Thursday, October 17, 2013

"How To Draw Grimm's Dark Tales" (Walter Foster)

I recently discovered this had been released and, as a long time fan of the Walter Foster "how to draw" series (they're some of the only technique books that actually made me feel like drawing) I was pretty excited to see this title added.

Unfortunately, I'm not confident on the drawing techniques and instruction shown here. (No offense meant to the artist - it's just that with Walter Foster books I have extremely high expectations.) Usually the art is of a "more seasoned" quality, in both style and mood for the subject, as well as technique, than what I can see in the (albeit few) previews.

BUT I can almost certainly vouch for the writing (which is where all the juicy fairy tale info and extras are).

Merrie Destefano is a truly excellent writer who's own work draws largely from myth, folktale and fairy tales and I've have read enough of her work to feel confident to recommend anything she's written to others, sight unseen. Her work for Walter Foster is different of course, in that it's usually non-fiction but she's obviously still a storyteller and can get you excited about the subject being drawn just from her words. Despite my disappointment in the art itself, I'm quite excited to see what she ended up writing for How To Draw Grimm's Dark Tales - Fables and Folklore.

You should note this book appears aimed at people who believe fairy tales to be all sugar, light and happily-ever-after-ed and haven't considered that these tales may have a darker side than they're aware of so while the information may not be new to many readers here, it's bound to be entertainingly enlightening to that crowd.

Here's an excerpt of what to expect inside:
Dark fairy tales and legends have been passed down orally from generation to generation for centuries. Today, these tales have penetrated every aspect of pop culture and media—from cinema and TV shows to books and theatre. While fairy tales have often been sanitized and tweaked for children, their true origins are dark, edgy, grisly, and often full of malevolence. How to Draw Grimm’s Dark Tales, Fables & Folklore guides artists through the process of drawing, painting, and digitally illustrating the dark and mysterious characters of legend and lore—good and bad. 
...Throughout the book, informative sidebars and introductions reveal the history of each character, as well as the origin of their grim tales, symbolism, and variations in their stories. How to Draw Grimm’s Dark Tales, Fables & Folklore is full of creative resources and encouragement for beginning and intermediate artists alike. With its varied cast of characters, comprehensive instruction, and fascinating peek into the tales themselves, this book is sure to kindle artistic imagination.
I only wish we'd had some different illustration examples of Grimm's Dark Tales so we could enjoy the visuals just as much as the writing.

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