I love a good book, especially art books! Here's some great ones that I've had the pleasure of reading through recently.
by Helen Birch
This book is only around 5" x 7", but don't let it's cute small size fool you, this book is packed full of inspiration & painting techniques from contemporary artists. It covers everything from traditional watercolor, gouache, digital, mixed media, other water-based media, and non-paper media and contains material needed, tips, instructions, and a super handy visual index that I've used to find paintings I was interested in when first reading through it.
The author, Helen Birch is a prolific artist based in the UK. She is also the author of the highly popular blog drawdrawdraw. Her previous book is Freehand:Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art. Birch teaches courses in art and design, fine art, and illustration at Bradford School of Arts and Media.
by Carol Marine
Confession: this book came at the perfect time for me. I have been stuck in a creative rut, only making time for the creative work that I have to do and not doing any of the ones that I really want to do & that feed my creative soul. I'm working on applying a lot that I've read in this book, so stay tuned for an upcoming article on that.
Author Carol Marine, who blogs at Painting a Day (or Almost) was herself suffering from painter's block - until she discovered the now wildly popular method of "daily painting." The idea is simple: do art (usually small) often (how often is up to the individual). It's such a great discipline to establish for yourself!
In the book she offers a unique system for jump-starting artistic creativity, encouraging experimentation and growth, and increasing productivity for artists of all levels. In addition to some basic lessons on composition, color, and supplies, Marine provides advice on the benefits of having a daily painting practice and offers tips on setting up a routine, taking the pressure off & the ego out of creating art, fitting art into a busy life, ways to combat artist's block, learning the rules and then breaking them.
by France Belleville-Van Stone
Urban sketching, the process of sketching on the go as a regular practice, is a hot trend! Author, France Belleville-Van Stone, a self-taught French artist who now lives and teaches in New Jersey, encourages readers to craft a sketching ritual of their own and devote more time to art, even if it's just 10 minutes a day. She offers motivation to move beyond the comfort zone, as well as instruction on turning rough sketches into finished work.
Besides all the great illustrations and techniques, the author includes a list of daily sketch prompts, tips , ideas on how to draw when time & resources are limited, and going digital with your work. By sharing her own creative process, Belleville-Van Stone inspires you to rethink your daily practice and to sketch for the pure joy of it and to document your life and the world around you.
So, if you're in a place in your life like I am where you need to find new ways to relight the creative flame or get practical advice on how to apply skills then these books are worth looking into! All of them are available at Amazon and other fine book sellers.
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