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As an art tutor, I buy a lot of books in order to provide relevant instruction for my students regardless of what mediums they choose to work with; an increasing number of people are turning to coloured pencils to produce artwork, so I bought this. 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.
The presentation is very beautiful and the layout very logical. 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've been interested in coloured pencil drawing for quite a few years now on and off, I get really into my drawing - in plain graphite pencil - then stop, really wanting to learn how to draw realistic images in CP but not knowing where to start, so I lose interest again, but keep coming back to it because I really want to be able to get into it. I've had a cheap set of adult coloured pencils, which doesnt help! This book I just know will change all of that for me. It goes into all the stuff a beginner like me could ever want to know plus a lot more, to quite an advanced level. Lots of really interesting reading material including about tools of the trade, colour theory, how to go about tackling a drawing and much more. Then you get quite a few step by step guides taking you through how to draw different things demonstrating how to achieve different effects, eg water drops on a leaf, metallic and wooden objects, realistic fruit. It will definitely give me a good place to start and something to work towards, which I didnt have before,and Im guessing a lot of beginners are the same as me. Theres a lot of really useful information in here, not just theory but practical demonstrations of how to do things, if I'd known about this book 5 years ago I'd have achieved so much by now! Worth buying definitely. Now I just need to get a good set of pencils.. :(
There those that are good at coloured pencils there are those that are brilliant at coloured pencils and then is Alyona Nickelsen. In this book, she takes you through all the materials needed, plus a few you don't. She shows you her techniques for drawing various textures, mixing colours, layering and just about all you need to know about painting with coloured pencils. There are also many step by step examples to try. The only thing she doesn't provide is patience to learn. A brilliant book for anybody wanting to learn to draw with coloured pencils.
This is a valuable book to have especially for beginners. Can't wait to try the exercises and the detailed step-by-step demonstrations. Especially valuable for those working from home who are, for one reason or another, unable to attend classes to learn the various techniques and wide range of effects possible with coloured pencils. I will treasure this book and keep referring to it when I need inspiration.
I don`t know about other purchasers, but I was entranced by the extraordinary cover of this book - I`ve always liked using coloured pencils but even my proudest efforts would lack in depth, "oomph"; judging by the cover, Alyona Nickelsen has obviously squared this age-old problem. And how! Not only are there proper tips about materials and equipment, it isn`t just another restating of things you knew, it is new ideas and new techniques, new ways of evaluating coloured pencil as a medium, and all these come together to produce truly breathtaking "pencil paintings". There are numerous examples, with a step-by-step guide, of how to produce works of your own just like the cover. I`ve completely bought into the techniques and enthusiasm and secrets from the book and the improvement in my own work is significant; one of my finest purchases, and at a silly price!
This book has all the answers and advice that hobby- and semi-proff artists need in connection with the use of coloured pencils in particular and drawing in general but much of the advice can also be applied to other painting mediums too. Well written, beautifully illustrated and truly value for money. This is the best book of its kind that I've come across as it contains a wealth of information that if followed will surely improve the artistic results of any reader. I simply love this book!!!!
This book goes through many of the usual art principals including tone, contrast, composition etc, on top of detailing essential tools and techniques for realistic coloured pencil art. In this way, it is quite comprehensive. My only issue with it is that because the author clearly works only on still life subjects such as fresh fruits/veg and plants, there are no tips for rendering difficult subjects such as hair, delicate skin, and skies, which would help this book get that one extra star!