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This is an intriguingly helpful book of hundreds of specific techniques, principles, tools, and tips which every established artist would be delighted to revisit and any new artist really ought to learn as early as possible. The book itself is divided up into 20 chapters with each of the 300 entries basically including and heading and paragraph description. There’s no mincing words here. It’s a punchy approach that spells out what you need to know, quickly, and could/would/should truly expand your work in ways both small and great. There are only a few illustrations here and there — the focus is on those tips, tricks, and techniques.

For example, in terms of oil paints, the book advises “fat over lean,” to avoid future cracks, “thick over thin” to assist in quicker drying, and “faster over slower” which explains how oil content impacts drying times. In the chapter on “Composition & Clues,” to remember the no-kissing rule, of having objects overlap or have a distinctive amount of space between them. These are all fantastic tips which any self-taught artist (and all art teachers!) should be made aware. Invaluable tips galore.


My family and I have been enjoying paper crafts together for a long time, but we were looking for a new way to have fun together making origami, decorations, and more (inexpensively). So we were intrigued with this well-designed, written, and bound book. The book explains the basic techniques of “quilling” which involves creating little bas-relief sculptures with simple tools, twirled paper, and a little patience. The 15 projects are small, and really cute! I love making the lucky lanterns and the pretty flowers! It’s a lot of fun making them, and this book is a great help.


Years ago, I entered a college art contest which, supposedly, I very nearly won — except that the binding of the book I’d made was found lacking. If only I’d had this wonderful guide back then! The softcover book, itself, is well-bound (naturally), printed on thick high-quality paper, and is very well designed, with plentiful photos and helpful diagrams throughout.

The photos reveal artistic, real-life examples of the seven, main approaches to handmade books, from the simple to the sublime. Each of the seven includes several variations. The book is well-written with clear and helpful instructions. If you are thinking about making your own books, this is simply a must-have.


I was happy to find this well-designed book with plans for delightful knits for babies. They’re just so darling! I especially love the green and white cardigan, I’m getting ready to start on that. The book includes detailed instructions — each with an accompanying baby photo — for 25 different baby sweaters, hats, and more. The instructions seem to be aimed at moderate or advanced knitters. All of the items are really adorable, love the rainbow hat! I’m trying to work up to the beautifully patterned Henley sweater, so cute!