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Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil Paperback – Mar 15 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; 1st edition (March 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891348689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891348689
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 395 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Contrary to the publicity on this book, it doesn't contain techniques "so easy that anyoneAfrom doodler to advanced artistAcan master in minutes." This is instead a highly challenging manual on achieving effects close to photographic with little more than a sharp pencil. Hillberry, an artist and teacher, offers splendid demonstrations on creating the look of metal, wood, hair, and even cracked glass. To his credit, Hillberry admits one needs to have already grasped shape, proportion, and perspective before approaching this level of realism. Highly recommended for collections that need more than the basics.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Hillberry has taught many one day mini-workshops at art fairs and art stores.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Of all the art technique books I've ever looked at, this has been one of the most useful to me. Graphite is and always has been my favorite medium for drawing, and though I've tried others, I always find myself falling back on the trusty generic pencil. So when I saw this book in the store, I picked it up and thumbed through it and was so impressed by the author's example drawings alone that I bought it. The author is a magnificent artist, and the book has turned out to be a great reference. I've noticed a marked improvement in the realism of my drawings since I started using it.
Hillberry begins by introducing us to various materials - graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, carbon pencils, types of erasers, blending tools, types of paper, and other miscellaneous items that can prove helpful - and describes the use and effect of each. He goes on to offer tips on choosing a composition, using light for different effects, using different pencil strokes, blending techniques, layering media, masking, and other helpful methods.
The bulk of the book contains instructions on achieving realism when rendering different types of objects: metal, eyes, human hair, glass, broken glass, wood, leather, barbed wire, clothing, and fur. He even offers instructions on little details such as knots in wood, protruding nailheads, etc. At the end he talks about how to put all these methods together into a complete composition, and gives tips on working from photographs. I have not yet tried all of Hillberry's techniques, but the ones I have used have helped me immensely. I would highly recommend this book to any intermediate to advanced level artist.
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Format: Paperback
I rarely read how-to books and think most of them are pretty lame, but this one is a clear exception. I hadn't read a how-to book on the pencil for decades (and I vaguely remember getting the basics from a couple of good books by Ted Kautzky and Paul Calle) and found this book by accident while looking for something else. I was instantly drawn to it (sorry...).
Seriously, though, this is one of the best how-to books I've ever read. Hillberry sets out to do, and does, exactly what his title says it's going do. I can't imagine someone working with this book and not getting something valuable from it. The author's prose style is like his drawing style, very clear and straight ahead. It's not verbose or vague and it's not too terse either. In chapters 1 and 2 he describes the basic tools and general methods of using abrasive media (not ust pencils but powdered graphite, charcoal, graphic blocks etc.). Then he moves on to some tutorials, well chosen to explain the problems of rendering general types of things - metal, wood, he human eye... There are many little gems within the tutorial that will reinforce the general technical points in chapter 2. Like all how-to books there is kind of a jump involved, a certain point where to the naive (most of the market for how-to books, probably) it seems like the author goes from point a, b, c... to point r. That's inevitable. How could it not be? If this stuff was easy, then everybody could do it. Drawing is not easy, but it's the most direct means of creating art, an irreplaceable core skill, useful to painters and sculptors as much as anyone else, and potentially a wonderful end in itself (think about it... think what Raphael and Michaelangelo did with a pencil; look at Henry Moore's drawings, look at... no, there's too many great works of art that are drawings to even consider listing them).
This book can help you with your drawing even if you're not a realist. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
In this book, J.D. Hillberry gives detailed descriptions of techniques for drawing a wide range of textures. A background in drawing is recommended, because the author does not "waste" time on teaching sketching, or basics of drawing, generally, but filling space with a texture is explained in very detailed way, including many examples.
Another advantage of the book is an introduction to drawing tools and mediums, which is very detailed, also.
I personally liked the approach of the author, he's always giving more than one way to achieve some realistic texture and everything he wrote is an advice or a recommendation, while he's calling the reader to experiment alone, also.
Very detailed and very useful book. Recommended!
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By A Customer on Jan. 22 2000
Format: Paperback
Refining your pencil work starts here. Hillberry pushes his medium and he pushes it hard. If you love the subtle, moody, sensitive qualities of pencil drawings and are working to take yours from the realm of rough diamonds to stand alone works of art, you are going to love this book.
Very well photographed, Hillberry gives detailed, progressive steps of many of his drawings and is very forthcoming about the techniques he uses to get his results. Hillberry's work is photo-realistic, but even if that is not your goal he spends the first third of the book discussing how to develop the skill necessary to create the even, shifting tones of graphite vital to effective pencil work. The photorealistic sessions are important for everyone as they hone your awareness of what you are seeing and your ability to relay it. His finished examples are beautiful and inspiring.
I love pencil, and there isn't a better book on the topic out there (after 15 years of collecting, I may just have them all). If you feel the same way, get this book. Then quit shopping and get back to your studio and work.
PS--Another interesting book is Robert Zappalorti's "Drawing Sharp Focus Still Lifes" (Watson-Guptill) but it is out of print and you will have to search hard to find it. I feel Hillberry's book is superior, but it's always instructive to see how different artists approach their work.
Good luck, draw hard.
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