Review of 'Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals

Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals
A Mixed-Media Workshop with Carla Sonheim 

Recently, I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Carla Sonheim's Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals.  I was pretty excited from the moment I heard the book was out--you may have noticed that I've been posting several links to reviews and tutorials about it.  I've never taken one of Carla's classes, but I've seen enough of her work online and heard enough from her students to know she's awesome.  So her book had to be awesome too.

What impressed me was the alignment of her ideas with the philosophy of Zentangle®. The 'no mistakes, go with the flow, joy of creating' feel to her work seemed to me like it was something most tanglers would enjoy, even though her technique uses more realism (in a very imaginary way, lol).

So anyway, on with the review.

Cover: Heavy covered cardboard
No pages: 144
Size: 8.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches


Section 1: Just Messing Around-Sketchbook Play and Other Nonsense
1 Blobs and Sidewalk Crack
2 Photos and Life
3.Memory and Imagination

Each chapter of Section 1 contains three exercises and a mini gallery of examples from various artists.

After reading this section, I was inspired by a pair of dirty socks.  Surely, you can see it?  Obviously, these socks are hiding a ....
......Bactrian Camel!

I was also inspired by a picture that Carla provided of a cracked sidewalk.  She had examples from two other artists.  I immediately saw something much different, so I had to come up with my own interpretation!

I'm working on one of the tutorials now, but it's going to take a while, so you'll have to wait for that!

Section 2: Mixed-Media Projects-Paintings, Artist's Books and Other Fun Stuff
4 Oaxacan Dotted Elephant
5 Imaginary Animals-Abstract Watercolor Starts
6 Junk Mail Creatures Book
7 Watercolor Transfer Animals
8 Doggone It!
9 Animals In Tape
10 Creatures on Wood, Part 1
11 Creatures on Wood, Part II
12 Go Fish!
13.Wrapped and Tied-Fabric Animals

Each chapter of Section 2 contains illustrated tutorials and techniques.

Section 3: Artist's Gallery of Inspiration-Featured Artists
The title of this section pretty much says it all.

The book itself is appealing to look at, with lively illustrations and instructions that are brief enough to keep you moving along, but detailed enough so that you can follow them.  

I love this book.  It might not appeal to someone who is only interested in 'Fine Art', masterpieces created after years of study and practice.  But for those of us who simply want to create, who want to find new ways to discover the world around us--this is a fabulous book.

The only thing that I felt could be improved was the cover material.  The binding is a bit tight, and the book doesn't easily lie flat.  I tried the method of carefully folding the book back.  The binding holds up well, and you can get the book flat for easy reading while you create, but... the cover creases.  A minor point, since I'll probably end up getting paint and glue all over the book anyway, but I like to keep my books as pristine as possible.

If you don't want to wait to see if you win, Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals  can be purchased at Amazon or your local bookstore.

Giveaway Closed!  The winner was Ninna Hellman.
One copy of Carla's book Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals, a Flexi-Sketch Blank Sketchbook 6 x 6 in,  and two American Craft Precision pens, 1 brown & 1 black.

1. Leave a comment.
 2.Include your email or some method so I can contact you if you win. Failure to leave contact info means your entry won't be entered! Enter email addresses in this format: email[at]thisplace[dot]com. 
If you don't want to show your contact info here, email me at LifeImitatesDoodles[at]gmail[dot]com. Please put 'Imaginary Animal Giveaway' in the subject line.

Where: Leave your comment on this post with your contact info (or email the contact info as explained in How).

When: On Sunday, October 28, I'll announce the winner.

Who & Why: I'm giving this stuff away. Disclaimer: I won the book I used for the review. Carla Sonheim and her publisher did NOT ask me to do this review or giveaway.  I just wanted to do it because I thought you would enjoy it. So there, lol.

Good luck!