Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Sourcebooks and their importance for artists
A sourcebook is any book that you use in your work, whether it's as a drawing reference or for clip art in your graphics. It can also be a book that you simply find full of inspiring images. Obviously we also have the phenomenal sources that the internet brings to our fingertips, but there is wisdom in keeping close a small arsenal of books as sources. Having something immediately tangible comes in handy for an artist now and then. Join me after the jump as I catalogue a few different kinds of sourcebooks.
Pepin Press, specifically their Agile Rabbit Editions. They come with a CD with both a high and low-res image of everything in the book. Pictured above is The Agile Rabbit Book of Historical and Curious Maps and Graphic Ornaments.
Birds of Town and Village in a shop one day and brought it home with me. It's beautiful bird paintings by Basil Ede have helped me time and time again as I've endeavored to draw birds and feathers. Of course with a source like this it is not suitable to copy the work as it is someone else's, and for this reason many people choose photographic sources so they may be traced and copied. Be careful never to copy another artists work, but merely to use it and others as references. I also enjoy my little pocket copy of John J. Audubon's birds for the same reasons, and picked up this large Collier's atlas at and antique shop some years ago. It's large, folio-sized pages are always helpful when I need to draw a large-scale outline of a state or country. The reference books that will work best for you will have pages filled with whatever it is that you make work about.
Fingerprint: The Art of Using Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design and George Inness and the Visionary Landscape. I am not a graphic designer nor a landscape painter, but the combination of the graphic art and handmade elements presents an aesthetic that is exciting to me, and the paintings of George Inness evoke a beauty and awe of nature that stirs something in me. For this reason they are important to have at hand.
I hope this discussion of sourcebooks for artists helps you to start your own library or to continue to build yours. What are some indispensable sources you use in your art? -hil