Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
on 20 September 2011
I haven't given anything five stars for what seems like ages so it's nice to be able to do so for a change. However, although this might sound like a contradiction, the book isn't perfect...
You see, Anna's illustrations are just so bloomin' lovely that you will, almost inevitably, want to be able to achieve the same standard for yourself, and sadly the book contains an extreme lack of practical, 'how-to' advice of the step-by-step variety, meaning it isn't an especially helpful book in terms of instruction. Perhaps this goes to show just how wonderful her craftmanship (craftswomanship?) really is, because despite the frustration caused by the fact that her working methods are not shared within the pages of the book I'm still giving it a full five stars.
She seems to have that rare ability of being able to weave magic with pens and pencils. Her artwork is raw, dynamic and yet beautiful all at the same time. The pages are like an explosion of colour and dynamism, a testament to human creativity. Every time I open her book, I end up just standing or sitting around gawping at it for far too long, trying to figure out how I might go about raising my work to the same standard.
So, if you're looking to copy her style, you're just going to have to look closely and try to intuit what she's done. But for sheer inspiration, well, I'd give it six stars if I could, which is saying something 'cause I almost never give anything even five stars these days.
It's currently my favourite book (along with the long-awaited re-release of Figure Drawing For All It's Worth by Andrew Loomis, an absolute treasure if you want to draw people) and I'm glad that I own it if for no other reason than that I really like looking at it. I only hope that Anna reads this review and considers producing another book, or perhaps a website or, even better, a course, within which she could share much more of her preferred techniques. With that said, if you're the type of person who has art books on your shelves, whether to learn from or simply to look at, I think you'd like owning this little gem.