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Customer Review

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what you need, 21 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: How To Draw Anything (Paperback)
Being an artist, I am constantly on the lookout for interesting books on techniques for painting and drawing. Giving the book a cursory glance at some of the illustrations I was surprised at how poor they were, on closer inspection I can see that this book is completely at odds with any art school teaching that I have come across. The author seems to think that copying his illustrations will somehow make you understand about observational drawing and it certainly will not. Observational drawing is about looking hard at the subject, understanding the underlying structure and rendering what you see, it is hard work. This book will not make you a better artist, it will merely show you how to copy the authors second rate cartoons. I firmly believe this book will seriously hinder the development of anyone who uses it to improve their drawing skills. If you really want to learn how to draw, buy any of the Andrew loomis titles Successful Drawing.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jan 2014 17:04:38 GMT
Perhaps an artist is not the best person to review this book. As a retired teacher I would point out that copying is how we first learn to do just about everything and I would have thought that there was some value in it for learning to draw. Yes, of course observational drawing is about looking closely, observing and eventually reproducing what you can see. I think the magic words when learning a new skill are PROCESS before PRODUCT. The large number of positive reviews would suggest I am not alone in this view so - YES I am going to buy it for my granddaughter who is getting very interested in drawing - an interest which had its beginnings in colouring in books!!! I may even have a go myself !!

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 21:27:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Mar 2014 21:36:36 GMT
J. I. Cohen says:
"This book will not make you a better artist, it will merely show you how to copy the authors second rate cartoons."

For a lot of people (myself included), merely being able "to copy the authors second rate cartoons" with any accuracy would be a huge achievement. I think you are simply too far from this book's intended audience to appreciate that.

Posted on 26 Sep 2014 12:04:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Sep 2014 12:06:28 BDT
Louise K says:
Unfortunately what is most off putting to someone who would like to draw, is the value judgements people make about the work they do. This has the effect of putting off people for life. Anything that is motivational and encouraging is very helpful. This book comes into that category. There is some instruction but not too much. The drawings are far from being the worst in the world and some are rather good. I like the animal section especially. I prefer not to have step by step instructions as I find it obstructs my own making sense of what I am doing.

Copying does indeed have some value - to familiarise with making shapes, to observe etc. Yes we still need to observe when copying a picture. When I draw from life I can assure you I don't understand the underlying structure. I like to draw what I see. The Loomis book is far too confusing and therefore is singularly unhelpful for me. This book is a good start for people and it gets people drawing (at all). So how can that be bad?

What is a bad drawing? It's highly subjective I feel. The drawings are not all cartoons but relatively straightforward plain drawings. If there is one thing I dislike it is hyper realism which is an artless style that too many people seem to aim for. That is hard work yet I don't like it, so I am not going to (try to!) do it. Over rendering with graphite seems to be contagious. Some nice line drawings is much preferred to that. There is some general information about shading and perspective etc. provided so I think it is not a bad book for a beginner to pick up. It's not intimidating or daunting and yes the results are such that they will be pleasing to the average person if not an artist. Copying and even tracing (which I don't personally like) are ways utilised by the old masters, so not to be sniffed at if it works for people. I am sure it worked for you too, back when you were a child. Or did you not copy drawings then? Most of us did.
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