Stack Overflow: Draw, Paint and Make Cute Things

Books Columns Reviews Stack Overflow

It is always a pleasure to get to review new books by authors I’ve reviewed in the past, (be it here or over at Skillshare), I feel like I can contribute even a small speck of sand to their achievements.

The three books presented below are very different and walk different paths, from accomplished watercolor to the art of making little gifts to drawing starters, you get to pick which one is more your alley.

I really loved Ana Victoria Calderon’s sacred geometry book, and keep trying to figure out different ways to work with the shapes. I dusted off my compass for that one!

In no particular order, here they are:

A Happy Book of Little Gifts to Make by Sarah Hand (Author)

We recently reviewed her book: Papier Mâché. A step-by-step guide to creating more than a dozen adorable projects! and they were, indeed, adorable projects in there. I have to thank her for rediscovering the joy of being busy and with my hands elbow-deep in goopy flour paste.

In this book, there are different proposals and a cheat/shortcut way to do papier machê (its paper tape, and I hadn’t even thought about it since High School. I have looked for it in every craft store and just recently found it, I want to give it a try).

All the materials, (if you are a minimum hoarder), are already there in your house, and all of these projects are small-scale, portable, and very much giftable.

You will find prompts for dioramas; papier-machê creatures; pop-up cards; cotton dolls, finger puppets, postcards, gift tags, and more.

I have to say I tried to do the cotton doll depicted here and had a disappointing result. This book is all about dexterity and nimble fingers, and would not advise it for beginners or easily frustrated DIYers. The ideas are good and you will find at least a couple of projects that spark creative action.

‘A Happy Book of Little Gifts to Make’: on sale since May 10, 2022

Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing
Series: Maker Creator
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780760374627

Up next, comes the geometric shapes and watercolor book I was talking to you about: 

Creative Drawing: Symbols and Sacred Geometry by Ana Victoria Calderon (Author)

Ana Victoria has great courses, both in Domestika and Skillshare, and that is how I found out about her.

I am glad to say that when the course about Sacred Geometry dropped, I had already worked my way through each and every one of the suggestions in this book, and I was hooked!

As she says, this is a beginner’s guide to geometry deemed sacred by a variety of cultures across time. Sacred geometry has been practiced and celebrated by cultures worldwide and has influenced artists throughout history. The motifs are a familiar part of the landscape, be it ancient constructions, coins, tiles, or modern artistic design.

You can take it or leave it (the sacred part) but I do guarantee that the meditative state you achieve by concentrating on the circles necessary to achieve a Torus or the Tree of Life is very much worth giving it a try.

And it does so by inviting you to explore: all you will need is a compass, colored pencils, watercolor, inks, and I recommend colored fine point pens to dig out the shape from the pencil foundations. I did this for a course in Artistic Identity and was very pleased with every sketch I made, (and I intend to keep making them).

‘Creative Drawing: Symbols and Sacred Geometry’: on sale since June 14, 2022

Publisher: Quarry Books
Publish Date June 14, 2022
Series: Art for Modern Makers
Format: Trade Paperback 144 Pages
ISBN: 9780760374535

Finally, this upcoming book is great for kids, be it your students or your own children and I recommend it very much:

101 Super Cute Things to Draw by Lauren Bergstrom (Author)

As I said when perusing Kawaii books before, this is a trend every student and kid can relate to. My own kid has learned to make the cutest self-portraits featuring those signature mark eyes and we now know that we can up the cuteness factor by adding eyes and facial expressions to almost everything under the sun.

However, when I ask my students to draw from their imagination, they immediately take out their phones and start searching for ideas over the internet, that was a huge problem before we got Wi-Fi and takes up a lot of precious art time so I decided to build a visual library for them. This book was right on time for me.

This book features 101 easy-to-follow drawing projects. It is divided into everyday objects, cute food items, natural pieces like leaves and pumpkins, animals, and mythical features.

The instructions are pretty basic but there are only two ways to learn how to draw: guided instruction or observation. It is geared towards simple forms and easy-to-accomplish, recognizable shapes, and it was a great addition to my visual library.

‘101 Super Cute Things to Draw’: on sale since October 4, 2022.

Publisher Walter Foster Publishing
Publish Date October 4, 2022
Pages 112
Type Paperback
ISBN 9780760375013

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