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A Line is a Dot That Went for a Walk
Jo Fernihough

Michael O’Mara Books
11 February 2016 / ISBN-13: 9781910552162
Children - Adult / NonFiction / Art

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


My art teacher used to say that drawing was taking a line for a walk, and this book could be said to be a departure from (or a companion to) all the coloring books out there. Instead of coloring in other people's work you get to draw the pictures yourself first!

Maybe this sounds a little daunting, as surely you need to be able to draw? Anybody can draw if you think about it in the broadest sense of making a mark, and this is just what this book encourages you to do. Each page has a fun frame with a suggestion on it as to what to draw, and it starts you off gently with a helpful color wheel and some basic color theory. Get to play with this by drawing what it would look like if one color met another, or adding details to partly drawn images. Then make some lines, draw pictures of feelings, take a line for several different types of walks and have a go at drawing a cat in as few lines as possible. All of this is a world away from all the other how to draw books I have seen, and there are no sets of diagrams that go from a jumble of lines to a professional-looking finished drawing with not enough in between! This is a much more freestyle approach to drawing that is unexpected and less about drawing things than loosening up and having fun. There are 96 pages of good quality, bright white paper which is printed both sides, but if you use waterbased pens and don't linger too long or press too hard, you ought to be all right (not paints or permanent markers though). Amongst all the unusual ideas are plenty of useful tips and things to try, such as drawing from memory, copying, observing and conveying things like emotion and movement. Try different effects with a variety of ordinary drawing tools and use all of your imagination when you have a go at drawing things like circles running a marathon, a man-eating boat and yourself as an animal. This book is not like anything else out there; expect lots of fun and sure to appeal to those addicted to coloring books as well as anybody who wishes that they could draw.

If you cannot find a good range of coloring and drawing materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2016