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Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction [Paperback]

George Bain
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1996 Celtic Interest
The Pictish School of Celtic art from pagan symbols to monumental sculptures, thoroughly covered and illustrated.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a great introduction to the various aspects of Celtic art. George Bain takes the reader through step by step on how to construction knotworks, borders, spirals and key patterns. Bain also talks about lettering and zoomorphics (interlaced animals). Almost every page contains several black and white illustrations with reference to the historical bookgrounds of the designs.
This is a must for any artist new to the Celtic world of illuminated manuscripts, symbol stones and metalwork
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beginning to Advanced Celtic Pattern Construction Jan. 15 2002
Format:Paperback
Not too long ago I got the idea for a series of paintings with a celtic-medieval themed look. This book was one of the two books on celtic designs I bought. The type of patterns shown are very diverse and range from simple borders, to spirals, zoomorphs (animal-designs), calligraphy to examination of designs from Lindisfarne and the Book of Kells. It is also the most extensive of any of the books on this subject that I've seen. The only drawback is that the method for constructing these designs is not easy. As one earlier reviewer stated, the main method is to set up a grid pattern, draw out every line then erase the ones not needed. There are other books with simpler, better step-by-step details for constructing celtic designs. However, no other single book covers such a wide range as this one. It also covers a lot of complex designs and shows how to recreate them that no other celtic pattern books demonstrate. Quite a lot of the history of these designs is covered too. For anyone who can only afford one book on this subject this one will be all they'll ever need.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible, undecipherable? Jan. 2 1999
By BPNoble
Format:Paperback
Among those in my acquaintance who are fond of Celtic art, George Bain's Celtic Art is the one which most buy first. I did. Then I read it and found that some of his instructions (particularly for creating knotwork) seem totally off-the-wall and totally indecipherable. However, for some reason, he seemed to be the only one who has ever come up with a way to recreate impossibly complex knotwork panels, and do more than just plain fretted knotwork. Fear not, Dear Reader! If you follow his instructions, practice the designs as he shows them, you will ultimately discover what he is trying to say. And when you do, the entire world of complex, bewildering and magical knotwork will open up to you.
However, knotwork is not the only type of art that Bain covers in this book. He also analyzes fretwork (mazes), spirals and zoomorphic forms (animal and human forms which can sometimes even be interlaced), as well. These, comprise the entire corpus of form used in the great books of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon art which were created in the 6th through 8th centuries.
Let me also put a good word in for Bain's survey of Hiberno/Anglo-Saxon calligraphy as well, in which he assembles many of the fanciful letter forms for which this form of writing is known.
I do own all of Aidan Meehan's books (and also recommend them), but if you can only afford to buy one book, buy this one. Then, as you can afford others, branch out into Meehan (and even Bain's son, Iain has written a book on knotwork!), and begin purchasing surveys of the Books of Kells and Lindisfarne so that you can study from the true masters.
Enjoy!
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A "HOW-TO" DRAWING REFERANCE FOR ARTISTS AND BEGINNERS ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THE CELTIC AND PICTISH MYSTERIES. A GOOD MAINSTAY FOR THE DRAWING PHASES OF YOUR WORK, WITH HAND-DRAWN EXAMPLES FROM THE BOOK OF KELLS, LINDISFARNES, AND DURROW. ALSO COMPARES THE SIMILAR TYPES OF LINES AND KNOTS FROM OTHER EARLY CIVILIZATIONS, AND SOME EXAMPLES OF HIS OWN WORKS.COMPARIBLE TO HIS SONS (IAN BAIN) OWN "HOW-TO" BOOK,BUT MUCH LESS RIGID.GEORGE BAIN ALSO SHOWS YOU HOW TO DO SOME ZOOMIPHORICS (ANIMALS) AND SPIRALS NOT FOUND IN HIS SONS WONDERFULL BOOK FOR BEGINNERS. HERE IS TRUTH IN TITLE.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but difficult. Nov. 21 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is a wonderful reference to the types of celtic designs available. For those who have had plenty of experience in creating Celtic art, and are familiar w/ several techniques (and probably have a preferred technique), this book is a must. For those who are just beginning to explore the wonderful world of Celtic art, however, the book is difficult, and might be discouraging. My suggestion for beginners would be to learn to draw Celtic art from a more basic source, and the use this book as inspiration.
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