Nature Works Press, 2004
Reviewer Sissy Jacobson
If you have ever longed to draw something you see, but just can’t get it to look like the subject, then your ability is as abysmal as mine. I even took pen and ink and tole painting lessons and I know my teachers wanted to tell me to forget it. But then I didn’t have Irene Brady either. In ILLUSTRATING NATURE, Irene points out the difference in seeing things with the left-brain, then teaching how to “look” with the right, creative part of the brain. Once she shows you how to see the object, she illustrates how to let the picture flow from the brain, through the arm and hand to the paper, then teaches you to capture your subject with step-by-step instructions and illustrations. The right brain/ left brain exercises are simple to use and make learning fun.
This book is written and illustrated in such a way that it can be used by children in classrooms or in homeschooling, teens, and advanced artists who feel they could use that extra touch in their work. Along with the art, one learns to look at nature in a whole new light, which also makes this an excellent guide for field studies and nature walks. Students learn to look below the surface of nature, take pictures, and gather specimens to study and sketch back in the classroom.
Some of the Chapter Headings are as follows:
Starting Out with the Right Brain
Texture & Tone, Halftone in Perspective
Texture & Tone, Line Art Techniques
Advanced Field Sketching Techniques
And seven more chapters, each building one on the other. The list of art supplies begins as simple as pencil and paper, increasing to different types of pens and inks, paper, and technical pens. Instructions are simple and concise but never boring. I plan to lend this book to my daughter who is an artistically talented fifth grade teacher. She may be able to use it in her classroom.
I have bought many books in the past, trying to learn to sketch, but there is nothing out there to compare with the talent Irene Brady brings to her field. If you are interested in art as a hobby or as a teaching tool, I highly recommend this book. This and other books by Irene Brady are available online at http://www.natureworkspress.com/IllustratingNature.html.
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