Customer Review

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marr`s the Star., 28 Nov 2013
This review is from: A Short Book About Drawing (Hardcover)
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As an art tutor I`m all in favour of a book - or anything else - that gets people drawing.

Andrew Marr has put together what is really just a series of ruminations on the practice of drawing based around a collection of his own work. I assume the book is aimed at the hobbyist market and he draws really quite well - which may, actually - undermine his intentions a little.

This isn't a how-to book - please be clear about that.

In chapter 4 he considers the difference between drawing and painting, rightly identifying that drawing offers no short-cut in the description of the subject - that the skill of the hand, rather than the illusion of paint is there for all to see. Marr finds this exhilarating - as do I - but perhaps inadvertently, he has hit upon the main reason people DON`T draw; I find that students are afraid that drawing will betray their lack of skill and assiduously avoid doing it, believing that brushwork and colour will hide any failings (sadly, it doesn't!).
Marr`s fairly well-executed examples provide a yardstick measure that some may feel they could never aspire to; the fundamental difficulty here is that this normal guy off the telly that people identify with seems to be very talented; well, yes he is, but anyone with a willingness to persevere can draw with competence and achieve a good standard - Marr indicates this himself.
Of course, there are those who WILL be inspired - "if he can do it, so can I" - and I certainly hope that's the case - it`s definitely the right attitude.
I have no problem with the substance of his text; it`s just a personal meditation on drawing and art in general.

This is a nicely presented compact hardback with about 60 illustrations, many in colour; quite a few are done using an iPad - a really good innovation in my view (wish I owned one).
The book can be found for a reasonable price, a fairly interesting volume for what it is; I wouldn't advise this for anyone just beginning to draw but the experienced amateur - or the curious non-participant - may find it worth a look.
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Review Details

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4.3 out of 5 stars (112 customer reviews)
5 star:
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Reviewer

J. Mcdonald "Yelochre"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Glasgow, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 194