Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Timber Press (February 18, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #242,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #54 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays #228 in Books > Arts & Photography > History & Criticism > Themes > Plants & Animals #2759 in Books > Arts & Photography > Drawing
You need a good set of watercolors and some experience in painting in order to use this book. I am an art hobbyest who is interested in drawing flowers and other plants, therefore, I thought this "Introductory Guide" would be helpful to me. In fact, it is one of four such books that I recently bought from on this subject. (will post reviews on the other ones soon). While this book is at least as lovely as any of the others, it is actually all about watercolor painting.(Maybe it has something to do with the way the book was translated from the French?)I work in graphite, pen-and-ink, colored pencils, and, newly, pastels. When I do branch out to watercolor I plan to first use my 16 pan Prang set from when I was in school. Where the book discusses materials, it depicts a professional watercolor set of FIFTY-THREE pans, and also, watercolors in tubes, such as professionals use. I'm sure I will be drawing (I mean "painting") plants with my good school Prang set soon, but you really do need a wide variety of pigments in order to get the full benefit of this book. **I just checked: such sets cost HUNDREDS of dollars**On each beautiful two-page layout, a plant type is discussed (tiny type-face, though), gorgeous examples are shown, and a chart is presented with the names and swatches of the exact colors needed to render the subject. I've never seen this done, and it seems to be extraodinarily helpful. At the same time, this is no paint-by-number type of book, or one that teaches slavish copying.Another thing I love about this book is botanical information it provides. Seeing and painting living plants is one thing, but to understand them, their anatomy and other characteristics is to add understanding and meaning to art work, in my opinion.
This book is especially superb. There is a very special reason why this is true. The book is truly written by an expert Botanical Drawer & Painter. Ms. Ravet-Haevemans' credentials are even more impeccable than her knowledge of drawing and painting Botanicals. I mention specifically Painting, because the author does mostly painting and her use of 'drawing' is mostly for her field work, not for her museum work.Yet the thing that makes the book unique is that the author makes virtually no assumptions about the reader. She assumes that the reader knows virtually nothing about drawing or painting and she goes from the basics all the way to the advanced stages in the art of rendering Botanical likenesses. What struck me, as a very uninitiated reader of her book, was her revelation that "Anyone can become a decent drawer or painter of Botanicals" by knowing just a few basic facts and techniques. She then goes on to inform the reader of how one uses basic shapes, ellipsis, cones, cylinders and a few others to render the botanicals. Then she explains how this is done.She then goes through shading, depth, volume, etc. Each of her lessons are intelligible and make the assumption that the reader really does not know what they are doing. In my case, that was accurate. Yet, what I did have a background in doing was drawing the basic forms that she describes via my classes in calculus and other arithmetic disciplines. Thus, while I had always considered myself one with a lack of small motor control, it turned out that by following the author's specific techniques and by practicing, I was indeed able to draw and even to start to paint Botanicals.
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