Thursday, June 27, 2024

Review: Drawn on the Way: A Guide to Capturing the Moment Through Live Sketching by Sarah Nisbett

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Learn to observe the world more deeply—with curiosity, empathy, and joy—as you sketch the stories unfolding all around you.

In Drawn on the Way, Sarah Nisbett shares her techniques for creating captivating line drawings that capture the moments and moods that you encounter on the train, in a cafĂ©, outdoors, anywhere: a young woman lost in thought, a pair of hands clasped on a lap, a peppy beagle, a pair of jeans-clad crossed legs. Sarah invites you to see the people, animals, places, and objects you draw with compassionate curiosity—as more than a stranger or inanimate object, but as someone or something with a story worth knowing or imagining.

Even if you are inexperienced at drawing or don’t consider yourself an artist, you can learn how to create sketches from start to finish employing techniques such as contour drawing, using line work to add texture, and adding spot color—and discover how each sketch tells a story. You’ll begin to focus on important details that reveal something about the subject you’re drawing: the graceful drape of a hand over a purse, the shy way someone tucks their feet underneath them.

As you unplug, set aside perfectionism, and explore the world through drawing, you’ll learn:
- How to translate what you see into a compelling drawing
- How to silence your inner critic and find joy in drawing what captures your interest
- Techniques for drawing figures and creating quick portraits
- How to find the emotion in objects by asking questions
- How to draw scenes and backgrounds without becoming overwhelmed
- How to quickly and expressively render the natural world, including plants and animals
- How key details can take a sketch from plain to captivating
- Ways to find the extraordinary in the everyday
- How to transform mistakes into likeable elements
- Tips for becoming a visual storyteller
- Life lessons learned from years of live drawing 

We spend most of our lives on the way, rushing and running from place to place, task to task. When we have a spare minute, we usually reach for our phones and shut everything else out. The techniques, projects, and ideas in Drawn on the Way are designed to help you be more mindful about drawing, to capture the people, places, and things you encounter each day. By doing that, you’ll connect with humanity in a deeper, more meaningful way—and discover a lot about yourself.

My Review

"This is more than a book about how to draw. This is a book about how to see... This is a book about drawing, but it's also a book about living." I didn't know how much I needed this book! I love the author's method of interrogating her subject- especially inanimate ones- to deconstruct, to figure out where and how to start, what to draw next. To discover the emotion inherent in the subject or how others relate to it. The section on scenes helped me learn to edit what I'm seeing and capturing what I connect to. The concept of using a pen because of it's permanence is a new one to me- I'm used to the "timidity" of pencils because I could erase mistakes. The practice of embracing decisions and accepting them as they are is one that will take some adjustment but I am excited to try. I loved the author's encouraging words and advice for each of the exercises at the back of the book, and they are ones to use over and over again with new subjects. A wonderful book for artists of all levels of experience.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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