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Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultrarealistic Effects Paperback – March 17, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 381 customer reviews

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Magic Garden: Color. Dream. Create. by Virginia Arraga de Malherbe
"Magic Garden: Color. Dream. Create." by Virginia Arraga de Malherbe
Explore this lush and beautifully produced coloring book, with three colors of metallic ink paper and 60 designs suitable for removing and framing. Learn more
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultrarealistic Effects
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  • The Ultimate Guide To Colored Pencil: Over 35 step-by-step demonstrations for both traditional and watercolor pencils
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  • Colored Pencil Step by Step: Explore a range of styles and techniques for creating your own works of art in colored pencils (Artist's Library)
Total price: $49.02
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ALYONA NICKELSEN is an award-winning artist whose work has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions as well as in most of the country’s major art magazines, including American Artist, American Artist Drawing, The Artist’s Magazine, International Artist, American Art Collector, and Art Business News. Ms. Nickelsen is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, the International Guild of Realism, and the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Her work is currently represented by galleries in Carmel, California, and Reno, Nevada. She is the founder of the Online Colored Pencil Painting School. Ms. Nickelsen lives with her family in Southern California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 3rd Printing edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823099202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823099207
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (381 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultra-Realistic Effects

I've long enjoyed Alyona Nickelsen's newsletter from [...] so I was aware of the beauty of her brilliant hyper-realistic colored pencil paintings. She favors Prismacolors on Stonehenge paper, with a fine eye for incredible detail and the patience of a saint to create rather large works with incredible, meticulous workmanship.

I already have several other good volumes on colored pencil realism -- Cecile Baird's Painting Light with Colored Pencils, Arlene Steinberg's Masterful Color, and quite a few Gary Greene volumes. I've successfully done colored pencils realism for years and have used Prismacolors since I was a high school kid in 1971 when I twisted my grandmother's arm to get the largest set of colored pencils then available -- 72 Prismacolors. I never looked back.

I looked at this new book as a sweet addition to my library. Some new projects, maybe a few things I'd never run into. I did not expect to find so many useful tips when I've already got so many good volumes! Alyona Nickelsen is an inventive person. She has her own solutions to many technical details about using the medium and she has a prose style that makes extremely advanced concepts clear even to a complete beginner.

I'm also a fiction writer and a good judge of writing style. English is not Ms. Nickelsen's native language -- and I believe this gives her a little bit of an advantage in explaining things.
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Finally- a truly outstanding and beautifully researched and presented book on today's colored pencil artwork. The appendix alone is worth the price of the book- which has charts showing the lightfast ratings of (almost) all major brands of colored pencils (including the brand new Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils, Derwent Colorsoft, Faber-Castell Polychromos and many more)...well, all except standard Prismacolors since the manufacturers would not give the author that information. A very useful color index is also given for colors when it was available, which gives you information about what pigments were used in the manufacture of the pencils...and another thing I have been wanting- an up-front break-down of which pencils are waxed based and which are oil based.

This book has all the information you will need- such as materials, including much needed information on solvents to achieve a paintery look that puts colored pencils out of the 'drawing' stage and into the 'fine art painting' stage. Information about how to rough up paper to achieve certain effects (such as orange peel)and how to frame colored pencils is included, and a great (and easily understandable) section on color theory, light (and shadows). Her explanations are so clear and easy to understand that they are like a breath of fresh air.

Mastering Essential Techniques is a terrific section, that includes the use of photos and photoshop. I loved seeing the equipment she uses too- including the new electric hot and cold colored pencil drawing tablet.
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If you're an intermediate or advanced artist with colored pencil experience this is a good book.

If you're new to colored pencils like I am this is not the right book for you. It starts out covering a lot of things as if you have never used colored pencils, then moves onto advanced topics.

What bothers me is the book title and description saying: `incredible realism- with simple you-can-do-it-processes!'. Which is very misleading. Same thing when you look inside the book and see it starting with basics like colored pencil choices and paper choices. I assumed that it was going to progress from the very basics all the way through.

The highest rated 5-star review is titled: `Great for beginner to expert' and says: `If you have no experience with colored pencils or colored pencil realism, this book will take you from total beginner to gallery level brilliant hyper-realism'.

Almost every example goes something like this: I layered black, blue, red and green on the background and used yellow, pink, etc on the light areas. And it shows one small photo of the drawing. Then I applied a solvent and touched up areas. Then showing a beautiful completed photo. I would have appreciated to see way more steps and photos.

If you're a beginner I would recommend to start drawing and watching online tutorial videos. With the videos you can watch the artist drawing and pause the video while trying to recreate what they are doing. Once you understand color better and how to make decent looking drawings then look into this book.

I don't know who would disagree with me about that. You should be able to draw a decent drawing with colored pencils BEFORE you try to create ultra realistic effects.
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