7 August 2012 (US 1 October 2012) / ISBN: 9781844486946
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.
Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip,
Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green