Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh no! I fell on Half Price Books

I am sure I am not the only one who has this problem, but Abe sure isn't one of them. Whenever I go to a book store, I can easily find a dozen books to get. I don't even have time to read, so I mostly get reference books. Particularly art reference books. So when I have time to read some day, this problem will be even worse. You know what Abe came away with? Luxor 2 (an awesome video game). This weekend, Half Price Books had a 20% off sale and I fell for it hard. I thought we weren't going to go, but Abe got off work early on Sunday and we made a day of it. Including finally get me some pants. But no one wants to hear about pants. What about the books?!

Gnomes by Huygen, 1976; Giants by David Larkin, 1979
I love all these books from when I was a kid. I don't know if I have the fairies one the my mom had when I was little, but now I have the Giants and Gnomes books. The art in these is just amazing and if you have not looked through and read these books, you really need to. They are so creative and fun. I love how they are written like the creatures are all real. Definitive facts rather than myth.

A Master Class in Drawing and Painting Landscapes by Sarah Hoggett and Abigail Edgar, 2009
This book actually covers a variety of mediums: graphite, charcoal, ink, colored pencils, pastels, watercolor, gouache, oil, and acrylic. There are different landscape objects: clouds, trees and bark, grass, rocks, water, light, rain, etc. Then there are a bunch of projects to practice grouped by the natural and those invaded by people. Looks like a fun book to work through with lots of handy information.

The Printmaking Handbook by Louise Woods, 2008
This, I can tell from the images on the cover, is a small version of the Complete Printmaking book my mom has. It includes lots of different printmaking, too: relief printing (monoprint, linocuts, and wood blocks), intaglio (engraving and cutting, which I thought would include linocuts and wood blocks), lithography, screenprinting, photocomposition, and alternatives. I am particularly interested in the section on paper since that is the problem I am having with the crow comic and the reason I haven't printed it yet. I am a bit confused about the organization after a brief look, but perhaps it will make more sense after I am more thorough.

Watercolor Tips and Tricks by David Norman, 2009
I have only briefly flipped through this book, but it surely looks handy. I didn't see anything on painting grass in particular, but there is one on hair and fur. I think that could be applied to grass, which is the fur of the earth, right? :) But it has sections on different things you might like to paint and then often a demo. Like realistc skin color and then a demonstration of a woman in glasses. Painting smoke and mist includes a demo on painting the bridge at Brantome. It also includes information on techniques, like washes and painting wet-on-dry or wet-into-wet. I'll have to glance through this book closer before my next water color.

Sumi-e Kit by Shingo Syoko, 2002
Wowie-wow-wow. This is a kit that comes with a little book, that actually looks pretty good. But the best part is that it is a kit. A few pages of rice paper, three smaller brushes, an ink stone, and two ink sticks (red and black). The book includes all things in brief: history, materials, how-to, and practice strokes. Then it has lessons! Bamboo, plum blossoms, orchids, chrysanthemum. Though the lessons mostly focus on plants, there are a coupl pages on wild life in general, and the carp and lobsters in particular. The final section is about experimenting. I think this will be a great book to restart with. Once I get the hang of it from this book, I can move on to the slightly more complex and detailed Complete Sumi-e Techniques that I used with my mom on our vacation. And now I get to try the ink stone instead of teh sumi ink bottle. Which I think will make a big difference. Sounds like a lot of work. Grinding the ink takes a few minutes, but the book mentions "this quiet and repetitions actions has a calming effect, helping to clear the mind in preparation for the painting you are about to do" (19). And it looks like not a single thing has been used, even though the section with the ink and brushes has been opened. Though it has some bad reviews on Amazon, I think they expected more than a simple starter kit.

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