Saturday, October 4, 2008

Complete Guide to Drawing

I have been drawing for forty years now and from time to time have instructed others who were wanting to improve their own skills. In all of that time I have never seen what I thought was a really good comprehensive book on drawing that would be good for both the novice and the one who is already beginning to master some skills in drawing - until now. Recently, while browsing through one of the major chain book stores, I ran across this guidebook by Giovanni Civardi in the discount section. It is published by Search Press. And, as the title states, it really is complete! At 376 pages, it incorporates what were published separately as six different shorter books. The six chapters cover: techniques, portraits, clothed figures, hands & feet, scenery, and light & shade (chiasrocuro). The techniques range from basic to advanced and a wide variety of drawing media is demonstrated. Some fo the drawings look a little dated but the book is a recent publication. And Giovanni's skills and instruction are excellent. If you are looking for a book that covers the full range of drawing skills and subjects, this is the one! By the way - for you mothers of teen aged boys - most drawing guides that include figures have several nudes in them. This book has one or two (sketches, not photos), which is probably the least you will be able to find in a book that includes figure drawing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Knight, Death and the Devil

Recently I met with a priest for a long over due confession and he described to me this print, observing that it was a great example of Christian perseverance. Notice how the knight is unwavering in moving forward. Death and Satan do not distract him from his goal. In fact, the knight's undistracted resolve seem to communicate the same to his horse and dog as well. For, they too march forward looking straight ahead. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil . . ."

While this is a masterpiece of draftsmanship, it is also inspiring as you consider the story that it tells.

According to the Met: "The artist may have based his depiction of the 'Christian Knight' on an address from Erasmus's Instructions for the Christian Soldier (Enchiridion militis Christiani), published in 1504: 'In order that you may not be deterred from the path of virtue because it seems rough and dreary … and because you must constantly fight three unfair enemies—the flesh, the devil, and the world—this third rule shall be proposed to you: all of those spooks and phantoms which come upon you as if you were in the very gorges of Hades must be deemed for naught after the example of Virgil's Aeneas … Look not behind thee.'"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Phone Control

Believe it or not there is actually a website that specializes in selling electronics that don't beep. I like that. The constant annoying reminders from beeping electronics makes me feel like I will need to wear a straight jacket soon.