aug 2012
By H. Nye
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I love Vic Bearcroft's work (and have his excellent wild animal pastel DVD set), I wasn't sure what to expect of this book - usually relying heavily on the 'Look Inside' link! But it's a great book and covers drawing, watercolour, acrylic and pastels / pencils - although obviously none are covered in excessive detail, given that the book is only 128 pages long.

The chapters are:
- Introduction
- Materials
- Impact: tone and colour
- Getting started
- Big cats (including Step-by-step: Tiger)
- Ungulates (including Step-by-step: Zebra)
- Bears (including Step-by-step: Panda)
- Pachyderms (including Step-by-step: Asian Elephant)
- Great Apes (including Step-by-step: Chimpanzee)
- Canids (including Step-by-step: Wolf)

One feature I found particularly helpful were short sections covering specific things that some people might struggle with - eg. eyes, noses, paws etc. But I'll try to upload a couple of photos from inside the book in a bit...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long awaited and just what I hoped for!! 17 Aug 2012
By Whisky
Having been a fan of Vic's work for many years, and having attended a couple of his workshops, I have long been awaiting this book.
Brilliant! As much as I love working in pastels now (thanks to Vic!), I am so pleased that there's a variety of projects and mediums on offer, and can't wait to get cracking on a few, in particular the wolf and elephant projects.
What I am also pleased (and relieved) about is that the projects in the book are achievable - I'm never going to have the ability to paint like Vic, but I'll keep trying!
The sections I particularly liked, and will find very useful when painting different animals, are the fur maps, eyes (which I struggle with!), and the basic/simple shapes to create the subjects.
This is going to be my reference book of choice from now, and won't ever be far from my easel!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wild about wild animals 6 Sep 2012
An exciting approach to drawing realistic animals. Follow Vic's instructions and you too should be able to create beautiful animal portraits. Included are gorillas, wild cats, bears and more. Vic pays particular attention to anatomy and getting the features right, which should help improve your own skills. Well illustrated and easy to follow. This review first appeared on yarnsandfabrics website.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB - A MUST HAVE!!! 23 Aug 2012
Having attended several of Vic's excellent workshops at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, I've been eagerly awaiting this book.
Despite having shelves full of art instruction books, I can honestly say that this book has explained things in a clearer way than any other I own, & as a result I've learnt so much more.
One of the many good things about this book is that it's not limited to the use of a single medium, as many instruction books are. It covers the use of pastels, acrylics, coloured pencils, watercolour & charcoal with really excellent step by step projects.
I love the 'Vic's tips' which are found on nearly every page & the detailed instuctions on how to draw & paint a variety of features of different species of animals.
Vic's passion for animals & his knowledge of their behaviour comes through in this book, I highly recommend this & if you can - attend one of his fantastic workshops to learn from him first hand & you get to help an animal conservation organisation at the same time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book 2 Sep 2012
By lynda
I was very much looking forward to this book as I love Vic Bearcroft's work, and I was not disappointed. The instructions and demonstrations were easy to follow and very helpful. Vic's love of the animals he portrays always is evident and he inspires me to try for the same sort of empathy. My only criticism is that the book is not long enough. I hope that he intends to produce a sequel. A truly delightful book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drawing & Painting Wild Animals By Vic Bearcroft 24 Aug 2012
This is a fabulous book and one that I will constantly be dipping into. I love the way Vic has set each chapter out with simple line drawings that take away that scary feeling of where do I start when sketching a live wild animal. I know he covers other mediums such as acrylic and watercolour as well as pastels but there is something to be learnt from each of these when painting wildlife. Thank you Vic for a truly excellent book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, I am delighted. 18 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered Vic Bearcroft's book, and was delighted when it arrived unexpectedly early. I can tell you I wasn't disappointed either. This book is well written, and suitable even for beginners as Vic clearly demonstrates the use of simple shapes to begin the drawing process. The more experienced artist may not necessarily benefit from this information, nonetheless it is useful to review the process and see how another artist begins his compositions. As for the paintings, this book is so beautifully demonstrated using many different mediums, such as pastels (Vic's specialty) and acrylics, watercolour and even coloured pencils. There are many step by step projects for you to follow along with. Vic Bearcroft is clearly a master at painting and drawing wildlife animals and thDrawing and Painting Wild Animalsis book is simply a must have for any wildlife enthusiast or animal artist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As a fan and admirer of Vic's work first and foremost for many years, I was eager to get Vic's book. On receiving the book I was not disappointed, the book was informative and well suited for all levels of artist.This book is the next best thing to Vic actually guiding you in person, and as someone who's been fortunate in the past to receive support and guidance from Vic in person the book explains situations and technique with the same insight and passion as Vic does in person. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in or currently painting wildlife to get it no matter what your level is you'll gain something from it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful,an inspirational
Published 18 hours ago by david craddock
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic animals
It exceeded expectations .beautiful drawing and concise instructions on how to replicate.the drawings seem so real that they from the page.
Published 1 month ago by peter hartwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book gives great tips and tricks on how to draw wild animals. There is suggestions on how to begin drawing and suggestions on how to build up your drawing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Merete Greve Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars My point
Drawing and Painting Wild Animals was just what I was looking for. Not much else to say as I can't express it any other way
Published 4 months ago by Lynda Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Animals made easy by Vic Bearcroft
Vic is an excellent artist who leads you in easy steps to improve your paintings of animals. I particularly like that he uses different mediums for different subjects which is how... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Deborah A. Rayment
5.0 out of 5 stars all as expected
This was a book that was already known to me that I am pleased to put on the shelf for reference
Published 7 months ago by andrew parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars wild animals
My friend had it at art class and I just had to have one .I am absolutely thrilled with it and now started to do the tiger with black back ground.
Published 7 months ago by Jennifer Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
brillian read and help. lots of tips and advice, a very versitile book.
i would recomened it to all pastel artist
Published 11 months ago by Sioux t
5.0 out of 5 stars Jan Parsons
This is a great book. Mr. Bearcroft is very easy to understand and his pictures are inspiriational! Whether you are a good artist or a beginner you are sure to enjoy this book.
Published 14 months ago by J V Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars best book for beginers and experienced artist alike
Vic really gets to the nitty gritty in this book, he explains like no other artist on colours, depth of fur, glazing and all aspects of painting realistic fur in Pastel and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by pasteljen
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