Unlearning To Draw (Learning To See book 4) by Peter Jenny (book review)

November 23, 2017 | By | Reply More

‘Unlearning To Draw’ is probably the most advanced of these ‘Learning To See’ books but does have a fatal flaw for people like me. Peter Jenny thinks everyone has family photo albums that you can draw (sic) upon to use as your models. If you haven’t, can I suggest an alternative and you start collecting photos from newspapers and magazines that look interesting and give a selection of poses as your starting base and then follow the lessons he shows.

He also wants to expand your linework and shows a few pages at the beginning of the book to show what each pencil, pen and brush does. One thing I wish he covered is the couple of ways you can vary the line by not only using it as a pen but also along its side which with softer pencils gives a wider stroke. With a little tilting you can also in one pass go from a fine to a wider line which is useful not only in drawing by calligraphy if you have an italic nib.

Jenny also gives a small nod towards perspective, portrait and caricature. Much of the onus is get encourage you to experiment which should inspire your motivation to put something on paper rather than just stare at it and think you’re looking inside a glass of milk.

The one problem with any set of photographs is that you’re only as good as the person who took the snaps in the first place. Jenny himself says use the photos as a starting off point, hence my comments that this will work with any photographs you might have. If you can even get a passing resemblance to real people then compare to where you were a few months ago and realise drawing isn’t so difficult after all then you’re making progress.

GF Willmetts

November 2017

(pub: Princeton Architectural Press/Abrams Books, 2015. 207 page illustrated A6 small paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK), $12.95 (US). ISBN: 978-1-61689-373-6)

check out websites: www.papress.com and www.abramsandchronicles.co.uk

Category: Books, Illustration

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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