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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an excellent little volume of work by the redoubtable David Gentleman, showcasing both his distinctive on-the-spot sketches and some his more finished studio works - hard to tell the difference sometimes - his style retains such freshness and immediacy.
I`m an artist myself; on receiving this book, I took it to pass around my painting students; "There you go, folks - that's how you should be keeping a sketchbook, look how easy it is!" Of course it isn't easy; Gentleman's ability to capture the essence of his subject in a few well-placed pen strokes are the product of both innate talent and years of practice in working from direct observation. Difficult three-point perspectives are rendered effortlessly in quite unforgiving media - dip pens, felt tips, watercolour. But the liveliness, the feeling of just "going for it" is inspirational - this is a book that will have wide appeal, but if you draw or sketch at all, you'll want this.
There is a short introduction by Mr. G. in which he reveals his materials and working practice and many of the notes throughout the volume mention the techniques used for specific illustrations - a couple of studies, for example on pages 354/355 are rendered using watercolour, wax resist and oil pastel, very reminiscent of John Piper.
London has long been a subject for Gentleman; I only have a tourist's knowledge of the city, but that hardly matters - his work captures the vibrancy, beauties and life of his subject admirably. The sheer amount of work, its diversity and execution packed into its 400 pages make this a highly recommendable book, whether you are a practicing artist or an interested layman.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
WHO
===

The author, 82 year old David Gentleman has set about capturing London through the seasons.

SEASONS
=======
We know parks change massively from season to season but this book highlights the coldness of winter on some of London's gems and then the contrast of the summer sun on London's finest buildings.

QUALITY
=======
They're not photograph type quality, instead they are quite beautiful watercolours, which is ideal for capturing the look and feel of London.

THE ORBIT OLYMPIC SCULPTURE
===========================
It's up to date, including the Olympic mash of metal thing.

GIFT OR TREAT
=============
Whether you love or loathe London the book is a lovely coffee table type book. Ideal to dip in and out of.

An ideal gift for those who visit or live in our capitol city.
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on 23 December 2013
I've enjoyed over the last few months dipping in and out of London, You're Beautiful: An Artist's Year by David Gentleman. For a number of years I've had a love affair with London - the vibrancy and diversity of the city.

This little book (approx. A5 size), contains 400 pages of on-the-spot sketches and more polished studio works rather than the usual book of photographs of the city. The watercolours bring something different to the many familiar views covering a large range of the city over one calendar year showing the seasons and weather that London experiences.

It is clear from this book just how much Gentleman loves London and this book will be enjoyed by anyone who shares his love of this great city.
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on 4 February 2014
What would you expect from David Gentleman but the best.
His enthusiasm for this great city, warts and all, is recorded in his great ability to depict graphically it's moods, people, architecture and diversity.
I bought a copy and then bought more for friends who had visited the city and one for a real Londoner how was delighted with it.
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on 20 July 2015
Excellent tips for painting on the go. Good book to dip in and out of. I learnt a lot about art and London.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is (generally) an absolute delight. From very sketchily produced scenes to more fully 'worked' pieces, Gentleman gives us a marvelous range of impressionistic images of London, from grand and imposing familiar scenes to the everyday and even prosaic. (See page 17 for the latter: a lovely little study of plastic crates on a cart.)

For me the interest lies less in 'London' than in the quality of the drawing and painting: with a few pen and ink lines and a limited range of colour washes, the images spring into life and many are really quite beautiful. Time after time I found my page turning arrested by a beautiful sketch such as Guildford Street (p96), a place I don't know and have little interest in finding, but the sketch is wonderful, not least for the economy of means. And while spaces and buildings dominate there are some superb drawings of people, whether as 'extras' to the main subject, or as the focal point of a captured moment (a young woman buying clothes - p303).

Some of the sketching with a heavier line does not, for me, always succeed, such as Bedford Square (p97), inside an Oxford Street department store (p393) and Queen Victoria Street (p60). And there are some surprising failures, in my opinion, amongst images of well-known sites: the British Museum's Great Court seems to have lost all its airy spaciousness which is part of its great appeal. But the successes far outweigh these minor misses. And many of the 'set piece' drawings of famous views and landmarks remind us why Gentleman has been such a successful artist.

The book itself, though a paperback, is really well made, with section sewn pages which won't fall out even with the frequent browsing this book is likely to get. It also has its own matt dustwrapper.

A lovely (not so) little book.
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on 22 February 2014
Just love David Gentleman's loose style. Captures so many of London's hidden gems. Must go and see some of the sites I am not familiar with.
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on 4 September 2014
I bought this for me, then my parents and will get it as presents for all my friends who have grown up in London like myself :)
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on 23 December 2013
A lovely artist, his paintings are always excellent, and his wife comes from Suffolk - enough said! Keep on painting David.
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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What a truly wonderful book. Saying it's a book seems odd - even though that's what London You're Beautiful is. Perhaps a better description is: it's a joy.

It's also a great idea, and like all great ideas it's a simple one: a year of the city, presented as sketches and watercolours; along with some introductory text, all broken up into individual months and sub-sectioned into regions. More than anything, though, Gentleman's book is fundamentally a love-letter to the city itself. One that includes us humans, and the cycles of life: be they the turning of the seasons, or the rituals that define a settlement like London.

The book is slightly bigger than a paperback (but very thick), and my initial thoughts were that it should have been bigger. However, I was wrong. What London You're Beautiful feels like when you hold it - is an artist's sketchbook. And that is its uninterrupted joy. The book is simple; it isn't overly designed, there aren't the equivalent of graphic bells and whistles crammed onto and all over every page. No, it's just white paper, cradling the dark lines of Gentleman's sketches... his work with colour.

It's that simple. Yet for being so, this book somehow transcends being some formatted product -- given its breakdown into 12 months -- and becomes an observation. Of life, of how light changes over a given year - and how one person sees these things.

London You're Beautiful is an utter treat. Buy it for yourself, buy it for friends. It's simply a joy... and a wonder for being so simple.

I rarely ever give five-stars, but David Gentleman's work, gathered as it is here, deserves the highest praise.
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