Posts Tagged ‘drawing’

Paperback8.5 x 11, 312 pages, with full-color and black-and-white illustrations

The ultimate guide to nature drawing and journaling! A potent combination of art, science, and boundless enthusiasm, the latest art instruction book from John Muir Laws (The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds) is a how-to guide for becoming a better artist and a more attentive naturalist. In straightforward text complemented by step-by-step illustrations, dozens of exercises lead the hand and mind through creating accurate reproductions of plants and animals as well as landscapes, skies, and more. Laws provides clear, practical advice for every step of the process for artists at every level, from the basics of choosing supplies to advanced techniques. While the book’s advice will improve the skills of already accomplished artists, the emphasis on seeing, learning, and feeling will make this book valuable—even revelatory—to anyone interested in the natural world, no matter how rudimentary their artistic abilities.

The information is organized and nicely presented for being such a large book. And, wow, there is a lot in there! Many ways for any art and nature lover to enjoy this book. Middle and high school teachers and students can easily use this as a resource to create lesson plans in art, science, and creative writing. It is a true idea sparker.

Heyday Books/ John Muir Laws provided this book to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.


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Paperback, 64 pages, July 2017

In this new installment of Lee J. Ames’s beloved Draw 50 series, readers will find easy-to-follow, step-by-step visual lessons on sketching and rendering all kinds of sea and ocean-dwelling creatures. Animals and plants from in and near the water featured in the book include clownfish, whale sharks, sea otters, dolphins, turtles and more.

Draw 50 is a step-by-step way to draw and uses only visual lessons, so don’t expect any text in this book. I appreciate this simple method of creating by observation. Each drawing is shown in 6-8 steps on a single page. The selection of sea creatures are not arranged in a any particular order but there is a single content page at the beginning to make it easy to find your subject. Each sea creature is named. Great addition to the home school art class. This is a beginner’s level book. 

The Blogging For Books book review program provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Colored Pencil Painting Portraits provides straightforward solutions to the problems that artists face in creating lifelike images, and will prime readers on the intricacies of color, texture, shadow, and light as they interplay with the human form. In this truly comprehensive guide packed with step-by-step demonstrations, Nickelsen considers working from photo references versus live models; provides guidance on posing and lighting, as well as planning and composing a work; discusses tools, materials, and revolutionary layering techniques; and offers lessons on capturing gesture and expression and on rendering facial and body features of people of all age groups and skin tones.

Paperback, 192 pages

This book has big, lovely-to-look-at illustrations. It could be a super resource for the artist and the home school art classrooms, but it didn’t work for me. Too much heavy writing and not enough something else. Will donate and hope to make someone’s day. 

The Blogging For Books book review program provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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An interactive doodle book of fairies and other fantasy characters from the best-selling art instruction author whose books have sold more than six million copies, pairing illustration tips with drawing, designing, coloring, and crafting activities.

Reviewed by myself and also by my mom. We agree that this is an excellent book enabling all artists/doodlers the ability to create drawings of their own. The fairy characters are interesting and the designs pleasant. Paperback, 160 pages. 

The Blogging for Books program provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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Read This Comic and Start Drawing Today

For the first time ever, drawing instructor and graphic novelist Mark Crilley brings his easy-to-follow artistic instruction to aspiring artists in the form of a comic book, providing you with a one-of-a-kind how-to experience. In The Drawing Lesson, you’ll meet David—a young boy who wants nothing more than to learn how to draw. Luckily for David, he’s just met Becky—his helpful drawing mentor. Page by page, Becky teaches David (and you!) about the essential fundamentals that artists need in order to master drawing, all in a unique visual format. In panel after panel, Crilley provides lessons on shading, negative space, creating compositions, and more, with accompanying exercises that you can try for yourself. Are you ready to start your drawing lesson today?

paperback, 144 pages.

Fantastic! I’ve enjoyed the mentor experience of Mr Crilley’s book. It did a great job teaching the fundamentals of drawing and also entertaining in its comic book style story. Unique presentation that’s successful. Amazing!

The Blogging for Books program provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Cartoon Faces: How to Draw Heads, Features & Expressions

Make a Face: a funny face! From the world’s best-selling author of how-to-draw books, Christopher Hart, comes this comprehensive and fun guide to drawing cartoon faces. From head shapes to features to hair styles, Chris shows in step-by-step detail how to create funny characters of all types, from mischievous schoolboys to glamorous gals. Cartoon Faces is a must-have for any artist who wants to create eye-catching human faces.

Chris Hart has many published art books although Cartoon Faces is the first of his books that I’ve read/used. I enjoyed this review. The book is simplified, detailed, and fun.

A brightly colored cover: Inside there are short directions/suggestions for a particular cartoon look alongside a step by step drawing example of a character. (thumbnail gallery of all characters are in an index at the back of the book)

Fun book that I’d recommend. A good adition to the home school art curriculum. (most useful in teaching cartooning to grades 4 and up)

1 Comic Book Suggestion: I like the many character heads and facial features included but would like to get directions and drawing examples for just one (1) character with multiple expressions. (same dude when say he’s happy, sad, mad, scared, worried, in love, wants coffee…..You Get It!)

Christopher Hart Books

I received this book from Christopher Hart in exchange for an honest blog review. 


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Another art post (ARcTic post) that I’d like to share-

I want to offer ARcTic posts as a way to promote talented emerging and established artists and to share God’s word visually through art. The art that I will feature may or may not have been created from a Christian-minded artist. I want to share it here; to appreciate the work created as well as the talent that the artist demonstrates, always from a Christian perspective.




Amy’s art reflects her life with mental illness. Her art helps her with her bipolar disorder and she hopes that through her work, she can bring an awareness to the issues of mental health.

Amy uses black pen and pencil crayon to create her captivating images. She sent me “Eve” and “Arctic Hug”.



I chose a powder rose mat for “Eve” and an ice blue mat for “Arctic Hug”. Both are in an espresso frame. Amy’s use of subtle colors softens the bold, intricate details of the black pen.




1 Corinthians 15:45-49

English Standard Version (ESV)

45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[a] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven,so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[b] also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Both art prints remind me that God’s love is the same today as it was in the beginning of creation. Although corruption changed perfection to imperfection, we have hope in Christ because of His work on the cross. For those who put their faith in the finished work of Christ, we can look forward to a restoration in a new heaven and earth.


About Amy

Amy Frank is a Canadian born artist and aspiring writer. In 2005, at the age of 18, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her artwork speaks to her journey with mental illness. Struggling with mania, Amy chooses to work in pen and ink so that she can’t easily alter her drawings. The detailed patterns she creates bring on a meditative state while the splashes of colour draw her out of her depression. Each drawing she creates tells a story. In this blog ‘Eve’, the first woman, is an interpretive piece which speaks to her journey with faith and spirituality. While ‘Arctic Hug’, the polar bears, speaks to the feelings of security Amy gains from the relationships she carries with her family. To know more about Amy or her artwork please visit her website

If you are interested in purchasing any of the artwork featured on this ARcTic post, please contact the artist directly.

I’d like to thank artist Amy Frank for her participation and for the wonderful prints she provided.

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