Bill Buchman Figure Drawing and the art of abstract painting
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Figure Drawing DVD Reviews

1) Library Journal Review: 6/1/2008 Art Is an Attitude: The Art of Drawing the Figure. color. 90 min. Bill Buchman, Art Is Poetry

Art Is an Attitude uses a live model and concentrates on demonstrating how to make beautiful figure drawings through 25 fundamental techniques, including selective seeing and emphasis;  crayon, brush, and pen manipulation; negative space and positive mass; line techniques; gesture; the hinged "I"; and more. A demo menu on the DVD lets viewers access each of the techniques instantly by name and chapter number. Buchman, an accomplished artist and innovative teacher, also reveals his methods for developing proficiency with Conte crayon, gel pen, ink wash, Sumi brush, watercolor crayons, and reed pen. An illustrated glossary is also available. For each drawing demonstration, a materials list is provided. Well structured and beautifully photographed, the many exercises along with Buchman's work will inspire artists of all levels. Susan Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque.


2) Review by Scott Kirkman, Figure Drawing League

Art Is An Attitude: The Art of Drawing the Figure DVD

Traditionally, art instruction separates technique from creativity. In this excellent art-instruction DVD, Mr. Buchman's open-minded, lighthearted artistic style is about fluidity and flow, free-spirited boldness blended with joy and fun, the pure poetic *art* of a picture appearing from the simple essence of revealing form from what you see.  With an almost-zen-oriental philosophy that focuses on the process not the result, Mr Buchman shows you how to use mass, line, contour, direction, and expressive gesture to keep your art loose and free all the time, to let the line, the ink, the paint, have a life of its own.  "To draw is to risk," Mr. Buchman reassures us.                          

Start and stay with the fundamentals, he says, and keep things simple:  "All drawing is simplification."  See the big shapes, the ones that really count, and let the line and values have a life of their own and the sense of the drawing will appear, almost as if by magic.  Trust in yourself.  Trust in exercises as educational investment.  Be confident and patient with yourself; have faith that pure art will emerge from what you do.

Much like the DVD's light jazz background music, Mr. Buchman is a friendly, pleasant, encouraging teacher, rather gentle and affirming in his approach.  He explains things clearly and thoroughly.  As for qualifications, Mr. Buchman has been an artist and teacher for many years, since he studied life drawing in the 1960s with impressive art mentors, including Victor D'Amico, education director of the
Museum of Modern Art. 

This DVD feels full: 90 minutes of one art technique and exercise after another, in the form of a private lesson in Mr. Buchman's studio.  You get to look over Mr Buchman's shoulder as he demonstrates twenty-five fundamental figure-art techniques -- including his own invention, the delightful continuous-contour drawing technique he calls "Loop De Loop" -- and simultaneously reveals his methods for developing proficiency with conte crayon, gel pen, ink wash, sumi brush, pastels, acrylic ink, watercolor crayons, and even a reed pen (as Van Gogh used).  And you can use the DVD's menu to re-watch particular lessons as you like.

I personally love realistic, representational art more than any other, but Bill Buchman's abstract impressionist art -- especially when he uses color -- is lovely and full of life, in a way even the finest realistic art could never be.  I’ve collected a hundred books and videos that show me how to draw more realistically, and I treasure each one.  But I was delighted to watch this DVD and feel an uplifting permission to be much more free in creating my art and still trust that it will be all right -- that what I create will truly be art, maybe even more so than what I've been creating for years, so carefully and so cautiously.

Mr Buchman's art is not based on realism.  This DVD will not teach you to more realistically draw the human face, the hands and feet. In fact, Mr. Buchman favors the torso and persuasively argues that trying to render too much detail in face, hands, and feet can ruin a work faster than anything.  This DVD will help you open up your art and make it more creative and fluid and wonderful and enjoyable.

I heartily recommend it, for artists of all levels.
Scott Kirkman
Founder, Figure-Drawing League

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