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The Life and Mind of DamnBlackHeart
This is to help me stay actively writing. So expect to see rants, tips on writing, thoughts on subjects, me complaining of boredom, reviews, anime, movies, video games, conventions, tv shows and whatever life throws at me.
Book Review: Foundations of Drawing by Al Gury
From a leading art instructor (Al Gury) at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, a complete survey of drawing as an art form covering its history, materials, and key techniques, alongside step-by-step demonstrations.

Foundations of Drawing is a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the history, aesthetics, methods, and materials of the drawing medium. Throughout, clearly defined demonstrations provide easy access to the practice of drawing as well as the history and development of core drawing techniques. Richly illustrated, the book contains reproductions of the finest master drawings from the fifteenth century to the present. Unlike other drawing instruction books that focus on step-by-step lessons exclusively, Foundations of Drawing provides readers with the context and background to help understand just why these materials and methods are so vital for successful drawing.

If you’re ever consider taking a class on art, especially majoring in it one of the mains things you’ll learn first is the history of it. Then you get into the types of materials used to create art, the techniques, developing or fine tuning your drawing skills with lots of practice and more. From personal experience I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book covers a lot of things that I’ve learned in school.

I can definitely see this being something that many teachers may recommend for their first time art students to get as a guide or for older students as a reminder when they need to refresh their memory. After all, the author is Al Gury who is Chairman of the Painting Department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and the purpose of his book is to “create the atmosphere of my drawing classroom and the rich conversations with my students on materials, concepts, aesthetics, and history” which he does exactly.

The first chapter in the book covers the history of art. It’s brief, but does an excellent job in going through various periods to see what styles were popular back then and what evolved over time. The second chapter focuses on drawing materials, the tools, how to use them and what papers works the best. It even includes how to frame, protect and store your drawing. The third chapter is where you get into the drawing aspect. You learn how to blend, erase properly, types of lines, hatching, perspective, shading, composition, and so on. The fourth chapter is about the aesthetics in drawing, which is basically the study of beauty; the perceptions of it in Classicism, Realism, Abstraction and Expressionism. In the fifth and final chapter of the book is the drawing demonstrations which is where “all of the essential concepts, methods, materials, aesthetics and history described in earlier sections of Foundations of Drawing bear fruit in this chapter”.

The book is easy to understand and I do like the fact that it’s about exactly what it’s titled Foundations of Drawing. Just like I mention earlier it covers a lot of what I learned in art class. I also learned something that I didn’t know that much about which was other type of papers and drawing equipment such as a view finder. It was an interesting to read and I enjoyed it. I felt like I was back in school doing a review of what I learned. I recommend it for first time art students or anyone interested in drawing.

[Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.]

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