Review: Masters of Sketching

This book dedicated to one of the most versatile art forms shares pearls of wisdom from masterful sketch artists.

Our Verdict

Occasionally lacking, but on the whole an informative and inspiring volume that'll help you boost your sketching skills

For

  • Plenty of styles on show
  • Lots of info and helpful tutorials

Against

  • Some of the galleries are a bit too brief

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Sketches have long fascinated artists. Indeed, the study of sketchbook art is a popular way to see how the masters worked, and is sure to improve your own drawing skills.

This is the thinking behind Masters of Sketching (opens in new tab), a 271-page softback book that assembles 20 contemporary sketch artists and explores how they bring their work to life. The book presents a good variety of styles, ranging from impressionist charcoal pieces to precise and whimsical work, so there's bound to be an artist in its pages you can learn from.

Film concept artist Colie Wertz's attitude towards sketching is, "If I hand this over to a modeller, will they be able to build it?"

Film concept artist Colie Wertz's attitude towards sketching is, "If I hand this over to a modeller, will they be able to build it?"

Each artist's section is broken down into a tutorial and a showcase gallery. While the galleries can be frustratingly brief, sometimes comprising just a couple of images, the step-by-step tutorials have much more depth and provide a fascinating glimpse into lots of different sketching methods.

This slightly compromised balancing act doesn't mean readers will be unsatisfied, though, because there's plenty to learn and appreciate from this book. And with further information about each illustrator at the end of the book, there's lots of research to embark upon if you've discovered a particularly engaging sketch artist.

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 144; buy it here (opens in new tab)!

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The Verdict
8

out of 10

Review: Masters of Sketching

Occasionally lacking, but on the whole an informative and inspiring volume that'll help you boost your sketching skills

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.