Friday, October 26, 2007

Sarah Simblet and Sketchbook for the Artist

Katherine has been reviewing books for October. She reviewed a book by Sarah Simblet. When I was at the library this weekend I saw another by her and thought I'd check it out. This one is entitled Sketch Book for the Artist.

It's a fun book to glance through. I can't say read through, because I just haven't had enough time to get through all of it with my other reading projects. But, I definitely liked this book and plan to continue reading it.

What I really liked:
  • Her portraiture section was not overly complicated - just some good simple ideas that you'll remember later. Given her anatomical credentials, one tends to think she's giving you what's important.
  • The body section was also very good. This book is full of pictures - not words. There are clues in there, but essentially the idea is to study the drawings (both hers and others) and gain a lesson.
  • Her sketch copies of famous works are very interesting. She tells you what she was trying to learn from observing the original and how she went about answering her questions. She has stuff from Goya, Van Dyke, Turner, etc. She even made drawings of the brush strokes to understand movement in the paintings.
  • She also displays some series from her sketchbooks. Large city type sketches made on the spot with buildings and people en masse. She talks about doing a series of sketches of just a couple of people - including her process, how she tries to capture the moment, etc.
  • She's also got a section on perspective that I plan to look over more carefully (seeing as that was one of my goals this year that has gotten rather neglected. ;-)

Things I learned:
  • Some basic anatomy about the neck and shoulders.
  • How I might approach copying a painting in a museum.
  • Some tips on comparing pieces of art by one artist - how to spot and define trends in a particular artist.
  • That I really must get out sketching more in public places - I simply love those large city scenes with buildings and people everywhere - the ones that are "quickly" done and really give you a sense of a place.
In short, I really found this book inspiring and will continue to look through it as much as the library will allow :-). In fact, it was so inspiring that I did a little sketching with my free time before my son was out of his art class, above you see my quick efforts. (Please forgive me the horrible scan, I just don't have time to fiddle today.)


Katherine said...

I missed this one before I published my round-up this week - but have now added it in!

Sounds a good book, I've not seen it but will look out for it.

Katherine said...

Rose - I've now added it in to my new squidoo lens to support The Big Drawing Book Review. I'll be announcing it on my blog shortly.

cellomerl said...

"Sketchbook for the Artist" is a truly excellent book. If you want to improve your drawing skills, I urge you to get a copy and go through it in detail. The examples are wonderful and the author's explanation of perspective is very easy to follow. I learned a lot by going through some of the exercises and eventually I will finish all of them. May your New Year be filled with happy drawings!