Its been a little while since I’ve done a second-hand book finds post (the last one was in March)- and I’ve found quite a few lovely illustrated books over the last couple of months so I thought it was time for another round-up post.
I found all of these books at my local $1 book sale, which is run to raise money for the Lion Foundation. It is a treasure trove for people who love books- especially old ones 😉 Most of the books mentioned below are full of wildlife illustration, but I also find lots of art instructional books (too many to post about now!).
Here are my favourite finds of late….
Town Birds in New Zealand by Raymond Wilson, 1980
I hadn’t heard of Raymond Wilson before finding this book but he is a NZ artist, apparently living in Auckland. His illustrations of 21 common New Zealand birds in this guide are amazing and very detailed! They are full page illustrations and look as though they have been done in watercolour.
NZ native morepork
I also love how each entry is introduced by an excerpt from literature relating to that species. And to top it all off, the book itself is signed by the artist.
I highly recommend it if you are interested in NZ bird illustration- especially illustrations done from a more life-like/behavioural point of view than a strictly ‘identification-guide’ style. This is probably my favourite book find for a while!
Birds of Fiji in colour by W.J Belcher, written by R.B Sibson, 1972
Yes- another bird book! This book is a bit older than Town Birds, but the illustrations themselves are much much older. You can spot the dates Mr Belcher has written in the corners of the illustrations, and they date from the 1920’s, when he was living in Fiji (he was originally from Auckland too).
One thing that really intrigued me about Mr Belcher is that he was entirely self-taught in painting. He was recognised by an American ornithologist in Fiji for his painting ability and subsequently taken on a bird-collecting expedition where he illustrated the birds he saw.
He produced around 90 paintings of the birdlife of Fiji, which are now held at the Fiji Museum (source). I recommend checking this book out if you like older natural history style illustration.
How to Paint and Draw by Bodo W. Jaxtheimer, 1988
This is a very comprehensive text-book style drawing guide, covering topics from basic drawing skills, painting colour and composition, human and animal anatomy, drawing plants, creating abstracts, painting murals, as well as loads of technical info on materials (I found the section on various raw materials and binders a useful reference) and storing art.
looking at colour principles
I haven’t read the whole book yet but it seems to go into quite a lot of detail about various concepts, especially considering the range of topics covered.
human head anatomy
I can see it being a really useful general reference guide, especially for technical information- though it does offer a few step-by-step instructions.
and more birds of course!
A fun book to have as a reference or just curiosity value.
Those are the top three books from my second-hand book hunts from the past month or so. I’ll be devoting an entire post to a more in depth review of another AMAZING book I luckily came across last week- its so beautifully illustrated I hope you can stop by again to check it out then!
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