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Bird Art
Drawing Birds Using Graphite and Coloured Pencils
Alan Woollett

Search Press
9 March 2017/ ISBN 9781782212966
How-To Books/Art

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Capturing wildlife in art is a popular choice for primers, but this one has a difference because it is not dealing with paint but pencils. If you associate graphite pencils with sketching and colored pencils with children, then the illustrations in this book will soon show you what both are capable of.

Colored pencils have truly come of age and are hugely in style right now due to the popularity of adult coloring books. There is room on the market for a book showing the beginning artist (or colorist) how to get the best out of budget and mid-priced pencils, but this book does not deal with these. This is a book for those who own the artist’s quality pencils rather than the cheaper alternatives, and they certainly fooled me as I thought the image on the cover was painted! You would never guess that pencils were the media for these wonderful, lifelike works of art, but they are and this book shows you how to get the best out of them. You can expect all the usual sections you find in this type of book: what to buy, how to use it, composition, color, working from photographs, etc., plus plenty of facts about pencils and why they have been chosen. There are six projects to work through and are all helpful in building up a repertoire of pencil knowledge and experience. This artist works by drawing a sketch on cheap paper then transferring it with tracing paper to the chosen surface. Then the picture is built up gradually area by area. If you are total beginner and want to learn basic drawing skills, this book is not for you; it is more aimed at artists who want to branch out into working with pencils and depicting birds in particular. These are very detailed, highly professional pieces of work which would be daunting for any beginner, but ideal for the intermediate artist and a real challenge. Projects have mostly written steps with some staged photographs, but not as many as in one of the more basic art primers. Depict a merlin, geese, magpie, arctic terns and a gray heron and, if your skills are up to it, you will have a picture anybody would be proud of.

If you cannot find a good range of graphite and colored pencils locally, try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017