Introduction to Pencil Techniques by Hiroshi Misawa

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Don’t be fooled by the uninspiring cover, what lies beneath is a great little introduction to pencil drawing by an accomplished Japanese art teacher. There’s very little text and lots of pencil drawings, of course, but what is odd is that every piece of Japanese is dutifully translated into English. I’m not sure why they bothered, but I’m glad they did.

There are brief (it’s an introduction of course) sections on shading, texture, form, line and all that sort of practical stuff as you’d expect but what was especially nice was the pictures largely spoke for themselves (some examples follow at the bottom of this post).

I’m sure there are better guides around, but the sketches are engaging and I was happy to add to my art-books-liberated-from-Japanese-secondhand-bookstores shelf.

No. 14 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2019.

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Patrick Sherriff publishes a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction about Japan and featuring an original painting or sketch. He lives in Abiko, Japan, with his wife and two daughters.