...tracing of the reference itself contributes to the final artwork about as much as a chalk outline does to solving a murder.
Consider this: You're in college and you sign up for class for what you believe is Drawing 101. Your first day, you walk in and it only takes a minute before you realize this class is the capstone for an art major. Oops. But you're already in love with your professor. She is funny, smart, and knows her stuff! She is patient, kind, and you sort of want her to adopt you. So you go to your advisor, change the class to pass/fail, and spend the rest of your semester barely following along, but learning more than any of your friends will ever know.
This was my experience in receiving Colored Pencil Painting Portraits. I picked it thinking I could learn to draw with a medium I had at hand. One page into the book, I metaphorically took my Crayola pencils and -dreaded- cotton-based paper and threw them all out the window. Welp, I was in over my head. I can't draw and this woman was talking about FIXATIVE and SOLVENT and PAPER TEXTURES. What?!
But I kept reading. One, because I promised myself I'd finish 40 books this year (post coming soon!) and two, because I got this book in exchange for a review.
Aloyna Nickelsen makes this book her labor of love. She takes her expertise and shares it in a charming and thorough way. She has researched science, oil painting, and photography so that she could bring colored pencils into the world of fine art. And so she does!
All the time, she is funny and authentic. Her background as a spiritual person who left a Communist country for a better life is present in her off-handed comments peppered into her writing. This is not a woman obsessed with one thing only - she is living a full, beautiful life, and colored pencils are her chosen mastered skill and life's work. Have I mentioned I wish I could meet her?
Overall, if you're an artist - of ANY kind - read this book. She taught me more than I ever thought I'd know about art in general. I am sure I will in turn have a light bulb moment at some point in my life based on the knowledge she gave me. And if you do want to be a colored pencil artist, then you MUST get to know this and her other works. She is truly the master of her craft. Though I will never be painting portraits of anyone, with any medium, she made me want to go outside under my proverbial window, pick up my Crayola, and start to create. Even if it looks like the work of a three-year-old.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.