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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2011
This is a truly excellent and enjoyable book,filled with high quality images and clear concise text,free from waffle. It highlights the value of sketching and other eperiments in the creation of a work of art. it shows why a sketchbook is an artits most valuable posession. The contrasting and varied range of artists reviewed shows that there are many varied approaches to visual creativity. I have no hesitation, as a designer and design teacher of over 40 years experience, in reccomending this book to anyone with an interest in this area.
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on 21 December 2011
I love this book, it's given me so much to think about. I particularly appreciate the variety and range of artists' work shown - from young students through to established names. My sketchbook and the way I put together visual notes has improved no end. I can recommend this to anyone at whatever stage of their artistic development.
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on 12 January 2012
Really unusual to see such a variety of artists and particularly interesting how the author included well known artists along side students. Excellent quality book, well laid out, nicely paced, good amount of text and rich with images. It also interests me to see how sketchbooks relate to final works, which is not shown in this book. For some of the artists that I particularly liked it left me wanting to see more of their completed works, but appreciate that's not what the book is about, it is more about showing a variety of different styles and ways of approaching sketchbooks. It is inspiring and good for students. Excellent value on Amazon for £12! I would recommend it.
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I should have been more observant; I had just bought this same author's other book, Drawing Matters and hadn't noticed that it was the same lady, whose speciality is drawing bells. Fortunately there are only two in this book.

Both books are compendia of other artists' work, and as with her other publication, I liked only a minority of those offered, in this case by eight or so of the 37 artists included, and two of those are dead. I enjoy collections of extracts from artists' sketchbooks, and have several, but most of the works here are "extraordinary" only by virtue of their inaccessibility, and I did not feel in the least bit inspired. I do not mind seeing text in extracts from sketchbooks, for example, it is often helpful in interpreting the sketches, but in this book most of the text is in the form of illegible scrawls which are neither helpful nor decorative.

It's all a matter of taste, of course, and to help you in deciding whether this book is to your taste I have included a few images which are representative of the majority. Be aware that the two images uploaded by other people are not from this book, and are wholly unrepresentative of the contents, presumably being their own work. (Many more like theirs and I might well have thought it a good buy...) To avoid accusations of bias, I have additionally uploaded two of the 8 I did like (living ones, that is).
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on 21 December 2011
Clear concise and well laid out, the author has allowed the work to do the talking. As a design lecturer I have found my students inspired particularly by the inclusion of other students work within the book. From the internationally renown Henry Moore to the never heard of him M. Sidki, Jane Stobart has shown just how personal and intimate the sketchbook can be.
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on 22 December 2011
This book is a wonderful addition to my working library. Although a practicing artist, I have rarely used a sketchbook. I am now inspired to keep one, or even several. Here is book full of ideas and so diverse. It shows not only the work of heavy-weights artists like Henry Moore, but also lively pages by students. Marvelous!
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on 21 December 2011
As an Art teacher I felt compelled to shout about how fantastic this book has been for inspiring my students!! It really provokes thought on the potential a sketchbook can have. I particularly like the imaginative choice of artists demonstrating how versatile a sketchbook can be. My colleagues have also found this book equally as valuable a resource.
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on 10 February 2014
This book has lots of new ideas for use of a sketchbook. Sometimes similar books are too precious in their content but this one shows spontaneous use of media and many examples are experimental. Also the range of ages and abilities illustrated gives readers confidence to be adventurous with their own ideas. Great ideas for presentation and use of media. Well worth having as a reference and source of inspiration and shpws that sketchbooks should be personal.
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on 15 December 2011
It's a problem buying a book unseen by a previously unknown author. I was hoping for unusual ways of creating sketch books but found a collection of different artist's sketch books. But, as I read, I discovered the variations possible and no one way is right. Each page is personal and fit for that person's needs. This has given me confidence to make my own marks and use the pages for my purposes rather than an examiner or critic.
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on 29 December 2011
I enjoyed this - a really nicely produced book - in an attractive format. The book has a wide range of artists some well known and others almost unknown. There are lots of examples of sketches by each of the 30 or so artists represented. As well as the wide range of techniques illustrated here - there is a commentary with each artist which gives a bit of a backstory to why they sketch. This makes for lot of material - and will ensure that I will want to dip into it again.
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