Author(s): Jim Scullion
Renowned sports artist, Jim Scullion shares his expertise in this practical and inspiring guide to drawing and painting sports figures. There is advice on basic drawing and painting techniques, using colour and finding inspiration, then Jim gives the reader the warm-up training he uses in his hugely successful art workshops. The media covered are acrylics, acrylic inks and watercolour, as well as mixed media including soft pastels with acrylics, pastel pencils and coloured pencils, all used with a variety of techniques. Jim's excellent drawings and paintings bring to life the expert instruction on anatomy, male and female figures, movement, clothing, sports equipment and skin tones. There is advice on capturing expressions and emotion, and on perspective, composition and atmosphere. Then there are five beautiful step by step demonstrations so that readers can learn for themselves how to capture the passion, excitement and emotion of sports figures in action.
There's no doubt that this is a niche market and I'd rather suspect that there may be more take-up in the sports market and by those who are looking for a showcase of the author's work than there will be among its avowed practical art audience. That's a shame because, as a guide to painting the human figure in action, this is hard to better. The author has clearly studied his topic, and his subjects, in depth and he captures both general and specific poses with confidence and aplomb. The original cover image was going to be a portrait of Andy Murray just after he has won a point (it now seems to be missing from the book altogether) that absolutely conveyed, far better than any photograph, the pose and expression as well as the pent-up aggression Murray displays on these occasions. I don't want to labour this change, because there are plenty of other, similar images in the book, but it was always going to be my way into the review and it's something I'm familiar with, my interest in sport not being all-encompassing. One of the things you can't help noticing as you look through the copious images (250 in a 96 page book is nothing less than generous) is that Jim's paintings have a strongly commercial quality. This isn't surprising, neither is it a criticism; there's a particular style that the market for paintings of sportspeople demands. However, if you look a little further, although a lot of this is characterised by the modelling and the use of colour, it's also about making the subject stand out from the background, which itself has to be appropriate. This is worth further consideration, as Jim uses both clearly-defined grounds, such as the St Andrews clubhouse in a golfing picture, as well as those which are more blurred when action but also context need to be defined, or completely abstract to show speed. It's all cleverly done and a lesson in itself. If you want to paint sport, then this is pretty much your only guide. However, I'd recommend that anyone interested in figure painting should give it at least a look. You may not find the style is to your taste, but the execution is superbly done and you can learn a lot from just that.-Artbookreview.net A figure in motion is often required and that's where the general appeal of this book lies. For those who do want to paint sports themes, this is virtually the only book on the subject, and it's very well done. For the more general painter, Jim works in acrylics, pastel and watercolour in a variety of styles that suit both his subjects and composition. To show motion, he uses soft edges against a background that is a blur of colour. Where time is stopped, the edges are harder and the often monochrome background throws the main image forwards. The nature of the subjects means that there is always a slight exaggeration, but this makes for a striking image, which is the intention.-The Artist
Jim Scullion has been an artist and illustrator for over thirty-five years and is best known as a sport and figure artist. He has been nominated for several international awards. His clients have included Coca Cola, Kodak, MGM, Warner Brothers, the American Pro Football Hall of Fame, Nike, Adidas, the SPFA, the SFA, FIFA and numerous other sporting organisations. His subjects have included Diego Maradonna, Pele, Michael Schumacher, Mohammed Ali, Jack Nicklaus and Michael Phelps. His work is owned by athletes as well as collectors, sporting organisations and corporate bodies. Many museums and galleries around the world own his work. Jim has provided professional workshops and classes to budding artists for many years, particularly in the USA. He also regularly does workshops for young people experiencing difficulties in life, in youth clubs schools, colleges and young offenders' institutions. He has also contributed articles to many magazines.