Profile for Roger Cawkwell > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Roger Cawkwell
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,747,259
Helpful Votes: 147

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Roger Cawkwell (London United Kingdom)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Pilatus
Pilatus

5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky Virtuosity, 6 Sep 2008
This review is from: Pilatus (Audio CD)
This album will not be to everyone's taste but I enjoyed it a lot & I think of myself as quite critical when it comes to evaluating music. It's a muti-tracked solo effort from a virtuoso French Horn player who also plays Flugelhorn, Wagner Tuba, Alpenhorn and Corno di Caccia with apparently equal ease. There are long, reflective meandering tracks, funky repetitive grooves and not a few whimsical or humorous touches. For a player from a classical background (I believe Shilkloper once played in the Bolshoi Ballet orchestra) he can turn on convincingly jazzy phrasing when required (in a duet for two Wagner Tubas!)


Problem Solving for Oil Painters: Recognizing What's Gone Wrong and How to Make It Right (Practical Art Books)
Problem Solving for Oil Painters: Recognizing What's Gone Wrong and How to Make It Right (Practical Art Books)
by Gregg Kreutz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for problems..., 6 Sep 2008
I must endorse all that has been said by previous reviewers: I have had this book for several years (before Amazon existed, probably!) and value it amongst my most helpful art books. Despite the title, it does not just help you to rescue pictures that are going badly but gives penetrating insights from a practising artist into how to paint exciting pictures. As has been noted, the illustrations are all excellent - a good artist is not always a good teacher and vice versa but Gregg Kurz excels at both tasks.


Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks and Techniques for Working with the World's Most Versatile Medium
Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks and Techniques for Working with the World's Most Versatile Medium
by Nancy Reyner
Edition: Spiral-bound
Price: £19.99

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reservations, 15 Aug 2008
I wasn't that happy with this purchase and for two reasons: the first I've only got myself to blame for as I've been using acrylics for 30 years or more & didn't really learn that much that I didn't know already, thought the book might be of more interest to a newcomer to the medium - but then there are loads of introduction-to-acrylics books and this is not special.

Secondly, the author has business connections with the American acrylic paint company Golden and indeed Golden products are mentioned on most pages to the exclusion of all other brands. I've used it - Golden is OK if a little pricey in the UK but the book really should have a subtitle - Buy Golden Paints...


Figure Drawing Without a Model
Figure Drawing Without a Model
by Ron Tiner
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite What it Says on the Tin, 14 July 2008
I've owned this book for years - probably from shortly after it was published in '92 - and have referred to it fairly frequently. Tiner's work I see more as illustration than art (this is not being snobby, more of an attempt to describe) as he reproduces many illustrations he has done for novels. He makes many useful points on drawing in general but, oddly enough, rather little on figure drawing without a model... the general stuff is OK & similar to what may be found in many other decent drawing books but I would have valued more specific information & advice on the book's purported subject. Ideally, I'd have given it three and a half stars.


Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green
Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green
by Michael Wilcox
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for an Understanding of Colour Mixing, 1 July 2008
Let me give the downside first: Michael Wilcox is not very good at editing his own writing. This book comes across as rather bombastic, defensive & very repetitive. HOWEVER! he really knows his stuff & I have learned an immense amount about colour, both theoretically & practically (which pigments you need to mix any colour & in what sort of proportion) from reading his books. If you really want to become an expert at mixing the right colour from the minimum number of tubes of paint, study it: In a relatively short time you will recoup its cost from the unnecessary tubes of paint you won't buy!


Glory Season
Glory Season
by David Brin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as Uplift, 1 Jun 2008
This review is from: Glory Season (Paperback)
I won't go into details of the plot as some of this has been covered in other reviews & I don't want to add more spoilers. It took me a little while to get into this book but after 100 pages or so I found myself curiously gripped by the protagonist's fate and wanted to read more.

As has been flagged elsewhere, the plot is a little repetitive, especially in the matter of Maia being kidnapped and then escaping, to the point when I began to think, Oh no, not again... I couldn't quite believe the ending - I thought that there must be another chapter somewhere. Perhaps I should re-read the last one but there seemed to be serious discrepancies between what was said to Maia and what actually happened. Though actually I can't be bothered as I have other things to read.

Brin is a seriously good author, especially in the matter of being able to imagine alien societies and make them reasonably convincing, but this book needs editing.


Psychosynthesis Counselling in Action (Counselling in Action series)
Psychosynthesis Counselling in Action (Counselling in Action series)
by Diana Whitmore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 April 2008
I did parts of my Psychosynthesis training with Diana Whitmore and have the first version of this book, which I can thoroughly recommend if you want to learn about the basics of Psychosynthesis or have a curiosity about transpersonal work generally.


Music Notation
Music Notation
by Matthew Nicholl
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.80

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 31 Mar 2008
This review is from: Music Notation (Paperback)
I have been composing music for over 40 years, at first by the pencil/eraser/ruler method and more lately using software such as Logic, Finale & Sibelius. I've taught composition and arranging at a London university for over 20 of those years and I'm delighted to be able to recommend this book. It's almost exactly what I would have written for my students myself if I had the time (so that lets me off the hook, then...). It's equally applicable whether you use the old fashioned paper method or software. Please note that this book will not teach you anything about composing or arranging but will enable you to make your scores and parts look professional. My only regret is that I bought my copy from a West End music store rather than Amazon, which would have saved me nearly half the price...


Recursion
Recursion
by Tony Ballantyne
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but interesting, 25 Feb 2008
This review is from: Recursion (Paperback)
I think I'm always prepared to be a little easy-going on a first book (or at least, a first one in print, we don't know how many Mr Ballantyne wrote before Recursion...) I'm not literary trained enough to explain precisely but some passage, especially near the beginning, seemed to lumber about, the writing was not elegant. The ideas behind the book seemed very interesting, though so it was sufficiently engrossing for me to continue. Near the end there is a long passage of explanation which really doesn't seem to fit - as if the author couldn't figure out how (or didn't have the time) to write narrative to cover these events, so we're left with a synopsis before a return to narrative for the final few pages. For me, this is the book's weakest point, almost like a documentary occurring 4/5 of the way through an adventure film. I might consider some of the later books... eventually.


Ally (Wess'bar Wars EOS Science Fiction)
Ally (Wess'bar Wars EOS Science Fiction)
by Karen Traviss
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stay with it, 20 Feb 2008
I've been following this saga through & bought & read this book even after reading the rather disappointed previous review. (slight spoiler warning!) I recognise (& share) the impatience to find out what happens a little more quickly but I found plenty to engross me in Ally, the development of the triangular relationship of the between Shan & her two "husbands" & the spread of the "infection" to other humans and other species seem significant developments to me, not to mention the introduction of a fearsome new species which considerably ups the stakes for the future of Earth. Looking forward to the next instalment.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3