The Practice and Science of Drawing Paperback – 4 Oct 2011
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From the Back Cover
Much of the learning to practice as well as to appreciate art is concerned with understanding the basic principles. One of these principles is what Harold Speed calls "dither," the freedom that allows realism and the artistic vision to play against each other. Very important to any artist or work of art, this quality separates the scientifically accurate from the artistically accurate. Speed's approach to this problem is now considered a classic, one of the few books from the early years of this century that has continued to be read and recommended by those in the graphic arts.
In this work, Harold Speed approaches this dynamic aspect of drawing and painting from many different points of view. He plays the historical against the scientific, theory against precise artistic definition. He begins with a study of line drawing and mass drawing, the two basic approaches the artist needs to learn. Further sections carry the artistic vision through unity and variety of line and mass, balance, proportion, portrait drawing, the visual memory, materials, and procedures. Throughout, Speed combines historical backgrounds, dynamic aspects which each technique brings to a work of art, and specific exercises through which the young draughtsman may begin his training. Although not a technique book in the strict sense of the terms, The Practice and Science of Drawing brings to the beginner a clear statement of the principles that he will have to develop and their importance in creating a work of art. Ninety-three plates and diagrams, masterfully selected, reinforce Speed's always clear presentation.
Harold Speed, master of the art of drawing and brilliant teacher, has long been cited for this important work. For the beginner, Speed will develop a sense for the many different aspects which go into an artistic education. For the person who enjoys looking at drawings and paintings, Speed will aid developing the ability to see a work of art as the artist meant it to be seen. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is worth learning these skills, and there is much in this book which modern art students will benefit from. However, drawing is the art form where the hand is in the most instinctive communication with the imagination and senses, and Speed is in danger of breaking that link with his emphasis on tight control. His musings are developed in the chapter on "Rythm", which betrays a distrust of "decadence", characterised by him both as the willful primitivism of modern art, and as the kind of over-blown pseudorealism seen in late Victorian art. Sadly, he seems unsure what the solution is to the over-sophistication in art which leads to both these errors. A hundred years later we do not seem to be any the wiser.
Your approach to this book will differe according to whether you are an amateur or an art student. Much of what Speed has to say would be anathema even to the most scrupulously figurative of modern draughtsmen - Grayson Perry springs to mind as an example - and to anyone who rates conceptual art it is all balderdash.Read more ›
I agree with the other reviewer as well. Skip the hardcover if it's missing the illustrations. They are key.
Highly entertaining, very readable (I didn't think it archaic at all), with plenty of illustrations this book is definately good value for your money if you are genuinely interested in understanding the art of drawing.
Also recommended, if you are a painter: oil painting techniques and materials by Harold Speed which adds on further to this book.
There has been no attempt to retain the original page structure, most evident when grouped illustrations in the original are split across two pages. The titles of illustrations have been reduced in size to microscopic, unreadable dimensions. The original page numbers appear intermittently in the new text - obscured underneath lines of text in the middle of a page; no new page numbers have been printed to replace those lost. Blocks of text which have clearly been isolated in the original are run together here; and irritating short, meaningless horizontal lines, which may or may not have had a function in the original, appear at random throughout the text. This careless exploitation of classic works amounts to vandalism, and sadly becoming all too common.
If you could find a reasonably-priced second-hand copy of the original, whatever its condition, it would be worth reading. This tortured reproduction is not.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The writer is brilliant but this edition has come with no pictures in at all. It just says plate number what ever but no illustrations at all.Published 5 months ago by Liz Eph
The publication is rubbish. No illustrations or diagrams, although they are mentioned in the text. Very disappointing.Published 5 months ago by AnnaE
WARNING: do not buy the CreateSpace version of this title (black-and-white cover portrait). This has absolutely no illustrations inside, just text. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Harry Dowling
No illustrations, drawings or pictures. Only words, so all the explanations were wasted. I should have realised that was why it was cheap. Didn't even send it back. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jan Kavanagh
Excellent, covers much more than straight-forward drawing and goes hand in hand with Speed's book on oil painting.Published 11 months ago by Mr M A Taylor
A surprisingly interesting book - I wish I had read it when I was starting out as an artist! Written in 1913, before two world wars and before a succession of huge changes in the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by David Atack