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Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultrarealistic Effects Paperback – March 17, 2009
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About the Author
- Publisher : Watson-Guptill; Illustrated edition (March 17, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0823099202
- ISBN-13 : 978-0823099207
- Item Weight : 1.68 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.53 x 0.53 x 10.5 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#22,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #29 in Pencil Drawing
- #64 in Religious & Inspirational Coloring Books for Grown-Ups
- #69 in Graphic Design Color Use
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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While browsing online, I discovered this book and read some really positive reviews. I was intrigued to read that the author favored Prismacolor pencils (one of the two brands I prefer - the other is Lyra) and I was very impressed by the ultra realism of the cover and the drawings I saw in the previews. I also liked the fact that it said Colored Pencil PAINTING, because I have always thought the style and technique I favor - a heavy, opaque coloring, rather than a soft sketchy style - was more akin to painting than the drawing/sketching that most people think of when they think of colored pencils. I knew that when I was last heavily involved in this medium, a good 25 or so years ago, this style or approach, and the colored pencil medium in general was still considered a relatively new medium (in the general scheme of artist's media through the ages) and that people had been experimenting and pushing the techinique envelope, and new products had been developing as well. So when I saw that there were several used copies of this book available, I thought I would give it a chance, surely there would be something between the covers for me.
What a huge, happy surprise awaited me when the package arrived! Not only does this book cover the ultrarealistic effects and luminous colors that are the author's forte, it also gives a good overview of principles of design, composition, color theory, fundamentals of light, shading and shadows, and other topics that are applicable to just about all visual art media, not just colored pencil. It even contains a different approach tto color theory than what I had been taught all those many years ago, and that quickly deepened my understanding of layering and blending colors in a way that years of trial and error (and yes, more error) hadn't accomplished.
The focus of the book, as promised by the title, is on colored pencil drawing (painting), specifically with "dry" wax or oil based pencils (not watercolor pencils) So naturally a lot of pages are devoted to materials, media, supplies and tools. It covers the difference and similarities between wax and oil based pencils and specific brands thereof - including hardness, blendability, color range, and the "feel" of the pencil on the page plus an appendix with charts of all the major manufacturers' colored pencils and their ratings for lightfastness. It also explains the pros and cons of different types and weights of paper, even mentioning some by brand. Erasers and erasing technique, blending//burnishing and the use of solvents are covered. Just about anything you need to know about stocking and setting up your studio to enable you to use this medium to its maximum potential can be found in this book. No matter what your level of experience and expertise, you are bound to find something in the tools and techniques section of this book to make you say "wow! I did not know that!"
And finally, we get to one of the main objectives of this book - creating textures and surfaces. Step by step, section by section it covers the techniques and "tricks" for rendering various surface and background textures: greenery, flowers, fruits and vegetables, water, ice, fire, wood, metal, pearls, cut crystal, various fabrics, all covered step by step. This is followed by an introduction to practicing with simple still lifes, one of the most accessible subjects and an excellent study in texture, color, light and composition. The book ends with a series of exercises in technique -- single object studies from start to finish, each featuring a different type of surface texture.
This book is an essential in the library of anyone who is interested in making art with colored pencils. It doesn't specifically cover some of the more common subjects -- landscapes, portraits, etc, but gives you the building blocks for the solid foundation you will need even when taking on such subjects. I am sure that I will return to it over and over for reference, and look forward to deepening and expanding my understanding of the medium, and to honing my technique. With this book, and more practice (and I am sure more trial and lots of error) I hope to tackle some of those "weak points" that have perplexed me since I first put pencil to paper, which will greatly improve my enjoyment of the medium that I love.
By K.elle.h. on September 22, 2016
In my opinion, I think more beginner/intermediate without formal art educations would get the most out of this. Something else I noticed... Alyona uses Prismacolor premiers pretty exclusively (at least when she wrote this), and therefore some of her tips/materials are based on this pencil. For instance, she uses a prisma colorless blender pencil and recommends an electric sharpener whereas an oil based (like polychromos) doesn't work as well with the colorless blender and don't break as frequently (so an electric sharpener isn't as necessary). Also would have been helpful with the practice portion of the book to have the same colors etc. Doesn't mean you won't get anything out of this if you don't use prismas but just keep this in mind and take certain tips with a grain of salt. Especially if you use an oil based pencil since wax based behaves completely different in some instances.
If you're more advanced, or you're interested in details on Alyona Nichelson's Brush and Pencil product line (which btw is AMAZING) I'd recommend you get her Portraits book!
Top reviews from other countries
The information is easy to follow and gives enough detail to get you creating and using the techniques without being a step by step. Unfortunately it was clearly written before the author developed her awesome powdered blender and textured touch up fluid, so these aren't among the well described techniques described.
I have wanted this for a year. Unfortunately in that year I have learned everything in here and more so it wasn't quite as useful as I had hoped.
But that's not the book's fault: had I got it a year ago it would have saved me a lot of research and ruined paintings.
If you are new to coloured pencil this will be very, very helpful. If you have been using coloured pencil for a while, it may be a little less essential but it is great book to have none the less.
I have used coloured pencils myself before of course, so I have my own experience and methods of using them; what became very apparent when I looked through this book was the author's very singular approach to the medium – it is effectively an instruction book in how to use them like her, with no deviation from her own particular stylistic approach, which is clearly stated in the title as photographic realism.
I was a little troubled by (what I consider to be) her blasé approach to using photographic material; I spend a great deal of my time explaining to students the shortcomings of photography, particularly in regard to colour and the importance of understanding form before using such references; while the author herself may be aware of these pitfalls, I don't think she adequately explains this and rather encourages what is poor practice for beginners. Most artists use photographs to some extent (I do myself), but not in the way shown here, unless they are trained graphic artists.
These concerns aside, the book does have some helpful technical tips on rendering, layering etc., and a useful listing of some major manufacturer's pencils in an appendix at the back.
If one wishes to work in this style them go with it, but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone without the above mentioned reservations.
A brilliant book for anybody wanting to learn to draw with coloured pencils.