Australian Coloured Pencils Network

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Masterful Color by Arlene Steinberg

Arlene Steinberg Website
Buy the book here

As mentioned in one of my previous posts I recently received my copy of Masterful Color by Arlene Steinberg and so here is my quick review.

Let me start by saying Arlene has done a fabulous job on this book not just teaching about coloured pencil techniques but also about colour in general, composition, drawing from life, using photographs, underpainting and all types of topics that you need to learn in order to create good art not just in coloured pencils but in any medium.

I have to admit i am a little biased when it comes to Arlene's work i basically got my art education online off the back of many of Arlene's tutorials posted on places like WetCanvas and Scribbletalk. On these sites (many of the tutorials are still there) she would comment and try to teach myself and many others about cps, mixing complementary colours and generally guide people on various aspects of the artwork they were trying to achieve. In her book all of those bits of advice and her experience over the years have been compiled in an informative and practical way. I have to admit in my reading it actually jogged memory for a few things that i had forgotten over the years and I have taken note of a few things of that i must remember to try on my next cp piece. It also reminded me of areas where i have gone wrong in my early days of cp works and again i must remember not to fall into that trap again in future pieces; so from that perspective it is certainly not a book just for beginnings i believe all artists will definitely learn something from this book.

I thought it might be fun for you to see one of my earlier pieces that i worked on based on some of Arlene's tutorials. This one was done about 5 years ago and was designed to teach about using complementary colours where you had to choose 2 colours and white and create a piece with it. Notice the shadows on the cloth and the jug were created by mixing the green and the red together as they are complementary colours. This is very important lesson and i still think back to this piece often when i am creating a shadow on something red in not only cp pieces but painting pieces as well.

In the book you can see how Arlene starts off with a green tomato and ends up with a red one using a similar technique to the above (ofcourse much more refined).

If you are a beginner who would like to get into coloured pencil work i think you really must get this book, also for the experienced cp artist who would like to see how one of the top cp artists achieves this level of top notch work you will also gain alot from this book.

I am not sure whether this book is available yet in Australia, but you can buy the book directly from Arlene's website at the above link.

If you buy the book or familiar with Arlene's work let us know what you think ! :)


Richard Klekociuk said...

Hi Belinda,
My copy of "Masterful Color" arrived yesterday and it is indeed a wonderful book that I thoroughly recommend to anyone who works with pencils. I found the answers to questions I had and I even bought a sheet of black Stonehenge paper to try as a break from the pastel board I normally use.

Jo Castillo said...

I have some black paper and will have to try this. Thanks ...

JAN said...

thank you for taking time to review this book i am thinking of purchasing and your review was most helpful :)