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200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills: For Aspiring Art Students (Aspire Series) Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills: For Aspiring Art Students (Aspire Series) + The Daily Book of Art: 365 readings that teach, inspire & entertain + The Art Teacher's Book of Lists, 2nd Edition (J-B Ed: Book of Lists)
Price for all three: $57.89

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Product Details

  • Series: Aspire Series
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764138111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764138119
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—This fascinating book will appeal to serious students of art, casual hobbyists, and anyone curious about the how and why behind a variety of artistic techniques. Written with art students in mind, it includes a section on putting together a portfolio and examples of art-school applicants' sketchbooks and portfolios. The text takes a do-it-yourself approach to learning a full complement of basic and intermediate techniques. Colston gathers examples and prescribes an assortment of observation exercises and projects that explore such concepts as shadow, distortion, mood, and collage. Each mini lesson stands on its own, so readers can choose from projects that catch their interest. Instructions are clear and brief, and concepts are grouped around the themes of line, color, texture, and form. The author covers an assortment of media, but most of the techniques and exercises focus on drawing and painting. Readers looking for in-depth explanations of particular techniques won't find step-by-step guidelines in exhaustive detail, but Colston does a good job of providing an overview of the fundamentals and introducing a wide range of techniques. The dynamic layout is filled to the brim with illustrations, and the project ideas will stimulate creativity and encourage experimentation.—Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"beautifully and profusely illustrated … It teaches serious beginners the fundamental skills of graphic design as an introduction to their formal study in fine art, illustration, computer game design, animation, and virtually all other avenues in the visual arts."


The Education Digest, November 01, 2008



"This fascinating book will appeal to serious students of art, casual hobbyists, and anyone curious about the how and why behind a variety of artistic techniques. Written with art students in mind… The dynamic layout is filled to the brim with illustrations, and the project ideas will stimulate creativity and encourage experimentation."


—Heidi Dolamore, School Library Journal, February 2009


More About the Author

Valerie Colston (B.A. UCSD, M.A. SDSU) is a University Art History Instructor. She is the producer of the award winning art resource website Art Teacher on the Net at www.ArtMuseums.com.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book would benefit anyone interested in learning about art.
reneeb
Sparked some really good ideas for independent projects and lessons.
lhillebr
I recommend this book to all high school art teachers and students.
Marty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Parson on August 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book a month ago looking for inspiration to fuel my painting need and that is exactly what I found.

I wanted to dive into the book before I gave any feedback on it, so right now I've finished over 20 projects and I have to admit, without the recommendations from this book I wouldn't have gotten as far as I have in my portfolio for this upcoming school year. Even just getting started on this book I can see my art has take on a new, modern, poppy form while still holding onto the fundamentals that I've learned over the years.

"200 Projects..." wasn't intended to show you in detail exactly how to accomplish a project with each brush stroke laid out for you. It gives you a colorful yet challenging idea with practical tips and techniques and lets you just tackle the project in your own way to help you develop your own style. This is very helpful in the modern art world since fresh new perspectives are always needed.

The book covers a incredible range of mediums to use from conventional watercolor, acrylic and oil paints to fabrics, mosaic materials, and even touches on photography; letting pallet blossom with new flavors to enjoy.

If your and aspiring artist working on building a portfolio, looking for new inspirations, experimenting with different mediums and techniques, or just want to take your work to the next level I would suggest this getting this book right now! I wish i had this book years ago.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By kitjank VINE VOICE on January 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't know why this book has "for aspiring art students" in the title. While it is certainly a very useful book, I think tagging it with the words "art students" may actually shy some people away from it. This is actually a great book for any artist at any level. It doesn't matter what your medium is, this book explores several, and is more focused at getting you to think creatively rather than how well you execute a pencil or brush. It gives you lots of ideas and places to start with your own ideas. It's really a great book for an art student or anyone who is interested in giving their creativity a boost.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Lochinvar on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just got this book as a gift and can already tell this has some excellent projects in it to get the creative mojo flowing. Really good ideas if you're wanting to keep things going while you are in an artistic slump, looking for some practice to build your skills up, or are developing a portfolio. Speaking of, there is a nice chapter on creating a portfolio that includes suggestions for pieces and guidelines to what portfolio reviewers are looking for.

The book is precise and concise and very easily understood. Beautiful color examples are on every page. Do note that the projects are primarily 2D exercises designed at developing the hand and eye.

The exercises are also easily adapted to 7th-12th grade art lessons. You could probably even get away with using some of the projects for 5th and 6th grade. You can easily find individual assignments that would be ideal for teaching the principals and elements of design. There are so few art books that work for the middle school level. This really bridges that gap.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By reneeb on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a high school art teacher for 25 years. If I could only have one (1) art teaching resource book, this would be it. I easily could base my whole curriculum using just this one book. I hardly recommend this book for first year art teachers. It will be a tremendous help for generating lesson ideas and learning about art methods and materials. This book would benefit anyone interested in learning about art. It is comprehensive and the art methods are not what is ordinarily seen.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-organized book guides you through many different facets of art (all the basics plus some fancier topics), helping you build your skills at your own pace. I would say that you could strengthen your existing skills by trying most things in here, even if you never do them again. As a self-taught artist, I'm always looking to fill in gaps in my art education and expand my mental toolbox. The author's projects are vague enough to remain inspirational (not paint-by-number style), but she tells you the essentials you need to familiarize yourself with each concept. Because so many topics are covered, it's more of an overview...do it all, pinpoint what you enjoy, and then go learn about that!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
After a long, long, lonnnnnng dry spell, I am returning to art with a passion I never even knew I possessed. I have looked at a zillion books and websites, trying to learn about/teach myself various techniques, and this book wonderfully fits and even exceeds the bill. It is informative without being confining, and covers everything from drawing basic lines to the oil layering techniques used by the wonderful old masters.

In my quest for learning art techniques, this is the only book I've found that includes every single thing I was looking for. I very highly recommend this book to anyone of any age and any skill level.

Buy it without hesitation, dive in, and have FUN!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amy Ou on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! Fabulous ideas for a differentiated art ed curriculum. Useful for upper middle school and high school students... and beyond.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lenora Lapesarde on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book seemed to be geared more towards graphic design than fine art. It also gives very brief ideas that are more suited to high school portfolio building rather than college level pieces. It feels like the author came up with the title and then had to figure out 200 ideas to fit into a thin volume which resulted in a bunch of vague, one paragraph thoughts. There also isn't any skill strengthening, if you aren't already involved in art you won't know what the hell the author is talking about half the time. It has given me some good rainy day projects for my daughter though. Eh, I don't hate this book, but thats not saying much.
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