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Drawing Masterclass
Lucy Swinburne

Search Press
9 January 2013 (US 1 April 2013) / ISBN: 9781844487721

Reviewed by Rachel A. Hyde

People have been drawing animals for thousands of years, and indeed they are one of the oldest subjects for art.  Learn how to put your own impressions of pets, zoo animals and more in this useful primer. 

You don’t need much more than pencils and paper to make a drawing, and there is a good section here on what to buy and what sort of marks each is capable of.  There is also a section showing what different types of paper can offer with examples, and also something on setting up an area for working.  I was particularly impressed by the section on reference material and what makes a good study of an animal and a poor one, with more helpful examples to look at.  Discover how to get the most out of the animal you are trying to photograph or draw and how to use source material.  The animals themselves include cats and dogs, a tiger, wolf, meerkat, horse and lizard and each project is made up of illustrated steps explaining what to do next.  As a plus there are codes you can scan with a Smartphone or type into a computer or tablet where you can watch the artist at work.  As with most YouTube style footage it is rather faint and looks better on a large screen than a small one.  Added to the information in the book it does help to bring out certain tricky parts such as eyes, fur, expression etc and I hope to see more of this in the future.  I would have liked more on getting the look of the animal’s coat right and a slightly longer section on using the acetate grid but apart from that this is a good, user-friendly guide.  This book is aimed more at people who have already had some drawing experience and want to try something different rather than the total beginner to drawing.  However, anybody belonging to the group termed “improvers” should get plenty out of it.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2013