Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How to Draw Cats and Kittens A Complete Guide for Beginners Written by J.C. Amberlyn

"I received a free copy of the book in exchange for writing a review on my blog"

I've always wanted to draw my favorite, lovable pet choice, cats! However, it's not as easy without an exact idea of the anatomy and correct shape of the animal if it isn't right in front of you. So I was so happy to have found a book that shows every detail, from bone structure to the fur on its feet. I notice that there is a bit of everything you can learn from this book, making it a perfect companion for those beginning to draw for the first time and also for the advance. 

Therefore, all I can say is that I honestly love the book, How to Draw Cats and Kittens by J.C. Amberlyn. It's been a helpful guide and a wonderful way to learn to, draw cats and kittens, without searching online for examples. I am very well known for finding images to give me an idea what to draw and how to start or practice creating specific objects and animals, but it becomes hard when I want to draw more than one type of the same thing or learn how it's formed from each step. This is especially true when it comes to cats! That's why, when looking at the how to draw cats book, I feel well aware of the features of the cat, why it's created with this shape, the distance between the eye and nose, where the legs begin and how long the tail needs to be or even the position of the cat sitting, standing, playing, or frightened. I mean, this book isn't difficult and one of the best drawing books I've ever read, especially on cats!

Also, I liked to mention that the images are not so dark since many books have it too hard to see how the animal you are creating looks. I also feel that there are enough steps to learn how to create the cat from beginning to end, as well as changing the position of the cat and adding additional features. Of course, with this book, it's easier to go back and repeat the steps to practice and perfect as much as needed. Plus,  After a few times, it will actually sink in and draw a cat head or the entire body, even a kitten becomes a piece of cake. Finally, I am very excited to begin drawing a cute and adorable cat on every page of my sketch pad or letters to friends because now I can, all thank this book!

Information About The Author:
J. C. Amberlyn is an award-winning artist, animator, graphic novelist, photographer, naturalist, and animal lover. She's also the author of five successful art instruction titles: How to Draw Dogs and Puppies; How to Draw Manga Characters; Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, and Other Adorable Creatures; The Artist's Guide to Drawing Animals; and Drawing Wildlife.

Book Information:

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Monacelli Studio (October 17, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580935001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580935005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches


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Mastering Colored Pencil An Essential Guide to Materials, Concepts, and Techniques for Learning to Draw in Color Written by Lisa Dinhofer

"I received a free copy of the book for in exchange for writing a review on my blog"

I have always wanted to learn how to use colored pencils correctly. What I mean is that I would love to create images that look more realistic when it comes to coloring and drawing. I feel that learning to color properly can really bring to life any drawing or coloring page. That is why I figure I take a course on drawing, figuring I can learn more about value, shading and how to improve on what I already know. However, this course doesn't really cover colored pencils or any type of color tool, something I really wanted to learn about.

So I am super excited to have recieved a copy of the book, Mastering Colored Pencil by Lisa Dinhofer. I can say that just by the title and the cover, I knew this would be something I needed to read. The book covers so much about colored pencils and how to use certain guides and grids to help. I also found the information on how much pressure with the hand can help change a color from very deep to a very light effect. That is something I'll need to practice with my hands and also learn to not have such a heavy hand when it comes to coloring. Plus, the additional homework assignments are there to help keep anyone remembering and practicing to draw or color with colored pencils.

For me when it comes to coloring and drawing with colored pencils, it can be hard compared to drawing with just a pencil. I know there are some skills that need to be taught to draw or sketch with a pencil, but with color, it can be hard for me to get what look I really want, and how to blend colors to get the right look as well. However, this book makes it feel so much easier, and it's not a huge book but a much-needed guidance that can be used to apply to all types of art, in my opinion.

I also feel that the author made this book to be more of a guide and course in one. Almost like having a teacher in your very own home, presenting to the reader everything they need to know, tips,  and a few assignments to practice with, as well as a few helpful blank images to create your very own grids and a color wheel to work with. Of course, as a few books I've read before, this book begins the same with the mentioning of the different tools you will need or could use while drawing or coloring. 

One example of the colored pencils mentioned is the very well known Prismacolor. It is actually shown in comparison to the other colored pencil brands. It will tell you to build a chart or a type of grid to show the difference in the way it leaves the color on a piece of paper. This really helps and makes a great reference for those using a variety of pencils and how well they will color or provide the type of color you're looking for. 

Also, another helpful tip is about the paper, learning how the different weight of paper can play a role in drawing or coloring, by its texture and weight. I would have never thought about erasing and paper thickness how it can help and provide better support using a thicker paper or medium size thick paper.  There really is so much more taught in this book that even for a person like myself who draws, I feel that I'm learning so much more about the paper, the type of colored pencils, erasers, tape, boards and so much more about the accessories and the helpful guidance and images for examples come in handy.

Finally, I feel that this book is something I am so glad to own. I would highly recommend it's helpful guidance and it's an excellent way to keep it in memory by homework assignments. I honestly will use this book often, till I get a hang of coloring with colored pencils. This has just been a great read and a guide that will help improve my art!



About The Author:
Lisa Dinhofer is an artist who lives and works in New York City. Born in Brooklyn and educated in the New York City public school system, she went on to receive her BA with honors from Brandeis University and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Her most recent solo shows were at The Century Association, Denise Bibro Fine Art, and Purdue University. Collected widely, Dinhofer’s paintings and works on paper are represented in many public and private collections including The Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, City College (CUNY), IBM, and many more. A recipient of numerous awards, she has received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Individual Fellowship Grant and the MacDowell and Yaddo Colony Fellowships. In 2003, Dinhofer completed a 90-foot glass mosaic mural, Losing My Marbles, commissioned by MTA, Arts for Transit. This public work is located at the Times Square, 42nd Street subway station in New York City. 

Lisa Dinhofer’s work has been featured, reviewed, and profiled in several publications including American Artist, The New York Times, Arts Magazine, ARTnews, and Drawing magazine. Dinhofer developed original workshops in the technique of colored pencil and color theory. She’s been successfully teaching all aspects of drawing for over 20 years and is currently on the faculty of the Art Students League and The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art in New York City. She also taught a popular class for the online site, Craftsy. For more about the artist, visit www.lisadinhofer.com.

Book Information:

  • FORMAT: Trade Paperback
  • PAGES: 160
  • TRIM SIZE: 8-1/2 x 10-1/2
  • ILLUSTRATIONS/PHOTOGRAPHS: 
  • 300
  • ISBN: 9781580934923
  • PRICE: $25.00
  • ON SALE: December 19, 2017
  • PUBLISHER: Monacelli Studio 


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Monday, January 22, 2018

The Guide to Modern Cupping Therapy: Your Step-by-Step Source for Vacuum Therapy by Shannon Gilmartin CMT

"I received a free copy of the book in exchange for writing a review on my blog"

You know what is awesome? Having a natural way to heal your body without medication or going to the doctors. However, it can be a bit tough if you have no idea how to use this type of healing. Well, I've been working with my Cupping set lately and the problem I'm having is knowing where to place them to relieve specific pains. 

However, I happen to be searching online and found this wonderful book for cupping therapy. The book, The Guide to Modern Cupping Therapy by Shannon Gilmartin CMT has really opened my eyes to the many possible ways to use these different cups I have for my body.
The best part is that this book has clear, easy to view images of every part of the body and where to place each cup. There are so many different purposes for these cups, such as helping to relieve pain and even cure a few problems along the way.

I've read many of the success stories online about people having great results from the problems they were suffering from, which got me interested in cupping. However, without knowing how to use them correctly can be a problem, but not no more! Thanks to this book, I'm able to use the cupping set I have and place them in the correct area to relieve pain and not cause more pain along the way or make things just worse. I can finally say that I'm able to help myself and others with these cups and not cause harm. Plus, there is information on how strong the pull a cup can provide and I do notice that many areas don't need that much to provide sufficient healing.

Of course, practice is everything, but with the different examples in this book, which I do use most, I never have to worry about hurting myself with these cups and instead, I can aid and repair the problem instantly. After learning the different positions that I can target in this book, I did take a few tries at my shoulders and legs after a workout, which I will continue as it does feel so much better. I don't think I would have had that much confidence to try most of the ones I saw online, until reading a book that has true step by step directions to help me along the way. 

Also, there is plenty of safety information mentioned in this book, which is a good thing. So knowing what you need to watch out for is great since if you are follow anything for the first time or not know what you are doing with a health treatment can be very bad if you make a mistake. I would like to also point out that having that safety message and info read before starting is a good thing with these cupping sets as they are very painful and could be bad if used the wrong way. Though that can be avoided by paying attention to each step and correctly following along. 

Finally, I really enjoy the visuals and being able to learn and understand each step or where I can place them to relive and help a certain pain or problem I'm having. I've found this book to be a top-notch helper for me as it's been very easy to read, leave open to practice each step, and useful guidance that allowed me to learn a little more about cupping then I have ever really known before. I would highly recommend this guide and would suggest this book be part of any cupping set that anyone gets, it's worth having guidance when using those cups!

Information About The Author:
Shannon Gilmartin, CMT, is a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist, certified vacutherapies practitioner and educator. In addition to her focus in massage cupping, she has over 15 years of experience in therapeutic bodywork, including medical massage, myofascial release, neuromuscular, craniosacral, soft tissue injury rehabilitation, Thai massage and visceral manipulation. She has taught all over the United States and abroad and practices in Virginia Beach.

Book Information:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Rose; 1 edition (October 31, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778805832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778805830
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches



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“I received this book free of charge for an honest and unbiased review.”