Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Portfolio: Beginning Pen & Ink: Tips and techniques for learning to draw in pen and ink

Portfolio: Beginning Pen & Ink is a technique and tutorial guide on building up familiarity with pen and ink. Released 5th March 2019 by Quarto on their Walter Foster imprint, it's 128 pages and available in paperback format.

Whenever I read art/tutorial books, I try to read them with an eye toward what they offer me that is new to me. I liked that the Ms. Lee has a very informal, supportive, and upbeat writing style with concrete suggestions for figuring out what you need to improve as an artist to proceed and steps to do so. Her personal style is appealing and very meticulous with just a touch of whimsy. There's enough realism included in the lessons that it would have relevance to people leaning toward illustration (anatomy/biology/natural sciences, like me) and also purely emotional/whimsical fancy (also me, in my 'off-work' time).

This is a beginner's manual. The tutorials start without assuming any previous experience. She includes an introduction to tools and supplies as well as a good and logical progression through the lessons from making marks on support surfaces (paper) through applying the practice lessons in complete projects.

I especially liked the tutorial on texture and shading. Very well done. Not unique, by any means, but a well done chapter with lots of tutorial exercises.

She also doesn't sugarcoat the process (which leads beginners to believe they just aren't artistically talented) - it's a skill and it takes practice over time to acquire). The book contains the word "practice" over 20 times.

Well done instruction with engaging and appealing pictures.

Four stars.

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

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