Top positive review
122 people found this helpful
By far the best
on 31 January 2011
I have just re-started drawing and painting after 37 years so I have been looking for guides on the "new" medium of coloured pencils. This book is comprehensive and detailed, superb value for money. I haven't stopped reading and using it since it arrived.
One reviewer thinks it is just for "serious artists" and criticises the examples for lack of detail, but I disagree. The book starts with general topics such as materials, design, light, colours and mixing then it goes on to techniques such as strokes, layering, fusing, creating textures and graded tones. All of this is clearly explained and in detail. To make the point about the detail, I have another book that simply says to use a "solvent" for blending and smoothing brush strokes - but it does not say which solvent. Nickelsen has a full page on the properties of solvent and demonstrates techniques for using solvent in the examples. She uses Gamsol, which is American, and not as easy to get here so I am trying Winsor & Newton's Sansodor.
There are 12 exercises, all in sufficient detail, if you have gone through the previous chapters. An important feature of the book is that she discusses drawing techniques. In her examples she traces photographs and then uses graphite paper to make outlines of the subjects on the drawing paper. For purists and skilled artists this mya seem to be cheating but for anyone who is not a skilled drawer, this is a very good way to encourage them to try to paint.
The author uses Prismacolor pencils so if you want to copy the examples exactly you will need that make. However, in the UK they are sold by less stockists than e.g. Faber Castell and most only sell boxed sets. I have found only one seller so far the sells singles and that is (...). On the other hand, if you already have another brand you could use the nearest colours just to practice the techniques.