Book Review – Art on the Rocks by F. Sehnaz Bac, Marisa Redondo, Margaret Vance.

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Don’t let my mid-range score make you think this is a mediocre book as it’s not! It was, however a hard electronic ARC to read (kept freezing and glitching) and, to be honest, there are so many good books, Pinterest sites and blogs on rock art right now and unfortunately I didn’t feel ‘Art on the Rocks’ stood out enough to get more than an average score.

But, again, this isn’t me saying it wasn’t any good… it was great and some of the art designs are divine – I even went out and bought paints and brushes to try some… when I find the right rocks – but, as said, there is a LOT of media out there right now on rock painting and there needed to just be that little be extra spark in there to make it stand out… and it wasn’t there.

However, from another book on rock painting I have read, I need to say that F. Sehnaz Bac is an artist I now greatly admire and do so love her art and style. That fox on the front cover…. And the instructions within the book – I MUST try that! What a talent!

What was the book all about? Well, rock painting – duh! But it didn’t just cover how to paint on rocks, ‘Art on the Rocks’ teaches techniques too. From what materials (including rocks) you should source, through to the best paints, brushes, pens and inks to use. There is not only an introductory section that covers this, but each rock design continues the lesson explaining the best techniques and tools to use to achieve the final piece. Because of this, I felt the book excellent for all levels of painters from beginners through to people just wanting to fine tune their techniques.

‘Art on the Rocks’ also covers different styles of painting from animals, mandalas to nature and petroglyphs. Don’t forget to read up on the artists who took the time to make the book!

For the formal side of things – format, layout, etc. – the book is well constructed, easy to read and each section and design is set out in manner that makes it easy to follow while reading or, as my daughter found out, while replicating the design. Hers isn’t finished so I can share a pic, sorry!

All in all it was a fantastic book that not only teaches techniques and painting, but is full of projects to try, to inspire and to encourage the painter to branch out and try something new.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. As, it’s good. Yes I have just said it’s not above average but I am perfectly imperfect so have the right to now recommend it as, quite frankly, I love the designs and styles within it.
And I would recommend it to anyone – of any artistic level – to read, try and buy. Though will say this isn’t a book for little kids. I’d let my 10 and 12 year olds have a go, but they are above average in their abilities and have had their work displayed in galleries… but, yeah, parent’s discretion as to whether your child is ready for this… I personally see it as being more for the late teens to adults who have better co-ordination skills with brush and pen.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I might… But to be honest I’d much rather borrow it from a library first. How cruel of me I know!

But basically, I would want to borrow it and try it out a few times before deciding whether I was good enough to try and do rock art all the time and not just as a passing hobby. If I was to take it up as a permanent way to relax and unwind then yes, this is indeed the book I would buy.

In summary: a great book that doesn’t just teach designs to paint, but techniques too.

Until next time,

Janis.

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