Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Drawing the Head for Artists by Oliver Sin

book cover
Drawing the Head for Artists
by Oliver Sin

ISBN-13: 9781631596926
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Quarry Books
Released: Aug. 6, 2019

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Written by celebrated portrait artist and veteran studio instructor Oliver Sin, this informative and beautifully illustrated volume leads readers step-by-step through his method, from establishing a point of view to applying the timeless principles for creating an accurate and expressive likeness.

Learn about necessary supplies and basic drawing techniques, including hatching, various stroke styles, and blending. Explore how the concepts of sight-sizing, value, negative space/shapes, and plane changes factor into a portrait’s underlying structure. Investigate how contrasting shapes, overlapping forms, and linear and atmospheric perspective are used to enhance depth. Examine how edges—contours as well as changes in value—are used to convey three-dimensional form.

My Review:
Drawing the Head for Artists teaches how to draw portraits using charcoal. The author talked about what tools to use and described some drawing techniques (both in general and for using charcoal). He then gave tips for drawing the head in proportion from the front, side, and three-quarters poses. He gave step-by-step directions for drawing the nose, eyes, ears, and mouth in each of these poses. Then he demonstrated the start-to-finish steps for doing a portrait. He also gave a step-by-step demonstration for hair and for facial hair.

He also talked about why you might use different lighting angles (three-quarters, rim, top, side, front, bottom), ways to make a portrait look less static, and how to convey the person's personality. He gave tips about drawing hats, scarves, collars, hands, children, the elderly, and the differences between men and women. He also talked about how do draw using toned papers and suggested some ways to create interesting background textures. This book is probably most useful to artists with some drawing experience, but I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their charcoal portrait drawing.

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, August 6, 2019

The Story of Painting by DK

book cover
The Story of Painting
by DK

ISBN-13: 9781465481788
Hardback: 360 pages
Publisher: DK Publishing
Released: Aug. 6, 2019

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
A fascinating new history of art, this gloriously illustrated book reveals how materials, techniques, and ideas have evolved over the centuries, inspiring artists and giving them the means to create their most celebrated works.

Covering a comprehensive array of topics, from the first pigments and frescos to linear perspective in Renaissance paintings, the influence of photography, Impressionism, and the birth of modern art, The Story of Painting follows each step in the developments in painting over the last 25,000 years, from the first cave paintings to the abstract works of the last 150 years. Packed with lavish color reproductions of paintings and photographs of artists at work and the materials they used, it also focuses on key paintings from each period to analyze the techniques and secrets of the great masters in detail.

My Review:
The Story of Painting is an art history book that's full of colorful pictures of painting, tools, artists, and such. The book started with cave paintings, Greek pottery, Roman statues, and frescoes and progressed throughout history to the modern day. The book covered information like the development of new technologies and how they impacted art trends, the different styles of art and how they developed, the different types of tools, materials, and pigments used over time, details about important paintings, biographies of significant artists, and information about the different methods of painting (like oil, watercolor, pastels, etc.). I found this book a very informative and enjoyable read. I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about art history (though probably not to someone who has already taken an actual art history course).

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.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman

book cover
The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, revised and updated
by Joni Marie Newman

ISBN-13: 9781592338849
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Released: July 23, 2019

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet takes the popular veggie burger to the next level of flavor and fun with more than 100 daringly delicious, internationally inspired vegan burgers—burgers that stack up to any patty around (meat-full or meat-free) and will wow not only your vegetarian and vegan friends, but all the skeptics, too.

In this revised edition of the original, you'll find more than 30 new recipes featuring healthier options, fewer processed ingredients, and more whole-food, plant-strong ingredients like jackfruit and aquafaba (plus icons for no added oil/salt/sugar, and even more gluten-free recipes!). You'll also find budget-friendly tips and tricks, a "fast-food favorites” section that recreates iconic favorites from popular chains, updated techniques, and alternative cooking methods to include the slow cooker and air fryer. The recipes include such favorites as:

Denver Omelet Breakfast Burger
BLT with Avocado Burger
Pulled "Pork" Sliders
Inside-Out Sushi Burger
Super Quinoa Burger
Sesame Bean Banh Mi Burger
Mac and Cheese Burger
Split Pea with HAMburger
Summer Squash Burger
Korean BBQ Burger

My Review:
The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet is a vegan burger (plus sides and sauces) cookbook. The author frequently used soy (texturized vegetable protein, tofu, miso, tempeh, soy milk, soy flour, soy sauce, etc.) or vital wheat gluten. Of the 106 burgers and 7 loose "meat" sandwiches, only about 25% of the recipes didn't use soy or could be easily converted to a non-soy ingredient. I think that the gluten-free recipes were about the same. That's still around 30 types of burger or sandwich recipes, though. Since I don't eat soy and don't add gluten to foods that don't naturally have it, this did limit the number of recipes that I could potentially use.

The author did use store-bought vegan "dairy" in some of the recipes (especially the sauces). Most of the recipes used ingredients that can be found in my grocery store, and the author tended to use the same base ingredients again and again (in slightly different combinations and/or combined with different spices), so you won't generally need to buy an ingredient that is used in only one recipe. The recipes made between 4 and 10 burgers.

There were 9 breakfast burgers, 12 beefy-tasting burgers (which usually used TVP), 10 bean-based burgers, 9 tofu-based burgers, 12 grain-based burgers, 12 veggie-based burgers, 16 gluten-based burgers (which used vital wheat gluten), 13 gluten-free burgers, 13 fast food mimic burgers, 7 loose "meat" sandwiches, 24 toppings, dips, and sauces, 8 buns and breads, and 17 fries, rings, and other sides.

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.