kittyocean: I give this book a 3 out of 10! (3)
[personal profile] kittyocean
Title: How to paint eyes
Original title: How to paint eyes
Author: Sharon Kinzie
Language: English
Series: None
Reviews for other books in this series (up till now): None
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32 (plus a poster including all the art inside the book)
Publisher: Scott Publications
Year published: original October 1989, my edition May 1992 (3rd printing)
ISBN number: #0-916809-35-8
Topic of the book: How to draw
Reason for reading: My father found the book between his collection and recommended it to me.
Recommended: No, but if you can borrow it at a library or get it for free: go for it.

Back cover text:

A small font-sized wall of text. It mentions how the artist/author shares her exciting techniques for portraying human and animal eyes. The directions are written in an easy-to-understand manner, according to the back cover text.



Comments on the back cover text:

The font is quite small and the words are very close to each other. It's not easy to read at first glance. If you do manage to decipher it, the text is easy to read (writing style). Like all books, the back cover text has focused at the marketing aspect. It promises a lot, but if you look at the contents, it does not match. Well, maybe it does. I mean, it never said there would be step-by-step instructions. But to claim: “We sincerely believe that this book is the very finest of its kind and should be in the library of every … who has the occasion to portray human or animal eyes.” Actually, since I have never seen any other book like this, they might be correct. If there is no equivalent...

First paragraph/page:

General instructions and helpful hints

I. Brushes
Your brushes should be in excellent condition (I prefer Taklon shader brushes). Determine the size of the brush by the area being painted (I choose a brush which will cover the area in 1 to 3 strokes).

Comments on the first paragraph:

Mmm, there's no welcome text. It goes straight to business. The text is easy to understand, even though I lately I grew a dislike for unneeded ( and ). You could make these individual lines; there's no need for the ( and ). Still, that is a personal thing.
The text are easy to follow instructions, you can visualize it quite well.

Also, perhaps an interesting fact: all the text is printed on landscape-orientated pages. Every other book is printed in portrait-format, but this one is landscape-formatted. It feels like I'm flipping through a calendar.

Review:

Content:

I was disappointed when I opened this book. Where were the pictures? There is a lot of text and only a few images. I know that drawing eyes can be over quite fast, but this is really a lot of text and very little art. There is actually only one, yes, one step-by-step page. I used that one for the drawing at the end of the review.

The book is split into 3 parts: Human eyes, Animal eyes and Cartoon eyes. The Human section does cover emotions, but there are very little examples. Most images only show one eye, sometimes without an eyebrow. The images are all finished examples as well. Like said: only one step-by-step.

The Animal section also only has finished results. There is no step-by-step, but there is an example of a cat-eye and a human eye, 'cut in half' so you know where the lenses are. I have no idea why I would want to know how the inside of an eye looks like if I'm drawing the outside... Anyway, the eyes are beautiful, but I can't really work from an eye alone. I need a bit more than that.

I'm very disappointed in the Cartoon eyes section. The eyes are often very simplistic. And I mean very. Others are incredibly fancy. Again, these are just random floating eyes; there's no face to accompany them.

Asides the images, there are a lot of written instructions.

Writing style:

The writing style is easy to follow. The instructions are quite clear, but without images, it's guessing what the author means. It's quite focused on painting, so if you have no idea what 'a medium wash of...' means, you might feel stranded for a moment. I know I did ^_^'. Still have no idea what it means.

Art:

The eyes are beautiful. No doubt about that. They look photographic real. Okay, asides the cartoon eyes. When looking at some cartoon eyes I get cavities from way too much sugarness. I also like it you have a fold-out poster with all the art inside the book. Hmm, why should I keep the book if I have the poster? The poster covers the contents pretty nicely....

Conclusion:

I was really doubting how to grade this book. There is very little how-to, but the written instructions are clear. There is little art, lots of text. So, as a how-to-draw book I would consider this a bad one. A complete useless one? … No, not really. I mean, I'm quite surprised by the eye I managed to create. Just wished the author would include instructions about how to do eyelashes and eyebrows too...

Rereadability:

No. I'm glad my dad found it and gave it to me, but I'll keep on looking at the poster (if I feel I need tips) and put the book in my bookcase.


An Eye by *kittyocean on deviantART


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