Sunday, 3 June 2012

Book Review: A Yorkshire Sketchbook by David Hockney

Title: David Hockney - A Yorkshire Sketchbook
Synopsis: A facsimile 92 page sketchbook used by David Hockney in 2004 when sketching the the East Yorkshire Wolds.  It contains sketches of the Yorkshire Wolds and Bridlington in watercolour, ink and pencil - and no words.
Summary review and recommendation: This is a sketchbook which dates from the beginning of Hockney’s reconnection to Yorkshire and painting.  Those who sketch and who like Hockney’s work will love it.  Those who have never ever sketched will be very puzzled by it and may even call it a complete waste of money - but they will have missed the point. I RECOMMEND this book for those who enjoy facsimile sketchbooks.
  • It starts at the beginning of the sketchbook (publishers details etc are relegated to the last page)
  • It feels as if Hockney has handed you his sketchbook
  • It illustrates the motifs which interested him as he began to paint Yorkshire again
  • Take off the dustcover and the hardback cover is just like a black sketchbook used by many in the UK
Think Again?
  • Those expecting an art instruction book will be severely disappointed
  • The publisher’s description does not indicate at all clearly that this is a facsimile sketchbook (ie all images and no words)
  • This may become a DVD (but I doubt it)
Who should buy this?:
  • People who love Hockney’s work
  • People who love facsimile sketchbooks
  • People who carry a sketchbook everywhere they go
  • People who want to learn more about sketching and want to see what a real sketchbook looks like
Who should not buy this?
  • People who don’t sketch and don’t understand the nature of sketching and what a sketchbook actually looks like
  • People who expect words rather than sketches in a facsimile sketchbook
Author / (Publisher) David Hockney / Royal Academy of Arts, London
Technical data: Publication Date (December 2011 hardback)
Hardcover - 92 pages in conventional small landscape sketchbook format (21.2 x 15.4 x 1.8 cm)
  • ISBN-10: 1907533230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907533235

The full price version is not cheap! It’s much better value on Amazon which is where I ordered it.

Those of us who sketch know the joy of looking at one another’s sketchbooks. Having this book in my hand feels rather as if Hockney has just handed me his sketchbook! 

I own the DVD of his sketchbooks and consequently knew exactly what to expect in terms of content and drawing style. However I do think the publishers should review the publicity profile and the description of this book on the Internet. Nowhere does it indicate clearly that this is a complete facsimile of a sketchbook used by Hockney in 2004.

In summary:
  • Sketchers who like Hockney's drawings and paintings will love this book. 
  • Fans of Hockney's work will like this book 
  • Those who have never sketched may well struggle to really appreciate it

1 comment:

vivien said...

I bought this book and love it - other brilliant facsimile sketchbooks include John Blockley, Barbara Rae, Kurt Jackson.

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