Cynthie Fisher brings her passions for zoology, taxidermy, and big game and bird hunting to her book about how to paint deer, elk, moose, and other hooved animals. After a brief introduction to materials, Fisher suggests sources for study and emphasizes the need for sketching: "The number one piece of advice is sketch, sketch, sketch! If you can create a good representation of an animal through your own observation and freehand talent, there is no limit to the creativity and enjoyment you can derive from painting." An anatomy primer examines a selection of popular species and describes how hooved animals are built. The bulk of the book zeroes in on specific species: white-tailed deer; mule deer; elk; moose, caribou, sheep and antelope; and other hooved animals. Each of these chapters includes brief painting demonstrations. The final chapter illustrates how to create finished paintings in acrylic and includes two complete step-by-step demonstrations of whitetails in a forest and elk in the snow. Fisher possesses an impressive mastery of her subject, and her paintings sometimes resemble photographs in vividness of detail and natural light. From the majestic golden curves of a Marco Polo sheep's horns against a steep snow-covered mountainside to the bold stripes of zebras set amidst a shimmering yellow plain, Fisher brings the drama, nobility, and grace of hooved animals exquisitely to life. --Mary Ribeski
From Library Journal
The books in this North Light series fill an important niche in wildlife painting, but they vary in usefulness. Johnson, a professional artist for a dozen years, proves an excellent teacher. Her firm grasp of structure and anatomy brings to life deer, elk, moose, caribou, sheep, and antelope. Her use only of acrylics may limit the appeal of the book, and it may need to be supplemented by books like Doug Lindstrand's Drawing Big Game: An Artist's Reference Guide to the North's Great Animals (reviewed below) and Rod Lawrence's Painting Wildlife Textures Step by Step (LJ 3/15/97). Lawrence, a professional artist with many prestigious awards to his credit, has become one of the better instructors of wildlife art. His Wildlife Painting Basics: Waterfowl & Wading Birds is a visually sumptuous book that covers body shapes, proportions, and anatomy in detail. Demonstrating in watercolors, acrylics, and oils, Lawrence poses his subjects standing, walking, swimming, feeding, or flying. Good sections on painting plumage and background flora round out the volume. A recommended purchase as an addition to the author's more general Painting Wildlife Textures Step by Step (North Light, 1997).
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