Sunday, February 24, 2008

A World History of Art

Art , they say, is as old as the human race itself. Some of the ancient rock art is so fascinating, so full of life and vigour, almost as if the artist was animating.

All-art.Org is a wonderful collection of art through the ages.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ballpoint Pen Art

The Ballpoint pen is almost always with you. It can serve as a sketching tool, without additional equipment. We all doodle with the ballpoint pen. If not for those endles meetings and the ballpoint pen, a large number of doodles would never have made their way out of their creators.

Here is a great website by Jerry Stith, dedicated to this fascinating art, to show what's possible with this medium. Works by various artists can be found here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Book Review: The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides

Truely a work of Art(In teaching, that is!)

This book takes a distinctly different approach to the study of art. there is no talk of copying a model or picture, or even talk of 'construction' or things such as perspective, and so on. But it takes a truely traditional approach in which the student is given the tools to study the subject in a perfectly natural and intiutive manner. makes you wonder why even have other ways of study.

The focus is on gesture, contour, mass, modeling. It is preferable to have a live model, or the figure as the subject, though it can be anything.

This book (or manual, or workbook, or textbook or Bible) really works. Its like taking a regular intensive training program in drawing.
First, let me tell about 'Other' books:Lots (Tons & Tons) of books are there in this subject. Problem is, they all have lots of drawings made by the author. Sometimes it is intimidating to take the first(important) steps because these drawings are so carefully made you just want to do the same. At the best, you learn to *Copy* an artist's art! :(Result ... you learn NOTHING.

In this book, you hardly see a 'perfect' drawing. All(almost) are scribblings..Natural scribblings. they are the work in progress of a learner. There are no drawings in this book to copy or reproduce !! Only methods and techniques & more importantly EXCERCISES !! This book does not give you Fish, instead it teaches you how to Fish! You will be able to draw anything & everything...Confidently !

If you are going to buy only one book in your life time, let this be the book. You probably don't need another!

For me, it has given a new lease of life to the artist in me. I can confidently say that I have begun learning art now!...

Note: I got hold of the book a long time back. Been practicing the lessons in the book on and off, as I find time. One thing that amazed me was when I look at the drawings that I drew before this book and my recent drawings. I cannot believe it. There was never in all my years did I have such a sharp improvement and *confidence* in drawing. Though there is still a long way to go, it is now very fulfilling to know I am on the right track .

This is an extract from my review at, You can find more of my reviews here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Drawing for Classical Animation

To visiualize action, the animator uses the pencil. Here is a nice set of lessons, simple and to the point.

Continue and enjoy this nice set of lessons at Karmatoons.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Famous Artists School Course

The Famous Artists School was an awsome school that was started in the late 40's by noted illustrators of the time such as Norman Rockwell. The school offered the courses by correspondence, and covered three areas. Painting, Commercial Art and Illustration, Cartooning.

I scouted for a copy for the Illustration course on eBay and elsewhere and lucky was I to hit the nice Antiquarian store in beautiful Monterey Bay. They are Capre Diem Fine books, I found them online, enquired about the books, the books were supposedly in excellent condition. This is the 1964 edition of the Illustration course. after a wait for a period of three weeks, they arrived by mail, and was that a large package !, since the binders containing the course material are oversized and overweight. Its a shame that I had to pay more for shipping it to India, than the price of the books themselves. However when it arrived and I started to browse through them I was simply blown away.

This is one course that we need. nothing more. So detailed, so comprehensive, with lucid explanations, and ofcourse several drawings by these great set of illustrator-teachers.

The wondeful folks at ASIFA have a few lessons scanned and have them online. Check out the lessons on Compositon and Wash drawing, I'm sure you will be blown away. There are tons of information. I am delighted to have known that such a course exisits.
For that matter the school, Famous Artists School, is still up and running, albeit with different instructors.
more later..