Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals book review | Book Addicts

Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals by Carla Sonheim

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Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals by Carla Sonheim is a beautiful book on drawing imaginary animals from found images.

8 out of 10 stars.  This is a wonderful book to check out from the library.  I’m not sure I would purchase it, but it has given me some great ideas for doodling animals over the holidays.


The book is organized into three sections.  The first section is about finding images and inspiration for your imaginary animals, be it a cracked sidewalk, ginger root, or blob of foil.  Then taking that inspiration and making it into an imaginary animal starting with the eyes and a squiggled body.

The second section is using mixed media to create different types of imaginary animals–watercolor, ink sketches, mixed media, and sculptures.

The third section is a collection of other people’s imaginary animals.

The first section was great.  The second was disappointing.  Sonheim really doesn’t give instruction on creating fur, claw, and other textures for animals.  You would be better off trying Claudia Nice’s books for that.  She also has several projects using transfers but doesn’t explain how to do a transfer first.  And then there’s the white acrylic ink which I thought detracted from the artwork she used it on.  The third section was short and okay.

Imaginary Animals

Where the real inspiration comes from is the first section and the many imaginary animals scattered throughout the book.  There is no wrong way to draw an imaginary animal as long as you start with the eye.

8 out of 10 stars.  If you teach art, this is a great book.  If you’re learning to do art, the takeaway from this book is that there is not wrong way to draw an imaginary animals.

Reviewed by Jill.


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