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Look inside Sketching for the Absolute Beginner
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 14 October 2021
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782218746
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 450
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Series: Absolute Beginner Art
More Information

Sketching for the Absolute Beginner


by Peter Cronin (Author)

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Book Description

From the author of the best-selling art book, Pure Watercolour Painting and guest judge on Channel 5's Watercolour Challenge, Peter Cronin.

Sketching is more than just drawing quickly. It is training your eye and hand to work together, to respond immediately and naturally to the scene before you. 

Starting from a clear, simple method to bring all the senses into play, successful author and acclaimed artist Peter Cronin shows the reader how to bring artistry and economy to their sketching; making for swift and impressive results. Whether sketching as the basis for painting, or simply for pleasure, this book teaches the reader all they need to know.

Numerous simple step-by-step exercises as well as larger projects lead the complete beginner through the book, building towards more complex and rewarding artworks. The book teaches how to sketch with a range of media, starting from graphite pencil and including information and exercises on charcoal, pen and ink and others. 

In the best-selling Absolute Beginner series, this book is suitable for absolutely everybody who wants to take their sketching skills further and become an accomplished artist. 

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials 8
The eye, the hand and the heart 18
Making a start 22
Farm in Sunlight step-by-step 28
Seeing the world 30
Harbour Scene step-by-step 46
S.E.T. in action 48
Churchyard Scene step-by-step 56
Types of sketch 60
Beyond the pencil 64
Composition 84
Fixing the Farm step-by-step 92
Handling complex subject matter 98
Boat Sheds step-by-step 138
Afterword 142
Index 144

About the Author

About Peter Cronin

Peter Cronin loves the natural world. The pull of the outdoors and the fall of sunlight across the landscape inspire his work, and he can be found exploring the world around him in all seasons and weathers. Through his teaching, workshops and demonstrations he seeks to encourage, equip and help all who love art.

A Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), the Royal Watercolour Society of Wales and the Pure Watercolour Society, Peter has been a professional artist for over 30 years. Completely self-taught, he has gained an enviable reputation for his watercolour and oils; both of which rely on Peter's clarity of sight and the economy of line in his underlying drawings. 

Peter lives in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. To learn more about Peter and his work visit his website www.petercronin.org.



Peter Cronin tells us that he found drawing in special classes at school, having been diagnosed as dyslexic. For him, it was a release from the tyranny of the worded page and an introduction to a world that was all his. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that this book is, as much as anything else, a paean to the joy and freedom that Peter finds in working with drawing materials.

Yes, its a book of instruction and, yes, it covers all the basic principles, but Peter also manages to convey throughout the joy he feels when working, and hell share it with you the reader. So, yes again, its a course, but its also a journey of discovery.

Peters drawings are subtle and sensitive, and he works mostly with pencil but also pen & wash. With plenty of examples and short exercises, he introduces line, composition, perspective, form and hatching as well as ways to control the weight of the mark to create values, tone, and shading.

Theres a huge amount to get to grips with here and this is a book that you can easily work through or just dip into for advice and inspiration.

The Artist

Although Peter Cronin starts from basics and includes plenty of demonstrations and explanations, this is one of the most complete surveys of drawing materials and practice I have seen. In many ways, it is the sheer clarity of the approach that makes the book so attractive. Within a deceptively simple exterior, there lies a wealth of practical, technical and creative information. 

Materials include pencil, charcoal, and ink as well as pen and wash and a dip into mixed media. Subjects range from landscapes and buildings to people, animals, boats and harbours. Peter also takes in rain, mist and sunshine as well as composition, hatching, recession and perspective in concise, simple sections that are easy to absorb. This is very much an overview, but all the better for that, as it never dwells too long on any area and carries the reader along, allowing them to work at a sensible pace.

Leisure Painter

Part of Search Press's best-selling Absolute Beginners series, Peter Cronin's Sketching for the Absolute Beginner  shows you how to develop your sketching skills, from very first steps to accomplished drawings. Aimed at the complete beginner, Peter uses simple step-by-step exercises and larger projects in a range of media.

Paint SAA Magazine

This is one of the very best books on sketching I have seen. Starting from the basics, Peter introduces techniques, styles, subjects and media and the whole thing is as close to a complete course as you're likely to get. There's a very good chance you'll finish it and feel you don't need any further guides and are ready to strike out on your own. 

after a brief survey of materials and equipment and some thoughts on what to look for and how to see, you're straight into some reassuringly simple guidance that opens with How to Hold a Pencil and some simple scribbles. This quickly develops into line work and exercises in simple outlines based on real landscapes rather than asbtract shapes - in fact, if you fear pages of circles, rectangles and cones, you won't find them here, and hooray for that. 

As you progress, you'll be exploring pencil, ink, charcoal, watercolour and a refreshing amount of line & wash. You'll find subjects that include landscapes, buildings, trees, animals, boats and water, as well as different seasons and weather conditions. Techniques includes line work, shading and hatching, giving you an impressive armoury to work with. 

Everything is accompanied by examples, exercises and demonstrations and the book is every bit as practical as you could hope. The illustrations are clear and excellently reproduced and the while thing has an open and welcoming feel to it. 

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Also by this author:

Pure Watercolour Painting

Pure Watercolour Painting

By Peter Cronin


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