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ARC Reviews: Art Books Read in Fall 2022

How to Draw Hairstyles for Manga by Studio Hard Deluxe

Publication Date: November 8, 2022


From bed head to battle hair, the way you style your manga character’s hair can make or break their look. In this guide, discover hundreds of styles to transform your sketches into amazing illustrations.

How to Draw Hairstyles for Manga includes:

Detailed information on how hair influences characters and scenes, how it grows and moves, common male and female hairstyles, and more!

Step-by-step instruction for sectioning and drawing hair to achieve more realistic looks. Plus, learn tips and tricks for taking styles up a notch.

600+ illustrations showing hundreds of hairstyles from multiple angles. From French braids and ponytails to defying gravity with underwater looks and epic battle scene styles, this book has it all!
With step-by-step guidance and hundreds of sample illustrations, this is your must-have guide to drawing hairstyles for your manga characters. What are you waiting for? Grab your supplies and get started drawing with style!

My Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is an excellent and very useful guide to drawing various lengths and styles of hair. I learned a LOT, and found the discussion of combining hair and movement especially useful.

The book discusses accurate representation of hairstyles, shadows, combining style with movement, emotion, and personality, wet hair, windblown hair, and power stances.

It includes just about every hairstyle you could want — if you don’t want to include Black hair. While it is specifically for manga, it still seems like an oversight to not include any Black hairstyles.

Each style is clearly illustrated in black and white and has a short text explanation of what is happening and why it is drawn that way as well as a step-by step guide to guide the reader in recreating that style.

*Thanks to NetGalley, Quarto Publishing Group, and Rockport Publishers for providing an e-arc for review.

Satisfying Stitches by Hope Brasfield

Publication Date: November 15, 2022


Discover the creative satisfaction and stress-relieving benefits of embroidery while stitching fun, modern, vibrant designs such as flowers, plants, animals, landscapes, and celestial scenes.

Beginning a new creative pursuit can be intimidating, but Satisfying Stitches takes all the guesswork and fear out of getting started with techniques designed to boost confidence and provide relaxation. This easy-to-follow, photo-illustrated guide includes a review of the basic and inexpensive supplies needed to get started, foundational techniques, and step-by-step instructions for creating a variety of stitches. As your skills and confidence grow, you will find that stitches that may look advanced are quite simple, and you’ll be able to easily add dimension and texture to your designs.

The exclusive embroidery designs include a wide variety of motifs and patterns, such as houseplants, florals, mushrooms, butterflies, fish, landscapes, and sunsets, in a variety of color palettes. The projects are divided into three levels to match your confidence, skill level, and time.

While most beginner books don’t go beyond a couple of easy stitches, Satisfying Stitches takes the opposite approach, incorporating stitches that pack a big “wow” factor but are quite easy, such as fern stitch, wheatear stitch, thistle flowers, and woven wheel roses. Author Hope Brasfield offers tons of encouragement to beginners and beyond. You’ll learn to embrace imperfection, slow down, and enjoy the process.

You will also discover, as Hope did, that embroidery offers much more than a creative outlet. Focusing on something that requires imagination, handwork, and concentration can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Satisfying Stitches features:
A wide range of attractive embroidery stitches that can be used to create any embroidery designs
18 original embroidery designs for popular motifs
Detailed step-by-step instructions with clear photographs
Troubleshooting tips and tricks throughout the book

So much more than pretty patterns, Satisfying Stitches offers an exciting opportunity to gain new skills, become a more confident creative, ditch the smart phone, and de-stress.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a really good beginner embroidery book. I found the information on different stitches incredibly useful as there were many I did not know. There are photos included with the step-by-step instructions that makes it easy to understand what to do.

I wasn’t terribly interested in the designs – they’re not really my style and they’re a lot simpler than the designs I usually use. However, a few of the designs were cute or offered a different way to think about technique. I am excited to employ my knew knowledge in my own designs.

The beginning information was perhaps more useful for those completely new to embroidery, such as how to use basic embroidery tools and the many reminders that embroidery isn’t supposed to be perfect. The designs included emphasize that principle – they are solely nature themed (plants, fruits, flowers, skies) and lead naturally to the ‘nature isn’t perfect so your embroidery doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be perfect’ theme.

I would definitely recommend it for those who are new to embroidery but want to learn or those like me who have been dabbling in creating our own designs for years but lack knowledge of some of the more useful stitches.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Quarry Books for providing an early copy for review.

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