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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent investment ! you will not regret, at a good price
This precious book has been an eye opener for someone starting in art with pencil drawing.
Watson deals exclusively with pencil drawing, does not go into any other medium. And he gets his point across much more efficiently that all these books that touch on all media, yet never leave the reader satisfied because they never deal with any medium or subject as...
Published on April 7, 2003

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ordered this book, but source could not provide it.
Wish I could give information on this --- it sounds great to me as an artist, but I never got a copy.
Published 7 months ago by Jim


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent investment ! you will not regret, at a good price, April 7, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
This precious book has been an eye opener for someone starting in art with pencil drawing.
Watson deals exclusively with pencil drawing, does not go into any other medium. And he gets his point across much more efficiently that all these books that touch on all media, yet never leave the reader satisfied because they never deal with any medium or subject as thouroughly as Watson does.
He starts out with a few definitions/descriptions of basic tools, but doesn't spend too much time on that. He goes on to tonal values with illustrations, describing which type of paper used each time (and that's precious information that authors rarely give). He goes on to explain how much detail to include with respect to distance from the viewer to the object depicted. Next comes composition: how to draw your viewer into the picture and keep him there, how to frame your subject, how much or how little detail should be included on the main as well as on secondary elements, how much line drawing should be done around the focal point, what details to include, which to leave out.
Then comes pattern and its composition, accompanied with a discussion of its tone and value. Shadows comes next, how to manipulate shadows arbitrarily, not to follow exctly your source, but to play your darks and lights against each other so that they enhance each other and again keep the onlooker inside your picture. Textures is an important section and how to obtain them, either by pencil manipulation alone, or by working with various grains of papers.
Another chapter is devoted to town and city, perspective in proportion, architecture, what emotional incentive prompts you toward a scene or another, getting accustomed to onlookers. Then it's on to landscape sketching with the use of symbolism, and a section devoted to tree forms.
He concludes with imagination, memory and the subconscious. He also establishes a clear distinction between a sketch and a drawing.
Experience and improvisation are only at your fingertips once you've thouroughly studied and applied Watson's principles.
The books closes on a gallery of the author's drawings.
Everything he teaches and recommends he also illustrates in his own hand.
Although this book is a reprint from 1968, it's more than up to date, and therefore worth its weight in gold.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Book by the Master of the Medium, June 14, 2005
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This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
If you need those silly little breakdowns that some people think are teaching aids then go for a Hammond book or one of the lesser pencil artists because this gem is for the serious individual who wants to learn and master the technique of pencil drawing with values. Watson's writing is as precise and clear as is his drawings and it is here that you will find real teaching in the art of how to see and how to translate what you see into truly beautiful drawings.

GET THIS BOOK FOR THE PICTURES , THE TEACHING AND ABOVE ALL THE EXAMPLES OF FRESH, CLEAN, BEAUTIFUL PENCIL WORK!!!!!

His technique and use of a value palette of light to dark strokes from different grade pencils is nothing short of remarkable and his enthusiasum for the student learning the many so-called tricks of the trade is metered with wisdom and stunningly skillful examples of this available medium.

I had this book at the beginning of my journey as an artist and I bought it here on Amazon in a fit of nostalgia.

Well just the chapter on how to get into and out of a sketch gracefully was worth the price.

I forgot how wonderful leaning over the shoulder of a real master was with all the systems and idot proof methods totally dependent on only photographs that proliferate this genre

Well, this wonderful book brings pencil drawing back to its rightful place at the head of the artists list of cheap and marvelous tools.

YOu have all the needed information plus the techniques for drawing clean clear crisp pencil work well illustrated and tempered by knowledgeable paragraphs on compoosition and lighting, handling your pencil with the spepcial point he shows how to make, as well as examples to follow and apply eventually in plein air sketching.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, complete graphite pencil drawing..., November 25, 2005
By 
"extreme_dig_cm" (Everywhere, USA, Amazon. com Fan!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
I've had about 2+ years of intensive art-education & training- *brilliantly* this 1 inexpensive book basically captures all the BEST teachings I received during this time & then some. Maybe I should've *just* bought this book!

In case it isn't obvious, Ernest W. Watson is *the* Watson in the popular "Watson-Guptill Publications". It's all black & white here- with 100% focus on values. Exclusively about the graphite pencil- It's easily his best pencil-based work!
This isn't an A-to-Z style guide, progressing from basic to advanced chapters. Rather, it examines a variety of themes & solutions common to both pencil drawing & picture-making in general- which is why all artists can benefit from it.
Additionally, Watson tells us the *exact* pencils & paper used in many of the drawings included- very insightful information(!). *All* the most advanced elements of picture-making here are covered in-depth. These sections include: 1. Ways With The Pencil; 2. Looking And Seeing; 3. Size & Composition; 4. Pattern; 5. Shadows; 6. Texture; 7. Sketching Town & City; 8. Landscape Sketching; 9. Drawing Trees; and maybe *most* importantly- 10. Memory & Imagination (enlightening!).
The 1st chapter being for beginners- You could justify buying this book based on the 1st & 10th chapters alone! Figure drawing is *not* covered here- There's at least one distinct figure rendering included here to demonstrate that aspect of his ability (p.81). Some of these drawings are amazingly beautiful- with a *very* wide range of subjects depicted. His clean, crisp, and clear pencil style & technique is today unique among all art-instruction books. Often called "broad-stroke" & "pencil painting" and using a full-ranging "Tonal Palette" from white to near-black (p.14), Watson explains that one learns this technique best through example: Every illustration in this book is his! Well, with one exception: a very small, enlightening line drawing by Rembrandt Van Rijn (p.133). Also: A few photographs are included- 3 photos in all- only to illustrate the composing of sketches: selection, subordination, and emphasis.
In these many drawings I have a number of favorites: Figure20: Ponte San Lorenzo, Venice; Figure46: The Rialto, Venice; Figure47: Near Old Tucson, Arizona; the *entire* trees chapter; as well as Figures 97, 98 & 99- also drawings of trees (he's an expert at this!).
The bottom line: this *amazing* book is a self-contained art-education in about 160 pages! 5 STARS!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book on Pencil..., September 25, 2005
This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
...but then I've been drawing with one since I could pick one up. If you need a step-by-step "how-to" just this side of paint-by-numbers, this is not your book. If you want to be given the techniques to then apply to what =you= want to draw, buy it!

This one book takes you from choosing materials and learning to see, through composition and using light and shade (valuable in any media, and cheap and easy to master in this one) to outdoor sketching both rural and urban. The final section on working from memory and imagination is particularly invigorating.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a step-by-step tutorial, September 10, 2003
By 
"linans" (Louisville, KY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
A great concise treatment of techniques from the master. But be warned that this is not a step-by-step tutorial. Unfortunately, the 'Look inside' feature does not show a single excerpt.
The chapters start of with a little introduction, there is a figure accompanying every technique and a short description of the technique. Think of it like having anecdotes for each figure.
This is a book for an 'advanced beginner', who wants to reflect upon his skills so-far by comparison and try out some of the ideas that this book offers.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn to draw from THE PRO, December 31, 2000
By 
Kevin Mariana (Hicksville, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
This book is one of the best books to use when learning to draw or just sketching for fun. Watson details his techniques, his style and his multi faceted arrays of pencil forms to use to convey the MOOD of your...masterpiece! GET IT NOW!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insider information, September 20, 2012
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I came to appreciate the excellent art instructional books published by Watson-Guptill. Finding the book written by Ernest Watson was a first hand account of the authors art experiences in graphite pencil. Very worthwhile for an intermediate artist who loves to read prose accompanying the accomplished artist,s development of drawings .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough, June 25, 2014
This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
There were not only practical tips and techniques but also discussions on value, tone, and composition. The illustrations were visually stunning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars classical drawing, January 9, 2014
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This review is from: The Art of Pencil Drawing (Paperback)
There are no other books quite like this. Not only by a master, but the drawings are finished in such a manner that it is clear to us how to proceed. The elegance of the drawings cannot be surpassed and are an inspiration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best of the best, June 11, 2013
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If you want to see and learn pencil drawing, find a book by Ernest Watson. He is possibly the most skilled artist for this medium of all time. In this book, Watson offers his own valuable commentary on a large selection of his own works. If you take time to study each drawing along with his own thoughts as he was drawing it, you will gain a huge amount of knowledge which you can apply in your own pursuit of artistic excellence. Many would-be artists overlook the simple graphite pencil as a medium worthy of their time and effort. If you read Watson, you may change your mind about that. Happy drawing!
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The Art of Pencil Drawing
The Art of Pencil Drawing by Ernest William Watson (Paperback - Mar. 1985)
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