Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Expressive Sketchbooks: Developing Creative Skills, Courage, and Confidence

Expressive Sketchbooks is a tutorial and technique guide for developing artistic skills and confidence by Helen Wells. Released 14th April 2020 by Quarto on their Quarry imprint, it's 144 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

I enjoy writing and journaling. I like putting into words what I've been experiencing and processing in my day-to-day existence. I am a huge list-maker and find that for me, prioritizing different goals and dividing large projects into smaller tasks increases my productivity greatly. On the other hand, probably half of the gorgeous notebooks, sketchbooks, journals, and other paper books I bought with the best intentions sit still wrapped in plastic, unused, in my bookshelves. I am intimidated and sad/frustrated by my 'lack' of artistic talent. That's where this book helps.

The author has an accessible and encouraging style of instruction. It's a restful book to read and quite appealing graphically. Through guided instruction, she provides help with motivation, getting over starting difficulties, actual artistic techniques, finding inspiration, choosing subjects,  and more practical lessons for getting over the intimidation of the blank page staring at you. (This was the most valuable takeaway for me personally).

This is a good book for bullet journals, sketchbooks, art diaries, building up a sketchbook library, art practice, mindfulness, etc.

I really loved the author/artist's wise words and advice about self kindness and avoiding being cruel with ourselves with regard to assessment.

Four stars. Lots of useful advice and accessible information.

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

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