“If talent exists, my definition of it is this: it is the capacity to spend innumerable hours doing something and believe that somehow it matters. And perhaps if somehow God had a hand in it, it was in planting that tenacity in us.” -Sketch! by France Belleville-Van Stone
I recently signed up for Blogging for Books, which I’m loving! What’s nice about it is that they mail me a book and I read it and review it at my leisure, as long as it’s within three-ish months. Not only that, but I choose the book, which I like because I don’t want to spend my time reading a book I’m uninterested in.
Sketch! by France Belleville-Van Stone was marketed towards both artists and non-artists alike. I was interested in it because I have a hard time with my sketches. I’m a perfectionist, so if I can’t make it perfect I either don’t sketch or I hide it from all eyes but mine. I don’t want to be this way, though! I hadn’t previously heard of this author/artist, but she also includes several extremely detailed drawings of her’s in the book and I was greatly impressed.
First things first: the experience of this book. When I pulled this book out of the box I had to hug it. This is one of the most comfortable books I’ve ever held. The size is comfortable to hold and the pages stay in place easily when reading, reducing hand pain. The feel of the cover and pages is somehow soft. I don’t know how this works, but I found a couple books at the book store the other day that felt similar, so I guess it’s a new thing. Soft covers is a thing I want to continue. The pages also have a wonderful thickness with a wonderful design. The sketches are places throughout the pages in a way that’s extremely pleasing to the eye and comfortable to read.
Sketch! did a wonderful job explaining that we don’t have to worry about our sketches being perfect. Many of them will be full of flaws and we’ll hate them, but the process of practice and more practice will make your sketches continue to improve. Instead of putting off drawing because you don’t have several hours to do something really detailed just draw a sketch of something that’s around you, and learn to embrace the flaws.
The author knows very little about drawing supplies, however I like the freedom she offers. While I want high quality materials when I’m sitting down for an art project, it’s good to have freedom to sketch whenever I have the opportunity. Not to hold off just because I have a cheap piece of paper and a pen I found in the bottom of my purse. She’s also able to do some quite amazing pieces with these materials, something of which I would like to learn.
While I wished the book could have featured more sketching styles, I realize that shouldn’t of been expected since it’s written by a single artist/author, therefore she could only use her own work as an example. However, she did mention several other artists who I look forward to looking up for inspiration. The end of the book features advice on drawing on tablets and phones and a whole chapter on sketching inspiration, perfect for anyone not sure how to get started.
I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to seeing if it will help my frequency of sketching, since I often put it off if I’m ill, busy, or don’t have all of my drawing supplies with me.
Do you enjoy sketching? Would you call yourself an artist?
This book was provided to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.