Summer Reading – Colored Pencil

I love to read. Teaching does not give me much spare time to read, so I usually devour as many books as I possibly can during the summer. I read novels, non-fiction, self-help books, health and diet books as well as “how to” art books; just to name a few.

I recently finished a book that I discovered in my school classroom. It was left there by a previous art teacher. I took several books home over the summer just in case I found some spare time.  Even though the book is not brand new, it still is full of helpful information.

The book is Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner: Basic Lessons in Becoming a Good Artist (Practical Art Books)written by Bet Borgeson. Bet has written many art technique books. She has a fine art degree from Portland State Universtiy. I chose this book because I am very interested in colored pencil and improving my own art work.  I also figure that increasing my knowledge about different art techniques will also enhance my classroom teaching as well.

This book was an easy read. Bet Borgeson gives you the basic information such as what supplies you will need to purchase in order to get started and how to set up a studio.  She shows the reader colored pencil techniques such as lifting, layering, and impressed line.

Bet Borgeson discusses how colored pencil is a medium of texture. The texture can be determined by something as simple as how sharp your pencil is. Bet shares her philosophy and insight in how to create beautiful compositions. The book includes several interesting demonstrations of her own colored pencil paintings. These demonstrations allow the reader to follow the thought process from start to finish. 

I have read many art books such as Bets throughout the years. Some books lose me in the demonstrations. Sometimes I end up just looking at the illustrations or skipping them completely. That was not the case as I read this book. I actually read every word and studied every example given.

The book ends with a chapter devoted to encouragement, such as how to handle rejection or self-doubt.  I would suggest this book for anyone that is truly interested in improving their creativity with colored pencil. I would love to hear from you if you have read Bet’s book, Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner: Basic Lessons in Becoming a Good Artist (Practical Art Books).  What books are you reading this summer?

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