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Made in the Shade: a Zentangle Workbook Paperback – January 24, 2013
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Now that cons. While it is very admirable in my book that the author seems to have self-published (I give her a tremendous amount of kudos for this), the quality of the product suffers greatly. The book is printed in black ink only, which is fine, given the subject, but this is a book about a visual art, and the print quality of the book is HORRIBLE. The Xerox machine at work makes better copies! The author's illustrations and photos are muddy and faded, so the impact is lost. Furthermore, there are TONS of typos throughout the book, including on the back cover. To me, that's just inexcusable, especially for the price being charged. The cons really are distracting and take away from the positive aspects of this book. My advice to the author is to hire a new printer and a proofreader and reissue the book. My warning to potential buyers of this book is that it is not "eye candy" as so many of the other Zentangle books are, but it does contain some useful information about shading. I'm just not sure it is worth the money.
The book itself is totally black and white which is perfect for this subject matter. It doesn't teach how to do tangles so it really isn't for beginners. Anyone who has a Zentangle library should have this book. The only issue I have with it is on the pages for shading with a pen. The micron pen bleeds through a little. It distracts a little when I read the back side. Most of the shading covers pencil shading so it isn't a huge problem. I hate reading teaching books when there is page after page of long instructions. This book has a wonderful layout that breaks up the verbiage just enough to keep me interested. It is currently my most valuable Zentangle book!
This book has helped me take my tangles to a new level. The entire book is devoted to shading. The author gives illustrated step by step instructions and suggestions for more than one method to shade the same tangle depending on the effect you are trying to achieve.
One of the best parts, for me anyway, is the practice pieces she provides. This way I am not trying to learn shading on tangles I have already invested an hour's time on. I photocopy her practice pieces and play to my heart's content. I saw a clear difference in just a couple of days using this book. I would recommend this book for anyone who is frustrated that their shading is not creating the effect they were trying for.
By providing the instruction and the practice space in the same book, it is something I can carry around with me with just a pencil for shading practice and my ever-present Micron 01 pen, in case I feel like adding to the example tangles already in the book. Very self-contained.
For those not used to working in a workbook, it may feel a little odd to jump right in and draw something ON THE PAGES of your purchase. But that's what this book is all about, so go for it.
I will use it as a practice tool (it's the "practice of Zentangle, after all) and will use it to augment what I teach about shading in my classes. Thanks, Cris, for this cool tool!