Book Review: Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art


Freehand is a book of sketching tips and techniques that invite you to experiment with them. The author Helen Birch is an artist and drawing lecturer based in UK.

There are more than a hundred ideas and techniques featured by different artists. There are doodles, collages, intricate pieces, realistic ones, illustrations and many more.

The examples are rather unconventional. I like them for the unexpected nature and surprise element. For example, some would like to draw on graph papers to make use of the grid lines and some like to wash their paper with colour before painting. There's one who draw on styrofoam cups, others create collages using paper and scissors. There are artists who talk about using subdued colour, bright colours, layered colours or even no colours such as the use of silhouettes.

Anyway, you can check out selected page previews on Amazon. And this book is available as a Kindle edition also.

Freehand is not strictly about art created traditionally. Some artists would use graphics software to touch up. There really aren't any rules, just that all the examples start off hand drawn.

At the back is a brief section on drawing fundamentals. They cover line, tones, colours and materials. It's all elementary stuff for the beginners.

This is an ideas book essentially, rather than a technical book that teaches you how to draw.

If you like doodling, sketching or drawing for fun, or looking for ideas and inspiration to get started, this is a good book to check out.

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Seems like there are two publishers for this book, Hardie Grant Books and Chronicle Books. For the best price, if you're in US, get the Chronicle Books version, and if you're in Europe, get the Hardie Grant version. For customers elsewhere, just get the Hardie Grant version from Book Depository.

Chronicle Books version (for US customers) available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Hardie Grant Books version (for European customers) available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art

Visit Amazon to check out more reviews.

If you buy from any links on the blog, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books to feature.

From publisher Chronicle Books (for US customers):
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn | Bookdepository.com

From publisher Hardie Grant Books (for European customers):
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn | Bookdepository.com

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