Saturday, January 1, 2011

Books for young artists

It's a new year, and maybe one of your new year's resolutions is to paint. Whether you're a beginner or need help learning more about the different techniques of painting, here are a group of helpful books with lots of great ideas. Look for them using the Amazon search box, or locate a copy at your local library using the World Catalog search engine here on BookBag. And have a colorful New Year!

A Book about Color, by Mark Gonyea (Henry Holt) Nonfiction. Doctors have to learn how human bodies work; lawyers have to learn how the law works (and how to win arguments about it); artists have to learn how color works. And believe it or not, the rules of using color can get pretty complicated! This book, however, explains art terms such as "primary," "secondary," and "analogous" in simple words and demonstrates them in pictures. It also shows how different colors can feel different--cheerful, dangerous, calm, or fun. Budding artists who like this book might also want to check out the author's books about design.

Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art, from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Philomel Books) Nonfiction. Do you ever think about the artists who illustrated your favorite picture books? If you're curious about how people become professional artists and illustrators, how they think about their artwork, what inspires them, or where they work, you'll love this book. It presents letters from 23 famous artists (from Maurice Sendak and Quentin Blake to Ashley Bryan, Jane Dyer, Eric Carle, and many more) written to kids who like to paint or draw, along with samples of the artists' work, a self-portrait of each artist, and photos of the artists in their studios.

Here's Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves,
by Bob Raczka (Millbrook Press) Nonfiction. While it's quite slim, this book introduces a whole world of intriguing things to ponder about the many styles, techniques, and meanings of art. To prove the point that there's no right or wrong way to create a picture of yourself, Here's Looking at Me presents the unique self-portraits of 14 renowned artists, both historic (as far back as the 1400s!) and modern-day. Author Bob Raczka points out interesting details in the portraits that you probably wouldn't notice otherwise--such as the tiny candles on the brim of Spanish painter Francisco de Goya's hat--and explains why the artist included them. Fans of this book will also want to check out Raczka's art books No One S
aw and More Than Meets the Eye.

Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always Wanted to Be, by Kathryn Temple (Lark Books) Nonfiction. This book's subtitle really means business! With lots of encouragement, visual examples, and step-by-step illustrations, Drawing shows how to master the basics of line drawing, light and shadow, proportion and scale, and perspective. It also includes chapters on "opening your artist's eyes"--yep, they're different from ordinary eyes--and on using the basics you learn to draw faces, bodies, and more. Anyone who wants to create realistic drawings (whether 10 years old or 100) will find fun and practical guidance here.

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