Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Playful Painting: People: Whimsical projects and clever techniques for painting any likeness

Playful Painting: People is a new inspiration and tutorial book from Sarah Walsh. Released 7th August 2018 by Quarto publishing's Walter Foster imprint, it's 144 pages and available in softbound/paperback format.

I love crafting and painting, drawing, fibrecrafts and creative hobbies in general.  I am not a gifted representational painter and this has bothered me a fair bit over the years.  I am completely convinced that generally people (me!) who learn the right techniques can draw and paint to a satisfying level.  I've been told that it's a matter of seeing and visualizing and for some reason between my optic nerves and the peripheral nerves controlling my fingers something vital gets lost.

Anyhow, this book is a lovely, lighthearted look at recognizable representational painting with people as the subject.  In other words, how to get a likeness on the paper which other people can recognize as the person you intended to paint.

This tutorial book gives step by step instructions (with illustrations) for 18 portraits including Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Frida Kahlo, Louis Armstrong and more, along with more generic subjects like 'ad man', 'hipster guy', and 'girl with flowers in her hair'.

The author has a penchant for gouache, but gives general tips on the use of color and shading, and the techniques can easily be adapted for other media. The emphasis here is on lightening up and having fun with the process (see the cover art). There is no hyperrealism here.

This book is a fun antidote for the would-be artist who is afraid to put pen to paper.  There is a lot of info and encouragement here.  I could see this being a good support resource for a classroom art module for middle grades and older.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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