Enjoy Your Artistic Summer With Hannah Konola

Hannah Konola is a graphic artist based in Helsinski, Finland. Her work here is very interesting, and it will help any amateur know how some of the best artists of the past century worked and thought about their art. The texts are co-written with different authors but the illustrated editions all follow Konola’s design.

These books are meant to be scribbled and painted on, and are organized a bit like a sketchbook. First, we will have a small artist biography of each of her subjects, and then, there will be 12 lessons that analyze one different aspect of each master’s style: drawing, layering, composition… My favorite parts are the stickers and poster at the end of each book, featuring some beautiful masterpieces. The stickers work out great when it’s time to see how an artist approaches a painting: you’re the master and choose where to place Van Gogh’s chair, for instance, or notice if something is missing at Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss.

The works are divided into Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt and Wassily Kandinsky. I’ve organized this review from earlier artist to more modern, based on their birth date.

Claude Monet

Art Masterclass With Claude Monet text by Kattie Kotton

As I’ve mentioned before, Monet is well loved. To learn how to paint like him, Konola divides his work on stages: from drawing, to placing, to his unique use of color. You will learn to use dabs and strokes to show light; you’ll get some ideas to do a painting outside, and will learn how to use bright colors to show different times of day.

These books are not meant to be step-by-step lessons. They display a fair amount of the artist works of art, and then they let you take or paint notes on the side, analyzing each picture. This is a good technique but may prove a bit frustrating if what you want as a result is a stunning masterpiece. I would think it is for an intermediate level.

The book is on sale since April 4, 2019.

Format: Paperback / softback, 32 Pages
ISBN: 9781786037961
Size: 8.898 in x 12.205 in / 226 mm x 310 mm
Edition: Illustrated Edition

Vincent van Gogh

Art Masterclass With Vincent van Gogh text by Kattie Kotton

As well-known as Van Gogh is, there is a mystery about the way he worked. He was relentless and worked constantly, painting in swirls and with marvelous and dimensional brushstrokes. Here we can see how he used grid for his drawings and why his choices for applying and layering paint made him unique.

50 stickers feature blooms, sunflowers and colorful starry bits. They are a delight to use. Also, the penciled out landscapes let you have a sense of how his drawing worked, and each lesson is accumulative and tends towards making a good art work in Van Gogh’s style. As in the previous book, many beautiful works of art are used as a reference throughout.

The book is on sale since June 7, 2018.

Format: Paperback / softback, 32 Pages
ISBN: 9781786031020
Size: 8.898 in x 12.205 in / 226 mm x 310 mm
Edition: Illustrated Edition

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Gustav Klimt

Art Masterclass With Gustav Klimt text by Lucy Brownridge

This one was my favorite of the entire series. Not only because the use of pattern and shapes in Klimt is wonderful, but also because I didn’t understand how he merged different styles in a single painting. I was not that familiar with the trees, bushes, and flowers he had painted, or that not all his works where covered in metallic gold paint.

Also, the inspiration behind his paintings is pretty intense: from Greek mythology to music opera, he seems to have been influenced by his era, and in turn, his era became influenced by him. Konola’s attention to faces, collage and patterns are an inspiration.

The book is on sale since April 2, 2019

Format: Paperback / softback, 32 Pages
ISBN: 9781786037992
Illustrations: color illustrations
Size: 8.9 in x 12.2 in / 226.06 mm x 309.88 mm

Wassily Kandinsky

Art Masterclass With Wassily Kandinsky text by Kattie Kotton

This for me was the more difficult book of the series to follow. And no wonder, usually Kandinsky is studied using his more easily imitable paintings, such as his use of concentric circles and his understanding of color.

However, learning how to think like this artist, drawing from your imagination, listening to music, and using shapes and stickers to make pictures that are abstract and highly innovative are meant to be both a joy and a challenge.

Kandinsky wrote a book that changed art forever, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (first published 110 years ago in 1910), and I can’t recommend it enough. It would work great as a companion to this workshop.

The book is on sale since June 5, 2018

Format: Paperback / softback, 32 Pages
ISBN: 9781786031716
Size: 9 in x 12.3 in / 228.6 mm x 312.42 mm

Disclosure: These books where provided to me for review purposes, but all opinions remain my own.

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Mariana Ruiz

A Bolivian that writes children's books in Spanish, when she is not busy writing fiction or wondering about the Universe, she is playing games with her two sons and fantastic partner.

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