Silver Crow Project

Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim

Drawing Lab For Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sonheim

The book says:
DRAWING LAB offers a year's worth of assignments, projects, ideas and techniques that will introduce more creativity and nonsense into your art and life! This inspiring book offers a fun way to learn and gain expertise in drawing through experimentation and play. There is no right or wrong result, yet, you will gain skills and confidence allowing you to take your work to a whole new level.

I say:
I'm going to be honest, when I first received this book I sat and read it till about half way through and put it down. I really wasn't inspired to try out the exercises. I thought they were daft.Then a blog friend, Cameron, decided to do a play along with the book. Doing an exercise every week or so and encouraging others to join in and link up. Well, I had the book so why not.

Now I have to eat my words a tad. This is one of those books you have to use to get the full benefit from, not just read. The very first exercise where you are encouraged to use your dominant and non-dominant hand completely surprised me. I actually preferred the images I came up with using my non-dominant hand. I never would have tried this technique before.

There are some exercises that I just know I wont bother with,  for example there is one where you are encouraged to go to a zoo. Honestly, with three kids I'm just not going to go to do that and get any peace to draw. But these exercises that you might not be comfortable with could easily be gotten round by maybe watching video footage on the Internet. It's assumed that you have pets and children in the book and some of the exercises involve drawing them or collaborating with them (that would be the children not the pets.) If you didn't have either of these to hand I'm sure you could again use the Internet for animal images or borrow a niece or nephew if you really wanted to do those exercises. Some of the other exercises are a bit to cute, I think they might fall into the whimsy style which for the most part just doesn't appeal to me. Other exercises I really love, like those based on famous artist styles.

Personally I think this is a book that, if you don't actually do the exercises and give it a chance, you are either going to love or hate at first read. A bit like Marmite. If you at least try you may well find your opinion changed. For me, having read and tried... I'm in the middle. I think I'll do half the exercises but the other half really just don't appeal. It's swings and roundabouts. I'm glad I read it because it did take me out of my comfort zone. Which was kind of the idea.

Many thanks to Quarry Books for sending the book to review.

Thank you for stopping by :)


  1. Hmmm I'm looking at "techniques" at the moment. I'll put this one on "stuck for a gift" list I think!
    Oh and I discovered that I can actually write and draw pretty well with my non dominant hand the other day! Was uber shocked!!!

    Claire xxx

  2. A very balanced review Carmen.
    I might try the non-dominant hand exercise...I can't draw with my dominant hand so it can't be much worse! lol
    Hugs xx

  3. I think I'm getting way more out of the book than I first expected. Most of these exercises really aren't something I'd choose to it's been good for me to feel like I "have to" now that I'm leading this little link up.

    I hope you do join in here and there if you can....but, I'm sure you have a giant pile of art books calling your name :)

    Thanks for the linky love...mwuah!

  4. Have looked at this on amazon and was undecided...still undecided now! Just ordered the new Suzi Blu book though..I know possibly not your style but will let you know what I think.

  5. Sam, Cameron - I will definitely do half or more of the exercises in this book and the ones I've done so far have been useful. Some are just simply not to my taste. I think you'd probably like the book Sam :)

  6. I think you are having an effect on me. At the weekend TSO had an art assignment - to draw a portrait. I decided to have a go with her - maybe doesn't sound momentous, but I have never drawn a face in my life!! plus, it was a nice thing to do together. We drew from a photo of Little E. I'll be buying books next..

  7. I like that you're honest about the book. For the artists or art enthusiast I'm not sure that reading will definitely appeal. I hope there are exercises that not-so-good-in-drawing person like me can try. Looking up on amazon for a copy. *curious* i also like to read blogs about elements of designs to improve my skills.


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