Review: The Art of ... Volume 05 Tommie Soule

by Hansrainer

Hey jungle folks, 

this is Hansrainer again with the next title in the series: a review of the fifth book in The Art of... series by Dave Taylor Miniatures,

which shows you the work and tips of famous mini painters from different backgrounds and styles. This book is different from the other books in the series, which were more about the artistic vision and philosophy of the featured painters, because this book is mostly a practical guide to the basics of mini painting, written by Tommie Soule (a.ka. the_miniature_painting_tutor, a well known pro painter and teacher with over 20 years of experience in the hobby.

Tommie addresses the fundamentals of miniature painting along five main themes, each one about a basic part of mini painting, like having the right mindset, keeping your paint consistent, loading and shaping your brush, putting the brush on the model, and finishing more models. The book has the chapters set up accordingly: first, an intro that tells you what the topic is about and why it matters; second, a detailed explanation of the stuff and techniques that Tommie Soule uses, with pictures and steps that show you how; third, a summary of the main points and tips to keep in mind.

The best thing about the book is how clear and simple it is. Tommie Soule doesn't expect you to know or do anything already, and he tells you everything from the beginning, in a friendly and easy way. He doesn't confuse you with too many choices or variations, but he focuses on the most important and effective ways that he's learned over the years. He also reminds you to practice, try things out, and find what you like, and he helps you to find your own style and voice. The book is not supposed to be a complete or final guide, but rather a strong base that you can use and change as you want.

The book is also really well illustrated and made. The pictures are big, sharp, and colorful, and they show every step and detail of the painting process. The captions are helpful and short, and they go with the text without repeating it. The layout is neat and easy to follow, and the font is nice and fancy. The book is printed on good glossy paper, and the cover is hard and pretty. The book looks and feels great, and it shows the professionalism and passion of both the author and the publisher.

The Good

This book could be one of if not the best book on learning the basics of mini painting. It's a no nonsense approach but that's what makes it a must read for people who want to actually learn mini painting and not just go wow over painted minis.

The Bad

The Art of ... Tommie Soule is very different from any of the other books in the series I've read so far (1,2,3,6,7) and if you think it's going to be a book about the artist's journey and views with a bit of tutorial in there - that's NOT what you're getting.

The Ugly personal view

As I said before, this book is probably up there on the "must read" shelf by itself with Kirill Kanaevs Miniature Painting FAQ a.k.a "the Bible". I totally recommend it. It deals with the basics of the craft (not color theory, not volumetry, not concepts of composition but ACTUAL craft basics) in a way that I haven't seen in a video tutorial or any of the other books I have. If you're a beginner, a struggler or a wannabe painter - get this book. Read it, work through it - you'll probably learn a lot.

And that's it for today. Talk to you soon,



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