Wonderful textbook style work long overdue for this genre of fascinating and engrossing art form. Kirk manages to cover practically everything; from form to art history to materials, even travelling. Should be required reading for inspiring, student street artists, as well as good idea openers for the seasoned veteran.
Whether you are interested in Street Painting, wanting to know more about colors, lighting, etc. this book is a must read. Julie Kirk-Purcell dials down the process of street painting into terms that a novice can understand. She illistrates street art from those that have been painting for years. The information for serious street painters is unique. She even has etiquitte, resources, suppliers, how to make your own paints and much more.
I think any painter, beginner to advanced, would gain knowledge from the study of this book.
A Professor of Art at Irvine Valley College, Irvine, CA and a professional artist, Julie Kirk-Purcell possesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the art of sidewalk painting. Sidewalk Canvas is a well organized survey of street painting as a fine arts profession.
The book begins with a historical overview of street art and artists, giving credit to both the 16th century masterpiece painters as well as the first street artists and their replications of religious Renaissance art. Kirk-Purcell then moves into modern street painters and segways into the main portion of her book, the preferred mediums and technical aspects of street painting, and advice for the aspiring artist. An abundance of colorful photographs provide an overview of some of the modern "greats" in the street painting profession including Bugatti, Fabriani, Grossi, Hefferman, Kirby and others while Kirk-Purcell discusses mediums, palettes, and the finer technical aspects of layout, illusion, shading, and the use of color. At the end of the book there is an Appendix with recipes for homemade pastels, a resource list, a festival list, advice on conducting workshops and working with children, and an Index.
While the bulk of the book focuses on the reader as a novice street artist, beautiful photographs and a well-organized overview of both the history of street painting and its technical aspects make this book is a great addition to any fine arts/non-fiction collection.
'Sidewalk Canvas' was much more than what I expected. Not only does it have wonderful images of sidewalk art but also a wealth of comprehensive information about the art form. With this book in hand you'll be set to join the professionals, or if you're not an aspiring artist yourself, then you'll have a much better perspective from which to appreciate pavement art, whether you're seeing it in reality or on the web.
Some of the topics this book covers are history of the art form, themes, colour theory, mathematical principles, light logic and painting basics as well as materials to use (even how to store them), working on different surfaces and how to transfer your design onto the street. Specific techniques are explained including, most interesting for me, sections on the different kinds of perspective and illusions used to get the amazing effects you see in some of these paintings. There is also a section on festivals including a listing of relevant festivals, preparation and etiquette, and very useful appendices on resources, working with children and professional concerns.
This book will appeal to anyone interested in this popular and fascinating art form, but it has particular relevance to artists, art educators and even commercial organizations seeking to commission street paintings for promotional purposes. I doubt you'd find a more comprehensive source of information on this topic and if you're planning on trying it yourself, then this book is one you must have.
This book, like so many others from Fox Chapel, takes you through the history of street art (and I'm not talking graffiti here) to the present day. It also shows how you may be able to make money from your art, choosing themes, creating illusion and perspective, the type of equipment you'll need and how to store that equipment, how to prepare the surfaces and a lot of other information on the "how to" of street art (or pavement/sidewalk art, if you prefer those terms). Filled with beautiful colour photographs this book is sure to enthrall the artist in all of us.
I wanted to review "Sidewalk Canvas" thinking that it might be a good book for kids. Chalk on sidewalk - how simple and fun. I opened the cover and started turning the pages, expecting to see some cutesy photos and quick tips for kids who want to color on the sidewalk. I was disappointed - for about 30 seconds.
What I had momentarily feared was more textbook than fun book, became increasingly more interesting with every page turn. Sidewalk art - popularized in recent years by photographs passed around the Internet - is a true art form that adults (and committed kids) can learn and excel at. This book provides all the information you need to understand the techniques, and if you've got the itch, provides the resources and lessons to help you become a pavement painter yourself.
A few things I've learned about this incredibly fun art form:
Street painting goes back to 16th-century Italy, when such artists were called "Madonnari," because many of the images featured the Madonna and child
The art is most often created with pastels, not chalk
There are professional sidewalk artists who are commissioned to do art for special events and corporate advertising
Street festivals and competitions around the world feature sidewalk art, often by well-known and award-winning street artists
There are tips and tricks that can be learned to create amazing 3D effects
Author Julie Kirk-Purcell is an internationally recognized street painter and has no doubt answered millions of questions on how to create the type of art that enthralls anyone who passes it on the street. Using lots of photographs of her work and that of others, she has created a book that manages to show you exactly how it's done, without being boring or confusing.
Following are just a few of the subjects Kirk-Purcell discusses in the book. All subjects are separated clearly and presented with lots of photography and examples:
The history of the art form
How to develop a theme for your art
What materials work best and how to work with various surfaces
Techniques for getting your original design to appear properly on the street surface
Short lessons on color, light, perspective, illusion and trompe l'oeil
How to participate in a Street Art Festival
Professional tips and advice for those who would like to turn professional
An introduction to some of the greatest street artists working today
IDEA: If you live in a place that doesn't get much rain or snow during Christmas, imagine how great it would be to use the techniques in this book to turn your driveway into a work of holiday art. Santa Claus, silver bells or snowflakes - how cool would that be!
If you know someone who appreciates art - or excels at it - this is a great gift book. It reveals the talent, skill and materials required to create the amazing images that appear one day and are washed away the next. Heartbreaking perhaps, but most of this art is best saved in the form of photography - and many of the greatest designs are interactive, which means they appear best when you step into them and become part of the picture.
Finally, the author provides lots of resources for learning more about the artists and the art. I cannot say enough about the value packed within these pages. It's a great read, and better yet, a real motivator to get you out on the street - and into some art!
Several years ago, my art teacherannounced an assignment for the few underclassmen that remained in my drawingclass after the seniors graduated: we were to do sidewalk paintings. She then turned on the overheadprojector and showed us absolutely amazing artistic feats in this medium wherethe viewer looked like they were going to fall right into the drawings, wherethe perspective was so masterfully done that it looked like things were risingup from the street despite the fact that they were done in chalk pastels. Long story short, we didn't succeedbecause after two class periods of sitting in the hot sun came the biggestrainstorm in five months and washed away all that work. After reading "Sidewalk Canvas," onlynow do I realize just how little any of us knew about the art of sidewalkpainting.
"Sidewalk Canvas" starts out asmany other art books do, with brief history of the craft and a gallery ofrelated examples. Julie Kirk hasdone her research and really relates the origins of sidewalk paintings in a waythat is both informative and entertaining. However, where this books really gets good is when she movesfrom simple show and tell to explaining how the depth of perspective isachieved. In some, it's a matterof single or multiple point perspective, or perhaps a cast shadow in the rightspot. Others, like the anamorphicperspective that is utilized by well known street painters with such enormouseffects, are much more complicated. Kirk not only explains the basic theory behind creating anamorphicdrawings, but then goes on to take the readers step-by-step on gridding outtheir own anamorphic sidewalk paintings.
This book concludes with a basicchapter on color theory and drawing as well as a not-so-basic tips andtechniques section that anyone that wishes to become a sidewalk artist wouldbenefit from reading prior to starting any project. As a sidewalk painter herself, Kirk is able to give solidadvice that even those that have had some experience in the field might findhandy.
With the unique voice, stunningvisuals, and absolutely priceless advice, I would say that this book is amust-read for any artist.
Street painter and professional artist Kirk-Purcell (art, Irvine Valley College) shows artists, art educators, and others how to create art on a street or sidewalk. She describes how to choose a theme, use artistic techniques and specific materials and methods, work with outdoor surfaces, create designs, and understand the basics of painting, with many galleries of impressive color examples of her work and that of other artists. Internet resources and festivals are listed.
Street painter and professional artist Kirk-Purcell (art, Irvine Valley College) shows artists, art educators, and others how to create art on a street or sidewalk. She describes how to choose a theme, use artistic techniques and specific materials and methods, work with outdoor surfaces, create designs, and understand the basics of painting, with many galleries of impressive color examples of her work and that of other artists. Internet resources and festivals are listed. (Annotation 2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
I first came across a chalk canvas when I was roaming the streets of Torino, Italy. It was absolutely fascinating and so to read a book like this from an insider's perspective is amazing!
As much as I'd love to say I paid attention to the methods and techniques, I have to admit that the art pieces themselves (preserved forever through photographs because they are...well...biodegradable (in a way)) captivated my attention and never let go. It was like me being in mum's closet and playing with the makeup, trying on different things and working out the combinations. Yes, for something that's this temporary, it sure leaves a huge impact on the viewer.
Recommended read for people who love art and/or those who get a kick out of seeing new things from old materials!
Growing up in Europe, sidewalk art was an almost daily occurrence. It was not at all unusual to see Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile glinting up at you as you exited the bakery or have the sudden necessity to skip over one of Titian's voluptuous beauties as you switched busses at the main terminus downtown. For those of my readers unfamiliar with the world of sidewalk art, Julie Kirk provides a lovely introduction; she talks about the tools of the trade, the history of recreating great masterpieces on the sidewalks of urban landscapes, and other subject matter that is frequently chosen for depiction by sidewalk artists. And as might be expected, the book is full of gorgeous photographs.
I was very impressed by this book when I received it a year ago in e-format as a review copy from the publisher; however, I wanted to view a print copy before I put out a review. The print copy, I am happy to say, is full of high quality prints that do justice to both the original artwork and the chalk art versions. My children and I had a lot of fun with the e-format version, in that it allowed me to project the images up on our TV screen. As a homeschooling parent I used this book for a number of art lessons; the kids were fascinated by the style of the art, by several of the original works copied and the artists, and even by some of the cities featured. The book is not available in ebook format, but the print version is large enough to be used in a small class setting. For kids reluctant to learn art history, the originality of the chalk art is a great way to catch their interest. Our librarian admitted to me that while shelving my hold books she got side tracked for a good fifteen minutes looking through Sidewalk Canvas-she was impressed by the unique subject matter and eye-catching layout.
This is the type of book that just about anyone, young or old, will enjoy. Some will be interested enough to read it cover to cover, but the pictures are surely a visual feast that will be enjoyed by all, and I highly recommend it as a part of any art curriculum as a wonderfully original way to expose kids to the great masters, chalk art, and outdoor art.