Art, Design & Architecture Books
The writer and broadcaster Andrew Marr talks about how artists make good work and just what 'good' means in this thought-provoking book about painting.
- RRP £15.00
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Andrew also explains how the serious stroke he suffered in 2013 left him partially paralysed and how this affect his own painting. This experience led to him asking questions about brushstrokes, colour balance, line and textures and here he uses his own work in progress as examples of failures alongside examples of techniques used by all kinds of artists to show how painters learn and improve on their mistakes.
A provocative, political and instructive book that will appeal to all levels of painters or anyone who is fascinated by art and its creative process.
Simon Jenkins, the author of Britain's 1000 Best Churches, turns his attention to railways in this rail-ly good book. He's travelled all over the country to select the best ones and talks about them with insight and authority.
- RRP £25.00
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Simon is the founder of the Railway Heritage Trust and his passion is second to none. He reveals each station's history, geography, design and significance and how they have impacted on social history.
Railways are a place where people come, go, meet, greet and part. They're also a long-neglected aspect of Britain's architecture and this beautifully illustrated book celebrates the engineers, architects and companies that have built them.
Presented in an A-Z fashion, this incredible book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about typefaces, typography and the printed page - from specific fonts to the essential tools.
- RRP £18.00
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The fonts represent the typographic spectrum and they are all put into historical context. There's even a pangram to show the entire alphabetic range of each one. A chapter on anatomy deconstructs the letters to show their anatomical structures and explains terms including bowl, crossbar, finial, ligature and spur.
The final chapter examines the myriad signs, symbols and punctuation marks that add extra meaning and nuance to words displayed on a printed page.
An iconic and award-winning read, this absolutely huge tome provides a compelling and comprehensive introduction to art. It contains full-colour recreations of some of the most acclaimed artworks of all time and features critics' overviews for each one.
- RRP £39.95
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It introduces 100 artists selected from all periods and from all over the globe and highlights leading performers from both the photography and performance art industries. Among the artworks you can both view and read all about are Michelangelo's Pieta, Pablo Picasso's Weeping Woman and Joan Miro's Women and Bird in the Moonlight. It even lists where you can see the paintings in real life.
Drawing on the research of artists, curators, critics and academics, this updated edition of The Art Book provides an introduction to art that has influenced culture - all the way from the medieval era through to today's contemporary masterpieces.
Learn all about the stories behind 80 of the world's favourite artists and their masterpieces with this incredibly lavish gift book. It talks about artists ranging from Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt to Andy Warhol and Anish Kapoor and examines their works, influences, developments, friendships, loves and rivalries.
- RRP £25.00
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From Holbein's matchmaking portraits for Henry VIII to Caravaggio's thuggish reactions to a badly cooked artichoke and the romantic affairs of Picasso, this book contains so many lavishly illustrated biographies of incredible artists and looks at the unique techniques, artworks and personalities that made them so legendary.
An amazing book for art lovers of all ages, this book provides a fascinating overview of so many influential artists in a handy timeline.
This contemporary and stylish book highlights all the incredible things you can do with the classic art form of watercolour painting.
- RRP £12.99
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Watercolour has often been seen as conventional, easy to manage and perhaps inoffensive... this book changes everything. It shows you how to use a variety of modern techniques and learn a host of new tricks.
Written by fashion illustrator Veronica Ballart Lilja, it reveals how you can use luminous colour, dynamic composition, mixed media and so much more. From choosing the correct materials to using different object, it even showcases enhanced techniques like creating silhouettes for painting city skylines.
Art Deco is one of the most iconic and impressive design styles of all time and this book provides a celebration of the glamour of the Jazz Age.
- RRP £30.00
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Classic yet contemporary, Art Deco remains a popular theme today and this stylish book looks at how designers and craftsmen used natural and man-made materials in innovative ways to produce the elegant pieces that defined the 1920s and 1930s.
Judith Miller, an antiques expert, explores the key makers and pieces from the Art Deco era and explains what you should be looking for as a collector. From furniture to sculptures and prints to rugs, it's illustrated with over 700 stunning photographs.
Acclaimed photographer Peter Dazeley has gained access to the hidden interiors of 50 of London's most iconic buildings and showcases them all in this stunning book.
- RRP £30.00
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Accompanied by Mark Daly's concise, thoughtful and informative text, among the buildings you can look inside are the royal palaces of Hampton Court, the Tower of London and the Supreme Court. Some of the relics and structures are derelict, but many are still working. What's for certain is they're all extraordinary.
This beautiful book explains how each place was created, how they are used and what each ones reveals about the currents of power that flow through the city. You can find out all about the boiler room of London's infrastructure and peek inside everywhere from the changing rooms of the top sports stadiums to the heart of the establishment.
If you've always dreamed of painting or if you just want to hone your creative skills further, Artist's Painting Techniques is a book that will help you explore art with watercolours, oils and acrylics.
- RRP £20.00
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A book that encourages you to discover your own style and grow as an artist, it starts with the basics of painting such as developing your observational skills and learning how to draw and then gradually progresses to working with the different types of paint.
It will explain everything you need to know about tone, colour, pattern, brushwork and composition and build your confidence. It also has inspiring advice from practising artists and will take you through a range of projects that will hone your skills, step by step.
If you want to start painting or are looking to hone your skills, Beginner's Watercolour will inspire you to pick up a brush and a palette in order to create your own masterpieces.
- RRP £7.99
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Suitable for all ages, it will show you the basics of painting with watercolour - from building up washes to mixing colours and creating the impressions of light and shade. There is also advice on how you can use effects such as spattering, sponging and stippling.
A brilliant book bursting with advice for all those who want to paint - whether you're interested in portraying landscapes, still lives or people.
Showcasing 80 of the most famous paintings and sculptures of all time, What Makes Great Art is a handy pocket guide that provides would-be art aficionados with a guide to why these pieces of art have inspired so much acclaim and respect.
- RRP £9.99
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Ideal for anyone who loves art, Andy Pankhurst and Lucinda Hawksley look at projects from many different eras and of various styles - from Expression and Beauty to Realism and Form. There are also chapters based on Symbolism, Distortion and Erotic artwork.
Whether the paintings owe their greatness to the composition or colour, provide an insight into a human subject or convey a message in an effective manner, this book covers it. Among the famous pieces covered are Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Claude Monet's Impression: Sunrise and Jackson Pollock's Mural.
Please note that What Makes Great Art contains a chapter dedicated to Erotic art.
Although this book features Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring on its cover, there is no information inside about this painting. There are, however, intricate details about 80 of the most iconic pieces of artwork ever created.
From prehistoric cave paintings to performance art, DK's The Art Book provides an easy-to-follow and fascinating introduction to this compelling and important subject.
- RRP £16.99
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This book explores history's most influential painters, sculptors and artists' most celebrated artworks and provides information surrounding the pieces and insightful quotes about them. It also has profiles of the most important artists from all over the world and explains their impact on impressionism, symbolism and cubism.
It will help you understand the ideas that inspired Rembrandt and Picasso's masterpieces and covers everything from painting and drawing to printing, sculpture and conceptual art.
From still life to portraits, this 10-book collection will help you learn how to paint in style using oils and acrylics. Covering all the basics of painting, the books feature progressive visual demonstrations and expert advice to help you get to grips with a paintbrush in the right way.
- RRP £59.90
- Save £49.91
- Just £1.00 per book
There are step-by-step lessons featured in all the books too, helping you learn how to paint spectacular landscapes, sunsets, clouds and skyscapes, pet portraits, oceans and seascapes and flowers.
There is also advice on setting up a studio, selecting tools and materials and learning the tips, tricks and techniques for the different styles of painting. A perfect starter library for a budding artist!
Please note these books are dedicated to oil and acrylic painting.
Learn to draw like a professional with this wide-ranging collection. From animals and buildings to still life and the countryside, these books are full of hints, tips and techniques to inspire you to embrace your creative nature.
- RRP £39.95
- Save £32.96
- Just £1.40 per book
The books are all easy to follow and will help you master the basics of drawing techniques for each subject and then encourage you to hone these new-found skills in a variety of ways. There's even a book to help you create realistic drawings of people.
Each book has practical exercises and looks at the structure and form of each subject. They will help you choose the right medium, learn about composition and understand the importance of light and shade. They will also help you capture movement and behaviour.
With evening classes being oversubscribed all over the country, pottery is quickly becoming the nation's favourite hobby - thanks, in part, to BBC Two's hit series, The Great Pottery Throw Down.
- RRP £20.00
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This companion book provides a complete introduction to ceramic art and its craft, manufacture, history and culture. It reveals how the history of pottery runs parallel to the evolution of mankind and how it's played such a key role in everything from terracotta warriors to home furniture.
Its narrative will tell you jaw-dropping details about the materials, processes and skills involved in making pottery and is full of striking photographs and illustrations.
With their luxurious fur and distinctive markings, you might think that drawing cats is an impossible challenge. Think again! With Draw Cats in 15 Minutes you'll be sketching your favourite feline friend in no time at all.
- RRP £9.99
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Following the formula of the popular Draw Faces in 15 Minutes, the book presents easy-to-follow tutorials that take you from basic drawing techniques every would-be artist needs to know, to capturing the unique qualities that define your cat.
From understanding a cat's anatomy to how it affects their appearance, rendering their fur in both pencil and charcoal and putting their distinctive character onto page, Draw Cats in 15 Minutes is a book that ensures that anyone who's ever wanted to draw will be able to in no time!
Designed especially for beginners, this step-by-step guide to drawing will delight aspiring artists!
- RRP £17.99
- Save £14.00
Providing 30 easy and fun lessons, the book finds artist Jake Spicer using tried-and-trusted methods to help you not only gain confidence but also build your artistic skills in a manageable and methodical way.
From people to pets and still life to cityscapes, the book provides exercises to enjoy and tips to bear in mind when it comes to drawing in future. The final section also looks at the skills needed in more detail. Draw: A Fast, Fun & Effective Way to Learn is a book designed to give any would-be artist all the information they need.
This beautifully illustrated book offers a comprehensive guide to western artists, themes, paintings, techniques and stories. Packed full of large, full-colour images of iconic works and lesser-known gems, Art: A Visual History covers over six-hundred and fifty artists, providing an expansive view of art history. Covering every era, from early art in 3000BCE to contemporary work, with chronological features on the major schools and movements and close-up critical appraisals of twenty-two masterpieces, this book is a broad but thorough introduction to art history. A firm foundation in the subject is ensured by an exhaustive glossary of art terms which reinforces technical knowledge such as an ability to identify impressionism from expressionism. Art: A Visual History addresses the question 'what makes great art?' With detailed referencing, crisp reproductions and a fresh new look, this book is a must-have for anyone with an interest in art history.
- RRP £20.00
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ABHZK 7 years +7 years +
How to Be the Best Bubblewriter in the World, Ever! shows you how to create your own hand-drawn alphabets. The book contains over 40 typefaces, inspired by everything from hairy monsters to clouds, ribbons to robots. Each double page spread contains both the alphabet and an illustration which brings it to life. The book is printed on thick matt paper which will allow you to interact with the book using pencil or pen. Also included are a host of guided activity pages with which you can decorate a ready-to-post letter card, write friendship notes and cards and fill in party invitations. There's even a cartoon strip to draw. This book is designed to stimulate the creative minds of children of all ages.
- RRP £8.95
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It is a collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a striking "Vogue" cover. From early aspirational illustrations to modern celebrity photography, this is a stunning selection of "Vogue's" most dazzling images. Since its launch in 1892, "Vogue" has brought sophistication to its readers around the world. Early illustrations from artists including George Wolfe Plank, Olive Tilton, Pierre Brissaud, and Eduardo Garcia Benito saw ethereal figures of fantasy develop into red-lipped flappers, and as colour photographs began to appear, the women transformed again: from Surrealist images by Horst P. Horst to 'women in the life of the moment', captured by Irving Penn. From the fifties onwards, "Vogue" women became more accessible still, as models and stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Cindy Crawford, and Cher, with their own distinct personalities, appeared through the lenses of Richard Avedon and Snowdon. "Vogue" covers now are the epitome of style and beauty, with such illustrious photographers as Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Steven Klein, and Patrick Demarchelier photographing stars like Lady Gaga, Kirsten Dunst, and Kate Moss, celebrating female icons across modern culture.
- RRP £14.99
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'Addictive ...a charter for wistfulness' Observer 'An enchanting rabbit hole of handmade houses' The New York Times 'The Bible of pared back, natural living' Der Spiegel 'Take a deep breath and let the inspiration sink in' GQ Cabin Porn began as an on-line project created by a group of friends to inspire their own home building. As they collected more photos, their site attracted thousands of submissions from other cabin builders and a passionate audience of more than ten million people. This book is an invitation to slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the beauty and serenity that happens when nature meets simple craft.
- RRP £10.99
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How do we see the world around us? "The Penguin on Design" series includes the works of creative thinkers whose writings on art, design and the media have changed our vision forever. "Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak." "But, there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) "Sunday Times" critic commented: 'This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings ...he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.' By now he has.
- RRP £8.99
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Ask any graphic designer the world over about their preferred approach to setting type, choosing a colour, or beginning a new layout, and you will rarely get exactly the same answer twice. Every creative has their own individual approach, or more importantly their own combinations of the thousands of techniques one can apply when planning a new design project. But there are some dos and don'ts that always figure strongly in any heated debate about what one should or should not accept as the right way to create the best graphic design. Packed with practical advice but presented in a light-hearted fashion, Graphic Design Rules is the perfect book for the ever-growing group of non-designers who want some graphic design guidance. And for more experienced designers, individual entries will either bring forth knowing nods of agreement or hoots of derision, depending on whether or not the reader loves or hates hyphenation, has a pathological fear of beige, or thinks that baseline grids are boring. In the style of a classical almanac, 365 entries combine a specific rule with a commentary from a variety of experienced designers from all fields of the graphic design industry. Grouped into six colour-coded chapters - typography, colour, layout, imagery, production, and creative thinking - the reader can either dip in at random or use the book as the source of a daily lesson in how to produce great graphic design.
- RRP £16.99
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A new edition of Keri Smith's bestseller, with updated material Think of Wreck. This Journal as the anarchist's Artist's Way - the book for those who've always wanted to draw outside the lines but were afraid to do it. For anyone who's ever wished to, but had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook comes "Wreck This Journal", an illustrated book featuring a subversive collection of suggestions, asking readers to muster up their best mistake - and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (and destroy them). Through a series of creatively and quirkily illustrated prompts, acclaimed artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in "destructive" acts - poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with coffee, colouring outside the lines, and more - in order to experience the true creative process. With Keri Smith's unique sensibility, readers are introduced to a new way of art and journal making, discovering novel ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process. Bestselling author Keri Smith is a freelance illustrator by trade, and has illustrated for the "Washington Post", "The New York Times", "Ford Motor Company", "People", "The Body Shop" and "Hallmark". She is the author of "Wreck This Journal", "How To Be An Explorer of the World" and "Mess". She lives in Canada.
- RRP £9.99
- Save £2.00