I'd like to take a slightly different approach to this review, not so much as a book reviewer but as an artist.
I've used all types of media in my art career from pencils to markers to computer design programs.
It doesn't take long to figure out which supplies and programs are the best.
It also doesn't take long to recognize art talent be it from a professional or a student.
Schiffer Books generously supplied four art related items for review: two art supplies and two books.
Painterly Days are high quality art supplies. The color pencil set consists of 12 pencils of superb quality. The reason I can tell this is that the colors apply strong and consistent, blend nicely and are bright and rich. There's no chalky residue or inconsistent color coverage.
The same applies to the watercolor set of 18 colors.
Pigments lay down smooth and rich, blend and flow effortlessly and provide consistent saturation. The colors were hand-chosen for organic drawings as seen in the Painterly Days coloring books as are the color pencils.
As an artist I'm constantly on the lookout for good reference sources. While the internet offers a plethora of choices it's time-consuming and often frustrating to find the correct image.
Recently I began a series of drawings for a children's book and a Christian cartoon series. Both require extensive uses of costume and fashion references.
Fashions & Accessories 1840-1980, written and illustrated by Geoffrey Warren, is an excellent resource for find the images I need.
Every period piece of clothing, shoes and accessories are represented. I plan on using this book extensively.
I appreciate the talent of other artists, be they painters, illustrators, designers or photographers.
Alvarado's All-American Girls is more than a compilation of cheesecake color photos of beautiful girls. It is a tribute to the long history of pin-up girl art whether they be represented in photos, drawings or paintings.
Lush photos lovingly staged and shot of beautiful women are artistically manipulated and augmented to represent period photos, paintings and Pop and Op art.
It's a real eye-opener and a standout tribute to a classic art form.