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Summer Reading - books for all ages.
Featured Resource


Drawing Nature

 

Drawing Nature

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Publisher: North Light Books

Author: Stanley Maltzman

List Price: $19.99

Ages: 15-18 Years

Reviewed By: Jean Hall

 
Drawing Nature was nearly impossible to review! The book must have magical qualities, for within minutes of its arrival in our home it disappeared, popping up sporadically in the most surprising places (the car, the bathroom, in someone's bed, under someone's bed, under the sofa, and more), but never long enough for me to secure it to see what was inside those soft covers...

...until the day, a week or so later, that I found our eight-year-old's drawing of a barn on a hillside. "Who drew this?" I asked, for I did not recognize anyone's hand in particular.

"I did!" she said, popping up from her book.

"You?" I asked in astonishment. The picture bore no resemblance to the barn drawn the previous week. "Where did you learn to draw like this?"

She grinned and pulled Drawing Nature out from its current hiding place (under the sofa). "With this," she said matter-of-factly.

I jumped on the emerging book and quickly took it prisoner, clapping it in irons long enough for me to look through it and write a review.

Capture the Beauty of the Outdoors Using Pencils and Other Drawing Materials is the subtitle on the cover, and indeed, the drawings in the book, even those used to illustrate various techniques, are beautiful.

The author thoroughly discusses materials (such mundane things as paper, pencils of graphite and charcoal, erasers, sharpeners, and the like) in the first chapter, with many illustrations to show examples of various combinations: e.g. this type of pencil on that type of paper.

Chapter 2, "Getting the Most from Your Pencil", gets you started in your drawing, introducing several different techniques and drawing methods after an inviting discussion on how to choose a subject in the first place. Something I learned here was how to take several elements of a landscape and combine them in new ways to create your picture. In all my years of sketching I confess I never thought of that!

After Chapter 3, which teaches you how to compose your picture, the author devotes the next few chapters to things you could expect to see in a natural setting, and how best to capture them: trees, clouds, snow, barns, grass, rocks, and water. Mr. Maltzman wraps up the book with a chapter aimed at "putting it all together", using "various drawing materials on a variety of papers and surfaces." It is fascinating to peruse the step-by-step pictures, watching a landscape emerge that is a feast to the eyes and a tribute to the beauties of Creation.

In conclusion, the author urges the reader to get out and start drawing! He includes a final chapter on storing and framing the resulting drawings. In addition, the book is indexed for easy access to specific details.

As I said, this was a difficult review to write. Indeed, when I wanted to go over the book a last time after finishing the review, I found the book had slipped its bonds and flown free. Who knows where it will pop up next?

In the meantime, the girls' drawings are looking suspiciously lifelike.
 
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Purchase Now From the Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center
 
Jean Hall
Jean Hall, a Christian home educator with three daughters, enjoys writing stories and music. Her family's interests include reading together, art, gardening, volkswalking and pets: two cats and a Giant Schnauzer.
 
Copyright © 2004 Eclectic Homeschool Association
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