Monday, June 19, 2017

Anywhere, Anytime Art: Watercolor by Barbara Roth

book cover
Anywhere, Anytime Art: Watercolor
by Barbara Roth


ISBN-13: 9781633221956
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing
Released: May 1, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from NetGalley:
Whether in your backyard or while traveling the world, Anywhere, Anytime Art: Watercolor is an inspirational, easy-to-use reference guide for artists who seek to expand their artistic horizons in new and adventurous ways.

After a basic overview of tools and materials, learn how to find inspiration and beauty everywhere and in everything. Discover how to create a portable pack-and-carry supply box to create art spontaneously, even while on the go. Basic drawing and painting techniques, approachable step-by-step projects, and instructions for working with tools outside the studio demonstrate how easy it is to draw and paint without too much advanced planning.

Anywhere, Anytime Art: Watercolor inspires artists of all skill levels to embrace their creative side to create beautiful works of art wherever they might be, from Monet's garden in Giverny, France, to sitting in their car on a rainy morning.


My Review:
Anywhere, Anytime Art: Watercolor is a art book that will help you create a portable watercolor kit or get set up to paint during short breaks. The author described what tools and materials are best suited for portable watercolor painting. She briefly described how to sketch a scene and then paint it, and how to do this from a photo. She very briefly described color theory and different watercolor techniques. She then provided 12 step-by-step painting projects that are fairly simple to draw and paint. The cover painting is one of those projects.

The author's basic technique is to sketch out a scene then paint in the colors with watercolor (without getting too detailed). While the author did give some tips that would be helpful for beginners, it's aimed at people already familiar with the basics of watercolor. For example, there are no pictures of what a "puddle of paint" looks like or how to do a flat wash. She assumes that you know what that means or can guess based on her text descriptions.

In the step-by-step projects, she tells the reader what colors to use for different objects and what technique to use to apply it. The changes between the steps were small enough that I could see what was being done and didn't feel confused about what she was describing. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those who like her style and want to go more portable.

I've tried a few of the step-by-step projects, and my end product looked better than my watercolors ever have in the past. I think it's having the pencil or ink along with the watercolor. I'm glad I tried out this book.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Quest for Security, 1715-1740 by Penfield Roberts

book cover
The Quest for Security, 1715-1740
by Penfield Roberts


Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Harper & Row
Released: 1963

Source: Bought at a Friends of the Library book sale.

Book Description:
Series about changes in Europe from medieval period to "modern" period.


My Review:
The Quest for Security, 1715-1740 is the eighth book in The Rise of Modern Europe series. It covered all of Europe during 1715-1740. The chapters were organized by topic. Some quotes from people from that time helped make it more interesting. The author's writing style was also more readable and interesting the the earlier books in this series that I've read.

The author talked about the changes in political and religious power, how wars affected things, economic and social changes (especially the changing concept of personal property), and new ideas in art and science. I was very interested to learn that the people we think of as "land owners" didn't actually own the land but merely had certain rights regarding the land (like rents, annuities, etc.). Now I wish I had a book that solely explored this topic as this book only covered one point in time.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mysteries of the Ancient World by National Geographic

book cover
Mysteries of the Ancient World

ISBN-13: 9780870442544
Hardback: 233 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Released: May 1, 1979

Source: Bought at a Friends of the Library book sale.

My Book Description:
The book covers cave paintings, neolithic Jericho, Çatal Hüyük, the Egyptian pyramids, the oldest known Indian cities, the various megaliths in Europe, the Minoans, the Mycenaens, the Etruscans, and the Easter Islander stone heads.


My Review:
Mysteries of the Ancient World looks at some ancient, mysterious civilizations. The author(s) write about visiting site, what they see, and what the people working on the site think about what the various structures were used for (which involves a lot of speculation). The basic attitude was that these ancient builders were intelligent, capable people. They simply didn't leave behind explanations of some of their more mysterious works.

The book covered cave paintings, neolithic Jericho, Çatal Hüyük, the Egyptian pyramids, the oldest known Indian cities, the various megaliths in Europe, the Minoans, the Mycenaens, the Etruscans, and the Easter Islander stone heads. About half of the book is full-color pictures of the sites and artifacts found there. I really enjoyed the pictures, and the text was interesting (though it's more a survey of ideas than a close look at the structures).


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.