Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Book Review: Drawing and Painting Flowers with Coloured Pencils - Trudy Friend

Book Title: Drawing and Painting Flowers with Coloured Pencils
Author: Trudy Friend
Publisher: The Search Press
ISBN: 978-1-84448-942-8
Published: 2014, Reprinted 2015
Pages: 144, Colour illustrations
RRP: £15.99

Who For: Intermediate amateur and professional artists wishing to try coloured pencils.

In Drawing and Painting Flowers with Coloured Pencils, Trudy Friend demonstrates the versatility and flexibility of coloured pencils. The book guides the reader from starting out with pencils and materials to tackling complicated compositional pieces.

In the first section, Friend introduces her choice of pencils: the Derwent range. She guides the newcomer through the various types and describes their characteristics and possible methods of application. Coloured pencils are not what they used to be many years ago, these days they are a medium for professional work of the highest quality. This is very evident in Friend's many demonstrations which the book is packed with.

The other sections take the reader through a logical and well organised topics. This makes it possible to dip into the sections rather than reading the book cover to cover. Having said this, for the newcomer to coloured pencils, I would advise a good look through the book so that the various techniques are covered. 

There are two key aspects of the book which I really like. First is Friend's approach to using the full range of pencils, water and non-water soluble, in a multimedia technique. Thus making full use of the potential of the medium and achieving impressive results. Beginning artists may find the approach particularly helpful, especially if watercolour is a medium they are familiar with.

Using coloured pencils in a multi-media approach

The second, is the way Friend uses objects to give the flower paintings and drawings substance and context. For example, she uses objects such as a water pump, a pair of old boots, and even a bicycle! The compositions are effective and the various elements support each other. This is particularly useful for artists who may find painting flowers in a 'botanical' style not easy or not what they want. These compositions can also be found in most gardens

Including objects to give context to paintings

Coloured pencils are the medium of the future. More and more professional artists are finding its versatility, and lucky for us manufacturers of art materials are responding to the demand. New and exciting products are being introduced regularly..

The book will serve the reader well as both an instructional and inspirational resource.

Mo Awkati

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