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Draw ANYTHING with Felt-Tip Pens & Markers Paperback – 5 Oct 2017
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Discover your drawing and creative skills with this fun-packed book, designed to take your pack of pens further.
About the Author
Holly Wales is a UK-based illustrator. Her work explores a variety of subjects, pushing colour marker pens to their limits. Holly works with text and multiple layers of colour to deconstruct forms and produce dynamic compositions. Her client list includes Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health, National Geographic, Byron Hamburgers, The Huffington Post, the V&A, Urban Outfitters, Wired and GQ Deutschland. Between 2008 and 2013 she illustrated a weekly column for The New York Times Magazine. Holly has also taught on several illustration courses around the UK including Central St Martins, Winchester School of Art, Camberwell College of Arts, Falmouth University and Brighton University.
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As an art student years ago, I often used markers a lot for quick sketches and development work; in the last couple of decades there has been a rapid and considerable improvement in the quality and availability of pens of this type and many artists/designers are using them for serious artwork.
This book promises much, but in the end delivers less than it should; it isn't an effective instructional book, as proposed exercises don't offer enough support for learners to benefit from them – the “how to” sections are of the 1-2-3-finished artwork type, with no satisfactory exposition of how to tackle the difficult parts.
The book therefore functions more as a collection of examples; as they are all provided by the author, they don't offer a great deal of variety in style - though to be fair there is a lot of information provided on how to use pens effectively.
I also think this is aimed at a teenage market – perhaps someone just getting into art at secondary school level, as there isn't much to sustain the interest of more experienced students.
It isn't a bad book, but given the range of exciting graphic artwork currently being produced by artists/designers using these tools, this only touches on the subject and doesn`t really offer more than a very basic introduction, with no serious lessons a student could build on.
And it won`t teach you to draw anything from scratch.
3 ½ stars.
I would suggest this for an older child, or art student, as well as the amateur artist. It gives you lots of ideas of different techniques and styles. When my daughter does art homework for school, she is always asked to create a border, and this book gave her lots of ideas. That’s just one way this book helped her in a practical way. Just be aware that you cannot draw in the book itself, so, if you buy this as a gift, you will need to also get a sketchbook, or some plain paper, as well as a pack of felt tips at the very least. However, an interesting book and full of ideas.
That aside, the rest of the material seems to me first class. Very reasonably, the book starts with some basics on colours, textures and blending, together with useful remarks on how to use various kinds of pens and user-friendly hints to the beginner. After that, the sequence of the lessons and examples does not seem to be arranged in any particular order of difficulty, which is very understandable as different artists will find different things easier and harder. Indeed the very last example, of various kinds of lettering, is likely to be found one of the easiest of all. You can take it all in any order you like, I’d say.
Holly Wales suggests that felt-tip pens and similar (e.g. marker pens) are the cinderellas of the art department, so her book is doubly welcome for that very reason. It is welcome above all for its enthusiasm, and the sheer number of examples that she provides comes in a riot of enthusiasm and enjoyment. The chapters (short and numerous) are indexed at the outset, and I can well imagine the right kind of users of the book keeping it by them and returning to it repeatedly over a lifetime. Does that suggestion remind you of anything? It is exactly how Thucydides, no less, tells us to use his mighty History.
You will need to supply your own paper and pens, of course, but I am going to provide my granddaughter aged 6 with those plus a binder for filing her felt-tip artwork away. That is another of the author’s many pieces of advice – never regret your early work.