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If you're serious about drawing you'll like this book a lot. Almost everything about this book is good. The idea of copying directly into the book and the quality of paper is great. Nicely selected original images to copy with progression at a reasonable gradient. Finishing the book off gives you a nice finished sketchbook to look back on... My only real negative is the book could have been physical bigger. One of the key things with drawing if you want to do anything larger than a4 is learning to draw from the shoulder rather than the wrist of elbow. The size of the book really is much smaller than I would have liked. Non the less a great book. I just wish there were more in the series.
I love the artwork in the series by this author, and this book is no exception. The book itself is high quality with detailed images. I feel like I learn something new every time I get a new book on portraits, and this is one of the better ones. It wont make you an artist, but it'll give you resources and ideas that will help you practice and improve your craft.
I got this book after taking an life drawing in college, and The Charles Bargue Drawing Course on my own. this book was like extra assignments. it was more advanced practice. its basically a workbook for doing master studies. its a collection of some of the best artist for you to study and make copies of. which I did in college but only a few times.
the biggest problem with most art and drawing books is that all the material and art comes from one person. On the other hand, this is collection of some of the best stuff thats out there. and set up in a workbook for you to draw side by side. it like the next level of the Bargue drawing course. which is great in the first half. but then kinda lost me in the 2nd half with the over simplified figure drawing examples. its apposed to be just a jump off point. But I wasn't a fan.
This also is a great book to just carry around. the problem with a regular sketchbook is that I will sit and open it and never know what to sketch. this acts like adult coloring book for me. But I'm actually learning. not just draw and sketch things at random. which can be helpful and serves it own purpose. But this has structure. I feel i'm making better use of my time. I pull this out when I'm in a class with a long boring lecture.
also its a great workbook companion to her other books. which are all great! its just great continued practice. and I highly recommend it to any artist into life drawing.
Another wonderful book by the great artist Juliette Aristides. This beautifully written handbook on the building blocks of figure drawing that for the student may be no immediate task are accurately defined and portrayed step by step. There is ample space for exercises and an abundance of ravishing drawings both by Juliette and by other artists such as Alexey Steele, Robert Liberace, Steven Assael, Kamille Corry and Yoann Lossel, all these along the historically established masters. Put together all these works entice the student to produce both preparatory work and drawings that are works of art in their own right.
Besides clarity of writing and her hauntingly beautiful works the author exudes passion and a tinge of the lyrical when paving the way for a well done drawing. There are frequent quotes, my favourites of which are those by the poet Reiner Maria Rilke and Eugene Delacriox. All teachings are gleaned from years of erudition.
There is one aspect I would slightly like to dwell on; all drawings are done in monochrome, a practice that contains a lot of magic perceived by artists since time immemorial. These are either done in charcoal, graphite, sepia or sanguine, a few of which have some form of gilding. This approach helps both student and onlooker appreciate the beauty of proportion, of form and conception of the work undeterred by colour. For example, observing the cover drawing by Candice Bohannon, the shades of grey are broken only by the warm foliage on the hair, the perfect still figure in strictly natural proportions stands as though in a state of trance, the entire drawing fills the onlooker's mind with a myriad colours. Leaving one wishing for more.
I love the workbook aspect of this book. Juliette gives great instructions that build gradually off of each other. I have seen great improvements in my drawings already. I apply all the lessons to my own work now.
This is a wonderful, concise book. Anyone who progressively completes the exercises will find themselves with much improved life drawing skills, along with well-earned solid confidence. Along with that every beautiful image is well chosen. That said, if you are left-handed (as am I) you will need to make a work-around to use the book. Lefties, it’s annoying, but we’ve been there before. The examples are on the left page, with a blank page on the right. The early simpler exercises are doable either upside down or using short term memory, since the sample will be covered with your hand as you work. For the later ones I’m using a separate dedicated sketchbook with a larger format attached with bulldog clips. On it I’ve drawn perimeter lines. Is it a pain in the wazoo! Yes. Is this book worth it. Yes indeed. So much so that if Juliette Aristides (and her publisher) chose to do a 2nd or limited run for left-handers I’ll gladly do the exercises all over again. It’s that worth it.