Book Review: Caran d’Ache Workshop Handbook

Every nerd can count books as a vice – and I’m no exception. I also am an unabashed Caran d’Ache fan, so it is no surprise that I treated myself to the Caran d’Ache Workshop Handbook titled ‘Atelier Caran d’Ache’ recently.

Sketch of a fish

A book, as they say, should not be judged by its cover. I can unequivocally state that this specific book will create an air of excited expectation on the first inspection. The cover is minimalistic but striking. The velvety feel of the cover is a tactile revelation. It is also beautifully bound and will certainly be a striking addition to any shelf!

The Table of Contents entices with a lot of interesting information to look forward to:

Caran d’Ache firstly describes the manufacturing process of various art tools and also how the raw materials are processed and sourced. This is followed by a succinct description of the various tools they offer. I love this section as its simply brimming with handy pointers highlighting the innate properties of each tool discussed. For example – did you know that Caran d’Ache acrylics are weatherproof and you can paint on external surfaces like concrete too? No? Neither did I!

Grating colour

Following is a section aptly named ‘Know How’. As the name suggests over 60 pages of various drawing and painting techniques are included, and with step-by-step examples too. I enjoy their amazing ideas!

Next is a chapter on presenting your artworks and a lovely gallery of featured works by various artist from all over the world. Look out for Lisa Clough’s drawing – this amazing artist was the one who inspired me to try coloured pencils!

The extensive glossary then discusses different artistic terms and products in more detail and is preceded by a bit of history on the Swiss company itself.

There are many reasons to love this book – whether you have a Caran d’Ache addiction or not. I often go back to look at the various techniques discussed and I certainly enjoy the creativity boost! It opens your eyes to new ways of making art.

Caran d’Ache Workshop Handbook

Beware though – there is almost no way you’ll buy the book and not feel like you have to go on an art-supply-buying-spree! The images are delicious and vivid and you might end up trying a new medium you never even considered.

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