Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Draw Cool Stuff: Holidays, Seasons and Events by Catherine V. Holmes (spotlight, excerpt, review and GIVEAWAY)

Catherine V. Holmes

GENRE:  Non-Fiction



How to Draw Cool Stuff: Holidays, Seasons and Events is a step-by-step drawing guide that illustrates popular celebrations, holidays and events for your drawing pleasure. From the Chinese New Year to April Fools' Day, Father's Day to Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve - this book covers over 100 fun days, holidays, seasons and events, and offers simple lessons that will teach you how to draw like a pro and get you in the spirit of whichever season it may be!



Inside you will find specific exercises that offer step-by-step guidelines for drawing a variety of subjects. Each lesson starts with an easy-to-draw shape that will become the basic structure of the drawing. From there, each step adds elements to that structure, allowing the artist to build on their creation and make a more detailed image.

Each art project comes with a chart including information that the artist should be able to KNOW (facts, basic skills), UNDERSTAND (big ideas, concepts, essential questions), and therefore be able to DO (final assessment, performance, measurements of objectives) by the end of the lesson.

This additional information gives these pages more power than just 'art for art's sake' - not that you need it - because art is important enough on its own! Artists are learning about themselves as expressive souls through the process of creating beautiful and interesting work.

The best part is, this is stuff that artists want to draw.

Information for Teachers using this Book:

Teachers can feel confident that they are using instructional time in ways that make a difference for their students when using this guide. Each lesson includes easy-to-follow instruction where the whole process is viewed through a sequence of detailed illustrations that can be linked to historical connections, your curriculum learning standards or adapted into an arts integration lesson. You decide how intense to make each project.

The projects can be differentiated to respond to students' diverse learning styles through a mixture of visuals and text.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Catherine V. Holmes is an art/ELA teacher and visual artist from historical Plymouth, Massachusetts. She studied at Boston University and at Bridgewater State College where she earned her BFA and MA in ED. She is currently working towards her second Master's from the University of Scranton. Catherine Holmes specializes in portraits, architecture and illustrations. Her art is inspired by her feelings, ideas, and experiences, whether they are found in nature, the media or in man-made structures. Catherine is also heavily influenced by the interests and suggestions of her students. "To see success through their eyes inspires me to be a better teacher and creator of art."




a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review:

5 stars

How to Draw Cool Stuff: Holidays, Seasons and Events by Catherine Holmes is part of the ‘How to Draw Cool Stuff’ series and is aptly named.  There are step-by-step instructions guiding one from starting with a series of circles, ovals, and lines to transform into a wide variety of pictures that are appropriate for holidays and observances throughout the year.  Arranged according to the calendar year, the drawings start with a couple of versions of the baby New Year and continue to provide ideas for drawing representations of holidays including Valentine’s and Easter, as well as celebrations such as weddings and birthdays.  Instructions for embellishing the basic picture or combining a group of drawings are also given.

I think everyone has an inclination to doodle or draw, but many are like me and feel that a lot of talent is required.  This book is such fun and shows one how to distill a drawing down to basic elements.  I love that the author stresses that the goal is not to exactly duplicate the sample drawings but to give them an individual twist (thereby encouraging those of us who are very clumsy at executing the transformation from crooked circles and ovals with disproportionate lines and angles).  It is remarkable to see how to start with simple lines and gradually create an overall picture with depth.  There are a couple of other titles that cover other aspects of drawing, including the shading that gives a 3-D effect to one’s drawings but this very hefty book includes such a plethora of designs to attempt that I daresay it will keep one preoccupied for many, many days.  Naturally, I didn’t have time to try out everything (nor could I find my drawing pencils, lol) but my imagination is definitely stimulated and I look forward to trying my hand at a wide variety of drawings.  I suspect it would be a little easier to have a print book in front of one but this still is a fantastic resource that will appeal to folks of any age who can hold a pencil (and eraser) and let imagination soar.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review


  1. Looks like an interesting book ;)

  2. Your bio reminds me of my art teacher...made me enjoy art even though it wasn't perfect but it was my own perspective of art.

  3. Thanks for giveaway! I love to draw cool stuff and weird stuff. ;)

  4. Absolutely LOVE this! My youngest son is into books similar to this with how to draw trucks! Thanks for sharing and the chance to win <3