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Drawing and Painting Wild Animals
Vic Bearcroft

Search Press
7 August 2012 (US 1 October 2012) / ISBN: 9781844486946
How-To Books/Art
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Animals have been popular subjects for art since Palaeolithic times, and with people’s current interest in wildlife they are more popular than ever. Here is how to go about putting some of them down on paper (or canvas).

I never think there are enough books on this subject. Landscapes, seascapes, portraits, flowers but look for a good book on depicting fauna and the choice is a lot smaller. It is a huge topic, and this book ? although it is good ? can only brush the surface. A number of different media are used and examined: drawing materials, watercolors, acrylics and pastels as well as what you make your mark with them onto. These are discussed in the light of what they can offer the wildlife artist, including working on black paper and using a limited palette. There is a section on getting the best out of zoo trips and reference material, as well as one on how to break down a beastie into simple shapes to begin a drawing and composition. The rest of the book deals with groups of animals. Big cats, canids, great apes, ungulates, pachyderms and bears are all looked at. Each section shows how to paint or draw the various features unique to the species, and the fur maps are particularly useful. There is also a whole project to tackle in each section with the helpful steps with photographs Search Press is justifiably renowned for. Choose from a panda in a tree, a wolf in a snowy wood, walking tiger and others. The author’s favorite animal is clearly the wolf (followed by the tiger) so expect more on these iconic species. All the beasties are the larger mammals rather than say, meerkats or crocodiles but there is plenty to work through that will stand an artist in good stead whatever creatures they decide to depict. A good grounding in this type of art suitable for improvers who want to branch out rather than total beginners to all art.
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