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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 26 September 2011
I find alot of how to book in art can be like this- showcases for the artist or in this case, illustrators own work. Though I did find in it some interesting takes on how to draw in a more stylised way- there is not much in this book that really lends itself to teaching. I am experienced especially in watercolour painting so could figure out how she came to some of the various outcomes but if you arent experienced this book would not be a helpful guide. All and all a disappointment- if the illustrator wants to stroke her own ego then she should just say it how it is and come out with a book of her illustrations and not pass it off as a teaching guide.
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on 26 March 2013
Fashion Illustration
This is the first book on fashion illustration that I have read for a long time and on the initial flick through the book I was quite impressed with the eye-catching art. Before I even looked in the book in any great detail I found the artists own story, which was included as part of the introduction, inspiring in itself; a young Russian girl immigrates alone to the USA in order to follow her dreams of becoming a fashion illustrator.
The book begins with some important tutorials aimed specifically at the aspiring fashion illustrator, detailing the fashion figure, tips on proportion and form used in fashion design and drawing interesting gestural forms. The positions are kept realistic but interesting and emphasises the importance of supporting leg positions, the shape of the walking figure and the blocking in method to create interesting silhouettes. Also covered is the fashion figure in perspective and various rotations of the body.
She then goes into more depth when adding detail to the figure, focusing on faces, hair, skin tones and drawing the elegant forms of a fashion models arms, hands, legs and feet.
Next up is clothing the fashion figure and this fills the majority of the book. Particular attention is paid to the way that different clothes and materials behave on the body depending on the position of the model. There is a very interesting part included within this section which demonstrates how to build up layers of clothing starting from underwear through to overcoats.
A `Fashion Dictionary' is included which basically consists of labelled illustrations of a wide range of clothing. The labels are particularly useful and aid the reader in identifying the names of different types of pockets, or shapes of lapels for instance. The author then demonstrates different page compositions and layout variations to assist in producing your own design board, coloured accents are featured to add balance and energy to your page.
There is a short section on illustrating children and men and looks at the types of clothing they may wear but the main focus of this book is on women.
Another section I enjoyed was on fabric rendering techniques which demonstrates the best media for illustrating particular types of fabric and also looks at using fabric swatches to inspire or accompany your designs. This then leads into the final section of the book where the artist explores a wide range of media.
I found this book to be useful and interesting but I would have liked it that bit more if there had maybe been some input from other illustrators just to give it more variation in style.
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on 11 February 2015
I didn't find this book particularly helpful. I am already an avid drawer and was looking to improve my illustrations, but this book is extremely sparse on technical specifications. It is primarily a book of beautiful illustrations with no specific pointers as to how they were created. I wanted a book which actually described in written step by step form how to produce or improve sketches, this book did not fulfil that aim.
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on 20 March 2016
It's a beautifully put together collection of tips, techniques and inspiration a 'go to' book for students, fashion designers and those on the road of discovery if you love art, fashion, drawing this book's for you. It covers so many areas the figure, proportions, movement, faces, arms and hands, dressing a figure, basic styles, accessories, particularly love the section on different fabrics, patterns and prints, women's wear, men's wear and children's wear, quick sketching. It's a clear YES 10/10 first published in 2011 and still a fave Go To Book. Pretty sure there are other helpful books and will be looking into but so far haven't felt the need to replace this book in fact there are others on the book shelf here but they seem much more basic and dated and so sadly have collected a little dust.
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on 27 June 2012
What beautifully drawn illustrations. Certainly has inspired me to try to use different techniques when drawing the human figure. An inspirational book!
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on 13 March 2015
Bought as a present for my daughter but I have held off giving it to her due to the portrayal of the female form. Yes I know that fashion looks better on an elegant slender model, but there are images of size zero models with excessively prominent shoulder blades, wasted buttocks and spindle thighs. I don't need my impressionable early-teenage daughter to think of this body shape as being something to aspire to. There is also too little given over to 'technique' and too much showcasing of just one artist's work, making the 'inspiration' aspect of the book somewhat limited.
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on 26 January 2014
Bought elsewhere. I have barely been able/willing to put this book down since I bought it several days ago. I'm relatively new to art and favour watercolours, but could tell at a glance how this is going to help me develop a more loose and fluid style of my own. Her mastery of colour is sublime. The range of information huge and especially to someone like me who is in the process of teaching myself how to draw the human figure. Others have commented negatively, saying there isn't enough 'instruction' per se and that it's more of a 'showcase': I disagree: i can recognise enough in virtually every page to know that I am going to be able to learn a huge amount from this sumptuous and lavish production. Feel I must give a mention to the publishers here. I have been a massive fan of David & Charles books for many years and have never once been disappointed by them.
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Wow what a book.I picked this up & just fell in love with the beautiful colours jumping off the page.Then I looked closer & noticed the outlines how the artist goes from explaining
Using a scale in inches & a basic figure what size each part of the body should be. Then how when changing angle this changes. There is so much in this book anatomy, sketches, pen, markers, gouache, watercolour, ink even eye makeup as a medium. The sketches are sometimes shown as sketches other times in gradual layers of colours. The artist explains how each layer is achieved, which medium is used & which paper. There are fantastic sketches of various outfits & how to achieve looks from opaque affects to knitted fabrics. So many variations. I think that even someone who is not the best artist could appreciate this book & take something away from it. Simply because so much information is crammed into it..its simply beautiful I could not praise this highly enough..fantastic!
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on 3 January 2013
My daughter is studying textiles and art A level and has found this book really inspiring. Good drawing techniques which she wil find really useful to learn to help improve her presentation in her portfolio and coursework
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