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Foundations of Drawing: A Practical Guide to Art History, Tools, Techniques, and Styles Paperback – June 13, 2017
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Artists and Illustrators Magazine: Book of the Month
"A solid understanding of drawing is a must for artists and books introducing the basics abound, but Gury’s latest goes several steps further. In its pages you will find an overview of drawing as an art form covering its history, materials and key techniques. And, alongside step-by-step demonstrations, there are reproductions of the finest master drawings from the 15th century to the present."
—Artists and Illustrators Magazine
"Al Gury has taken a lifetime of experience as an artist and teacher, and distilled it into an engaging exploration of drawing from every possible perspective. Foundations of Drawing takes the reader from the personal to the historical, from techniques to the aesthetic, and then ties it all together with in-depth drawing demonstrations. This book is the perfect companion for anyone interested in understanding drawing from A to Z."
—Ross Lance Mitchell, Director of Barnes-de Mazia Education and Outreach
About the Author
AL GURY chairs the painting department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he also teaches drawing. Gury exhibits his work at the F.A.N. Gallery and has shown at the National Academy of Design in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and numerous other galleries and museums around the country. He is the author of Alla Prima: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Direct Painting and Color for Painters: A Guide to Traditions and Practice. He lives in Philadelphia, PA.
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One, Al Gury gets into the nitty gritty world of the Medieval period which book illumination and scriptoria, where monks would work at studying, copying, and translating ancient works, even works written papyrus, for their preservation. Unique for the artistic mind, there were elegant illustrations and decorations done in pen and ink, and colored with water-based pigments. Ornamented classic Greek and Roman works were found in these scriptoriums, devoted to the preservation of ancient texts so that others could learn and disseminate the learning of the great works of civilization. Early Latin Bibles were produced with significant illustrations that befitted the narratives of the 66 books included in the biblical canon.
Gury also mentions in the book the push for a national program of artistic endeavors by certain countries. He writes, "By controlling art education and access to lucrative government commissions, the goal of these national academies was to produce professional painters and sculptors whose careers would uphold the values of the state, the academies, and their aesthetic and political goals." (22) Many of the official academies strongly pushed classical form and closed line form rather than the more emotive and expressive philosophies such as Romanticism. But, this was to the advantage of the both the academy and the artist in many ways, giving the artist a strong post to work from that would not be taken away by poor patron funding.
Overall, this book was a very good introduction to the world of drawing, focusing on figures, history, method and tools. I know my daughter as she gets older will appreciate this work.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
That said, I have several drawing books, one of my more favorite ones is "The Drawing Lesson" by Mark Grilley. However, this particular book, hit a note and left me loving it.
This is not your typical drawing book, because it will not tell you step by step instructions on how to draw. In fact, if your purpose in buying this book is to physically draw on paper, don't expect that. This instead, is a perfect book for learning about the drawing process. Learning the basic history of drawing. It's just that, a foundation of drawing.
What I appreciated is the basic explanation of art over the years. They kept the sections contained, and didn't go overboard into explaining the various artists and methods of each century, and believe me, there are a lot!
But what I really liked, and made me wonder why drawing/art teachers don't focus on this more, is the section on explanations of the types of medium to draw with an on. How to hold the pencil, the types of paper, what graphite is and it's different mediums. I could go on and on. Essentially, this is an awesome book to supplement your actual drawing book instructions. A classroom should have this, before or in addition, to the drawing class. It makes so much sense. I love it and will keep it on my bookshelf for future reading and reference.
Just one word of note, there are alot of photos of nude men and women, so this isn't necessarily destined for a pre-teen or adolescent child, unless you want them looking primarily at the photos, rather than the content. :)
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Drawing is a wonderful way to express how you see an object, a person, scenery or anything your eye sees. This book is a good feel to it since it gives you detailed information and sketches and at the same time let's you see things with your own eyes and then put it on paper. No two pieces of drawing will be exactly the same since everyone puts their own touch on the work. Mr. Gury gives some wonderful history and the eras of art that have emerged through time. He shows you the different choices there are out there in tools, mediums, and papers. He shows how to use different methods on shading according to different locations and times of the day. The book has some wonderful pictures in it to go with the history of drawing. I was extremely interested in the portrait drawing part of the book along with the different mediums you can use along with the correct papers for doing it. He gives you choices, He doesn't tell you that a certain one is the only right one to use. This book is for everyone, whether you are a beginner or one who has been drawing for a long time. The history alone is well worth the read. It would be perfect to put with your art books on your shelf as a reference book when you get stuck on a variety of issues in drawing. If you are just beginning this book gives such a variety of information along with examples of how to go about achieving your ended piece. I especially liked the step by step instructions on portrait drawing. SO if you have had a desire to draw beyond doodling, then expand on that doodling with help from this guide. This is the book for good instruction along with wonderful history of drawing and art.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books and the author and voluntarily decided to review it.
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