Posts tagged books
Posts tagged books
Botanical Portraits in Colored Pencil by Ann Swan. Easily the best book on scientific illustration I’ve seen. I keep checking this book out at the library until my limit is up.
The botanical artist, Ms. Swan instructs, accurately record how a plant grows, what color it is, and what its structure is like. Even if the work is not for any scientific purpose, it must be accurate. Any looser interpretation, she suggests, is merely a flower painting.
There’s fantastic information on colored pencil selection. Ms. Swan likes Faber Castell Polychromos pencils because they hold their point well, which is a must for detail work, especially as compared to the softer Prismacolors, and because they have a decent selection of natural greens and greys (which are used to deepen the tones of colors without changing their hue. (Didn’t know that!) She recommends 22 of the 120 available Polychromos colors as a good starter set. As for Prismacolor, which most of us who work in colored pencil are familiar with already, Ms. Swan finds their strength in that they mix well with the oil-based Polychromos pencils even though they are wax-based. Also, she finds they have a good selection of colors useful for drawing berries, such as dark purples, violets & reds. But she finds their softness annoying for detailed work. Prismacolor points (not talking Verithins) are prone to snap easily; I’ve learned this myself! Also included are other colored pencil recommendations, but it’s clear that the Polychromos line is her baby. This is very useful information. I myself have never used, nor can I easily find at the two major art stores in town, a selection of Faber Castell colored pencils so I may investigate them further.
Ms. Swan helps you get your studio together as well by compiling a basic start-up kit, most of which those of us who draw regularly already have. She tells you which other tools you may find useful for botanical work.
Ms. Swan advises even on which side of hot-pressed paper works best for colored pencil work, where to set up your work environment, how to protect your work while in progress and after completion.
As to the botanical artist’s subject - plants - Ms. Swan’s work is exquisite. She is very generous with her instruction, and I’ve even used some of her advice toward my oil pastel work. I have a deeper understanding of color, as well as a new understanding of how to break down complex subject matter.
This is a book that I’m going to eventually add to my collection, and I believe it will be invaluable to anyone who loves plants and doesn’t know where to begin when it comes to drawing them.
Two animals are born at the same time. While young, they strike up a friendship and play together. Good times. Then one day they discover that they are on opposite ends of the food chain.
The relationship is strained, to say the least.
Can their friendship be saved? Or is it doomed to fail?
I believe nonfiction books don’t get to the point fast enough. Every thing the author wants you to know about why she is writing should be in the first chapter. Then all of the research that corroborates the first chapter should be on subsequent chapters, there if the reader wants to go through it. This is especially true of diet & nutrition books.
This is my favorite book from childhood. About 15 yrs after I graduated high school I not only rediscovered this paperback but discovered there was a sequel. I haven’t located a copy of the sequel, but I have read it. What I would like to see done, or else do it myself, is rewrite Carbonel to where it has a more American storyline rather than a British one, because it’s a very British book.
Lioness cub looks at her father resting serenely in the grass, and she turns and looks at her mother.
"Ma, why don’t you have a mane?"
"Only the lion has the mane, child."
"It has been this way since the first light. Those who bear the cubs do not wear the mane. There is no other way."
And now I know the origin of this iconic photograph of MJ learning from the master, Stevie Wonder. It is black photographer Todd Gray.
July 16, 1951: Catcher in the Rye is Published
On this day in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published. The novel, which was about a troubled 16-year-old named Holden Caulfield, exemplified common feelings of teenage angst and a resistance to growing up. The Catcher in the Rye became one of the most important English novels of the 20th century.
Watch this NewsHour piece about J.D. Salinger’s lasting influence on American literature.
Photo: The Catcher in the Rye. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1951 (Library of Congress)