Friday, March 20, 2015

A Review: Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker: Techniques for Drawing and Painting Faces


The following is my review of Pam Carriker's latest book, supported by photos from my own sketchbook and art journal as I begin my portraiture journey. Pam provided me with this book; the opinions I share are solely my own.

"Creating portraits can often be a daunting proposition, even to the seasoned artist. Folks who can draw a still life or paint a landscape can find the human face much more challenging. But artists are drawn to the human face as a subject to draw and paint, so they seek guidance along their journey. Pam Carriker's book offers that guidance in a thorough and unique manner. Pam covers the essentials with her face mapping technique that breaks the face into regions and makes feature placement so much more manageable. She addresses multiple angles of the face, including side view and three-quarter view, and also focuses on each facial feature in depth.


Pam also guides the reader through lessons in color theory in a very practical and purposeful manner as it relates to the study of portraits; additionally, this information will also be helpful in a variety of creative exercises. The fifteen mixed media projects included in this book cover a wide range of techniques and materials; something to satisfy every learner, no matter what their skill level. It is very clear that Pam has an impressive working knowledge of a multitude of techniques and materials. She exposes the reader to new materials, but at the same time offers alternative, more common materials which can be substituted in the same project; thereby you can venture into the world of new materials or use those that you already have on hand. The techniques you’ll learn will be applicable in a variety of mixed media projects, so although taught in regard to portraits, there will be carry-over to any number of projects.


Throughout this book, the text is conversational and easy to follow, as if a friend were sitting by your side guiding you through lessons and projects. Helpful step-by-step color photos fully support each project. A sampling of pages are devoted to portraits and insights from a variety of artists. These segments add to, but in no way overtake the book; it is 99% Pam Carriker, which is what the reader wants. Pam’s book goes far beyond the basics of learning to draw a face. So if you are a beginner or a seasoned artist, there is much to gain from this excellent book; it has something for everyone...and then some!"

© Nancy Lefko

1 comment:

Marta Waniek said...

I just find your blog. I admire all pieces you done. I love it! You are amazing artist!