COLSTON, Valerie. 200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills. 128p. (Aspire Series). illus. photos. reprods. glossary. index. Barron's. 2008. paper. $21.99. ISBN 978-0-7641-3811-9.
Ranked in the Popular/Best Seller on Amazon’s Art and Photography-Reference-Studying and Teaching category.
School Library Journal.
Adult/High School—This fascinating book will appeal to serious students of art, casual hobbyists, and anyone curious about the how and why behind a variety of artistic techniques. Written with art students in mind, it includes a section on putting together a portfolio and examples of art-school applicants' sketchbooks and portfolios. The text takes a do-it-yourself approach to learning a full complement of basic and intermediate techniques. Colston gathers examples and prescribes an assortment of observation exercises and projects that explore such concepts as shadow, distortion, mood, and collage. Each mini lesson stands on its own, so readers can choose from projects that catch their interest. Instructions are clear and brief, and concepts are grouped around the themes of line, color, texture, and form. The author covers an assortment of media, but most of the techniques and exercises focus on drawing and painting. Readers looking for in-depth explanations of particular techniques won't find step-by-step guidelines in exhaustive detail, but Colston does a good job of providing an overview of the fundamentals and introducing a wide range of techniques. The dynamic layout is filled to the brim with illustrations, and the project ideas will stimulate creativity and encourage experimentation.—Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA
Inkrethink Blog author Anna Lewis highly recommends this book for teen reader.
. . .To continue this creativity theme, here are some great art books for teens I recently discovered. Last year on the YALSA listserve, someone asked for recommendations of good books about art for teens and this was one of the books suggested. Always loving a good art book, I had to hunt it down. What a perfect book for teens. I wish I had this book in high school. I had one book on painting and one book on illustration - both very worn out now. 200 Projects is one of the most comprehesive, clear, and concise art books on the market. INK BLOG February 1, 2009 http://inkrethink.blogspot.com/2009/01/nonfiction-for-teens-to-ignite-creative.html