Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Realism Challenge by Mark Crilley

book cover
The Realism Challenge:
Drawing and Painting Secrets from a Modern Master of Hyperrealism
by Mark Crilley

ISBN-13: 9780385346290
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Released: May 5, 2015

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
A captivating, step-by-step guide that teaches artists to draw and paint exact duplicates of common objects, rendered in the trompe l'oeil, hyperrealistic style of artist Mark Crilley's popular YouTube video series.

With just watercolors, colored pencils, and white gouache, artist Mark Crilley takes you step-by-step through his process for producing stunning, hyperrealistic recreations of everyday items. The Realism Challenge contains thirty lessons demonstrating how to render mirror-like duplicates in the trompe l’oeil tradition of everything from shells, leaves, and candy bars to your very own still life arrangements. Each lesson builds off the previous one, as you’ll master essential artistic techniques like creating drop shadows, adding highlights, and building from light to dark. Learn the secrets of one of hyperrealism’s biggest stars.

My Review:
The Realism Challenge is a how-to art book on the hyperrealistic style of illustration. The author's step-by-step lessons use Bristol board paper, graphite pencils (usually just for the initial work), colored pencils (for color detail), and watercolor (for larger areas of color). He assumed that you're familiar with using graphite, colored pencils, and watercolor, but he also gave hints about how to get certain effects with them in case you're a beginner. You could probably get away with just colored pencils if you don't have or wish to use watercolor.

This book was very good at teaching the reader the skills needed to make hyperrealistic illustrations. Once learned, those skills can be applied to hyperrealistic illustration of any subject. He broke each step down enough that I could both understand and see what he was doing at that point in the illustration. I have currently completed some of the initial lessons/challenges, and my drawing has definitely improved.

I think this book would be a great help to anyone just starting with hyperrealism--or with any drawing, for that matter, as it forces you to really see the object you're drawing. It's appropriate for teenagers and adults as long as you have the patience to put in the necessary detail. And we're talking hours (though not necessarily all at one time) for the later projects.

The Challenges:
BLACK & WHITE: torn paper, crumbled paper, broken eggshell

BASIC COLOR: popcorn, sliced mushroom

BASIC TEXTURE IN COLOR: piece of cardboard, seashells, cookie

BRIGHT COLORS: Fall leaf, toast with jam

ADVANCED SURFACES: piece of porcelain plate, carved wood head, cut rose, folded lace doily, strawberries

TRANSPARENT OBJECTS: clear glass bottle, clear glass box, marbles (and a piece of string), clear plastic bottle, assortment of glass objects

METALLIC SURFACES: spoon, crinkled tin foil, rusted chrome hub, metal Christmas bell, assortment of metallic objects

MANUFACTURED OBJECTS: plastic turtles, torn envelope with stamps, metal salt and pepper shakers, candy bar with shiny packaging, assortment of all types

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: You can view a "Look Inside" this book at Amazon.

No comments: