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Bet Borgeson - Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner

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Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner

Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner

Bet Borgeson
Bet Borgeson, Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner,published by Watson-Guptill (New York) 1998. Available in paperback, 18x25 cm, with 140 color and 10 black and white illustrations.

Bet Borgeson is widely regarded as one of the finest colored pencil artists and teachers in America. This book, Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner is an ambitious work by virtue of the range of material that Borgeson seeks to cover. Not only does the book introduce the medium of colored pencil, but also key artistic concepts and philosophies, approaches to developing as an artist, as well as essential points on professionalism. The book is copiously illustrated with examples from Borgeson's own work, including stage-by-stage tutorials, use of source of photography, and samples of color swatches demonstrating color application and blends. The reproductions are of excellent quality and convey the fine texture and color variations very well.

The first chapter of the book is devoted to materials selection, briefly but efficiently covering paper, pencils, tools and workspace setup. Personally I would like to see a little more specific information on papers and pencils, but there is certainly adequate content here to enable the reader to head for the art store well informed.

The following chapters cover a broad range of artistic issues, particularly color, mixing, blending, layering, and composition.

Creative elements, such as division of space, treatment of edges and the fine art of understatent are explored. Step-by-step demonstrations explain lifting and impressed line techniques in detail. Borgeson also demonstrates the progression of a drawing from first sketches and color ideas through to the finished work. Landscape elements are explored at some length, from a minimal, almost impressionistic approach through to more naturalistic, realist handling of the subject, including tips on drawing the sky and clouds, as well as approaches to abstracted, imaginary landscape.

The last chapter of 'Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner' offers advice on developing as an artist and professional practice issues, such as submitting for exhibitions and competitions, drawn from Borgeson's years of experience as a colored pencil artist.

All up, this book is a valuable resource, even for a more advanced artist, which I know I shall return to on a regular basis. The focus on still life and landscape will mean that portrait artists may want to supplement this volume with something specific to portrait drawing, and 'raw beginners' might want the addition of a beginner drawing book.

Bet Borgeson offers a wealth of information that any beginning artist will find worthwile, written in a friendly and informal yet economical style, with useful tips scattered throughout the book. Particularly interesting are the many critical assessments of the examples in the book, problem-solving and explaining the thought process behind composition and color selection.
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