“Urban Watercolor Sketching” by Felix Scheinberger

This book is such a treat!

Urban Watercolor Sketching smAlex Scheinberger approaches sketching with such energy and vibrancy that it’s hard not to get carried along on a journey through rediscovering drawing and painting in an exhilarating and refreshing way.

Essentially the book is Alex’s take on various aspects of water colouring. While it doesn’t particular cover anything groundbreaking, the way Alex approaches the various ideas are exciting and fresh.

It is a delightful book, packed with all manner of dazzlingly coloured sketches.

The book is divided into sections which consist of about ten or so chapters

Sections

Intro – Looks at the basics of paint; what it is

First attempts – Covers various techniques with paints and inks

Excursion in colour theory – Looks at where colours come from and how the watercolorist can manipulate them in various ways

Your own style – How to find your own style

Basics/tools – Looks at the various tools needed to Urban Sketch

Out and about – How to Urban Sketch in different atmospheric and weather conditions

Tips and tricks – A whole slew of practical tips. from how to ‘Undo’ mistakes, to ‘How much is your picture worth?’, to ‘Working with colored paper’

Urban Watercolor Sketching 01 Urban Watercolor Sketching 02

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in sketching and painting from life.

154 pages


“Ignore Everybody” by Hugh Macleod

Ignore Everbody smThis book is a light, but perceptive, look at what makes someone successfully creative. What little trials and difficulties may come in the way of the artists struggle to create. What What conflicts might cross their path and what internal problems might an artist have as they strive to create.

The book is written for the artist who wishes to turn their art into a product, the artist who wants to have a saleable product.

Whilst Hugh doesn’t give finite answers to what successful art looks like, he does give sage advice about ideas and originality, about others’ reaction to your art and keeping true to oneself.

It is divided into 40 short chapter of about 1 or 2 pages each:

 

ignore-everybody

40 Chapters

 

It was quite an easy read and Hugh’s wit and joy rang out in every page. Along with examples of his unique business-card art.

 

Different creatives will find insight from different chapters and all the chapters hold wisdom whether you are starting out or already create.

 

All in all this book has some very clear food for thought.

159 pages

 

Want to find out more? 

Hugh Macleod’s blog: The Gaping Void


“Urban Sketchers Singapore”

6334127896_eedb1eed48_oThe Urban Sketching scene in Singapore does seem to be particularly vibrant and I have to say, because of that; this book just blows my mind.

It’s a collection of various Urban Sketchers who draw Singapore; including, but in no way exclusively, Don Low and Tia Boon Sim.
There are about 37 artists featured in total.

This really is a feast for the eyes. The book is practically text free, allowing the urban sketches of different areas around Singapore to speak for themselves.
If you love sketching and urban sketching in particular then this is such a wonderful book; plenty of styles and techniques on show.

Urban Sketchers Singapore 1

Urban Sketchers Singapore 2

Urban Sketchers Singapore 3

 

248 pages

Want to find out more? 

The Urban Sketchers Singapore website

The main Urban Sketchers website


Sketchbooks

I tend to work my way through a book once I’ve started it; rather than have several on the go. I’m onto my sixth book since starting drawing again last July, and I’ve found it’s a fantastic picture diary of the place we’ve been , good and bad times passing by, good drawings and terrible ones. As I work through a book I’ve sometimes found that the paper doesn’t really suit my style. Well, I just stick with it and look forward to the end when I can move on to a book with paper I enjoy working on more.
I’ve tried some of the moleskines (I prefer the water colour ones, rather than the sketchbooks) but at the moment I’m enjoying using some cheap A5 sketchbooks I found in an art shop on holiday.
I tend to prefer A5, hardback (definitely NOT spiral bound) I like the feel of a hard, bound book in my hands.
Only recently have I started up other sketchbooks running at the same time;
1 – An A4 sized book for life drawings (I work in a junior school and wanted to keep my life drawing work seperate from the regular drawings in my daily sketches)
2 – An A5 book which I am labelling up to start sketching every house on my street (I like the idea of having a sketchbook with a theme, but didn’t want to restrict myself to have to sketch each and every house on a daily basis in order – there are over 400 houses on my street!)

I would say go with what you enjoy doing and what works for you; try out a few different sketchbooks and see whether they ‘fit’ your drawing lifestyle (I’ve a japanese folded moleskine on a shelf which I’m looking forward to using, but I don’t quite know when, and a fabriano book with coloured paper which I sent off for because it looked interesting, but I know I’ll hate using it because the pages won’t open out flat – another pet peeve I’ve discovered I seem to have!)

Have fun exploring! 😀


“Everyday Matters” by Danny Gregory

Danny Gregory’s moving and inspiring account of his wife’s accident and his own coming to terms with her paralysis through creativity.

 

Danny’s account is, in turns, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Through his touching words and illustrated with his drawings and journal notes of the time he takes us with him on his inspirational journey of discovery.

He finds new meaning in the daily life around him and their place in it, as he teaches himself to draw and connect with a world which suddenly makes no sense.

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to reconnect with their own creativity.

 

120 pages


“The Creative License” by Danny Gregory

 

When I first read through this it was another revelation.

I had always labored under the assumption that drawingss or sketches had to be of something ‘painterly’; a pretty castle or a cottage on a hill. But here Danny Gregory advocates just drawing; anything. Anything and everything around you.

I suddenly realised that I was not going to improve as an artist by drawing only ‘proper’ subjects. I would have to practice, practice, practice and draw much more often.

Through delightful sketches and endearing anecdotes Danny introduces an ocean of ideas and inspiration;

Chapters discuss

  1. Kickstarting your creativity and learning to see – What basic materials do you need and how can use draw with them
  2. Making creativity into a habit – Finding out when you can draw
  1. Blasting your butt out of a rut – Doing things differently
  2. Re-connecting with reality – Seeing the world around you and living in the moment
  3. Winning the fight to go on – Fighting against external pressures
  4. From enemy to ally – Fighting against the inevitable negative thoughts; about mistakes and worries
  5. Who you are and why that’s fine – Finding your greater identity through your art
  6. Broadening your creativity – Finding art in other places and sharing your art with others
  7. Creativity in the real world – Where Danny introduces us to some artists who journal regularly

Creative License 1

 

Creative License 2

This isn’t a ‘How to..’ instructional manual that will guide you to draw a perfect tree, but it will help you experiment and discover how you draw a tree. Danny’s book is more a state of mind, an attitude towards drawing and journalling more than anything and for that reason I would recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest in either drawing or journaling. Well, to be frank (Hello, I’m Frank), I’d recommend this book to any creative type; they’re sure to find more than enough of interest to them.

 

199 pages


“An Illustrated Life” by Danny Gregory

Summer 2009 – as I was browsing in the art section of a local book shop I came across Danny Gregory’s latest book. I have always considered myself a keen sketcher, but had lapsed. Lapsed into occasionally taking my sketchpad and pencils away when we went on holiday, and even then perhaps only using them once or twice.

‘An illustrated Life’ was a revelation; here were artists and creatives who were sketching every day, using a sketchpad like a doodle book, keeping a record of anything and everything. Drawing life around them, using whatever materials they wanted.

… and I recognised something in Danny Gregory’s style, something familiar. I remember sitting in the bookshop pouring over Danny’s introduction, pouring over the examples of his drawing and saying to myself that his style seemed similar to my own.

I fell in love with the idea of keeping a sketchbook journal.

I bought the book. Even though I hadn’t bought an art book in years and quickly ordered a couple more books by Danny Gregory…

There are 50 artists profiled here. They each have about four to six pages in which we see multiple pages from their sketchbooks and journals. We also  find out about why they draw, what materials they prefer and something of their philosophy too.

In addition to the book  – At the time Danny interviews several of the contributors and released them as podcasts. As far as I’m aware these are no longer available on iTunes, but they may be lurking around somewhere on the internet.

 

266 pages