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The Art Gear Guide is your one stop shop for the most recent, up to date, honest reviews on all your favourite art supply products. 


Caran d'Ache Workshop Book

Caran d'Ache Workshop Book

Caran d'Ache Workshop Book

Just over a year ago, perhaps a bit longer, Caran d’Ache published a book, the book is called the “Caran d’Ache Workshop Book”. I was first alerted to it when a good friend of mine, Vinnie Gracanin from Australia who used to be a representative for Caran d’Ache, told me about it.

I took a look at the Caran d’Ache website, trying to find out a few more details; I knew from Vinnie that the book contained a lot of art work from various artists using Caran d’Ache products, but I didn’t know too much more.

I took a look around YouTube and other art related blogs, just to see if there was other reviews or write ups about the book and I couldn’t find anything at all, other than a video of someone unboxing the book. So I took the plunge and purchased to book for myself and I was so happy that I did. However, I didn’t want people to go through the same issues I experienced before purchasing the book and having to blindly by it, and so completed this review. I know watching or reading reviews of books is not the most exciting thing in the world, especially as actually reviewing books can be very tricky. I can’t show too much of the book, to the extent people know everything there is in the book and don’t need to buy it, but I have to show just enough to help you see what the benefits of the book are.

Caran d’Ache Workshop Book Languages

Before getting into the contents of the book and why I love it so much, it is important to let you know just who can purchase this book. Of course anyone can buy the book, but what I mean is who can purchase it and read it in their own language. Luckily, Caran d’Ache haven’t just published a wonderful book and done so in English, the Caran d’Ache Workshop Book comes in many different languages.

Obviously English, which serves a good portion of the speaking world, Swiss, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and Austrian. On the Caran d’Ache website they also have an option for Belgium, however the main language spoke in Belgium, or one of the languages spoke there is Dutch, there is also French speaking and Brabantian. So as you can see, the book is available to most of the speaking world.

Caran d’Ache Workshop Book Status

The format of the Caran d’Ache Workshop Book is what I would call a “Coffee Table Book”, the type of book that you would have out on display in your living room our lounge for anyone, artist or not, to pick up and browse through. For those of you who may not be old enough to remember, before the internet and Google, if you wanted to learn something new or research a topic, you had to pick up a book with pages, not an e-book, and read it. No question a much more laborious task than that of the methods we use today, non the less, this book is not only full of incredibly interesting information, this is also an visually stunning, page turning master piece in its own right.

There are 192 pages, protected in a sturdy hard backed binder, the spine of the book is a little different to other books you may have read, I am not quite sure how to explain it to you, other than show you some images of it. With the binding of the pages in such a format, it allows you to open the book out with worry of splitting or cracking the other spine.

Caran d’Ache Workshop Book Contents

When you first open the book, the inside of the hardback cover have the image of a swatch on them, which I thought was quite funny given that when us colored pencil artist buy a new set of colored pencils the first thing we all do is create a swatch.

The book is split into manageable and easy to follow sections and within each section are sub sections, I wouldn’t really call them chapters, but I guess if you would prefer to call them chapters, that would be fine.

The first section in the book is called “Background”, and I personally think this is such an interesting section that it grips you and pulls you into the book and company right from the beginning. Here they discuss the materials Caran d’Ache use and their commitment to the environment. For a lot of artists, this is such an important subject and one I am happy to report, many art supply companies are really taking seriously.

The next section is called “Practice”, this section talks about possible tips and techniques for using Caran d’Ache products such as Graphite, Gouache, Watercolor, Coloured Pencils, Fibre Pens, Pastels, Acrylic and Modelling Clay.

The next section is called “Know-How” and this is quite a comprehensive section with lots of topics covered. Topics such as the Colour Wheel according to Wilhelm Ostwald, Paper, Colour Theory, Techniques, which has so many subsections in itself.

The next section is called “In The Caran d’Ache Workshop” which I am sure you can guess what is covered here? Subjects such as mixing techniques, tonal drawing techniques, modelling clay techniques and so much more.

The next section is called “Passe-partout” which is a French phrase and according to the Collins English dictionary means

“A mounting for a picture in which strips of strong gummed paper are used to bind together the glass, picture and backing”

This section discuss framing, the different types of framing processes and frame types that can be used, storing your finished work and presenting it. This information is of course incredibly useful to artists wishing to sell their work and present it in the best possible way.

The final two sections are pretty self explanatory, “The Gallery” and “Caran d’Ache History. I know from previous reviews I have completed that a lot of people are not interested in the history of a company, however, I personally find to understand a companies current situation and future aspirations, it is important to understand the history.

the Gallery is full of wonderful images from artists all over the world using various products from Caran d’Ache, no matter what your favourite Caran d’Ache product is, be it the Museum Aquarelle, the pigment bursting Neocolour II, the Royalty quality Luminance, the precision of the Pablo or the enormous color selection of the Supracolor Soft, there is an art piece to represent your favourite product.

However, you don’t just have to flick to the back of the book to see images of artwork, the entirety of the book is littered with beautiful and detailed images of Caran d’Ache products. For those of you who follow The Art Gear Guide reviews and like the style that I have tried to incorporate into the reviews with extreme, Hi-Def, close ups images of the products and enjoy this format, then you will love the Caran d’Ache Workshop Book.

The images throughout the book are amazing and so incredibly inspirational. We all find inspiration in different things and ways. For me, there are a few YouTubers who I watch all the time, re-watching videos they have created over and over again and I find inspiration in this. Caran d’Ache actually have a YouTube Channel were they show case and demonstrate their products, watching these videos help ignite inspiration and now the Caran d’Ache Workshop Book helps stimulate my inspiration,

Caran d’Ache Workshop Book Price

the price for the Caran d’Ache Workshop Book is very much a universal price just with the different exchanges at play. Buying the actual book is difficult to get hold of via the likes of Amazon or Ebay regardless of the country. I looked on these platforms for months and just couldn’t find one. So the best place to go is directly to the companies website. From here you will have no problems whatsoever getting hold of a copy and you can select which language you want the book in.

The price of the book is £41 and as I mentioned, because the only place selling the book is the Caran d’Ache website, it is the same price regardless of the country you reside in. I personally think for a book of this type, a wealth of important information, a gallery of beautiful art work created by amazing artists from all over the world and a detailed catalog of the companies most desired and favoured products.

Caran d’Ache Workshop Book Conclusion

I am sure most of you who know me, know just how much I love the Caran d’Ache products I have used and reviewed thus far, so when I learnt of a book published that detailed the products, demonstrated techniques about the products and spoke of the company’s history among many other things, I really had to get a copy. Before getting the book, as it was an online purchase, as opposed to walking into a book store and flicking through it, I would have liked to know a bit more information on the book, in the form of a review, prior to buying it.

So I hope for anyone who is interested in the Caran d’Ache Workshop Book or, perhaps a bit like myself, has been interested and just wanted to know a bit more about the book before buying it, I hope this review will be of some help to you. I know some people may think that £41 is a bit too much for a book, however if you take a look around Amazon and other book stores, books in this particular genre and size, mostly cost in and around this price point.

For any colored pencil enthusiast, be that watercolor pencils, pastel pencils, colored pencils, graphite pencils or even supplies such as modelling clay, acrylic paint and felt tip pens, I really think this book will be a source of knowledge, inspiration and visual stimulation. I have also completed a youtube video showcasing the book as much as I can without damaging sales for the company, follow the link to watch if you are interested.

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