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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Artist's Journal Workshop is a wonderful book for anyone looking to start a sketch journal. It's a 144-page paperback with beautifully laid out pages.

It's packed with lots of tips on finding ideas, and from there, you can discover which style suits you. This book really brings across how fun sketching can be.

There are 27 artists who share their sketch pages in this book. Some of them are Danny Gregory, Nina Johansson, Liz Steel, Lapin, Cathy Johnson herself, of course, and many more. They also share their insights.

Since this book is about journaling, the examples are mostly about illustrating what you see. It can be drawing people, places, animals or food. It's very inspiring to check out all the artists' work, even the seemingly mundane stuff look interesting when illustrated.

Highly recommended, especially to sketchbook lovers.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This is a beautifully produced book that is aimed at the artist more than the hobby journaler. It is packed with a huge range of inspiring images each with a comment or analysis as to why it worked. There are lots of "how-to" suggestions for starting, developing and working on journals and the book is very comprehensive covering materials from the simple graphite pencil, watercolours and inks to gouache and collage. There are suggestions about incorporating journals into your day, coping with mistakes, where you can journal, what to do if something doesn't work, and how to move forward to new discoveries.

It is lovely to look at, interesting to read, and for the artist who has not used a journal this is a must see book. Visually it is rich in imagery, and this is backed up with inspiring words and advice.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I found it interesting, inspiring and quite stimulating. As a relative newcomer to sketching ( lapsed really, I have always used a sketch book on and off) it has really wetted my appetite and renewed my enthusiasm. It is so difficult to regenerate being creative if one allows it to 'grind to a halt'! Really nice to meet other sketchers spread throughout the world as well. I live in Berkshire, England.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2013
Like many people, I have just loads of "how to" books and this one has helped me a lot. Years ago, too long,I used to do quite a bit of art but work and life have got in the way and I found it hard to restart. I couldn't do the tiniest thing because I was overwhelmed with regret for the past and despair at how my skills had diminished.

This book has many ideas. Yes, the author is an excellent artist, which can be a bit daunting but if you accept that what you do will be different, it is highly motivating.

The important thing for me is that it is an artists journal approach, doing art. So many books, even visual journaling books, are word led and I very much wanted what this book gives: visual art recording.

The artists examples are excellent guidance and all the artists featured are good examples of colour, design and draughtsmanship whilst at the same time showing how differently this subject can be approached.

If you want a book encouraging you to slap down gesso, paste in whatever and layer away then perhaps this is not for you. If you want to explore different ways - and there are many different ways here- of putting visual ideas on paper, with lots of good quality examples and much encouragement, then I think you will like this. I encourage you to take plenty of time with each idea; don't rush through it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2013
This is a lovely book, full of ideas and brilliant artwork. Not I think for the beginner, but for those of us wanting to do something interesting and personal with our artistic skills, something of a keepsake for the family, this book gives you the confidence of where to start, that everything is ok, that if you make a mistake you can cover it, and that it still looks good! Everyone is always interested in my sketch books but this offers the ideas for creating a 'book'. Everyone is supposted to have a book in them, now I know how to make a 'watercolourist's story'.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By accident I found some books on Sketchbooks - showing the work of others - and I loved them, finding them really inspirational and brimming with ideas, tips and tricks. However, nothing prepared me for Cathy Johnson's book which takes sketchbooks to the next level. Instead of keeping a sketchbook (a series of pictures) the artists journal is the technique of using your skills to record events, almost like having a picture diary.

Johnson shows a variety of approaches, dispels any myths about rules and bubbles over with ideas and techniques. As a result I completely revised my approach and now use sketchbooks as journals to record events, thoughts, moods, the weather, life around me and anything else I can think of.

I'm now in my sixties but I wish I'd seen something like this in my teens when I was an energetic artist (before I started taking life seriously and stopped drawing on a regular basis). Cathy Johnson has done a great service to the world and I recommend this book to any aspiring sketcher. It would make a great gift to anyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2014
Having had a very traumatic and sad couple of years, I stopped drawing and painting completely, just could't get motivated. I'd looked at this book before, and finally ordered it, and it really helped me to get going again. Full of enthusiasm and inspirational tips, it made me start small and gradually get back into drawing again. There are lots of pictures of other artist's work too, so it's not all about the author - there is something for everyone. It's helped me get back the enjoyment of creating art without the pressure of making large finished works, but celebrating the things in life which make it precious. The book doesn't try to teach you to draw, it assumes you have some skills already (and there are plenty of basic drawing books on the market), but does encourage you experiment with different art materials and explore your ideas.

A lovely lovely book. Thank you Cathy Johnson
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Ever wanted to keep an art journal about your day, your week, your life? Here's your chance. Explore, experiment and release your inner artist by getting your thoughts and ideas onto paper. There are hands-on exercises and professional tips from over 25 international artists. This book will help you to get what you want from your journal and open the door to creativity. This book is filled with visual imagery that will help you get started and guide you through the difficult 'blocks' all artists encounter. Try it. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2013
This book feels a bit like a school 'show and tell' rather than a useful resource for the US-led idea of visual journalling. The chapters are a series of very rudimentary demonstrations along the lines of 'I did this , you could do it too' and while Cathy Johnson herself offers many good tips on materials and techniques, other artists' contributions are more superficial. The chief defect of this book is that it doesn't actually offer any methods for making your own journals, - it gives half a page to a list of commercially produced sketchbooks, and refers to a separately available dvd. Surely the whole point of the book is to encourage readers to be as creative as possible - so I didn't find it of much use !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
If in need of a stimulent to start journaling, this is it. I am lazzy and need certain environment to spurge me into sketching, but this book is so full of incredibly beautiful sketches, so many tips, ideas and exercises that I might just overpass my problems with journaling. The absolutely only thing that I wasn't 100% percent ok with it was her constant reminder that our own sketches have no need to be 'perfect'... If I would draw like her, I wouldn't care either - every one of them is gorgeous! Her sketches of her husband almost make me fall in love with him myself!! I would probably start journaling now if at the end on one sketch the result would be like hers. But again... she got there by drawing constantly. It's a wonderful book, I can't recommend it enough
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