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This book is amazing, the author has a pretty incredible process and insight into this medium. There is a massive problem for me though. I live in Ireland and it's pretty much impossible to obtain the materials used in this book. They are; "Brush and Pencil: Advanced Color Texture Fixative, Final Fixative, Colored Pencil Touch Up, Colored Pencil Titanium White, Spong Applicators and Powdered Blender. The only stockist as far as I can see is Jackson's Art in London, they Will Not ship these items outside the UK. There is one other stockist in Europe but the shipping is high, DPD, Fed Ex etc are not interested in shipping these. I contacted the Author of the book who develops these materials to ask for a list of stockists in Europe but my message is either being ignored or missed. it's a shame she won't respond to my questions. So in a nutshell, only get this book if you in USA or UK.
Edit. I’ve come back to add my experience with ordering the Textured Fixative from ‘Realism in Portrait’ based in the Netherlands, it’s a reseller on the Brush and Pencil website! They seem to ship to Ireland so I placed an order and paid (in stock item) I received an order confirmation. That was over a week ago and I haven’t received any shipping confirmation from them at all and they aren’t communicating at all after trying to contact to find out what is happening. I tried ‘again’ to contact Alyona Nickleson and still zero response nothing. It’s bad form to be honest, you publish a book and encourage people to buy your products but can’t be bothered to respond to help via any avenue and you provide details of a reseller in the Netherlands who is completely ignoring any messages about an order.? I’m going to have to start trying to get money back via PayPal now. Over €50 to get one can of spray, disaster.
Further edit: Realism in Portrait contacted me to tell me they cancelled my order because they can’t ship Aerosol internationally. I had to raise a PayPal ticket to get my money back.
I echo the remarks already made about this book. Alyona's other books really focus on drawing and the colors to use. This book relies too much on her specialized products and techniques. I am an advanced beginner and I wanted more practical advice. I am disappointed. I don't generally use sanded paper, it makes the drawing look too unrealistic for me. I wish Amazon had offered an excerpt from the book rather than offering pre-order options for books without a preview. This book departs from the authors previous methods and I expected the book to be similar to her other books. She tried to do much overall art instruction rather than focusing on practical colored pencil techniques. I like her still life drawings and have learned a lot from her other books, not so much with this one. I prefer to use products that are readily available not to be guided toward her products. The website on which one might purchase her products is very limited-her aim is to sell, not to provide adequate techniques for beginning artists. Most authors recognize the variability of product choice more than this author. I would call this book an advertisement that I paid for.
This book is primarily aimed at the professional artist. It goes into too much detail on materials that a beginner doesnt need. A person starting out on a learning curve of coloured pencils could very easily be put off by this book. As a professional artist, even I was bored to death reading this book. It gives too much specification of materials. some colour swatches and photos of the famous paintings by leonardo da vinci and others that has nothing to do with coloured pencils. A beginner would be better off with a book by Ann Kullberg. which has step by step lessons and examples on how to progress.
My expectations were different than what this book was about. I wanted to learn about how she did it not in the technical aspect really, but more about actual process, step by step instruction. This is the way I learn. By watching and doing. I believe she is one very talented artist and I do not want to take away from that!
Found this book to be very in-depth however much to advanced for most casual artists most of the tools and supplies used by the author are expensive and to much time was spent on history and not enough on techniques. Not For students and or beginners. Any one not able to spend a small fortune to do colored pencils portraits.
When I bought this I wanted to hear about ways to make my portraits better and all I got was talking about everything else. I was not impressed . Sorry I usually try to find the good side but this one I just can't.