BOOK REVIEW: The Realism Challenge by Mark Crilley

Janet Embrey

5 Stars

October 23, 2016

Which is real; which is the painting?  It is very difficult to distinguish!  This book answers in detail, “How do they do that?”  Not being an artist myself, but admiring the process, I really enjoyed reading through this book.  Yes, I skipped through some of the technical sections.  But, the author has the book so simply broken down into the basic subject matter that I feel I walked away with the main points. 

First, you must be able to draw (given).  Second, the book addresses many ways to develop the keen eye for detail needed to produce a realistic drawing.  The first exercises on shadows are to draw a torn paper, a crumpled paper, and a cracked eggshell.  Brilliant!  One exercise I particularly liked was the Toast with Jam because it was comprehensive – the shape of the jam on the toast, the texture of the toast, the shaded coloration of the toast, and so on.  It was a real eye opener!    I can see the benefit to these understandings in my 3D work.

The entire book is filled with exercises and guidance on these drawing and painting topics:  Shadows, color, surfaces, transparent objects, and manufactured objects.