New books on my shelfPosted: November 15, 2020
Being at home more this year has given me the gift of time. More time to paint, more time to create videos, more time to work in my neglected garden, and the gift I appreciate the most — more time to read. And that means not just catching up on novels, but also having time to crack open new art books, as well as reread old ones. Today I’ll share of a few of my recent favourites, and coming soon, a post about the ones I go back to again and again.
The Urban Sketching Handbook: Techniques for Beginners by Suhita Shirodkar Don’t be deceived by the title of this book — Suhita’s book is not just for beginners. Sketchers of all levels will find ideas in here, and who doesn’t need inspiration these days?? Suhita’s blog was one of the first sites I discovered when I was new to urban sketching. In fact it was her market sketches — so filled with life and colour — that gave me the courage to go out and sketch in public. In this book you’ll find a wealth of ideas about where to begin when sketching objects, places and people (with great examples from sketchers all over the world), but most of all you’ll find Suhita’s endless enthusiasm for exploring the world around you (or right inside your own home!) with a pen and your sketchbook.
Other recent releases in this series which I am proud to be a part of:
The Urban Sketching Handbook: Drawing with a Tablet: Easy Techniques for Mastering Digital Drawing on Location by Uma Kelkar
The Urban Sketching Handbook: 101 Sketching Tips: Tricks, Techniques, and Handy Hacks for Sketching on the Go by Stephanie Bower
The Complete Urban Sketching Companion: Essential Concepts and Techniques from The Urban Sketching Handbooks–Architecture and Cityscapes, People and Motion, Working with Color by Shari Blaukopf, Stephanie Bower and Gabi Campanario
Finding Sanctuary: An Artist Explores the Nature of Mass Audubon by Barry Van Dusen I discovered Barry Van Dusen‘s work when he commented on my blog a while back, and as soon as I found his website I had to get in touch and order his book immediately so I could study his technique close-up. This is a hardcover you will want to keep around on your coffee table and enjoy slowly. At least that’s how I’ve been reading it. Barry spent four and half years as artist-in-residence at Mass Audubon’s 61 wildlife sanctuaries and nature centers, recording his observations through sketches, watercolours and blog posts. But this book is much more than a chronicle of what he observed on his many visits to the Audubon sites. You’ll find preparatory sketches for paintings, tips on observing flora and fauna, and plenty of insights into his painting process. And each watercolour is a masterclass in colour, composition and technique. A gem of a book.
The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook by Jean Mackay I have been enjoying Jean Mackay’s blog for many years. If you don’t know her work by now, have a look. On her sketchbook pages and in her blog posts, you’ll find not only her keenly recorded nature sketches (birds, nests, eggs, feathers) but also elegant hand-lettered descriptions and titles, as well as tips and techniques for creating your own sketchbook pages. I was so excited to see the recent launch of Jean’s book The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook. Geared for ages 10+, it invites kids to begin a lifelong journey of nature exploration with ideas, tips, and plenty of space to sketch. Perfect timing for the holidays, right?
Capturer l’âme d’un lieu par la forme et la couleur à l’aquarelle by Marion Rivolier I received Marion Rivolier’s book in the mail a few weeks ago, and as soon as I had a look at it, I realized it was a labour of love. Do you know her work? If not, have a look. She paints in direct watercolour — no pen or pencil to start — and if you’ve ever tried that technique you’ll understand what a challenge that is and why I’m in awe of her bold on-location sketches. I’ve met her many times at Urban Sketchers symposia, taken a workshop with her in Chicago and still, her strong and colourful way of painting and the way she marries warm and cold dark colours with warm and cold light colours remains a mystery to me. I have to admit, this is going to be a slower read for me because it’s in French, but I’m looking forward to reading, learning and hopefully experimenting with her ideas.