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Creative Illustration Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists: Seeing, Sketching, Storytelling, and Using Found Materials Spiral-bound – November 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katherine Dunn lives in Oregon and writes a well-followed blog “Apifera Farm: where animals, art, and lavender collide.” In her fourth year, her blog was named a Blog of Note. She often creates a short story based on characters right outside her window, illustrates it, and posts it on the blog. Katherine’s illustrations have appeared in magazines, theater, and retail outlets. Her clients have included the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Target, Neiman Marcus, Charles Schwab, Utne Reader, and Hallmark. Her originals are shown in national galleries and are also showcased in Sundance Catalog and have been awarded in Communication Arts, Print, MNAIGA, 3x3 Magazine, and American Illustration. She recently was part of the Society of Illustrator show in NYC.

http://katherinedunn.us/

http://www.apiferafarm.blogspot.com/

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books; Spi edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592536360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592536368
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound
As a fellow artist what I found so interesting about Katherine Dunn's book is how she describes her own artistic process. This is different for individual artists, of course, and Katherine is able to describe her own process of looking with care, diving in and allowing a piece of art to emerge as her ideas change in the making. She also offers interesting techniques in Photoshop for layering in found objects and images from previous works to add content and texture to a new work. I love her ideas for creative block--trying another kind of creative project to free up the mind and she gives a wonderful example using puppet-making. The book is lavishingly illustrated throughout with full-color examples of Katherine's evocative, narrative paintings. For many of these paintings, Katherine shows step-by-step how she created them which will surely inspire artists and illustrators seeking to experiment with these techniques in their own work. It is also a wonderful compendium of Katherine's work!
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book from start to finish. The art work is fresh and invigorating. As someone who loves to write, but who has never experimented with drawing, this book is absolutely inspiring. I love the way she helps you overcome potential road blocks, with freeing exercises and ideas to help you find your own inner stories and express them creatively. It is beautifully illustrated with page after page of colorful, and thought provoking art work. I would recommend this book to anyone. Especially to those who are looking for a way to help ignite a bit of creative fire.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I recently bought 6 (mostly art) books for a little post-holiday, pick-me-up treat. Out of the six, this is was the wild card. I don't have much of a history with mixed media, and while I liked what I was able to see of the contents of the book, the cover just didn't speak to me. It was to my great surprise--and delight--that of those 6 books, this one is, by far, my favorite.

I find the paintings themselves to be almost magical. There's a depth to Dunn's work that captures one's attention and holds it. The application of pastel drawing set against deeply-colored acrylic backgrounds conveys a sense of mystery. At the same time, there is a joyful exuberance in many of the pieces, which often combine human and animal subjects in a whimsical rapport, as in her piece, "New Year's Couple," which features a woman in a red cocktail dress raising her glass in a mutual toast with a very dapper-looking donkey.

I would have been happy enough with just a book of Dunn's artwork; the fact that this is a how-to book in which Dunn explicates her process is beyond fantastic. Other how-to books often focus on a step-by-step approach that can be helpful but is usually limited. What Dunn does here is completely different in that she walks the reader through her thought process as a piece progresses from one stage to another. We see a piece evolve from a few scribbled words and shapes she first makes as a note to herself on through to a completed composition. Along the way, Dunn shares plenty of techniques she has honed through the years, like boldly painting a deep background (which may very well be painted over) as a kind of "warm up" exercise to sidestep the intimidation that often accompanies a blank canvas.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I'm a longtime fan of Katherine Dunn's work, and this book is a delightful glimpse into the heart, mind and spirit of a gifted artist. The gorgeous reproductions of her paintings, illustrations and collages are accompanied by insights into the creative process, and exercises to inspire creations of your own. Although I'm not an artist, Katherine's wonderful book is making me more aware of the beauty all around me.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I love this book. A good book to grab and open randomly and complete an exercise as a warm-up. I have used it as such in art groups that I belong to with great success. Underneath the quirky pictures and layout lies a very serious informative reference book on technique, being an artist and approaches to creative block and other issues we face, and ideas for freshening up our perspectives or even how to express ourselves in other artistic ways. This book is cram-packed full of very good information and serves as a learning tool, a reference book as well as an inspirational resource.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
What a wonderful picture of the creative process. I do feel like I've been to a workshop with the author when I pick up this book and go through the steps of her creative process with her. Her direction isn't exactly direction so much as it is invitation to try different ways of creating illustrations. The book is relaxed and I learned just as much from simply looking at example after example of her work as I did from reading what she'd written (she's a great writer, by the way!). There's some practical stuff in there too, for the uninitiated. For example, being more of a textile artist, I didn't realize I could use acrylic gloss medium/varnish as a glue for collage. She encourages her readers to just try stuff out. isn't that one of the foundations of original art, anyway? It's all about permission to play.
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