Book title: Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Quarry Books (July 1, 2010)
"Let's put fun back into drawing! I'm hoping to help you begin to see drawing as a pleasurable activity rather than an opportunity to beat yourself up" - Clara Sondheim
Carla Sonheim, the author of Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists, is a very smart and creative person. She also has a great sense of fun which is the key reason why Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists is such a great book. Over the course of the 52 drawing exercises she offers, each one is so interesting and fun that you find yourself running to get a pencil/paper and start drawing!
Although the book emphasizes traditional art practices, there is a great benefit it using these 52 projects to spur your creativity and craft in the digital arts. I especially like the idea of working through the fairly common attitude artists have of "it's just not good enough".
The layout of the book is very good. You get the materials section on the left with a brief description of the project along with several examples of the art that can be created from the project. I really like the "Taking it Further" section which appears in most projects. Clara encourages the artist with this section to take interesting work created in the initial project to "take it further" and use the project to create a more formal version of the work.
Carla's concise comments about various art techniques and styles also give the text an educational aspect that is most rewarding. Her intelligence in coming up with a surprising variety of ways to practice creating/drawing, plus here inexhaustible enthusiasm for creativity makes this a very special book for beginners and professionals alike.