Book Review: Non- Fiction Crafting books
So I have this habit of forgetting to review non-fiction books that I have read. I realise that it’s a bad habit as there are so many fantastic non-fiction books out there.
My tastes tend towards biographies of morticians or other “unsavoury” occupations, or crafting books.
Cards and corpses.
Decoupage and death. (I think I’ve found my new band names.)
Here are a few non-fiction titles, granted to me by Netgalley, that have appealed to me over the past few months.
Draw Alphabeasts by Steve Harpster.
Publisher: Impact Books.
Released: January 2019
I was attracted to this one by the cover; the cute little squishy monsters just
appealed to the child in me.
I loved the ease of drawing the animals with just letters and numbers. It put me in mind of an autistic child I know who loves to draw the same number over and over and would get so excited when you made monsters out of those numbers.
The only problem I found with this book was that I got an e-arc from netgalley and the file was severely corrupted which made it hard to see each creature. That said,
it’s great for imagination building.
Weaving with Little Handmade Looms by Harumi Kageyama
Publisher: Zakka Workshop
Released: April 1 2019
This was really sweet but I felt that, ultimately, this kind of craft is outdated.
Many of the projects were for things like woollen drinks coasters, woven windchimes or ribbon bookmarks. I could see maybe someone doing an eco-weekend with kids finding it invaluable; all you need are a few twigs and some wool and it could make a creative afternoon.
But in terms of actual usefulness, I don’t think it would really appeal to that many people.
Art Makers: Polymer Clay for Beginners by Emily Chen
Publisher:Walter Foster Publishing
Release Date: March 21st 2019
I adore playing about with clay and sugar dough. Other than getting my fingers dirty and managing to create something, I adore the feel of it in your hands.
Both modelling clay and sugar paste use the same sort of modelling techniques and so I use the books interchangeably which results in some beautiful cakes and adorable clay figures.
This book was excellent because it didn’t patronise you, which a lot of books tend to do. It gave you a basic rundown of what you’d need and then went straight into the projects. It showed you alternatives and how to mix to the right consistency and I was really pleased with how my own projects turned out.
Chibi Art Class by Yoai
Publisher: Race Point publishing
Release date: April 4th
I love Chibis. I love their cute faces and adorable eyes and want to hug and squish them!
I have tried to draw Chibis but somehow they never seem to come out right
for me. Well, now that’s changed, with Yoai’s book on drawing and colouring Chibi figures.
She manages to really pinpoint what makes a chibi cute and has you practicing the skillset over and over until you get it right. However what really did it for me was the shading techniques. I get fed up of my chibi being black and white and okay looking and then once I’ve coloured it, it still looks flat and uninteresting.
But Yoai shows you where you should be shading and what colour to use to make
your character really come to life and that blew me away. Excellent attention
to detail and the simplicity of the characters made it so easy to follow.
The only thing is, obviously, she uses copic markers and I have yet to take out a mortgage so I can afford them.
Kawaii Origami by Chrissy Pushkin
Publisher: Race Point publishing
Release date: April 4th 2019
Cute and concise. Just look at that cover; the bright colours, the cute swirls and the font! I admit I was drawn in by the cover and the really adorable origami ice-cream but I found my fingers itching to pick up some paper and follow along with her other projects too.
The instructions were easy to follow and coded for beginners and advanced and each stage was clear as to what you were supposed to do- unlike other origami books where you can’t quite figure out if you’re supposed to fold the paper backwards or do a somersault over the table.
There was a great mix of practical and pretty projects too.
I’m definitely pleased I picked this book up. Kawaii!
Magnificent Fantasy Creatures and How to Draw Them by Kev Walker
Publisher: Impact Books
Relased: Nov 2018
Not really a ‘how to draw’ as much as a ‘how to create’. There were far more tips on creating your perfect monster, thinking about its lair and its diet and things
like that rather than how to draw a tail.
It had some interesting points but I did find that it was far too wordy for me.
As it was an e-arc the formatting was all over the place and many times there were pages and pages of blank, which it turns out are blank pages for you to draw your own creatures in the physical book. (Sort of pointless in an e-book.)
Nice if you already have a basic understanding of physiology and perspective but not so much if you are a beginner.
Hope you enjoyed these mini-reviews, please let me know in the comments below what you liked or disliked.