Realistic Animals in Colored Pencils — Review

Thought for the Day:

“One day work is hard, and another day it is easy; but if I had waited for inspiration I am afraid I should have done nothing. The miner does not sit at the top of the shaft waiting for the coal to come bubbling up to the surface. One must go deep down, and work out every vein carefully.”
~ Arthur Sullivan, composer ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Ah, the unreliable narrator — something every writer needs to know about. HERE is a great article from Writer’s Digest by Deb Caletti with 8 Tips to Writing the Unreliable Narrator. This is long, but boy, howdy, does she have lots of good examples.

I know I have confidence problems when it comes to my writing. HERE Katie McCoach has a good article on A Writer’s Path called How to tackle Your Writing Confidence Issues.

We see a lot of posts about first pages and first lines, but not many about last pages. HERE Anne R. Allen has a great post called Why the Last Page of Your Novel is as Important as the First.

It was a stunning week in politics, and, yes, I include SCOTUS in the term politics, something I would never have done anytime earlier in my long life. I fear for our democracy. Other than that, I have had an exciting week watching Wimbledon. I only watch two tennis tournaments each year — the French Open and Wimbledon, but I don’t let anything get in the way of those. It’s so exciting to watch the young up-and-comers taking on the old guard. I was sad to see Coco Gauff bow out so early after her great play at the French, but it seemed she never quite was able to get comfortable on grass. It is a difficult surface. Yesterday I watched the most exciting match I have watched in years. It was Kyrgios vs. Tsitsipas. Boy, howdy, were there ever fireworks on the court during that match! So much fun! There is another week of Wimbledon, so you still have time to get in on the fun.

Last week I offered a gently-read paperback of The Turtle of Michigan by Naomi Shihab Nye to one of you. This week’s winner is Danielle Hammelef, who always shares my link for extra chances. Congratulations, Danielle! Thanks for getting the word out. I will get your book out to you soon.

The book I want to talk about this week is Realistic Animals in Colored Pencil: Learn to draw lifelike animals in vibrant colored pencil (Realistic Series) by Bonny Snowdon. It isn’t written specifically for middle-graders, but it certainly is something that will be of interest to a LOT of middle-graders along with many others. I remember walking around classrooms when I was teaching and training to be a teacher, and I was always astonished by the art I saw everywhere — in the margins, on tests and papers, and, yes, on the desks. So many talented kids! I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they haven’t yet put any limitations on their abilities. If that can be encouraged, we will have a lot more artistic kids. This book will encourage that talent. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review.

Bonny Snowdon & Friend

Whether one is a beginner or more advanced artist, whether one draws for relaxation or to earn a living, this book will show the steps necessary to make illustrations of animals with colored pencils that have photographic realism to them. The introductory section has a very in-depth discussion of materials: pencils, both wax- and oil-based, erasers, pencil extenders, sharpeners, and a wide variety of papers and boards. Several pages are devoted to the techniques of using colored pencils, followed by a long section with step-by-step instructions and plenty of close-up pictures of the steps in the process of drawing a life-like animal. This section discusses facial expressions, tonal values, eyes, noses, ears, teeth & tongues, and hair & fur. There are five projects — Kitten, Labrador Retrievers, Zebras, Peacock, and Horse. The writing is very conversational, and the instructions are clear while not coming across as at all didactic. Each project section starts with the photograph the artist will copy and a list of the materials needed for the project. The instructions and example drawings for each step complete the section. This is a book that will inspire artists of many levels of experience to succeed.

Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

7 thoughts on “Realistic Animals in Colored Pencils — Review”

  1. I know many kids who would enjoy this title. I also see a lot of kids doodling and ending up with some pretty unique pictures. Thanks for the links but they will have to wait until later in the week when life slows down. Happy 4th and I appreciate you being a part of MMGM.


  2. I’ve never felt I could draw, but I’d love to try. Also, I have artistic grandchildren. Thanks as always, Rosi.


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